Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about celibate same-sex relationships. Until a year ago, I had never heard of such a thing or even considered that it might exist. In the faith tradition in which I grew up, celibacy was only ever talked about as a person’s state before getting married, then they met someone, dated for a while, there was a wedding and no more celibacy. It was almost like being single and celibate were synonyms and could be used interchangeably. However, about a year ago, I discovered the blog A Queer Calling and it’s writers Sarah and Lindsey and I was suddenly aware of the possibility for gay Christians to be in a committed celibate same-sex relationship. It never crossed my mind that this would be out of bounds because the sex is the bad part, right? However, it also never crossed my mind that this might be an option for me. Though I’m a hopeless romantic and often found myself suffering from bouts of loneliness, the only futures I ever saw for myself were finding a woman who didn’t mind marrying a gay guy or staying single till I die. I had come to terms with this and, though I definitely had a preference, I felt I could handle either outcome.
Over the last few months, though, I’ve been working on a novel about this type of relationship and the difficulties and confusion that goes along with it (shameless plug). The more I write, the more a celibate same-sex relationship sounds like exactly what I would want. It sounds like it pretty much checks all the boxes: no sin, no loneliness, a person to channel my affection towards, and no more being the awkward third wheel! Now before you start telling me I’m idealizing being in a relationship and that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, let me just say, I understand that. I think I know it as well as I can without having actually experienced it and I also realize that it’s not good to look to another person to fulfill my needs. That being said, if an opportunity to begin a celibate relationship with another man were to present itself, I’d probably take it.
On the other hand, my pondering has led me to wonder where the line is. Is it just the sex that’s bad? What about cuddling? Kissing? Would we live together? Get married? Adopt kids? If we did all these things, but didn’t have sex, would God still be OK with it? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a biblical argument against any same-sex activity other than sex. Getting married would probably cause a lot of people to assume we’re having sex which is kind of none of their business, but I don’t know if I’d be willing to leave it at that. Many people would argue that it would be irresponsible to adopt kids since there has been some research proposing that it is better for a child to be raised by a mother and a father, but two gay Christian dads is better than a group home, right? Anyway, it’s a lot to think about and I still don’t know where exactly I land on all of this, but it’s definitely seems like something worth thinking about.