Gay and in Love at an Evangelical Christian College | Op-Docs
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Gay and in Love at an Evangelical Christian College | Op-Docs

[Santiago] God, how can I
believe that I’m loved when I’m trying for so long? I’m not a terrible person.
I’m not a terrible person. I’m not a terrible person. How do I let go? How do I believe
that I’m worth it? In Your great
name, I pray, amen. I started noticing
feelings for other guys in like eighth grade. Just being around my
good surfer friends. And that’s when I
started praying. I started thinking
about this in a way, like … this doesn’t seem
like a phase anymore. My name is Santiago
Gonzalez the fourth, and I go to a small
Christian University in San Diego, California. I’ll be the first
person from my family to graduate from college. [singing] The biggest hurdles of this week
will be the different parts of my life coming together. [Austin] Santi and I have been dating
for about 10 months now, but to say that we’re
an openly gay couple is a bit of a misnomer, because
we’re pretty closed, based on pretty much me,
I’d say, because of my jobs and affiliation
with all the different groups on campus that still
abide by handbook rules. Point Loma Nazarene University
functions by Nazarene ethics and rules, and so I
signed a contract coming into Point Loma talking about
drugs and alcohol and all that stuff, but it also
talked about things like pornography and sexual
orientation and sexuality in general. And as I fell in
love with a man, I had to develop my own
identity and my own beliefs and trust those
instead of focusing so much on how
other people defined my relationship with God. But I think one of the
biggest excitements for me is that I get
to meet Santi’s family, and that my parents are coming
down for graduation too. And so about a month ago I
warned them, I was like, “Hey, you guys are coming
down for graduation. I know you’re going to be
here for the whole week beforehand. It would mean a
whole lot to me if you would be
willing to have dinner with Santi and me. It doesn’t have
to be super deep or super intense
conversation, it’s just, like, I want you to
know Santi’s last name. I want you to know what
his face looks like and how we interact together.” A couple of days ago, they
called me again and said, “We’d like to do that. But we want to make it
really clear, Austin, you are our son, and so
we want to support you, but we do not support this
relationship with Santi at all.” [teacher] “As long as I can
read your answers, that’s what matters.” [student] “Can we use pen?” “I have pencils.” [Santiago] The fact that I got to go to
college in the first place, I think it’s just such
a … awesome opportunity, to be around
people that really try to nurture our faith. “Can I dip the
bread in the juice?” “It’s been somewhat
blessed, like I prayed over it a little bit.” “You prayed over it?” “Just a little bit.” [Santiago] I think the
church is supposed to be this place of
this is who you are, and you are fully loved. And I feel like it’s almost
in parentheses, it’s like, to become a normal
person is to accept Jesus Christ into your life. I think that alone
creates a lot of tension between Christians
and non-Christians. “Lord, we’re in awe of
your provision and grace. Thank you for the
hospitality of our host and for the courage
of every team member and leaders in saying
yes to your invitation to love our brothers and
sisters around the world.” [Santiago] Throughout my
experience at Point Loma, I had a couple
different friend groups, just because I never felt
like I really fit in, whether it was with,
like, my Latino friends or my gay-affirming friends,
or my Christian friends. I felt like there
was one part of me that I could express, or like
a couple different parts, but never my full
self, because people wouldn’t really understand all
of it in each friend group. Like with my
Christian friends that were like dominantly
white, for them, being Mexican was like
Nacho Libre to them. I see that stereotype, and I
like to make fun of it too, but you only see the
stereotype, that’s when it becomes a problem. “Yeah, I just have like
one spot of dandruff.” “Just one?” “But I kind of like it.” “Santi, what are you doing?” “Hair masks.” One of the places that I
found myself most comfortable was with my Latina
female friends. “Yeah.” “But hopefully he won’t
do his roots this time.” My sexuality — I
could bring that up, and they didn’t care, and they
seemed more open about it. “What are you doing?” “Just a little bit.” “Ahhh!” “That’s what I did.” “Here it is.” [teacher] “As a borrower, you agree
to repay your loans, make monthly payments on time,
direct all correspondence, to your lender/servicer,
notify the lender and servicer of
any or all changes, including your
name, address — ” In high school, I
didn’t feel those voices of, like, shame in my life. I was just a shy person. I remember praying
to God a lot while I was coming to
terms with my sexuality. I began to feel the
expectations of the way some of the people in my
Christian community viewed right and wrong,
but I never felt that my sexuality and
my Christian faith were in conflict
with the love of God that I had experienced. [music] “Stay close.” “I’m so sorry. I am so sorry. Viewer discretion is advised!” [Austin] Hey, Santi. I just got off the
phone with my parents, and they didn’t
necessarily say that they wouldn’t
have dinner with us, but that if they did, it
would be to convince you and me why we shouldn’t
be in a relationship. [crying] Even though I know
they believe it’s right and they’re doing what’s
right, it’s just hard for me to keep saying, like, “We don’t
have to talk about Santi.” Because all of you are
people that I really love. But they’re asking me
to choose, you know? I think the hardest
thing for me right now is to realize that
I really, deeply do want to have dinner
with you and my parents, but I also don’t ever want you
to be treated like you’re not being valued as a person,
and that you’re just someone that they’re trying to
convince is wrong for being in love with me, and
that I’m wrong for being in love with you. [Santiago] Yeah. If that’s something they feel
they need to do, then yeah, I’m willing to
be there for you. [Santiago] When I think of manliness,
I think of someone who fights for who they are. Culture is trying
to tell us that you should dress a certain way. You should act a certain way. You should be buff. You shouldn’t cry. You should have sex
with tons of women. But I feel like
they’re just boxes that we get tossed into, like
whether it’s by our families or by our peers or
by our teachers. And as you grow, you start
naming things about yourself, and you start
becoming those things. In ninth grade,
I didn’t know how to navigate the sexual
attraction part. And just being a ninth
grade boy was like urges, and you have to talk
about those things. So I came out to
my youth pastor, and he never tried to fix me. He just listened to
me, and hugged me, and gave me that strength
to know that I was loved. And eventually I ended
up telling my mom and my dad and my sister. They were confused by it. What my dad, his
sister is gay. But he had these
ideas of what it meant to be a man that
were so deeply rooted, from Mexican culture and
these different norms that are enforced upon Mexican males. And so for him, it was just
like, his sister, that’s OK. She’s a woman. But like when he
came to his son, he was just very
disappointed, I think. I have struggled
figuring out how to balance being a Mexican
and being an American. I would say I am a
Chicano by definition, but by sentiment, I feel like
I relate more to my parents in a sense that they were
born and raised in Mexico and then immigrated. Like, I’d identify more
with that than the Chicano definition, like born and
raised in the United States with Mexican roots. Even though that is me.” “Bravo! Bravo!” “Thank you very much. And now, I’m going
to appear it.” “Both my parents didn’t
have a college education. My dad was like
stereotypically Mexican macho man.” “Are you from the United
States of America?” “Here it goes! One — ” “There was definitely
pressure on me — ” “Two — ” ” — to provide
for your family — Three!” ” — and be able
to protect them.” “Santi, I just talked
with my parents, and they told me that it’s
OK, that us not having dinner tonight means
that there’s going to be a divide in
between us as a couple and them as my parents,
and that it’s OK that we’re not going to
be spending Christmas and Thanksgiving together. And I think that to admit to
me that it’s OK, [inaudible] it’s OK that we’re not
going to spend really important days together
in the future, just made me feel really small. Like everyone goes
through this, Austin, it’s not that big
of a deal, you know? You know that I love you,
so that makes it OK.” “I think I have faith
that if they met me, if they talked to me
face-to-face and told me those things to my face, I
think it would be different. By meeting me, I’m no
longer this distant thing, but I’d become a human. They’d see a face.” “She literally
said, Santi, you will never be
welcome at our house. You’ll never be able to
walk through our front door and be welcomed in.” “You’re graduating. It’s the morning
of graduation. You a scaredy cat? Whoo!” “After graduating, my
family’s throwing a party to celebrate, and Austin
will be there too.” [interposing voices] “Time for the toast!” [interposing voices] “What are we saying? Just why we love Santi? OK. Well, hi, everybody. I’m Austin. Pleased to meet you all. Wow. Why do I love Santi?” “Austin, maybe you’re going
to feel better if I — ” [interposing voices] “So Santi and I met for
the first time freshman year, and didn’t
think much of it, but I thought,
at the same time, he was someone that I
wanted to talk to and just get to know a little bit. And that didn’t
really happen until — I think the next time I
saw you, we were surfing? We were out in the ocean. And I was, like, freaking
out, because I’d never been surfing before,
so I went over to him and I was like, Santi,
teach me how to surf. That’s when I started
to think, like, OK, this kid’s pretty cool. He’s so calm and pensive, and
that’s the opposite of me. I’m very like,
eccentric and out there. So it was attractive
to me, to see someone who’s so thoughtful. And I think that’s
something really special that you bring to my life
about stopping and slowing down, when so often I want
to run through everything. But knowing to just appreciate
people for who they are, and I know you love me, and
I know I love you too, so.” “Aww.” “The closer I get
to God, the more I seek truth and
reconciliation between the parts of me
that seem to conflict or fight one
another, the more it seems that God just wants
me to let go accept myself.”

About James Carlton

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100 thoughts on “Gay and in Love at an Evangelical Christian College | Op-Docs

  1. Believes in the Bible but only believes in the parts that fits his feelings and lifestyle. Smdh. Like saying I’m a Christian but I don’t believe in Jesus. Argue and get butthurt all you want but this is clearly a mental problem. If not then it’s as simple as this loser being dumb as a box of rocks

  2. It's true how the devil can play with the feelings of the weak people like you…God is clear and Bible is clear not one religion is…

  3. People do not read/study the Bible in-depth for themselves anymore. It's all about what someone has said.

  4. Smh humans r dumb. Always in self doubt always wanting and waiting to b Excepted by family friends and society.
    We believe everything we are told or hear with little to no evidence and when we don’t understand something because the human is to lazy to put in the work at least understand there fellow humans.
    things that r different that u don’t understand turn into hate. Then the next human fallows along the same path of stupidity and or laziness (same thing if u ask me)
    Next time u come across anything u don’t understand human, don’t be lazy. Ask questions look for the right answers because sometimes the people around r as lost as u.
    Be kind to your fellow human ( that doesn’t mean feed them and cloth them) we r all fighting our own personal wars life. our time on this rock we call Earth is limited…your sand in an hourglass⏳⌛️

  5. I love this video so much. I’m a homosexual male as well and I was hiding myself for so long then I decided to come out to my friends first, then my family. And everyone supported me. Now I can live my life. I’m very fortunate that people r more tolerate and accepting. It sucks that not all homosexuals experience the same reaction I got. Everyone who’s reading this, good luck with your life and make the most of it

  6. Conservatives have safe spaces too. If you're not comfortable in their safe space, then go find your own.

  7. I hope for a day when no one cares about who you love, what faith or lack of you have, what you look like and what your political beliefs are. Literally, I just want people to stfu and just be human to one another…

  8. Leftist and progres everywhere. They think they are doing good. Can you use your brain for once?. You are being used. You are destroying your family, culture and country. Homosexuality is harmful. Dangerous for your health.


    They're both such beautiful people and I hope they find happiness wherever they go in life! 😭

  10. As a mom, this breaks my heart. This is where my faith wavers. I fully support LGBTQ+ and have a trans son. To see organized religion of any faith alienate ppl like this in the name of God or whatever higher power, truly disheartens me. It’s why I don’t go to church anymore. It’s not God. It’s what ppl do that has shaken my faith. It’s so sad to hear the pain in that one mother’s son. I don’t understand those parents.

  11. Disgraceful Blasphemy. Gods Wrath will be on all of your heads soon during Armageddon which is coming shortly. Disgusting.

