Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ray Boltz's story

A friend sent me a link to this interesting article in the Washington Blade. I've never been a CCM fan so I can't say I knew the name, but apparently Ray Boltz is right up there with the likes of Sandi Patty and Steven Curtis Chapman. His journey to coming out as gay is, unfortunately, typical of many people I know. He was married for 33 years and has four children. He hated himself for his homosexuality and endured decades of pain, of hiding, and of fear. Although he never formally joined an ex-gay group, he tried all their methods. “I basically lived an ‘ex-gay’ life — I read every book, I read all the scriptures they use, I did everything to try and change.”

Boltz speaks for many, many people who have been down the same path. The difference is that he is a celebrated name in Christian circles, and evangelicals can be brutal when their idols disappoint them.

Says Boltz:

I don’t want to be a spokesperson, I don’t want to be a poster boy for gay Christians, I don’t want to be in a little box on TV with three other people in little boxes screaming about what the Bible says, I don’t want to be some kind of teacher or theologian — I’m just an artist and I’m just going to sing about what I feel and write about what I feel and see where it goes.

Sample lyrics from one of his recent songs:

I was so good at pretending/like an actor on a stage/but in the end nobody knew me/only the roles that I portrayed/and I would rather have you hate me/knowing who I really am/than to try and make you love me/being something that I can’t (from “God Knows I Tried”).

Boltz isn't the first Christian singer to come out, though he may be the most famous. Kirk Talley, a Southern Gospel singer, came out in 2005. The Washington Blade tried to interview Talley for their story on Ray Boltz but he declined, offering only one comment:

"I will definitely be in prayer for Ray," he said in an e-mail. "He has no idea the crap he will have to endure."