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Der Kinship Blog

Most of what characterizes my life today—work, family, and faith—looks little like what I thought it would when I graduated from college in 1980. Because of my sexual orientation, nothing is as I expected. I still identify as Seventh-day Adventist, but I do not have the same relationship with my church as I once had. I am open about my...

Most of what characterizes my life today—work, family, and faith—looks little like what I thought it would when I graduated from college in 1980. Because of my sexual orientation, nothing is as I expected. I still identify as Seventh-day Adventist, but I do not have the same relationship with my church as I once had. I am open about my orientation to most people, and I have been in a relationship for nearly twenty-five years. Don’t let that fact, however, lead you to make assumptions about my theology. That I am a professing Christian is applauded by some and questioned by others. LGBT acquaintances and some heterosexual friends often ask me why I continue to associate with a faith community that has had a checkered relationship with its LGBT members. Others wonder how I can consider myself a Christian while in a relationship.

In addition to the why-do-I-continue and the how-can-I-consider-myself questions are a multitude of other questions that people have asked me over the years.

Naturally, people want to know when and how I first became aware of my orienta­tion. Others are interested in my spiritual experience and how my faith and my orientation intersect and perhaps collide. Many questions revolve around my reparative therapy journey and how that impacted my belief in God and my relationship to the church. I am often asked about the pivotal moment I decided to stop trying to change my orientation and the events that led up to that moment. Related to that decision is the question of short- and long-term consequences. I’ve been asked about where I see God in the whole journey—before counseling, during counseling, and since accepting my orientation. And, finally, others want to know about my relationship, how it has evolved over the years, and the impact it has had on my life.

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JOURNEY - CHAPTER 23

 
Robert & Reading
BY JERRY MCKAY

I assumed 1983 would bring change, but I didn’t expect it to begin on January 1st.

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JOURNEY - CHAPTER 22

 
Adrift in Ottawa
BY JERRY MCKAY

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JOURNEY - CHAPTER 21

 
Christian Maturity Manual
BY JERRY MCKAY

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JOURNEY - CHAPTER 20

 
A Week at Quest Learning Center
BY JERRY MCKAY

By the end of the first week of September 1982, I had decided to relocate to Pennsylvania for counseling. The first thing I had to do was to call Perry in Japan, because my decision would require his finding a teacher to replace me on short notice. At $3.00 per minute, our call was brief. Perry said that any inconvenience my decision might cause did not concern him. Rather, he was concerned for me. After sharing a few details about my visit with Colin, I thought I had put Perry’s reservations to rest. That was not the case. Two days later, Perry called back.

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JOURNEY - CHAPTER 19


A Wedding and a Vacation
BY JERRY MCKAY

On August 10, 1982, barely a week after my first weekend visit with Colin Cook, my sister and I loaded up a rented Capri station wagon and set out for Alberta where I would be a member of the wedding of a college friend. The difference between this trip and others Marilyn and I had taken together before was that she now knew about my orientation. I told her the night I returned from my first visit with Colin. Her knowing about my orientation was significant, but it didn’t mean much. Without access to my experience, how could she know what I was going through? Often during this trip, I was lost in self-reflection about my past, present, and future, all through the lens of reparative therapy.

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Journey - Chapter 18

 

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Journey - Chapter 17

 
First Visit with Colin
BY JERRY MCKAY

Once I named my experience—acknowledged my homosexual orientation—a predictable side effect emerged. I found myself wanting to meet others with a similar experience. The only way I knew of doing that was through an ad on the back page of The Japan Times.

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Journey - Chapter 16

 
The Day After
by Jerry McKay

After years of suppressing relationship longings, fearing and over-analyzing every thought and feeling, my world seemed different the day after reading the Ministry magazine interview; even the sunlight was different. Naming my experience instantly altered my perception of the world and divided it into before and after. While most prior themes remained and/or evolved, new themes emerged. Overnight, I became preoccupied with changing my orientation.

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Journey - Chapter 15


The Year of Before and After, Part II 
BY JERRY MCKAY

It was midnight when I finished reading the Ministry interview and headed home. The familiar residential streets of Tokyo seemed different that night. My trance-like walk home was broken once by a brief exchange with a passing policeman whom I knew. I remember this odd detail because his greeting jolted me back into the present. Although my head was filled with the hope of healing from homosexuality, when I saw him I was once again aware of how attractive I found him.

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Journey - Chapter 14


The Year of Before and After, Part I 
BY JERRY MCKAY

As my graduation approached, I should have been contacting conferences in Canada for a pastoral internship position. I was not. Instead, I returned to Japan, the only place I felt I could serve God and avoid the stress my yet unacknowledged orientation was creating. While my return was an acceptable option, it did not come from a place of strength. Distress was a common private component of my life. However, this trip to Japan would be unlike any other. Halfway through my two-year term, a life-defining moment occurred.

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Journey - Chapter 13

By Jerry McKay
PUblished November 2016 in Connection

Despite everything that was going on internally, I made wary attempts at dating. My very confused state of mind affected everyone around me including Donna who continued to hold out hope for a relationship. But her hope was constantly frustrated. I was all over the map when it came to Donna and other female friends. A seemingly insignificant event could ignite my fight or flight response.

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Journey - Chapter 12


Finished with Colleg but Not My Orientation
By Jerry McKay

Published September 2016  in Connection

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Journey - Chapter 11

By Jerry McKay

Published July 2016 in Connection

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Journey - Chapter 10

By Jerry McKay

Published June 2016 in Connection

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Journey - Chapter 9

Back in Canada and Alberta Bound
By Jerry McKay

Published April/May 2016 in Connection

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Journey - Chapter 8

Awareness of My Orientation
By Jerry McKay

Published February 2016 in Connection

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Journey - Chapter 7


Missionary to Japan
By Jerry McKay

Published January 2016 in Connection

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Journey - Chapter 6

By Jerry McKay

Published November/December 2015 in Connection

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Journey - Chapter 5


Sources of Distress
Jerry McKay

Published October 2015 in Connection

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Journey - Chapter 4


Awareness of Orientation during High School
BY JERRY MCKAY

Published September 2015 

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Journey - Chapter 3


High School Years at Kingsway
By Jerry McKay

Published August 2015 in Connection           

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Journey - Chapter 2



— School
By Jerry McKay

Published June/July 2015 in Connection

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Journey - Chapter 1

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