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The 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 27

The Devil I Knew

BY JERRY MCKAY

Spring in Japan is the season for sakurami—cherry-blossom viewing. Weather networks predict and track the northern progression of blossoming just as they would track the progression of warming temperatures. By early April, the greater Tokyo area is awash in soft pink and often warm enough to sit outside. When my schedule allowed, I sat in the sun on the roof of the four-story office building in which the language school was located. The view was less than spectacular in this area of low-rise office buildings, but the architecture and the odd neglected cherry tree along the street or in a vacant lot confirmed I was in Japan. Looking out over the city, I did a lot of reflecting and journaling about my uncertain future. 

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JOURNEY Chapter 26

"Forbidden Colours"

BY JERRY MCKAY

From Reading, Pennsylvania, I traveled to Toronto and stayed with my sister for a few days. Robert met me there and drove me to Ottawa where he wanted me to stay. Despite my longing to do so, I was in absolutely no state of mind for any relationship let alone a same-sex relationship. Within a month, I left him for the only relationship I thought I could manage—Japan.

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JOURNEY Chapter 25

"A Victorious Failure"

BY JERRY MCKAY

After Colin’s unwanted sexual advance, one would think I would have fled Reading. Or, at the very least, pulled Keith, Colin’s colleague, aside and proposed an “I’m asking for a friend” scenario. I didn’t. Instead, I was completely silent. I did not speak to Sharon, Colin’s wife. I continued to interact with friends at Quest as if nothing were amiss. I did not call my parents or reach out to Perry who, of all people, expressed concern about my going to Reading.

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