GAY LIFESTYLE – What is the gay lifestyle?

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GAY LIFESTYLE – What is the gay lifestyle?

The term gay lifestyle is frequently used in Christian circles. Apparently straight people have ‘lives’ but gay people have ‘lifestyles’. Most people who use the term don’t realise just how offensive it is to the majority of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) people.

‘Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid.’ Brian Houston.

If I believe the Bible, then I don’t believe that a gay lifestyle or a homosexual lifestyle is the right way to choose to live. I believe that there’s something so much better. Joyce Meyer

Here’s just a couple of comments from our Facebook page

Sera Kobiti: …signs of the last days……living a lifestyle of gay and lesbian……you are already a walking dead, fueling the logs in hell where you will eventually end up…..because you already know the truth and the truth should have set you free, not add onto your problems!!

Robin Herms Diamaduros: We don’t hate LGBT (they do us however) but THAT LIFESTYLE IS A SIN!!!! No more or less than adultery or sex before marriage but IT IS A SIN & to not call it so is denying God’s word. I don’t know of anyone who would oppose a gay person coming to church, we would not say lifestyle is okay but we would still love them.

If the internet had been around in the late 1970’s we would have seen the term introduced and spiked in usage like a sky rocket …..thanks the anti-gay campaigner Anita Bryant.

In her book 1977 book ‘The Anita Bryant Story’ she wrote.

‘The legitimate minority groups protested against homosexuals waving the flag of human rights. They called homosexuality by its right name – a perverted, unnatural and ungodly lifestyle.’

The term stuck and has been used relentlessly by Christian conservatives for the last 40 years

When the term ‘gay lifestyle’ is used, people are using it to refer to a life of self-destructive behaviours, partying and meaningless sexual encounters. And the ‘gay lifestyle’ happens in a particular geographical area known as the ‘gay ghetto’.

Considering that this ‘lifestyle’ is

  1. lived by heterosexuals as well
  2. not lived by the majority of gay and lesbian people
  3. a subculture of the community

…it’s not gay at all.

The term ‘gay lifestyle’, at the very least is a false assumption and at its worst condemning, prejudiced stereotyping.

Some people obviously have no idea that the majority of gay and lesbian people never venture into the ‘gay ghettos’, are embarrassed by some of the stereotypes and behaviours. They lead such normal lives…. they consider themselves almost boring.

I often use the analogy of the iceberg. We have two very separate things 1. The tip of the iceberg – the ‘gay scene’ (10%). This is often the only thing people see as it is visible and promoted in the media. 2. Underneath the water though, 90% of the iceberg is unseen. This represents the larger portion of the LGBTI community; people who are not as visible because they live ‘normal’ lives at work and with their partners or family in the suburbs.

On a side note, the incorrect use of this term ‘gay lifestyle’ has been a contributing factor to many a Christian young person’s demise. For example, if I am a young gay man in a church and all I’ve ever heard about is the ‘gay lifestyle’…..then …if I feel I must be honest about my sexual orientation, I’ve been conditioned to think there is only one way to express that… what do I do…..head off the nearest ‘gay ghetto’ and begin to live the ‘gay lifestyle’. The church’s lack of knowledge about our community has contributed to the self destructive lifestyles and even HIV infection of some who have left or been rejected from their church communities.

When people use the term ‘gay lifestyle’ it only reflects their ignorance about the reality of the everyday lives of LGBTI people. Those who actually have gay friends and family members know different however. Instead of standing afar and pointing fingers judgmentally they are actually an important part of our lives.

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By |2017-09-16T01:18:59+00:00September 15th, 2017|Categories: General, LGBTI|2 Comments

About the Author:

Anthony Venn-Brown
Anthony Venn-Brown is one of Australia’s foremost commentators on faith and sexuality. His best-selling autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning – a preacher’s struggle with his homosexuality, church and faith', details his journey from being one of the first in the world to experience religious gay conversion therapy, becoming a married, high profile preacher in Australia's growing mega-churches, such as Hillsong, to living as an openly gay man. Anthony was the co-founder and former leader of Freedom2b. He is an educator and consultant on LGBT/faith issues and leader in deconstructing the ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapy myth. Anthony is the founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International. Anthony has been recognised on a number of occassions for his contribution and impact including being twice voted one of 'The 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians’.


  1. William Sillyman September 15, 2017 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    The term, “Gay Lifestyle” is used so much here in America. My husband and I have talked about this many times. Why is it the way we live, any different than someone else lives. They either live alone, have a live-in roommate or partner, married, how is that any different than two men, or two women who happen to love each other?

    When people start applying labels to things, then the person disappears. I was a substitute teacher about 10 years ago. I was not out at that time, but that is beside the point. I was filling in for a teacher who had come down with shingles. He left a note that one class, every day were “special education” students. He did nothing with them, because they were the school’s “f–k-up” students. The students even told me this when they came into the room. I asked them why? They told me, it was because of their learning disabilities, behavioral disorders and some were there, simply because the teachers deemed them “stupid.” That ticked me off, as I was in college to become a teacher (at 52, mind you).
    I asked what their disorders were and I wrote them on the board. Then I wrote the word “LABELS.” I did that for a reason. I had overcome my own learning disabilities (albeit I will always struggle with them) and accomplished many things. I told them about my accomplishment, then at closing, I checked all the disorders I have on the list. Then I told them, YOU, not the school or the teachers, YOU decide which it will be. Will you own the label or let the label own you? I chose to own my label and place it at the bottom of the list. It does not define me.
    This is just like being gay. Okay, I still have accomplished many things, and I am a writer. I still have the learning disorders, I’m legally blind, oh and I happen to be gay. When society finally realizes we define ourselves and live the way we are comfortable, either quiet and “normal” or flamboyant, that is our decision, NOT THEIRS. Just my two-cents.

  2. Peter Chan September 16, 2017 at 12:48 am - Reply

    The term is a venomous joke and those who believe in it or propagate it are living jokes.

    The antidote is to steer well clear of them, those hideous so-called Christians, much better known as their right name Pharisees, hypocrites or ‘Bible thumpers’ as the US Americans call them.

    Excuse me, but I have no respect for those people whatsoever. Absolute-zero tolerance.

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