What does it take for a homophobic Christian to shed their bigotry and fear, and see LGBT people not only as humans but to support their quest for equality?
For Timothy Kurek it took living his life as a gay man for a year, to go from believing being gay is a sin, to believing that being a good Christian means including and supporting LGBT human rights.
This experience so changed him that he wrote a book called “the Cross in the Closet”
Four years ago a female Christian friend confided in him that she was a lesbian and that her parents had disowned her when they found out.
“I felt god really kicked me in the butt,” he said, She was crying in my arms and instead of being there for her, I was thinking about how to convert her”
But he couldn’t stop thinking about his friend and what she had gone through with her family, which made him wonder what it was like to be gay.
Kurek decided to find out by living as a gay person. Only three people knew what he was doing. He even told his mother and friends that he was gay. His friends stopped speaking to him, he was called faggot by someone who threw a bottle at this head.
He read his mother’s diary that she would rather have had terminal cancer.
That year made him a different kind of Christian,
“I went from being a very narrow-minded, hyperconservative Christian to an ally of the gay community,” he said.
And not only did it transform him, but it transformed his mother, who now fully supports gay rights.
LGBT activists don’t all agree that what he did was so great.
Some people said he’s still coming from privilege and will never really know what it’s like to be a gay person is the workplace or a gay father.
In my opinion as “The Inclusionist,” I love what he did. Of course unless he’s gay, he’s not going to know what it’s like to be gay in every part of his life, and every gay person doesn’t have the same experience.
Diversity and inclusion is about being able to put yourself in another person’s head. It’s about developing empathy for others.
I think the naysayers are ridiculous. He not only transformed his own beliefs, but the beliefs of others as well.
And his strong convictions and experience will continue to transform others.
Diversity becomes reality when people have meaningful interaction with others. They don’t have to become someone else.