While many Christians laud the high virtues of friendship and community, in practice, relationships can be complex, mysterious, and anxiety-inducing. At certain moments, they can feel like glimpses into the in-breaking kingdom of God, but at other times, they can feel fraught with danger like stumbling across a battlefield or swimming in shark-infested waters. For gay and other nonstraight Christians, relationships can pose even more complex challenges because few resources address the intersection of unreciprocated affection, homophobia, and minority stress. Often the emotional stakes seem much higher for these individuals as rejection of friendship in one form or another can seem all but inevitable. In this workshop, we’ll explore together what healthy relational dynamics look like for those who experience same-sex attraction, how to set and keep boundaries when emotions run high, how to spot major red flags in relationships, and how to cultivate emotionally safe and secure environments so that we can flourish in our communities.
Taylor Zimmerman is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary (MDiv) where he researched LGBT+ issues at the intersection of sociology, psychology, and theology. His research interests include human personhood, psychoanalysis, social identity formation, and virtue ethics. He has written for Seedbed, Level Ground, and Spiritual Friendship.