Every person has a story and this is NOT typical of the LGBTQ people I know. I decided to read this book after watching the Freedom March live from DC in May 2019. Every story and testimony from the stage recounted tragedy suffered by the person now declaring themselves to be no longer gay, or lesbian, or transgender. Knowing McCall was the organizer, I decided to read his memoir.
I find the subtitle alone intriguing — “From Transgender to a Son of God.”
I am well aware that every person has a unique story, and McCall too has his. But, from listening to the stories of hundreds of my transgender friends, his story does not resonate with threads of similarities that I’ve heard so many times, mostly involving persistent knowing from an early age that the internal sense of self did not match the external body. Again, McCall has his story, but it is not at all representative of the transgender people I do know and am in close relationship with.
His story more resembles a person whose life is entrenched in intense shame, drugs, alcohol, lack of firm relational connections, and promiscuous sex that constantly reached for new outlets. I would venture to label his time as a “transgender” more about a gay man doing drag and pursuing new sexual roles and outlets. (Just my informed input here) So much of his story does not ring true to what is consistent in the lives of those I know to be truly transgender.
What is obvious is that McCall is given to “the dramatic.” In so many places, as he wrote about incidences, he wrote that the devil or Satan were in hard pursuit of him, or looking for a place to trip him up, or looking for a slight opening to pounce on him. It was just overdone. People make stupid choices and there are consequences. McCall made his share of bad choices. They are on him, not on a devil in pursuit of him. My goodness, constant blaming makes us blind to our own responsibilities and abilities to correct or stop making bad choices.
I read this book on a Kindle so it’s difficult to get better estimates, but it seemed about 85% of the book was recounting drug events, sex events, partying, just a string of excessive behaviors. Yes, it is great that McCall finally found some anchoring in Christianity and was able to step out of his severely dysfunctional life choices and behaviors.
McCall writes and says he is “no longer in the lifestyle” or “no longer transgender” (Again, I am not convinced he was transgender: the tendency to the overdramatic is part of his schtick, my opinion), but this does not mean he’s not still gay. He got saved about 2-3 years ago. Not participating in same-sex sex does not mean one is no longer same-sex attracted.
I am a straight evangelical Christian with hundreds of LGBTQ friends. I’ve been engaged in this arena for almost two decades. I’ve heard so many variations on the “no longer gay” story. My library is filled with books and tapes of former ex-gay leaders. One of my closest friends is one of those ex-gay leaders. Not a single one of those leaders changed orientation. Not a single one.
Orientation DOES NOT CHANGE. McCall is only a few years into this center stage position which he seems to enjoy. Let’s chat in a decade . . .
So much of McCall and his writing just do not add up. After the Freedom March in DC, he asked social media followers to send him money because “God” told him to go to stay in DC for an extra week and go speak with legislators in Congress and tell his story. “God” however forgot to tell him Congress was not in session that week.
And finally, my library is filled with literally thousands of books. McCall’s writing may well be the most poorly written book I have read in over a decade.
I do wish him well in his faith walk. There can be much fruit and stability as we journey with Christ, yes, even as a gay man. The more he runs from authenticity, the more the drama will stay nipping at his heels.
Mr. McCall, get to know some LGBTQ Christians. There are some really solid LGBTQ Christian churches and communities in nearby Atlanta. Make good choices, take responsibility and get to see it really is okay to be both gay and Christian. You may have to choose to step out of the spotlight to do it. I wish you well.