Huffington Post
February 15, 2013
Joey made a request, possibly trying to see just how far he could push this strange breed of Christians loitering outside of the subway station. He wanted ashes, not in the form of the cross, but spelling out "gay." We were about as surprised as when he announced his sexuality. Kimberly Knight reached up with her pinky finger and carefully etched "gay" into Joey's forehead with the ashes of Palm Sunday. Joey chalked up his request to an artistic statement, but I experienced it as a theological claim and reconciling act. I hope somewhere beneath the history of what the church has done to him, he did too.

John Russell Stanger is a part of Presbyterian Welcome, a Presbyterian LGBT advocacy organization.