Ted Haggard says he’s bisexual

By Julia Duin (File photo of Ted Haggard with his wife Gayle) Just out: Ted Haggard, the disgraced-now-redeemed evangelist from … Continued

By Julia Duin

(File photo of Ted Haggard with his wife Gayle)

Just out: Ted Haggard, the disgraced-now-redeemed evangelist from Colorado Springs, has admitted he’s a bisexual.

We thought we’d heard everything about Mr. Haggard, thanks to his recent TLC reality show described here. Then now comes this amazing profile in GQ – along with a mawkish picture of the preacher on his knees, Bible in hand, gazing up toward the sky.

Brief preview: We learn at the midpoint of the article that Haggard was sexually molested at the age of seven. Then at the very end, the minister admits he used to watch gay porn, was – and probably still is – a compulsive masturbator and finally admits to interviewer Kevin Roose, “I think that probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual.”

But he’s 54, Haggard adds, so he’s content to “exclusively have sex with my wife and be perfectly satisfied.”

The author seems to think that Haggard has sacrificed a vital part of himself by going the monogamous marriage-and-family route; Haggard is saying the forbidden longings are still there but it’s possible to fence them out.

I don’t think Haggard is part of an evangelical Christian ‘gay awakening’ proposed by columnist and Wheaton College graduate Cathleen Falsani.

But his new admissions sure add fuel to the argument that such an awakening exists.

Is Ted Haggard adding confusion or clarity to current religious debates on gay sex?

UPDATE By Elizabeth Tenety, Jan 28, 10:10 a.m.:

Watch Haggard’s wife Gayle discuss his sexuality in a 2010 interview with Sally Quinn:

Other quotes from Haggard’s interview with GQ that have garnered attention in the past few days:

On the affair that became public and forced him out of ministry:

“We never had sex sex,” he says, glancing at the car to make sure that Elliott and Jonathan are asleep. “I bought drugs and a massage from him, and he masturbated me at the end of it. That’s it.”

On being shunned by the church he founded:

“I used to think the church was the light of the world,” Ted says. “But I’ve completely lost my faith in it.”

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  • achilli

    First, a shout-out to the post that almost made me spit out my lunch:”Could this man possibly be any more disrespectful to his wife? He’sAnd now to point out the obvious:”But he’s 54, Haggard adds, so he’s content to “exclusively have sex with my wife and be perfectly satisfied.””Umm…the fact that this lying sack of **** is NOT content to “exclusively have sex with my wife and be perfectly satisfied” is the ONLY reason any of us are reading about the Ted Haggard saga IN THE FIRST PLACE.I say that just to keep the world’s supply of karma in balance, something bad needs to happen to this guy. And yeah, his dummy wife needs to scram before she becomes as loathesome as he is.

  • gershwin2009

    Maybe it is time for religious people to leave the whole topic of sexuality alone once and for all.

  • MagicDog1

    Over the years, Haggard has said that he’s not gay, didn’t sleep with that male prostitute, and didn’t use meth. Then he said he had done meth and did sleep with the make prostitute, but that he wasn’t gay any more.Now he says that he did meth, but only to masturbate (not to sleep with the male prostitute), and that he’s bisexual. And he wants us to believe him.Will the “Christians” out there answer me a question? How come so many of you, and especially your leaders, are such liars?

  • garoth

    I think that he is not only bi-sexual, he’s also bipolar, and maybe has a couple of people living in there as well. The guy needs serious help. He doesn’t know who he is.

  • WmLaney

    No such thing, the word bi-sexual was created by Madison Avenue

  • quapawsix

    Remember he’s a man of faith and they never lie however then can manipulate the truth to serve their own personal agenda. Personally he is one sick puppy.


    What’s the confusion? He is just one more typical evangelical racketeer dodging and weaving, trying to excuse his criminal enterprise, trying to hide his criminal behavior, using his Jesus for his criminal enabler and excuse!

  • Carstonio

    While I disapprove of much of the vitriol directed at Haggard, I understand the emotion behind it, since Haggard revealed himself to be the type of person he regularly demonized.RoboTurkey, I’ve encountered evangelicals who do support equality for gays and would welcome the type of overture you suggest. It’s actually a subset of evangelicals that “does not tolerate nuance or shades of gray,” and those are fundamentalists and religious-rightists whose agenda is political and not religious.

