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Straight Christian Pretends to Be Gay for a Year in Unique Social Experiment

Although he grew up believing that homosexuality was a sin, in 2010 Timothy Kurek, of Nashville, Tennessee, spent the entire year pretending to be gay in an attempt to truly understand and empathize with what homosexual people go through.
Kurek’s social experiment is extraordinary, given the kind of upbringing he had as a conservative Christian deep in America’s Bible belt. “You learned to be very afraid of God,” he said. “The loving thing to do is to tell my friend who is gay, ‘Hey, listen, you are an abomination and you need to repent to go to heaven.’ I absolutely believed in that lock, stock, and barrel.”
 But all that changed about seven years ago, when a friend he knew from karaoke night confided to Kurek that she was a lesbian. She told him about how her parents had disowned her when she came out, and that’s when Kurek felt like he had failed his friend.
For the first time Kurek began to wonder what it really felt like to be gay and to feel so isolated. So in spite of being straight, he decided to live as a gay man for a year. “I needed to empathize and understand,” he said. “In order to walk in their shoes, I had to have the experience of being gay. I had to come out to my friends and family and the world as a gay man.”

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