Aug 9, 2022Liked by Chris Damian

I appreciated the history given here. I knew pieces, but it was good to have them all together. As a non-straight (Protestant) Christian, the Side A/Side B language helped me a great deal a few years back when I was trying to better understand this conversation and what it meant for my faith. Personal benefit aside, I've definitely seen how the terms can be weaponized for purposes contrary to their original intents. I remember a couple of years ago having a conversation with a coworker about LGBTQ+ Christians. They weren't familiar with Side A and Side B, so I explained to them what the terms meant. Their immediate assumption was that Side B was the "good side." Another friend, who noticed a book I was reading about gay/lesbian Christians, drew the same conclusion. Thus, while discovering the language was a pivotal point for me, conversations like this have made me wary of using it with others.

Expand full comment

The Side A/B framework originated in a project called "Bridges Across the Divide" in the late 1990s. The framework was adopted by Justin Lee, a moderator for Bridges Across, when he created the Gay Christian Network. I was another moderator for the project.

The original definitions of Sides A, B, and C, and Methods D and E (civil vs. uncivil) are here:


From the start, I believe, the framework was flawed -- not only for the reasons you cite, but also because the definitions put the moral burden on Side A to prove they were moral, when it was Side B that was often behaving with such morally questionable cruelty and dishonesty.

But again, you are right to note that the Sides also misdefine and stereotype people in ways that inhibit conversation and listening.

Expand full comment