  • pgr88

    The true saint in all of this has got to be his wife.

  • joe_allen_doty

    In my opinion about Ted Haggard which I formed several years ago, Haggard is really just a heterosexually-married homosexual. He was an undergrad student when I was a grad theology student at Oral Roberts University. I didn’t know him personally. But I have friends who knew him.His father pressured him into becoming a preacher and that’s something he told a reporter sometime ago. Being sexually molested by an adult has no connection with sexual orientation. There have been boys who were molested by women and since they didn’t feel right while it was done, they thought they were gay. And if they told other guys or their fathers about it, they, dads included, were told, “You ought to be proud that an older woman was attracted to you.”

  • mini2

    This self-description does not have an application beyond the subject who made it. Among those who have need to categorize and demonize members of the GLT communities, Mr Haggard will become an object of loathing.However, the real ? is, what is there in fact to debate. Each categorizing/demonizing party constructs its own social reality, a reality which has no scientific basis but, rather, exists as an ideal fantasy.

  • doyouktt

    he is not bi-sexual. he is a spiritual fraud that needs to resign today and get therapy. he has a sex addiction problem and is disgracing his faith with this nonsense. he has a wife, he is just a lust filled sinner like every other human who chooses to act on their desires. but to claim that you are serving God and are a pervert then you are off course. However, if he was a secular progressive who is just having fun humping anything that moves then we say “kudos” and as that great American philospher Clinton Portis would say “yo, get it in dog”.

  • weiwentg

    If Haggard is bisexual, there’s nothing wrong with that. Plenty of folks are bisexual. One of my good friends is bisexual and married. And monogamous, not that you asked, but you were thinking it. And that is my main beef with the author. He perpetuates a harmful stereotype. Just because someone is bisexual does not mean that they cannot be monogamously married. So, that last paragraph is BS.I have issues with Haggard as well:a) It’s likely that he’s lying to himself and to others about something.b) He says that he would identify as bisexual in today’s society. But for too long, Evangelical churches in general have perpetuated the harmful, destructive and complete BS myth that sexual orientation can be changed.c) He still believes that not being heterosexual is not God’s “best plan”. Christians do differ legitimately in opinion on this question. I believe, and many other Christians believe or are coming to believe, that God is neutral on sexual orientation. God created us as we are, and it’s a simple fact that some people are not heterosexual – so in that sense, perhaps being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered is in fact in God’s best plan for some people.d) If Haggard is lying and if he believes that it’s not in God’s best plan for people to be gay or bisexual, then is he lying to himself about being bisexual? Is he actually gay, and deceiving himself and his wife? If he’s bisexual, then nothing wrong with it as long as he comes to terms with it – although it sounds to me like he hasn’t. But if he’s gay, that is if he’s predominantly attracted to men and not to women, then he, his wife, and his church have a problem. I think it’s in God’s best plan for us to accept people as they are. Only he and God know what’s in his heart. I have my doubts, though, about whether he’s met God’s best plan for himself.

  • mdnc

    Could this man possibly be any more disrespectful to his wife? He’s

  • areyousaying

    It’s the most honest he has been in years.

  • flyersout

    Yes !!!Some honesty at last.Which is more than can be

  • areyousaying

    Haggard should get down on his knees and beg his small and shallow god for forgiveness not only for the hypocritical hurt he caused his wife, children and congregation but also for that he caused gays who were excluded from their families and friends because of his demonization of them in the name of poor old Jesus. After that, he can pray for Joel Osteen.

  • Chops2

    God made homosexuals so why do you hate them? This guy is a charlatan like all mega church preachers. Only a total rube would follow these sheisters. If its entertainment your after, fine but dont think they speak for god, they speak for the almighty dollar

  • eezmamata

    Ted Haggard, on his knees.That’s disgusting.

  • lepidopteryx

    So first, he was “cured,” and now he finally comes out with information that no one soiuld really be surprised to hear. I would like to think that maybe the evangelical community will start to realize that there is no “cure” for non-hetero orientations, but I won’t hold my breath – I look good in purple, but not as a skin tone.

  • ronjeske

    Haggard is the epitome of ego-centric behavior. This guy will do anything to get his name in the paper. When you are involved in a sex scandal, the best policy is to shut up, not to suddenly claim to be bi-sexual, opening yet another can of worms.

