Six-time Grammy Award-winning artist and contemporary Christian music icon Amy Grant, who is celebrating the 30th anniversary of her best-selling album, Heart in Motion, recently argued that it is important to set "a welcome table" for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation.
"Who loves us more than the one who made us? None of us are a surprise to God. Nothing about who we are or what we've done," Grant told Kelly, who is gay. "That's why, to me, it's so important to set a welcome table. Because I was invited to a table where someone said, 'don't be afraid, you're loved.'… Gay. Straight. It does not matter. It doesn't matter how we behave. It doesn't matter how we're wired," Grant asserted.
The award-winning singer continued arguing that we are "all our best selves when we believe to our core, 'I'm loved.'"
Grant further shared that she believes our creativity "flourishes" when we feel loved. "We're like, 'I'm gonna arrange flowers on your table and my table.' When we're loved, we're brave enough to say yes to every good impulse that comes to us," she said.
Grant's words were celebrated by Kelly and other members of the LGBTQ community on social media.
In a Twitter thread, Kelly shared a personal story about how Grant's music changed his life and even helped him accept that he was gay.
In the series of tweets posted on Sunday, Kelly revealed that he was sexually molested as a child and had trouble understanding what had happened to him until he heard Grant's song "Ask Me" on her Heart in Motion album. As he got older, Kelly began to struggle with his sexual orientation and sought prayer in therapy and church.
But the connection with my queerness and Heart in Motion goes much deeper. When I was three years old, I was sexually molested by a teen boy. I remembered it happening, but I had trouble understanding what it was until I heard Amy’s song “Ask Me” on Heart in Motion. (3/9)— Hunter Kelly (@hunterkelly) July 11, 2021
Eventually, Kelly came to believe that he was simply born gay. He added that the therapy further solidified this belief by helping him realize that it didn't matter why he was gay.
As I got older, I started coming to terms with being gay. I tried to pray the gay away in therapy groups and at the altar on Sundays. A big part of this coming to terms was trying to untangle whether I was gay because of the sexual abuse or because I was born that way. (5/9)— Hunter Kelly (@hunterkelly) July 11, 2021
"I now believe I was born that way, but my big breakthrough came when a counselor I had as a young adult told me it didn't matter how I got there, there was no "glory spout" I could stand under that would turn me straight," he wrote.
I now believe I was born that way, but my big breakthrough came when a counselor I had as a young adult told me it didn’t matter how I got there, there was no “glory spout” I could stand under that would turn me straight. (7/9)— Hunter Kelly (@hunterkelly) July 11, 2021
Kelly would eventually leave the church, which he believed was not accepting of him as a gay man.
"But, to hear Amy say on this episode that I am welcome at God's table as a gay man is so affirming. Thank you, Amy Grant. You've changed my life in so many ways. God has worked many of Her greatest wonders in my life through you. (I call God "She" to fight the patriarchy.)," he concluded.
But, to hear Amy say on this episode that I am welcome at God’s table as a gay man is so affirming. Thank you, Amy Grant. You’ve changed my life in so many ways. God has worked many of Her greatest wonders in my life through you. (I call God “She” to fight the patriarchy.)(9/9)— Hunter Kelly (@hunterkelly) July 11, 2021
Trey Pearson, the former lead singer of the CCM band Everyday Sunday who came out as gay in 2016, also shared his appreciation for Grant, writing that "she's the best."
Grant will embark on a 39 city tour in honor of her Heart in Motion album's anniversary. The tour will begin on August 5 and will run through November. In December, following the tour, Grant will join her husband, country singer Vince Gill, for Christmas at the Ryman in Nashville, Tennessee.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Jason Kempin/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.