Before I get around to answering this question, first let me introduce you to a term that I, myself, just learned that perfectly describes me:
HOMOSOCIAL – An abiding preference to find your closest and most meaningful friendships with members of your own gender.
Homosociality is not the same thing as being gay, just as temptation and sin(along with affection and sexual attraction) are not the same. This is really important to realize because without this distinction, what is sin and what is not sin becomes very confusing. I’ve always had this deep longing and draw for friendships with men. This neutral guiltless desire quickly becomes sexualized when there is no other option available. Non-sinful affections that are simply relational based get defined to imply a desire for sexual contact. However, truth be told, that just because I still experience attraction to men, this doesn’t mean that I am sexually desirous toward every single man I come into contact with.
Rosaria Butterfield states that “we have lost the ability to be nonsexually same-sex affectionate, and this is a costly human loss” (from Openness Unhindered). I agree 100%. I don’t believe that affection I may feel toward a male friend is sin. But if I were to allow this affection to lead me into fantasy and lust, or worst to physically act out, then it becomes sin. Therefore, my persistent same-sex attraction does not mean I haven’t been accepted into the Beloved.
So back to the original question: Can someone be LGBT and go to heaven? My answer is yes. All Christians in heaven are less-than-perfect who sinned before and after salvation. This would also apply to individuals that are attracted to their own gender, whether or not they identify by it. Do you believe someone can be an alcoholic and go to heaven? What about addicted to drugs, or a worrier, or arrogant, or a gossip? I must explain that there is a difference between someone who identifies as LGBT and is sold out to Jesus AND someone who is LGBT and doesn’t care what the Bible states about homosexual sex. Big Difference, right? We all still have to choose to resist, flee from, and put to death sin that dwells within us, however it may attempt to tempt. This reality doesn’t negate the power of our new birth in Christ. Scripture testifies that ones who lived a life of homosexual practice can be washed, sanctified and justified by God’s Spirit(1 Corinthians 6:11).
“The Christian community needs to own the fact that people are deep, struggles are real, and people are working through them” (Caleb Kaltenbach- Messy Grace).