Gay AND a Christian? For many people those words are a dichotomy. Yet, I am a gay man and a Christian. And I have my story to share with you.
It is not my intent to try to move an audience to my way of thinking. I don''t speak to prove to others that I am right and they are wrong. I want to talk to audience members who have never met a gay person. And to people of faith who might be in conflict because they have a gay family member they love.
I am open and honest and welcome opportunities to answer questions people might have always wanted to ask of a gay person.
I do not want to debate or argue. I just want to share what it has been like for me as a gay man and a Christian.
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Typical Gig: 40 - 90 minutes
Fee: Contact for rates
I will share my story of what it has been like to be gay and also a Christian. From the self-realization of my sexual orientation while a student at a Christian college through the years of struggle as I tried not to be gay. I will speak openly and honestly about the depression and thoughts of suicide and about ultimately believing I could no longer have God in my life.
I will tell you of the personal journey that brought me back to my faith and the assurance that God loves me as I am; which includes my sexuality.
I also will welcome any questions and will be honest in my answers. I will not welcome debate or argument. I won't get into theological discussions over interpretation of scriptures. There are others far more competent at that than I am to do that.
I just want to tell my story to those who would like to hear it.
Artie Van Why
Originally from a small town in Maryland, Artie lived in New York City for over twenty six years in New York City. In the last 13 years of his life there he worked as a word processor for a law firm. The firm moved on new offices on June 1, 2001 across from the World Trade Center.
Artie was there the morning of 9/11; witnessing and surviving the horrors of that day. He has chronicled his experience in both a play and book; both titled "That Day In September."
Artie moved to the Lancaster, PA area in 2003 to be closer to his parents.
Artie is devoted to reaching out to young people (in high schools and colleges) who are gay and also identify themselves as a Christian. Those for who this causes great inner conflict. Artie wants to share how he came to reconciling his sexuality with his spiritually.
And for those adults and church members who might never have known a gay person, Artie is eager to share his story to those willing to listen without immediate judgment.
"In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story." - Walter Cronkite
In memory of the 10th anniversary of the devastating attacks on 9/11, our school welcomed survivor Artie Van Why to help our students comprehend how and why the world they live in was changed forever by those events. As Artie relived his experiences of that day, over 1,000 students and faculty members were taken back to New York and the Twin Towers area. They listened in complete silence as they were taken from the relative calm of another day in the office, to the chaos and terror of the attacks, to the aftermath for one man and the people he lived near, worked with, and cared about.
Mr. Van Why's presentation is powerful and leaves a lasting impression. The classroom discussions that followed were insightful, demonstrated a deep understanding of the impact of 9/11, and revealed a palpable empathy for the victims and heroes of "that day in September." Our school was truly touched by his presence here and by his descriptions and images of the events of September 11, 2001. I highly recommend Artie as a speaker for your students to help them see and feel what our students saw and felt through his eyes.