Questions and Answers
By Josh Beaudoin
During the editing process, we noticed there were some events that didn’t get resolved in their respective parts or needed some clarification. The following is a Q & A to hopefully answer some remaining questions about my story. If you have any more questions, feel free to send them to me at Joshua.Beaudoin@wallawalla.edu and I might address them in a follow-up article.
Q: What’s mine and my friend’s friendship like now? (see part 1)
A: We’re doing good. We still hang out whenever I’m back home, and we keep in touch when I’m here at Walla Walla University. He still believes being gay isn’t morally right, however we’re able to have a meaningful friendship in spite of that. Even with his stance, he’s been a huge support throughout my coming process, and I’ve always been able to talk with him about anything on my mind. We’ve spent hours on the phone talking about the events described in parts 2-5. During most of that time, he was the only person I had to talk to, and I’m grateful to have had him.
Q: Who is the person I had a conversation with in part 2?
A: They asked to stay anonymous, and that includes any details that might help to identify them, so I was purposefully very vague about my description of them.
Q: Why didn’t I go into more details about my position on homosexuality? (see part 2)
A: Per commonly held journalistic standards, if I make a statement, I have to defend it, back it up with facts, and provide counter views. This would mean a ton of research, writing, and interviews, and I have neither the time nor motivation to undertake such a hefty endeavor. Maybe I’ll write a book someday.
I also didn’t want people to spend time bickering over the specific arguments I might have made, which would have detracted from the essence of the story.
Q: Am I still an Adventist? (see part 2)
A: I still consider myself firmly Adventist. I find a lot of value in Adventist teachings, and for the most part I think they’re based in solid biblical principles. Obviously, I disagree with the church on LGBTQ+ issues, but other than that, we have a healthy relationship.
Q: How is the relationship between me and my parents? (see part 3)
A: Generally speaking, we get along quite well. I feel a great amount of love towards them. But there’s still a degree of distance that wasn’t there before, and I don’t trust them as much as I used to. Growing up I felt like my parents had the answer to everything, but now I know they’re no different from anyone else. If we’re conversing and my sexuality comes up in any way, they usually go silent, although they’re getting better. The process of writing and publishing my story has been beneficial, as it’s forced them to confront the issue further. And while there’s a distance that wasn’t there before, we’ve gotten better at building bridges, but I suspect the distance will always be there.
Q: What has my relationship with God has been like since my testimony experience? (see part 4)
A: As with any relationship, it requires constant work. As a whole, it’s much stronger now than before the experience, especially on a daily basis. My devotional times are more meaningful, and when things get tough, I turn to God much quicker. I find myself talking to God a lot more throughout the day, such as thanking for something positive that happened. He’s no longer an afterthought like he often was before the experience.
I highly recommend reading all of 3 John which is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful expositions of God’s love in the Bible, apart from the crucifixion story as told in John 17-20. Outside the Bible, “Steps to Christ” is an amazing book by Ellen White, unparalleled in how it describes the love of God.
Q: How else did I get comfortable with my sexuality, even after I came out publicly? (see part 5)
A: I put a pride sticker on my water bottle; When I went hiking, I put a pride flag pin on my backpack; And I would wear a subtle pride bracelet under my sweater. Little things that over time made a big difference.
Media also played a big role. Queer representation in media through movies like “Love Simon,” “Beats Per Minute,” and “Call Me By Your Name” all helped me know that I wasn’t alone in my journey. A couple music artists that played a role (and who I still love!) were Todrick Hall and Mad Tsai. One of my favorite podcasts is “His and His,” which talks about the gay experience and is hosted by a gay couple.
Q: Why did I come out on October 10 if National Coming Out day was the next day? (see part 5)
A: Purely practical reasons. October 11 was a Monday and I knew it would be an emotional day and I didn’t want to deal with that on a school day. With October 10, I had all of Sunday to process the situation before needing to interact with people in class.
Hello everyone, I’m Josh Beaudoin, the editor-in-chief of The Collegian. I’m from central Alberta, Canada, and first started at The Collegian in 2019 as the writer of the food column. I love to spend time outdoors and regularly hike in places like Mount Rainier National Park and Banff National Park. I also do quite a bit of reading about social and political topics.