It’s been a little over a week since Queerty broke the news of Reverend Matthew Makela, a (former) associate pastor at a Lutheran Church in Midland, MI, caught preaching the sin of homosexuality while maintaining a homosexual Grindr profile.
Of course, Makela is just the latest in a string of antigay activists outed for leading secret gay lives. There was that lawmaker who spent his days fighting against gay rights and his nights cruising for bottoms, and the ex-gay activist who isn’t quite as ex-gay as he’d like everyone to believe.
Related: Six Easy Tips For Antigay Preachers
So for all you other antigay pastors, politicians, and activists leading secret gay lives, here are four tips on how to avoid having your cover blown on Grindr…
1. Headless Torso
This one should really go without saying, but clearly it needs to be addressed since all a guy had to do was say “Can I see more pics?” for Makela to comply. If you’re trying to lead a secret gay life, refrain from sending clearly identifiable pictures to anyone who asks. (The iPhone over the face shot in the mirror is always a good trick.) True, you won’t get nearly as many responses, as no one actually hooks up with a headless torso, but that’s the price you pay for the sin of hypocrisy. No face, no dick, as the Grindr boys like to say.
2. No personal information
In addition to the face pics, Makela’s other pitfall was that he over-shared information about his personal life with complete strangers. He talked about needing to be discreet, being in a relationship with a woman, and sharing how many children he had (five!). Volunteering this sort of information just makes it that much easier for people to identify you as an antigay preacher. It’s kinda cute that he wanted to find a guy with whom to share — but not when he was simultaneously telling teenaged gay kids they were going to hell.
3. If a media outlet asks you for a comment, don’t say “No comment”
When Queerty reached out to Makela for comment, he refused to speak to us other than to confirm the Grindr messages were indeed his. We get it. He was probably embarrassed and is certainly extremely naive, having lived in the religious right bubble all his life (except when on Grindr). But in situations like this, saying “no comment” and then turning off your phone is so much worse than just owning up to what you’ve done with a public statement or, better yet, an apology for all the horrible things you’ve said about LGBT people over the years (i.e. calling them “sickos,” likening homosexuality to alcoholism, et cetera).
4. Don’t be an antigay preacher
But perhaps the best way to avoid being outed for leading a secret gay life is to simply curb your bigoted, self-hating behavior. Live openly. Love thyself. Don’t go around preaching hate and hypocrisy and you won’t have to worry about karma getting you later. Because that’s the thing about karma.
It always comes back around. Always.