  • Sandydayl

    Out of respect for his wife who he keeps dragging into the middle of his tortured being, can’t he just keep silent and work this out in private? Do all of us really need to know that he is a “compulsive masturbator?” I saw his first show on TLC and actually thought it was pretty good. Now, ole Ted has iserted images in my mind.

  • Carstonio

    I wonder if the childhood trauma Haggard suffered has prevented him from really understanding his sexuality. Obviously that doesn’t excuse how he treated his wife and his followers. My concern is that Haggard blaming his bisexuality on his molestation might be misinterpreted as “proving” that people can be converted from one orientation to the other.I used to scoff at the idea that particularly rabid homophobes were in denial about their homosexuality. But I’ve read theories that some of the gays in the military and in the Catholic priesthood joined those organizations because they believed these environments would suppress their desires or “make men out of them.” Similarly, it’s possible that demagogues like Haggard believed that publicly denouncing homosexuality would “cure” them of these desires.

  • gadstian

    What a freak. I hope this is the last article I ever come across about Haggard.

  • jim4postnatl

    Not sure why anyone cares about this.

  • missybeat

    Um, Gadstian, did you have to say “come across”?

  • drzimmern1

    This is personal. Not a newsworthy column.

  • cashmere1

    LOL… How convenient Ted! Just don’t preach the word of God to ME! You are a hypocrite in my eyes, too much of a coward to deny your faith, and still hiding behind it.

  • eezmamata

    Every time Ted gets up off his knees, he falls to his knees and prays for forgiveness.I kind of get the impression both on-his-knees occasions are more than just a little similar.

  • Rongoklunk

    He’s so ugly, even scary. But he knows a good scam when he sees it, as Elmer Gantry did.

  • Desertdiva1

    No sir you aren’t bisexual. You don’t have the cajones yet to say your gay. Keep working on it though. We go through this same scenario with political and religious figures quite frequently. In the near future you will once again address us with more honesty and admit you are gay.

  • Carstonio

    I see the story as newsworthy because Haggard spent years demonizing gays, and his revelations (pun intended) might help explain why.

  • DaveHarris

    There’s nothing wrong with being bisexual, but this is an awkward position for a fundamentalist Christian preacher who teaches his followers that their God hates bisexuals. How does he weasel around this?

  • roboturkey

    A lot of vitriol on this thread.If anything, this is a rare teachable moment for the evangelical community. Rev. Haggard’s efforts at self-discovery and self-definition point to a wrenching life experience of trying to come to terms with an ambiguous sexual identity in a Christian culture (the Evangelical Movement) that does not tolerate nuance or shades of gray.Isn’t this an opportunity for the GBT community to speak plainly to the leadership of several Christian denominations? Maybe they will listen when one of their own is yet another powerful example of the complexity of human sexuality.

  • thebuckguy

    One story I’ve heard is that he’s shopping around some new cable show and this effort to enlarge his appeal is part of the effort to sell it. It’s a shame that this guy is on a national stage when he should be selling used cars with inflated credit terms at easterns.

  • sassafrasnewport

    What a sad specimen of a human being Haggard is. His sexual orientation is what it is; he’s always known it and apparently doesn’t have any qualms about acting on it unless he gets caught or has a profitable reason to make admissions — just stop perpetrating the fraud, Haggard. This isn’t about you anymore, it is about your family. His wife should dump him at once. You only get a certain number of points for being a martyr and she’s gone beyond the quota.

  • fcs25

    He,Haggart, is not a bisexual;he’s queer plain and simple,call a spade a spade and get over the political correctness crap.

  • toc59

    So yet another of the religious con artists makes a desperate claim in order to keep the money from the suckers flowing.The sad thing about this story is that there are still imbeciles who will buy what Haggerd and his fellow scam artists, from the pope to the ayatollahs to the rabbis to the televangelists, are selling. I’m sorry but those idiots deserve to be fleeced.P.T. Barnum knew what he was talking about.

  • kishorgala

    Aha! He can’t give it up!But looking at him, he looks more like a hermaphrodite worm than a bisexual!

  • ratl

    What exactly is the difference between sex trivia “Under God” and regular gossip ?

