Wednesday, July 04, 2007

michael glatze is courageous

This is moving. I don't want to say that all, or even most, gay people can stop being gay by some kind of decision or therapy, because I don't know what its like to be them. But for the same reason, I don't want to say that some gay people CAN'T change. There are lots of well meaning people on both sides of the theological debate who take one stance or the other for rhetorical purposes. They ought not to do so. A better approach is to listen to people's stories with empathy, and expect that they will do their best to obey Christ.

Michael Glatze's story is this:

(Hat tip: SF.)

After becoming editor of Young Gay America magazine at age 22, Glatze received numerous awards and recognition, including the National Role Model Award from the major homosexual-rights organization Equality Forum. Media gravitated toward him, leading to appearances on PBS television and MSNBC and quotes in a cover story in Time magazine called "The Battle Over Gay Teens."

He produced, with the help of PBS affiliates and Equality Forum, the first major documentary film to address homosexual teen suicide, "Jim In Bold," which toured the world and received numerous "best in festival" awards. Young Gay America's photo exhibit, telling the story of young people across North America, toured Europe, Canada and parts of the U.S.

In 2004, Glatze moved from San Francisco to Halifax in eastern Canada where his partner, Young Gay America magazine's publisher, had family. The magazine, he said, sought to provide a "virtuous counterpart" to the other newsstand media aimed at homosexual youth.

But Glatze contends "the truth was, YGA was as damaging as anything else out there, just not overtly pornographic, so more 'respected.'"

In 2005, Glatze was featured in a panel with Judy Shepard, mother of slain homosexual Matthew Shepard, at the prestigious JFK Jr. Forum at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

"It was after viewing my words on a videotape of that 'performance,'" he writes, "that I began to seriously doubt what I was doing with my life and influence."

"Knowing no one who I could approach with my questions and my doubts, I turned to God," he says. "I'd developed a growing relationship with God, thanks to a debilitating bout with intestinal cramps caused by the upset stomach-inducing behaviors I'd been engaged in."

Toward the end of his time with Young Gay America, Glatze said, colleagues began to notice he was going through some kind of religious experience.

Just before leaving, not fully realizing what he was doing, he wrote on his office computer his thoughts, ending with the declaration: "Homosexuality is death, and I choose life."

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