As the Good Book says, "narrow is the road that leads to life." Nobody knows the spirit of these words better than Timothy Kurek, author of The Cross in the Closet. The result of a year spent living as an undercover gay man, the book details Kurek's life-changing journey from fundamentalist Christian to LGBT ally--as well as the spiritual and personal challenges along the way.
While his cropped haircut and earrings may clash with today's straight-laced religious right (here's looking at you, Mitt), what distinguishes Kurek is more than skin-deep. His book candidly acknowledges his roots in a religious culture that taught him, as he explains in a promotional video, "homosexuality was the ultimate abomination." After seeing the rejection faced by those who came out, Kurek, who is heterosexual, made a fateful decision: to come out as gay, to "feel the fear" for himself. It's sort of a Black Like Me but on the gay-straight continuum.
The result is an expansive memoir that seeks to find a middle ground in today's culture wars--in both content and reception. The book's release on October 11 coincided with National Coming Out Day, and Kurek plans to donate a portion of the profits to charities that target LGBT teen homelessness. This commitment resonates with the book's conclusion, where Kurek explains his role as an ally to "sacrifice and serve without the condition of labels, and without worrying how it will make me look"--an attitude worth learning from, no matter where life's road may ultimately lead.