UPDATE Matthew Makela, outed gay pastor, nearly shamed gay teenager into suicide

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Last week, we reported the story of a closeted Michigan pastor forced to resign from his church when his Grindr profile went viral. Matthew Makela was on record saying some pretty terrible things about homosexuality and gay people and also on record as a power top who loved to cuddle. So those two worlds were bound to collide at some point.

Unfortunately, his already sad story has gotten even worse. Tyler Kish, a gay 17-year-old whose family attended the Lutheran church over which Makela formerly presided, has come forward with the story of the time Makela tried to shame Kish out of his homosexuality. According to Kish, Makela’s comments nearly drove him to suicide.

Kish’s mother Jennifer shared her son’s story in an interview with local media: Makela told Tyler that being gay was worse than killing himself, and that “if [Tyler] was going to go to hell for being gay then he might as well go to hell by committing suicide.”

According to Tyler, the pastor’s comments left him “feeling worthless” and considering suicide as a serious option.

Jennifer, who knew her son was gay, found out about the exchange and confronted Makela. But the pastor “wasn’t understanding and [said] it wasn’t a right or wrong thing for him and he really didn’t care how it affected Tyler.”

Which was when Jennifer began speaking up on social media, discouraging other members of the congregation from attending their church.

For his own part, Tyler now sounds exactly as mature and even-keeled as you’d expect the moral leader of a community to be. In response to the Makela controversy, he had only this to say:


Honestly feel very bad for him, because looking at it everything he was telling me, he was telling himself too, and I think that he was really kind of self destructing and hurting people around him….He may very well decide that it’s the sin, blame the sin, and try to fix himself, and I don’t think there’s anything to fix, and I wish him happiness, but only as his true self.


(Photo credits: WENN; Grindr)

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