You knew this would happen: A writer at the evangelical website The Gospel Coalition has responded to actor Elliot Page coming out as transgender by asking the important question: WHY ISN’T EVERYONE PAYING ATTENTION TO ME INSTEAD?!
Becket Cook was a self-described “fully engaged gay man” back in the day. Then he found Jesus. Now he’s just a gay man who refuses to have sex with other men. That’s fine. That’s his decision. No one actually cares.
But he cannot believe Page is getting so much positive press when his identity violates the Christian God’s Master Plan. In his bigoted screed, Cook proceeds to deadname Page, use incorrect pronouns on purpose, use quotation marks around “he,” and says Page “announced her decision to become a man” as if Page flipped some sort of magical switch by choice.
It’s one thing to be ignorant about trans issues. This is just malicious. And it says a lot about the garbage ethics of everyone at The Gospel Coalition that such a thoughtless article could ever be published on the site.
Then again, Cook doesn’t seem to understand gender identity or sexual orientation. Here he is speaking about being gay… or not. He can’t quite decide.
… my decision to no longer identify as a gay man because I follow Christ is anathema in our culture.
But in 2009 I experienced something extraordinary: I had a radical encounter with Jesus Christ while attending an evangelical church in Hollywood for the first time (I was invited by a stranger I met at a coffee shop the week before). I walked into the church a gay atheist and walked out two hours later a born-again Christian, in love with Jesus. I was stunned by this reversal. Since then, I no longer identify as gay but rather choose to be celibate because I believe God’s plan and purpose — revealed in the Bible — is authoritative, true, and good.
Surrendering my sexuality hasn’t been easy. I still struggle with vestiges of same-sex attraction, but denying myself, taking up my cross, and following Jesus is an honor… My identity is no longer in my sexuality; it’s in Jesus.
Uh… He’s gay. He said it. He may not primarily identify as gay, but that doesn’t mean he’s not gay.
Anyway, back to the real story: himself. Cook is furious that Page is being embraced by Hollywood when his own story, he implies, is far more compelling because coming out as Christianity led to him losing everything.
… My closest, lifelong friends completely abandoned me, and my production-design agency in Hollywood dropped me like a hot potato under the most vague and frivolous of pretexts — even though I was one of their top artists, earning them loads of money over the years. Of course, if my memoir had been a celebration of my gay identity, I would’ve had advertising and editorial clients beating down my door with even more job offers.
In stark contrast to Elliot Page, who only gained approval and favor from celebrities and politicians, I lost both dear friends and my livelihood.
He’s referring to a memoir written in 2019.
I assure you that a memoir about someone coming out as gay last year would barely generate a raised eyebrow, much less “more job offers” in a field like production design. It never occurs to Cook that his friends and business partners left him, not because he’s Christian, but because he clearly looks down upon LGBTQ people as if they need to be fixed or cured. That would make for an awful workplace for everyone else.
There are plenty of Christians in Hollywood. But no one wants to work with an asshole.
This is the same old bigotry we’ve come to expect from white evangelical Christians. When they’re not denouncing gays and lesbians, they’re denying the very existence of trans people — and all of this is done with random references to Bible verses and a smug celebration of their own sexual repression.
I don’t have high expectations from The Gospel Coalition. This is the same website that once ran an article by a white woman who needed to pray before accepting her daughter’s engagement to a Black man… before later deleting it. Still, the fact that Cook’s selfish look-at-me-look-at-me-I’m-still-gay-and-in-Jesus-but-I-don’t-sleep-with-men-and-I’m-jealous-of-Elliot-Page article found its way on the website is yet another reminder of why no decent person should ever join this tribe.
If this is what Jesus teaches them, we’re all better off without it.
(Screenshot via YouTube)