Timothy Kurek
WATCH: The Coming Out Story That Made a Straight Man Live as Gay for a Year

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com October 11 2012 1:53 PM ET

The author of a new book, who spent a year posing as a gay man, has one of the most impressive stories of how coming out can change the world.

Nashville resident Timothy Kurek released his book today, on National Coming Out Day, to emphasize that point. He first realized he was wrong about homosexuality when a close friend came out to him as a lesbian, and he turned her away the same as her parents had done.

"My reaction wasn't any more loving than her parents," remembers Kurek, who writes about the moment in The Cross in the Closet. "For the first time in my life, I was moved enough to question that little voice inside my head that told me this precious girl crying on my shoulder wasn't abominable, or scary or bad. Call it the holy spirit, call it a grand epiphany, but somehow in that moment I knew that my life and my faith had wandered drastically off course."

Kurek said he been taught in Sunday school as a kid to fear gay people, first via the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The teacher said the two cities were destroyed by God. "I became afraid of the word homosexual," he remembers. "Gays were the enemy."

Watch the first-person video below from ABC News about how Kurekon realized he was wrong, and then how he decided to live as a gay man for a year to learn true empathy.

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