Click Part 1 to read this series from the beginning.
In Part 1, I outlined three affirmations for PKs who struggles with same-sex attraction (SSA). I now want to speak directly to PKs about the dangers of repression. This is important because many of you are prone to absorbing tremendous pressure in order to preserve your secret and protect your family. If this pressure becomes too great, the many dangers of repression will likely surface in your life.
The first danger is this: repression is one of the top two risk factors for suicide among teens who experience SSA (the other is bullying). It has the power to kill you – or at least numb your soul and rob you of the capacity to feel joy. Many of you live your teen and early adult years in this dangerous space. Fear keeps you stuck, imperiling your emotional and spiritual health. This applies to other evangelical youth who experience SSA as well as other youth (religious or not) who suffer ruthless teasing, name-calling and bullying.
One of the fastest growing suicide prevention campaigns for gay teens is the It Gets Better project. This campaign will save many teen lives by offering practical answers to youth who experience SSA. With no intention of criticizing this LGBT+ project, I ask you the following question: as a PK trapped in the space of repression, how attractive does this message of freedom sound to you?
I ask because I regularly witness how quickly some evangelical youth latch onto the LGBT+ view of freedom. This raises a second question: is there another view of freedom to consider? The answer: yes, there is a biblical or faith-based view of freedom. The sad fact, however, is that you cannot know about this other view of freedom if your local church only offers theological responses to your practical concerns. For many evangelical youth, the Gay Community is far ahead of the church in addressing their most pressing needs.
The second danger, then, is this: repression combined with the absence of family and local church support can propel you into acting on SSA. Tomorrow, we will take a closer look at why this happens and then consider the faith-based view of freedom. Until then, I leave you with a fourth affirmation: With the compassionate presence of Christ, the loving care of your family and the practical support of your local church, your life will indeed get better.
For further guidance on stepping out of repression into a nourishing network of support, contact me. You are worth it; Jesus loves you; and I know your parents do too. Join me tomorrow for more on the PK and SSA. On Friday, Justin (a PK) will share a bit of his story with us on Lead Them Home.
IMPORTANT NOTE: While most parents respond with grace, some of you may come from families with a history of physical abuse, sexual abuse, addiction, verbal harassment, shaming attitudes or homophobia. If this defines your family, I invite you to contact me for a free assessment of the risks of sharing this struggle with your parents. My primary objective is always to build support via parents. While this is possible in the vast majority of cases, it is not possible in every case. If that is your situation, you still need support and there is always a way to build a network of support. Reach out for help today.
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