A contemporary Christian songwriter Ray Boltz has embraced the homosexual lifestyle during his coming out journey. His songs were inspiring, patriotic, and encouraged many. Boltz authored 16 albums and enjoyed a nearly 20-year recording career. However, in a lengthy interview with the Washington Blade - a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender newspaper – Boltz exposed his true lifestyle.
Boltz is a household name for many evangelical Christians, particularly for hits like “Thank You,” “Watch the Lamb,” “The Anchor Holds,” and “I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb.”
Boltz garnered a handful of Recording Industry Association of America Gold-certified albums, three Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association and 12 number one hits on Christian radio. Boltz is regarded as one of the better-known singer/songwriters in contemporary Christian music. But after the release of his last album in 2002, and his last tour in 2004, he retired from the music industry and moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
On December 26, 2004, Boltz disclosed to his wife of 33 years and his four adult children that he was gay. According to Boltz’s own words in The Washington Blade, “It’s hard to say I came out because I didn’t have all the answers. I just admitted what I was struggling with and what I was feeling. It’s hard to go, ‘This is the point where I accepted my sexuality and who I was,’ but I came out to them and shared with them what I’d been going through.”
Boltz’s marriage to his ex-wife was, as he says, largely a happy one. It produced four children — three daughters and a son who are now between 22 and 32 — but family life and going through the motions of being heterosexual wearied Boltz. He describes himself as entering a serious state of depression. He was in therapy for years, taking Prozac and other anti-depressants, and was oftentimes suicidal.
Boltz told The Blade, “I’d denied it ever since I was a kid. I became a Christian, I thought that was the way to deal with this and I prayed hard and tried for 30-some years and then at the end, I was just going, ‘I’m still gay. I know I am.’ And I just got to the place where I couldn’t take it anymore … when I was going through all this darkness, I thought, ‘Just end this.’”
This month the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) announced Boltz would be giving two concerts at MCC venues in Indianapolis and Washington, D.C., with proceeds to benefit the new direction of Boltz’s musical career. MCC sees its mission being social as well as spiritual by standing up for the rights of minorities, particularly those of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people (LGBT).
Though he’s open to performing, Boltz says he doesn’t plan to let this issue take over his life.
“I don’t want to be a spokesperson, I don’t want to be a poster boy for gay Christians, I don’t want to be in a little box on TV with three other people in little boxes screaming about what the Bible says, I don’t want to be some kind of teacher or theologian — I’m just an artist and I’m just going to sing about what I feel and write about what I feel and see where it goes,” he told the Washington Blade.
Boltz declined to go into specifics about the first time he was with a man, but says he has been dating and lives “a normal gay life” now. He went on to tell the Washington Blade, “This is what it really comes down to: If this is the way God made me, then this is the way I’m going to live. It’s not like God made me this way and he’ll send me to hell if I am who he created me to be … I really feel closer to God because I no longer hate myself.”