I’m not a Christian. While I was raised Congregationalist, and I was a devout follower of Jesus Christ through college, when I came out as a gay man my belief in the Christian faith faded.

Yet on July 30, I will support Christian Faith Day at Dodger Stadium.

For years I have advocated for LGBT Pride Nights across sports. These are opportunities for people in professional sports to demonstrate a welcoming attitude toward LGBTQ people. Major sports have long been viewed as inhospitable to my community, and gay men in particular. These Pride Nights are a chance to change that.

Sandy and Jeff Wiles in front of Billy Graham Library.

There is no shortage of Christianity in American sports. The two have been, in many places, intertwined over the last century, with professional teams even hiring chaplains.

Still, inclusion is a multiway street.

Many Christian people have publicly challenged my support of Pride Nights over the years, as I’ve advocated for players wearing rainbows. They have asked if I would wear a cross for a Christian night at a ballpark.

I have no problem wearing a cross. When I was a youth and a devout Christian, I did daily. Today, I’d have no issue with it — I just don’t wear jewelry other than my wedding ring.

Everyone belongs in sports. That means EVERYONE.

My support of Christian Faith Day doesn’t mean I support everything Christian or Catholic churches represent. As I’ve said many times, that’s not what these events mean.

Instead, they signify that everyone is welcome in the ballpark. They signify that we can all get along, cheer for the boys in blue (or red or gold or…), high-five and the rest.

Yes, there have been centuries of Christian and Catholic dogma that have rejected homosexuality. I get it. It’s a big part of why I left my faith.

At the same time, this day doesn’t reflect an embrace of every single element of Christianity, just as Pride Night doesn’t mean the Dodgers are going to center every component of my gay life (though love and partnership will certainly be on display).

My aunt and uncle – Sandy and Jeff in North Carolina – are devout Christians. They have told me they don’t necessarily understand me being gay or marrying a man.

Yet they have sat in my kitchen and told me they love me. They have meant it.

On so many occasions they have made sure I understand that their love for me is unconditional. They pray for my happiness.

I love them too.

I don’t need them to understand every part of who I am. Their love is enough. And I know their love is genuine and real.

So I will support Christian Faith Day at Dodger Stadium on July 30. I’ll do that in support of Sandy and Jeff and all of the loving Christians who may not fully understand my beautiful, crazy LGBTQ community or my marriage. But they love us nonetheless.

That’s enough for me.

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