Timothy Kurek on The View

Timothy Kurek grew up a devout anti-gay Evangelical, and, after a friend confessed to him that her family had disowned her for being gay, felt such guilt that he decided to live as a gay man for a year to seek empathy.

He’s written a book about his experience, The Cross in the Closet.

Timothy appeared on The View to talk about his experiences during the year, and what he learned.

“I went from being a very narrow-minded, hyperconservative Christian to an ally of the gay community,” says Kurek.

Kurek told his family and friends in Nashville that he was gay, even though he’s straight, in order to better understand the experience of the LGBT community in the face of religious propaganda.

He says he cried after being called a faggot: “I had to be held back from attacking the person that did it. I never felt so violated and minimized in my entire life, because of that one word.” The book’s ultimate goal, says its author, is to drive home the point to conservative Christians that, “there’s a much better way. It’s God’s job to judge, it’s the spirit’s job to convict, and it’s my job to love.”