There are two big pieces of background information before I get to my question: 1. I used to be a hardcore fundamentalist pentecostal minister. 2. When I was in bible school, people frequently assumed I was homosexual. Why I was assumed to be gay, I am not sure. I was thin, pretty shy, and liked to read and this was Texas, so it could have been as simple as that. Regardless of why, it seemed to be a common assumption. An assumption I never bothered to correct because I didn't know about it at the time and don't really care now.
Flash forward about ten years. I have recently been contacted on Facebook by an old acquaintance from my bible school days. After I told him that I was now an Atheist, I expected to hear the usual "come back to Jesus" spiel that I typically get. Instead, he immediately starting asking questions about whether I've stayed in shape, if I have any tattoos, and if I have ever gone skinny-dipping, and a whole lot of other questions in this vein.
My girlfriend thinks he still thinks I'm gay and is flirting with me. I am not wholly convinced that's true, but if it is, this is potentially a very sensitive situation. He is now a pastor with a wife and two kids. If it is true that he is attracted to men, I want to help him realize those desires and come out of the closet. I am afraid that if I ask him directly if he is gay, he will just deny it and stop all contact with me. However, casually and ambiguously flirting back with him to see if he outs himself seems really misleading. Especially since I am not interested in men. What's the best way to handle this situation? Is it my place to even try to handle it at all?
Concerned Hetero Resisting Intimate Straight Talk
My response after the jump....