How Your Church Can Prepare for National Coming Out Day

Brad Hambrick | October 8, 2016

Established in 1988, National Coming Out Day (NCOD) selected October 11 since it’s the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. NCOD is a day when those in the LGBT community publicly display their pride in being gay, whether through parade or wearing symbols such as a pink triangle—and encourage those considering coming out to do so.

How should churches who hold to a biblical sexual ethic prepare for NCOD? More pastorally and personally, less polemically or politically.  

Harsh responses are at least part of the reason some who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA) are drawn to NCOD. Neither church nor culture, until recent years, provided a context where one could talk about the experiences of unwanted SSA without changing his or her identity.

Imagine attending a church where your life struggle was never mentioned as an area to receive care. (And if it was mentioned, it occupied the adversarial portion of a culture war commentary.) How would your week-to-week experience of church be different? This is the experience of many who battle unwanted SSA in our churches. “Coming out” is often an act of defiance against the sentence of solitary confinement that comes with a…

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