Friday, May 11, 2012

Stranger at the Gate (1994 edition) review

In my quest to find reconciliation between my faith and my sexuality, I found this book Stranger at the Gate: Being Gay and Christian in America. The book is by Mel White, and the edition I read was from 1994. It seems there's a newer edition out with some revisions.

Mel recounts his life and struggles with same sex attractions being from a Christian home and growing up in the 1940s and 50s. He boldly shares his life and attractions for other boys and young men and how he repressed his feelings until he was a married man and serving in the ministry, serving rallies and making films.

What got to me is that even though he was finally doing the healthy thing by giving into his natural urges, he was basically having an affair by having relations with someone other than his wife. And if he'd admitted that in the book (he does once), he calls these "God's gifts." I kept reading hoping to find how he found affirmation for same-sex intimacy, but it never came.

Still, he does make a compelling case for how the religious right unfairly persecuted gays and lesbians.
 And though White sounds judgmental, the fact is, he also writes about how he worked with people like Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, and Pat Robertson before they knew he was gay.

Now, times have changed a bit, and the persecution of the LGBT community has eased up a little, so that is likely why the book was revised.

Anyway, although Mel's story did inspire some thought, I don't really think I'd recommend this one to anyone struggling to find answers to their faith and sexuality.

No comments: