Timothy Kurek, in an effort to see the LGBT community outside of his anti-gay religious view, decided to undertake a novel experiment: he pretended to be gay for a year.
Speaking to MSNBC this week, Kurek revealed this idea came about after a friend of his was rejected by her family when she came out as a lesbian. This prompted Kurek to want to understand what it is like to be gay in America, and so, telling everyone around him including friends and family that he was gay, he began to live his life as a gay American.
Did the experience change the Nashville resident? Yes. He tells MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts that the experience “altered” his faith and “challenged” his beliefs. Kurek even went so far as to apologize for his former view that being gay was sinful and wrong.
As you will see in the interview below, Kurek is careful to draw a distinction between his own, relatively limited experiences, and what it is truly like to be LGBT, but Kurek hopes that his forthcoming book on his experiences and the news about his experiment may encourage other religious people with anti-gay views to consider alternative viewpoints.
You can learn more about this and Kurek’s “gay year” in the MSNBC video below:
Some have praised Kurek for his daring to step outside of his community and attempting to empathize in this way, and then encouraging other religious people to do the same. A more cynical view would be that this is merely a headline-grabbing stunt to sell a new book. A more measured approach might be to suggest that it could be both. What is your view on Kurek’s experiment? Tell us in the comments below.
Image taken from video, no infringement intended.