Straight TN Christian Writes Book About Living Year as Gay
A straight Tennessee man is ‘coming out’ with a new memoir about his year-long social experiment on living life as a gay American.
Timothy Kurek’s autobiography ‘The Cross in the Closet’ is on sale now. Its release coincides with National Coming Out Day.
Though the Nashville-native says he was never taught to be homophobic, he recalls growing up in a strict, conservative household that relied heavily on Scripture. But after reacting negatively to a lesbian friend’s painful coming-out experience four years ago, the evangelical Christian decided he wanted to know first-hand what it’s like to be LGBT.
KUREK: As much as I could as a straight person–obviously I’m not gay, I didn’t write a book about being gay, I’m not qualified to write that. But what I realized I could do is experience how the label would impact my life and my beliefs and how the people that I interacted with and the responses I got from my friends, family and church, how that affected and shaped my theology as well.
So Kurek spent a year telling almost everyone he knew that he was gay, with the exception of a close friend, an aunt and a gay confidante who later acted as his boyfriend. He admits he was initially shunned by most of his loved ones, but eventually gained their support after disclosing the nature of his experiment in 2010.
Kurek says the gay community actually “saved his faith” in the process and transformed him from a self-described “Bible-banging homophobe” to a proud ally.
Kurek says he’ll now donate some of his book’s proceeds to a non-profit working with homeless LGBT youth.