Between the faction of gay Christians who are happy with their sexual identity and “ex-gays,” who say they’ve removed their homosexual yearnings, is a third group that gets little attention. These so-called Side B Christians identify as gay and believe it’s not sinful to do so. But because they see acting on their orientation as ungodly, they commit to a life of celibacy.
Now, for the first time, a sociologist has taken an in-depth look at what makes Side Bs tick, particularly how they navigate their same-sex desires and their awkward position as stuck in the middle of ex-gay groups and content gay Christians. The study is small, but finds that Side Bs experience both tension and connection with these two groups. (The origins of the “Side B” term are foggy, but the terminology seems to come from the organization the Gay Christian Network, which labels gay Christians who do not see their sexuality as sinful as “Side A” and those who do as “Side B.”)
“The networks overlap with these two groups very strongly, and they did often feel kind of caught in the middle, certainly,” said study researcher S.J. Creek, a sociologist at Hollins University in Virginia. [5 Myths About Gay People, Debunked]
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