A self-described prodigal, Christopher Arlen is a minister, an advocate for gay men’s health and a powerful voice for spiritual liberation. Embracing a philosophy of wholeness rather than pathology, he has worked with gay men’s communities in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, California as well as Tucson, Arizona and here in Colorado.
Raised in the Southern Baptist tradition, Christopher has served as youth minister, worship leader, evangelist and summer missionary. For a short time as a young adult, he had a wife. Christopher left Christian ministry in 1988.
In 1991, Christopher took up the cause of HIV prevention and LGBT civil rights. Providing critical testimony for the Riverside Coalition Against Discrimination, Christopher began to understand and play at the dynamic intersection of faith and sexuality. He later served as Southern California Co-Chair for Civil Rights for the L.I.F.E. Lobby (Lobby for Individual Freedom and Equality). Trained as Community Health Outreach Worker, Christopher has worked with gay men in a myriad of spaces — within high-risk environments, within community spaces and within the church. He has developed successful programs for the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention, the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum, San Francisco’s acclaimed Glide Memorial Church and a host of others.
Christopher is principal consultant for the Soft Skills Company working with organizations to foster positive relational dynamics through facilitation, mediation and skills-based training programs. He is also principal mediator at Arlen Dispute Resolution Services where he employs his extensive experience bringing people together to explore and discover new paths to move past life’s unexpected upsets. He currently serves as membership chair at First Baptist Church of Denver. He lives Lakewood with his husband, Damon, and their two dogs, Oliver and Sofia.