  12. It’s sad to see people in the comment section expressing their rejection toward this couple. I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinions but it’s just sad. This is love we’re seeing and love doesn’t deserve this frosty reception.

  13. believing in something that cant be proven in any way….brainwashed sheeps ahahhahahahahahahahahha…slowing humanity progess down. Thank god therw is science or else we still riding donkeys

  14. STFU NY times because yall think people that leave the United States to go join ISIS deserve a second chance

  15. Listen 3000+ radio fm from USA in one android app:

  16. The LORD love each and everyone of us. He does not approve our actions! We all have sinned and come up short. If we ask He will forgive each of us. The Christ said." He that is without sin cast the first stone."

  17. There are churches that will affirm you. Unless American Evangelicalism embraces love they will and deserve to be remembered as an embarrassing stain on the Church.

  18. I admire and respect these young men. They love not only each other but people they encounter. God loves loving people. Sure He created male and female to populate the world, but nowhere is it written that was the only form of love He created.

  19. This is kind of like looking for sympathy when you're black in the KKK. God is imaginary. Move along.

  20. idols idols all idols before God. Go and worship the old idol Baal of Peor, it doesn't matter you like it or not God is not something you can change.

  21. I love God and I identify with this couple. Finally a story that mirrors my beliefs and struggles. Thank you 🙏

  22. A thoughtful and deep thinking and feeling piece. Two lovely young men. God bless the youth pastor for accepting Santi as he is. Santis family was brilliant to honour and bless their union. Sadly Austins family is lost in a dark place without love. These two have the love and acceptance of their friends and Santis family. Also an interesting piece about finding ones identity. Well done.

  23. Why in the world would you have decided to attend a conservative CHRISTIAN college? There are lots of other choices in your area.

  24. You seem like lovely people with a lovely relationship……dont let others dismiss or decry this as an abomination.

  25. There is nothing in the Bible against homosexuality. People who believe otherwise don’t understand.

  26. Lord Jesus, please help these young men.
    "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
    Romans 6:23 King James Version

  27. "If that's something they need to do [your parents convincing us that we should break up], then yeah, I'm willing to be there with you". Santi is too good for this world.

  28. We're born who we are because that's who we are meant to be. It's the good and bad causes that we make in life that are based on common sense and loving acceptance or not that determine any differences. All these people using Jesus to back up their prejudices are in fact being intoxicated by the evil that exists within all life, and which is waiting for an opportunity to come forth and grow stronger. The actual truth is: according to what's recorded in the New Testament, Jesus didn't mention a word about homosexuality and anyone who thinks or states that he did are unwittingly or otherwise only helping to add more destruction to his good name. The only mention of homosexuality in the New Testament is by someone else long after Jesus had been murdered for changing and replacing the same sorts of hateful instructions in the Old Testament love, compassion and forgiveness… and that's the end of the argument here…

  29. I get a kick out of people who claim the Bible is the word of God. Every Bible I've ever seen has the word "version" on its cover. King James Version. New International Version. "Version" means that something was changed from the previous iteration. So, the next time you meet someone who says the Bible is the word of God, ask them to double check the cover of their good book — and if they don't get it, hand them a dictionary and flip to the V's.

  30. I am so so so grateful that I have an amazing family support and tolerant parents with an open mind, also extremely grateful to not have religion telling me what to do or who to be. I believe that around 60 or 70% of my friends have or had to struggle with their parents for being who they are, and mostly because of their beliefs.
    We got so far in so many ways as humans and “society”, but people's minds and emotions are hard to change.
    It is a cruel world we all live in, so I’m always spreading love, light, respect, tolerance, understanding, kindness and lots of other great things to everyone around me!
    Prejudice is a huge lack of knowledge.
    Spread love people, love heals anything.

  31. Please Netflix's The Keepers. The Christian church is rotting itself from the inside out, top down. It's pointing of moral fingers is an empty threat. Please watch the documentary.

  32. Whoever you are, you are loved. By God and by us. Google open and affirming churches in your area if you need help

  33. If your parents love you they should except what makes you happy. And God makes us all. So your family should be happy with what God has made.

