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The Cross in the Closet Paperback – October 11, 2012
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From the Back Cover
Timothy Kurek, raised within the confines of a strict, conservative Christian denomination in the Bible Belt, Nashville, Tennessee, was taught the gospel of separation from a young age. But it wasn't long before Timothy's path and the outside world converged when a friend came out as a lesbian, and revealed she had been excommunicated by her family. Distraught and overcome with questions and doubts about his religious upbringing, Timothy decided the only way to empathize and understand her pain was to walk in the shoes of very people he had been taught to shun. He decided to come out as a gay man to everyone in his life, and to see for himself how the label of gay would impact his life. In the tradition of Black Like Me, The Cross in the Closet is a story about people, a story about faith, and about one man's "abominable" quest to find Jesus in the margins.
About the Author
Timothy Kurek, a Portland, Oregon based author and speaker is tackling some of the front burner issues of our day. His unrestrained style of immersion lends a uniquely empathetic perspective, engaging his audiences with empathy, humor, and refreshing candor.
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But then I read the book. And I discovered that Timothy Kurek was not conducting a social experiment, but was on a quest, a deeply personal quest to identify with a community of people he once abhorred and condemned. Perhaps in some ways it was also a quest of penance to redeem himself from his past homophobia. The stories he tells certainly thread together into a tapestry of renewed thinking and changed perspective.
Even though I had my qualms about Tim concealing who he really was even to family and friends in his quest of discovering "the other," his storytelling reveals that he was experiencing what many gay citizens around us already know : that concealing who you are is detrimental to your soul. It was a brilliant reversal of a straight man putting his straightness in the closet and acting gay in order to be associated and accepted among the gay community in Nashville. It is well established that many gay men and women act straight for the same reason.
The book is a quick read. Tim is a great storyteller. It's a memoir, not a definitive authority on gay culture or theology which he is quick to point out. Written with candor, grit and stripped of the all-too-familiar sanitized tone of most Christian books, The Cross in the Closet is a refreshing book.
This book could be especially helpful for those who care to see the human drama under all the debates about whether or not being gay is a sin. Tim brings the reader into his quest as he discovers not just the cross in the closet, but also humanity.
I also think everyone in the Christian communities should read The Cross in Closet. Experience from a first hand account how Christians in the country mistreat their LGBTQ sisters and brothers.