Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America Summary & Study Guide

Mel White
This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Stranger at the Gate.
This section contains 445 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America Summary & Study Guide Description

Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America by Mel White.

Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America is the story of pastor and ghostwriter Mel White, who was once a major ghostwriter for leaders of the Religious Right, including Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Billy Graham and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, but simultaneously struggled with his sexuality. Today White is an openly homosexual religious and political activist, but he grew up in a Christian evangelical household where homosexuality was never talked about and was considered a sin.

Stranger at the Gate is an autobiographical work that focuses on White's relationship to his homosexuality. White was never attracted to women but nonetheless married Lyla and had two children, Erinn and Michael. It was only in middle-age that White's sexuality became too much for him to bear, leading him to come out of the closet and leave his family for his life partner Gary Nixon. For most of his life, White struggled with depression, anxiety, self-hatred, and engaged in numerous attempts to eliminate his homosexual identity, including prayer, counseling and even more extreme methods like electroshock therapy.

White's family and culture knew nothing about homosexuality and never spoke about it. White grew up popular, handsome and athletic. He dated lots of girls. No one ever suspected he was gay. Towards the end of high school, White started dating his future wife and they married towards the end of college. He loved Lyla but she could ultimately never satisfy him sexually. White grew up with a great verbal and theatrical talent, producing a number of widely respected films within the Christian community. Helalso attended Fuller Theological Seminary and served as a minister for three years before transitioning into ghostwriting. As he became more famous, he started to work for major figures in the evangelical community; eventually, however, he realized that their political agenda was dangerous. White ends the book with his decision to leave the closet in order to fight the lies and misinformation he believed was being spread by his employers.

Stranger at the Gate contains fourteen chapters that move chronologically through White's life. The first four chapters explain White's youth, starting from his childhood, moving through adolescence, high school and college. Chapters five, six and seven six take White through the sixties and seventies and his increasing stress and struggle to do without true male intimacy. Chapters eight through twelve take white through the eighties, which includes his rise to prominence, coupled by his decision to end his marriage and leave the closet. Chapters thirteen and fourteen explain how White's life had changed in the early nineties and how he became dedicated to the struggle for homosexual rights.

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This section contains 445 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America Study Guide
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