For any gay person, coming out can be a daunting task. Finding the right person to first break the news to is often one of the hardest steps. One New York City gay man recently found consolation for his worries about coming out from an unlikely source: cab driver and Minister Joseph Djan.
Djan makes ends meet as a cab driver, but his passion in life isn’t driving. It’s preaching. He uses his work as a cab driver as an opportunity to meet new people and share spiritual advice with them. In a recent piece with the New York Post, Djan recalls his experience with a distressed closeted gay man.
“He heard my Christian hip-hop and while talking about it, it slipped out that I was a pastor,” Djan said. “His mood changed instantly. He told me he wanted to tell me something that had never told anyone before.”
The man told Djan that his closeted life was bringing him guilt and that he felt he was living a lie.
“I told him that we all keep secrets,” Djan said. “We all have to come out of the closet in some way or another. He was so relieved.”
Djan said the man later contacted him and told him he has since come out to friends and family and is living his life as an openly gay man. The story is one of many Djan tells about the pastoral outreach opportunities his job as a cab driver has brought him.
"God works in different ways. God uses many situations to accomplish his will," Djan said.
In addition to his cab outreach, Djan often picks up homeless people and brings them back to his church, Holy Track Outreach Ministry in Brooklyn. He often provides food, a bath, shelter, and sometimes even a bit of money to those in need. When he isn’t busy consoling taxi passengers and helping the homeless, Djan is studying for a Master’s degree in Theology.
Michael Woloz, a manager at the cab company Djan works for, spoke about the inspiring things Djan accomplishes through his work as a cabbie.
“We have 20,000 drivers and 20,000 stories,” Woloz said. “…but every now and then, you come across someone that is truly doing extraordinary things.”