It’s been more than five years since Ray Boltz – one of the bestselling Christian music artists of all time – revealed to his family that he is gay. Now, after an equally long absence from the stage, Boltz is finally ready to sing about it.
Appropriately, Boltz’s new album is called “True.” Its track list includes songs about same-sex marriage (“Don’t Tell Me Who to Love”), bias crimes (“Swimming Hole”), and conservative claims that there is a political “agenda” for gay men and lesbians (“Following Her Dreams”).
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Boltz said that the songwriting for his new album had been therapeutic as he sought to understand his sexual orientation in light of his Christian faith.
“When you start to live an authentic life, you stop pretending. When I started writing these songs, I didn’t know if it’d be for a record. I didn’t know if anyone would even hear these songs. But I realized I could write whatever I want, and that opened up the floodgates.”
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Carol Boltz, Ray’s wife of 30 years, hears the honesty in her former husband’s new music.
“When I hear these songs, I hear Ray’s heart.” Carol and Ray remain best friends.
Amid all the hate-filled e-mail Boltz receives, he also hears that he is a “role model of honesty” and gratitude for being “Instrumental in me finding the Lord.”
Boltz now lives in South Florida with his partner, Franco Sperduti, who also serves as his booking agent. He is currently touring the nation with Azariah Southworth, another well-known figure in the Christian music scene who came out as gay and had to start all over again.
Along with his newfound self-acceptance, the last few years have also witnessed a paradigm shift in Boltz’s theology to reveal a God of love and inclusion. For Boltz, this is perhaps the greatest gift of his “coming out” journey.
“I don’t believe God hates me anymore,” said Boltz in his interview with the New York Times. “I always thought if people knew the true me, they’d be disgusted, and that included God. But for all the doubts, there’s this new belief that God accepts me and created me, and there’s peace.”
GLAAD has worked closely with Ray Boltz on numerous occasions. Staff members Cindi Creager, Director of National News, and Ann Craig, Director of Religion, Faith & Values, provided media training to Mr. Boltz as news surrounding his “coming out” first made headlines in 2008.