This workshop will discuss clinical and life applications of the new research of 300 celibate gay Christians described in the book Costly Obedience: Listening to and Learning from Celibate Gay Christians. We will focus on strategies and insights that mental health counselors, pastors, and family members should know as they engage in support and discussions with Christian sexual minorities who are considering or pursuing the life of celibacy. The diversity of this population in terms of their definition of celibacy and decisions to pursue mixed-orientation marriage as a part of same-sex celibacy commitment will also be discussed.
Dr. Olya Zaporozhets is an associate professor in the School of Psychology & Counseling at Regent University and is a Director of Research at the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity. She is a co-author of the book Costly Obedience: Listening and Learning from Celibate Gay Christians that included the survey of about 300 celibate gay Christians and interviews of people who serve them as families. She has also directed the analysis of qualitative data from 200 interviews of Christian parents whose children came out as LGBTQ, which led to several publications and national conference presentations.