  • Billy1932

    He claims if he was 21 he would probably refer to himself as bi-sexual. He was well over 21 when he was exposed as being bisexual. He now claims he is content being heterosexual with his wife, getting caught does seem to cure sexual misbehavior.This man is a fraud, he preaches for money and for no other reason. He is a hypocrite. Who are the fools that follow him?

  • fairness3

    I will say it, again…just examine his “non-verbal” behavior, especially while he speaks, preaches, etc. This man is a total fraud…has alwasy been and will always remain a fraud…his wife knows this too. It is about the $$

  • patmatthews

    Ted haggard is not an expert and may or may not be telling the truth now or before, pick one.The only confused person is Ted Haggard, and he should self-reflect until he figures it out and then he can tell the rest of us, his actual circumstances or as I call it the Truth.People make the mistake of making preachers, priests, or other religious leaders, their role models, when these religious leaders are unproven as role models, but are well proven in sales and marketing of religious beliefs.Choose your role models wisely and your leaders more wisely.

  • cile92

    If he is bisexual, why were all his past trysts with males? Does he think that saying he is bisexual vs. gay will sound better? or, that he is only half sinning?

  • dmosely

    Poor guy was molested when he was young – you don’t think that contributed to how he ended up? If you don’t then you ignore tons of evidence to the contrary…

  • asoders22

    Whenever I see someone very busy bashing gays, in particular priests, it makes me suspicious, thinking they have something do hide. Ordinary heterosexual people don’t feel the need to have opinions about gays. I’m satisfied with what I am, so why would I be malicious? Priests who talk vigorously and passionately about the blessings of being monogamous or heterosexual or practicing abstinence, are usually cheaters, gay and obsessed with sex. Don’t trust them with your kids and spouses!

  • lepidopteryx

    SeaDuck, I would have been gone the first time I learned that he had dropped trou with someone else, I would have been gone.

  • chopin224

    One has to think that all of the fundamentalist preachers are in a closet until proven otherwise.

  • ThishowIseeit

    Only blame your genes: some have the complex combination of genes (it’s not one gene only )to be sexually atracted to (=have an ‘urge for”) the opposite sex, some to the same, some to both and some to neither. We are all different. Some also have the genes that give them the willpower to overcome- not cure but one day at the time overcome, that urge, for whatever reason they come-up with.

  • AxelDC

    I know lots of gay men who called themselves “bi” as part of their coming out process. They somehow thought it was more acceptable than being gay. However, they never dated women and within a year or so, forgot that they were “bi” altogether.Good luck, Ted, in coming out. You’ve done a lot of damage both to the gay community you vilified and to the congregation and family you deceived, but there’s always time for repentance and forgiveness.

  • slim21

    I think they both have a problem.

  • revbookburn

    Like most who advocate repressive laws and talk family-values, “morals” and Christian-supremacy, Haggard is a liar, cheater, hypocrite, and seriously mentally ill hustler who is internally conflicted. Whey you hear any freak from the pulpit of Congress speaking in terms of anti-gay bigotry, abstinence-only “education,” and censorship, you know what they’re doing when it’s nighttime.

  • Rongoklunk

    I guess Haggard thinks that bi-sexuality is only half as bad as homosexuality, right? Others think it’s twice as bad – if it’s a moral issue. I can understand homosexuality somewhat, the genetic and chromosome thing; people born that way – it’s physiological.But bi-sexuality I don’t get. One or the other – but both? I didn’t think there was a gene for that.

  • taonima2000

    You know his wife is going to look at him funny every time she see’s him enjoying a hot dog.

  • seaduck2001

    Glad to see that he and his wife are in therapy, but if I were in her shoes I’d run as far and fast as I could given all his showboating about this.

  • eezmamata

    “Why does the media ‘need’ to write about everyone who announces they’re gay?”Are you really that dense, do you know anything about this story at all?Haggard, like most of the evangelical hucksters, made a living off of bashing people he didn’t like, in particular homosexuals, gays, whatever.Then suddenly it comes out (ahem) that he’s a flaming dorothy himself.Just another phony christian milking the rubes for money. That’s the story, that he sucks dick in his free time is not that important in and of itself.This is a Man Bites Dog story

  • audiskessler

    No comment on Ted here, but for all you folks who think there is no such thing as a real live bisexual, one of them is writing to you right now and I know a couple hundred others across the country. Yes, some folks identify as bisexual before identifying as gay, but it isn’t a phase for plenty of us. So please, please respect the diversity among us.