Single, Gay, Christian

Listen to a sample

What to expect

Let’s make a deal, you and me. Let’s make promises to each other. I promise to tell you my story. The whole story. I’ll tell you about a boy in love with Jesus who, at the fateful onset of puberty, realized his sexual attractions were persistently and exclusively for other guys. I’ll tell you how I lay on my bed in the middle of the night and whispered to myself the words I’ve whispered a thousand times since: “I’m gay.” I’ll show you the world through my eyes.

I’ll tell you what it’s like to belong nowhere. To know that much of my Christian family will forever consider me unnatural, dangerous, because of something that feels as involuntary as my eye color. And to know that much of the LGBTQ community that shares my experience as a sexual minority will disagree with the way I’ve chosen to interpret the call of Jesus, believing I’ve bought into a tragic, archaic ritual of self-hatred.

But I promise my story won’t all be sadness and loneliness and struggle. I’ll tell you good things too, hopeful things, funny things, like the time I accidentally came out to my best friend during his bachelor party. I’ll tell you what it felt like the first time someone looked me in the eyes and said, “You are not a mistake.” I’ll tell you that joy and sorrow are not opposites, that my life has never been more beautiful than when it was most brokenhearted.

If you’ll listen, I promise I’ll tell you everything, and you can decide for yourself what you want to believe about me.

Critics Review

  • “With refreshing candor, the author documents his journey…A modern reflection on what constitutes an authentic faith. The power of Coles’ book is his honest battle with faith and identity politics, meditating ever so sparingly on how the world might be.”

    Library Journal
  • “Coles’ work will raise questions for those involved in the debates about Christianity and sexuality because it pushes for a third way between discarding tradition and ignoring identity.”

    Publishers Weekly
  • “Poignant…Intellectually and theologically honest…A poetic and wonderfully human book…Nourishment for the soul.”

    Debra Hirsch, author of Redeeming Sex
  • “To say this book is important is a painful understatement…Superbly written, this book stands athwart the shibboleths of our day and reminds us what submission to King Jesus looks like, what it feels like. This book needs to be thoughtfully read by straight people and by gay people, by unbelievers and by Christians. It is not to be read with a condescending smirk, but with humility.”

    D. A. Carson, president of the Gospel Coalition and research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
  • “This is a book every Christian…must read if we are to learn to love our LGBTQ neighbors…the way Jesus does.”

    Ronald J. Sider, Palmer Seminary at Eastern University
  • “A book that is a delight to read both because of the beauty of his writing and his main message: that our good God made no mistakes in either making him the way that he is or asking him to live life the way that he is.”

    Ed Shaw, author of Same-Sex Attraction and the Church

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