A Unique Opportunity to Share Compassion
F.O.D. has posted at the Christian Boylove Forum since 1998. He answers questions here about how being a boylover has affected his life as a Christian.
Which Christian tradition are you part of?
Evangelical, with ecumenical leanings. The sort that wants to take the Bible as literally as reasonably possible. I'm learning that some questions are more complicated than many evangelicals are willing to admit to. I don't really mind what the answers to my questions are, but it upsets me when others cannot even accept the question.
Have your thoughts over the years on Christianity been shaped in any way by the fact that you're a boylover?
This is a tricky question. I think there are probably two ways, practical and philosophical (or should that be theological). In a practical way I will try to maintain a ministry more towards younger males (and younger people in general), rather than, say, the aged, because I relate to them better. Theologically, being a boylover has caused me to start assessing Christian teachings on homosexuality. Being confronted with the love I have for a boy, and having dealt with homosexual feelings since teenage years, made me start asking the question of what it means to say this (homosexuality) is wrong. Why is it wrong? Is it in fact wrong, or have we misunderstood and mistaken the witness of the Bible?
Have your thoughts over the years on boylove been shaped in any way by the fact that you're a Christian?
Certainly. My bottom line on sexuality is "what God has brought together, let man not break asunder" and "keep the marriage bed pure", "in this matter don't take advantage of your brother". I can only understand homosexual relations as being potentially OK, if they are in the context of a life-long, covenanted relationship. Whatever God thinks of gay sexual relationships, promiscuity is in any case wrong. So, with respect to a boy, if he is not ready and not able to make this serious kind of commitment (few boys would be), then I cannot say it would be the right thing to enter into a sexual relationship with him.
Another aspect is that I feel the responsibility, in the light of the misunderstanding and aggression shown towards boylovers, to extend my hand of love and friendship towards other boylovers. Being a boylover gives me a unique opportunity to share compassion for the hurting, compassion coming from my sharing those very feelings. Jesus ate with the outcasts of society. Will I do any less? Especially when I am one of them!
Are there any issues related to boylove that you would like to see the churches address?
I guess the biggest issue that I would mention is much broader than mere boylove. What bothers me personally is the opacity of "Christian kindness", if I can put it that way. What I mean is that in the church people have learned to think and act in certain set "Christian" ways, and it is very difficult to get them to critically and honest ask questions about what they are doing and thinking. The specific example I have in mind is homosexuality. If I start discussing the theology of homosexuality with another Christian, typically I will get a thoughtless "but that's Sodomy, end of discussion", with no possibility for real understanding. That's what I meant earlier in my answer to the first question. People don't even understand the questions, and are not willing to try to understand them. I don't want to necessarily be told "yes, God is happy with gay sexual relationships", but I do want to be able to discuss the issue. What do I need to do to start getting people to confront themselves? Throw it in their face and declare "Look, I'm gay, what're you gonna to do about it?". Maybe I should try that tactic some time . . .
Calling oneself a boylover carries a stigma of its own, of course, and the possibility for misunderstanding. Why did you seek out boylove forums as your support forums?
I realised I was undeniably in love with a boy, and that he loved me, and I needed to find some way of coping with this situation. I'm still learning to cope with it . . .
The other reason is that the boylove forums give me an appropriate context for pursuing the study of the wider question of homosexuality in general. I don't know how well an adult gay forum would understand it if I mentioned the guy I'm in love with is only 14 . . .
How has your Christian commitment affected your personal life?
My Christian life, following from the example of Jesus' sacrifice and the way he said that the greatest love is to lay down your life for your friend, teaches me that there are things more important than my own personal desires and wishes. It teaches me to resist the message non-Christians are telling me to "do what makes you feel good". This includes my sexuality. It might feel real nice to fool around with [a] boy, but what value would it really have? Would it help him in his life? Would it help us in our relationship? Given that I see the place of sex as in a life-long relationship, I can only conclude that it wouldn't be appropriate and therefore choose to abstain from seeking sexual contact. My faith teaches me to look for something of deeper value rather than wallow my life away in a frivolous search for meaningless ecstasy, and to consider what's best for the other rather than do only what I would want to do.
© 1999 Heather Elizabeth Peterson