  34. I've had to let go of my family because I could not conform to their JW religion, not just because of my sexuality but because of my intellectual and emotional make-up, something I call my Spiritual Epigenetics in my TEDx Talk here: Religious fundamentalists and all fundamentalists for that matter do not accept the natural order of this planet which is DIVERSITY. They want uniformity, which is unnatural. There is no way that 7 Billion individuals with unique neurological hardware are going to have identical neurological software (your memories, perceptions, attractions, etc. ) are all going to be different and that includes what works best for you to achieve a feeling of purposefulness, meaning, motivation, ethics and empathy, comfort and courage and a sense of belonging as you follow your Hero's Journey through life. DIVERSITY is the DEFAULT setting of our planet and our species and all life. We will never be identical robots. That is a good thing! A beautiful thing!

  35. Who is any Christian to tell another Christian that God doesn't hate Gays when the bible says so plain as day ,clear as can be in B&W.
    Those religious bigots are just true believers that know how to read their bible and follow directions.

  36. My opinion; Christians take their stand point from what is written in the bible. On several places in Old&New testament it clearly marks LGBT as sinful. So why be upset if your parents choose to uphold the word. Christian parents should respect/tolerate their LGBT children as they are, and LGBT children should respect/tolerate their parents way of believe. In the end we all are accountable for ourselves and our own decisions.

  37. Religion and humans are not compatible…. But people don't learn from history and too many people obviously do not believe in science , logic and reason.

  38. I love how every religious person Bends there Bible to fit their will….everybody interprets their religion their own way and that in itself is the fault of religion.

  39. Heartbreaking when Austin’s parents tell him, that because of his relationship with Santi, the family will not spend future holidays and special occasions together. I grew up in a home wherein homosexuality was thought of as abnormal, but even still- my mother would never have refused to spend holidays with me if I brought home a boyfriend. So beautiful to see Santi’s family so welcoming of Austin at the graduation party.

  40. We should accept all! Jesus did, he loves us no matter what. It is between them and Jesus, nothing separates us from Gods love. only religion says the opposite.

  41. I have had to accept in the past few years that when my parents say they support me and love me but they don't support my life or my choices, they are lying. They are lying to me and more importantly to themselves. And that really hurts me and makes growing my relationship with them really hard, but it protects me. I don't have to be contently put down, judged, and unaffirmed silently. I can call it out and that has been so important for my own healing.

  42. Religion is at the root of terrorism and wars. Also it destroys the lives of millions of LGBTQ people. If religion matters more to you as a parent than your own child you are not worthy of being a parent.

  43. Please come check out MissionGathering Christian Church in San Diego. Gods love is for all. I applaud both of you for your bravery.

  44. God Almighty bless you GOD love you but hated the sin in you am telling you , you are sining against God please repent today and give your life to Jesus repent and turn away from your sins homosexuality is sin GOD destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because they were leaving a life of homosexuality you have to repent from your sins and accept Jesus Christ then you shall be saved

  45. The word of GOD is not sovereign anymore, the word is adjusted to the sin of each in order to justify sin.GOD never justifies sin and nor can we. We can be in sin but the mission is to be free from sin. Our Christian establishments are not preaching the word anymore as stated, the word has lost its sovereignty.

  46. If you need God then go to the Episcopal Church. They will welcome you with open arms. Fundamentalists are nothing more then a bunch is sick peeping Toms. A Rabbi said to me, „there are those who take the Scriptures literally and then there are those who take the Scriptures seriously.“ Hope that helps

  47. Is this what Christian Value really is. This is the same group that embraces Trump who's an obvious racist unloving con man. no thanks

  48. Nobody practicing this evil will inherit The Kingdom of God.

    No one.

    "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit The Kingdom of God?"

    "Men with men committing what is shameful, receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error."

    This is not "love." Its twisting God's natural order into perversity.

    Male and female created He them AND THATS IT.

    Whether people like it or not, God, Who created this Universe and has The Final Say on all things, says what is to be and what IS NOT.

    May God curse this sickness!

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