Thursday, July 15, 2010

Transcript of Andrew Marin Seminar

Very thankful to Jim Burroway of BoxTurtleBulletin for transcribing the Andrew Marin audio clips which I posted a couple of days ago. Below are the transcripts of Marin's seminar from 2008 to youth pastors:

"Part of our national research study that we're doing, I talked about a lot of those results yesterday, but here's something for you guys. We have found that the average age of someone today in 2008 that first realizes their same-sex attraction: thirteen years old. On top of that, the average age of somebody today in 2008 who comes out and declares their sexual orientation as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender: fifteen years old. Fifteen!

"Think about this. We have a window here of thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen years old, and that window gives us the realization of attraction of same sex, and there's a quick two years before they totally come out and say hey, I'm gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.

"And we all know when someone comes out and declares their orientation, they tell everybody -- family, friends -- and what happens is that then their identity becomes wrapped up in being gay. How much more difficult is it for somebody whose identity is already wrapped up in being gay than it is for someone who might have a same-sex attraction and their identity is not wrapped up in being gay?

"There is a huge, huge period within those two and a half, three years. And what we have to do is start deconstructing the integration. Because once everything is integrated -- and I'll touch on this construct in a couple of minutes here -- but once everything is integrated, it is going to be rough!. It's going to be rough for us, it's going to be rough for them, it's going to be rough for parents and family and everybody. So if we can hold off the integration part, the better off we're going to be with all this. So just understand once again: thirteen, fourteen, fifteen years old. "


"I want to talk about "expectation yields integration." Now what am I talking about? I'll give you an example. When my third best friend Dan came out to me the third consecutive month, we started talking from that point forward. And Dan had been my best friend since second grade, raised in the same neighborhood, same friends, same school, same church, played the same sports, same everything. And Dan told me when he came out, "You know, Andrew, I can't do the God thing anymore. You know? I can't be a part of church, I can't pray, I can't do that."

"And that was the first time in my life -- now granted, my best friends had only come out to me for the previous two months here so everything was a new experience for me -- but that was the first time that I actually realized, oh! This is a bigger issue than about someone's gayness or straightness. Because Dan feels like that he has to sprint as far away from church and from God and religion as he possibly can, just because he came out.

"And I didn't know what was going on, so I asked him, 'Why? Why do you feel like that? Why do you feel like you have to leave? Why do you feel like you're not a child of God anymore? Why do you feel like these things?'

"He said, 'Because I don't belong anymore. I don't belong anymore.' And within the next three months, Dan lost a bunch of weight, got the little 'fauxhawk', started wearing tight clothes, started acting effeminate, talking effeminate. And I was like, because we went to college and we went to different colleges and so we saw each other at Christmas break, I go, 'Dan, who the heck are you dude? I've been your best friend since we were in second grade and now you're like, you're the stereotypical flaming gay guy who now can't be a part of God or the Church or anything just because he came out.'

"And that's when I realized Dan had an expectation in his head of what gay meant. Dan had an expectation in his head that gay people are supposed to dress a certain way, act a certain way, do things a certain way, and be a certain person. He had that expectation, and because he felt like he couldn't be a part of the church anymore, part of God anymore, part of being a child of God, he felt he had to just fully integrate himself into the broader gay and lesbian community, become the thing he thought in his mind was acceptable to everyone else like him. Expectation yields integration. And this is a very, very real thing. "


"What we have to understand from our mindset is that there is a clear expectation in many of our youths' mind of what gay is. And if they have that same-sex attraction, they will automatically start leaning in that direction. Thirteen, fourteen and fifteen years old. And when they come out and tell the world -- their parents, family, friends, teachers, school, all that stuff -- so when they fully integrate themselves at that point (I don't want to say it's too late because once again, think big picture principal that we have until the last breath to accomplish what the Lord has for our lives), but in the same fashion, that's who they are. That's all that they are.

"And as I talked about yesterday, the behavior equals the identity. The act of sex equals the whole person. I have so many in the gay community who are grown up that say, "Dude, if you take away my gay sexuality, you take away everything that I am as a person." And those [are] people who are adults. So I see it on the back end. So as much as I can tell you what happens on the back end is as much as we can realize how to deconstruct this traditional process on the front end where you guys are."


"Now, you're saying well how am I supposed to answer that question, 'Do you think I can change my sexual orientation?' This is a background framework for what I'm going to say.

"So one thing that I've learned about answering questions is that the more opinions you give, the more trouble you'll get in. I learned that one the hard way back in the day.

"So now what I say if someone says, 'Well do you think gay people can change their sexual orientation?' I say facts. I say, 'Do I know people who have changed their sexual orientation?' Yes, I know people like that. Do I also know people who have tried to change their sexual orientation and have not been able to? Yes, I know people like that.

"And really, it's as easy and as simple as that. It changes the conversation away from your opinion of, oh yeah, I think everyone should change or I think everyone should be straight. The stating of fact or opinion, because most of the time, once again, if you're talking to either a youth with a same-sex attraction or someone in the broader gay community, they're thinking to themselves, especially the youth, it's like "aw man, I can't change, I don't know where this came from, I don't know, whatever..." And the moment you say everyone should be like this, they look to their secular gay community which says, 'Hey! I'm gay! It's great! Come on! Let me give you some love!' And they're like, wait a second. What my youth pastor says doesn't match up with all of these people who said they tried to change and can't.

"And so if that's the only option that we give them, once again, where are they going to lean? The easy road or the hard road? But if you then state instead of that, if you say, 'Do I know gay people who have changed?' Or if you don't know anyone who has changed, it's okay. You know? You can say, 'Do I know that there have been gay people who have changed? Yes. Do I know that there have been people who have not changed? Yes.' And then, you know, getting them back into the whole Bible scene and Word of God and all that stuff, you know, we know where to go from that point. But it diffuses and it changes the conversation."


"Well you know, even in that situation where the kid's like, 'Hey, I'm gay, I just want to be gay and I want to be Christian, I want to be a gay Christian' and whatever -- there is a ton of hope for a person like that. Because you have to understand, you have to think big picture. And the funny thing is if you bring up --- because I'll tell you, a lot of fifteen year olds don't think about what their life is going to be like when it's thirty-five. Especially for a kid who's like, 'hey I'm fifteen and I'm a gay Christian' -- I don't think that quite resonates with what that's going to be when you're thirty-five years old and you can't be married and you can't have kids and, you know, it's a lot different of a life than at that point fifteen year olds can grasp, you know? And so, even if you throw something like that out there, about, well this is for the long haul and you have to think about the big picture and thirty-five and you know with all of this other stuff happening, the great part is, if they're willing to come to you and say something like that, you can provide that hope in Christ [and] take away the whole sexuality issue. Take it away, you know?

"What we don't want to have happen is the sexuality or the behavior become the identity. We don't want to have the expectation become fully integrated. And the more we focus on sexuality as the issue, not even the issue like a sin issue, but just if this kid comes to you and says this, the more you focus on sexuality in his life, the more sexuality becomes the dominant figure of who he is. So remove it, and instead plant in there everything else from pretending that it's not there, you know."