I loved this book, and would recommend it very highly – not just to people who are same-sex attracted. I think that if a lot more people in the conservative Christian crowd read this book it would massively enrich the quality of outreach to people with same-sex attractions. Although Wes doesn't shy away from the hard moral teachings (his approach is actually a lot more Biblically centred than my own, which isn't surprising – I camp out on Theology of the Body and lean a lot more on specifically Catholic teaching), he also does not shy away from the very real obstacles that present people who are trying to live out that teaching. Seeing a truly honest portrayal of the hardships that Christ demands of those who have exclusive same-sex attractions, and of the ways that God works in those lives, produces a sense of humility that is so often lacking in Christian preaching on homosexuality. It's the particular humility of recognizing that beneath the natural law arguments, and appeals to scripture, and the pat certainties that this is “The Truth,” we are asking people to shoulder a substantial Cross. As Wes makes clear, that doesn't mean that the Church should not make this demand of people, but rather that those who present that demand must be willing to actually give of themselves, to help carry the Cross along with their same-sex attracted brothers and sisters.
He also does a lovely job of discussing the role of the Church in the lives of Christians – not only Christians with same-sex attraction, but all of us. He points out that in the culture of the New Testament, marriage and the family are no longer the primary place in which human beings give, receive and exchange love. The Church is supposed to be truly One Body in One Lord, and the ambivalence with which Christ and St. Paul view marriage is placed in the context of the supremacy of the Body of Christ as the place where human beings encounter one another. Obviously, this highlights the need for Christian communities to truly function as places in which LGBTQ people can encounter this kind of love, a love which is emotional, spiritual and physical. A love sufficient to make life without a spouse bearable, and even joyful.
Finally, he conveys really powerfully what it is that LGBTQ people have to offer the Church. He shows that gay Christians are not merely dissidents, psychological wrecks or recovering addicts, that they are people with a deep spirituality that is relevant to the entire Church.
This is testimonial at its absolute best: not sentimental and formulaic, but realistic, tough and stunningly beautiful. It's a window into another person's experience, an icon of Divine Providence, and a work of marvelous hope.