I was born again at an early age, was in Christian schools or homeschooled K-12. I never seriously considered other colleges than BJU. I stayed on for grad work, then taught full time for another 4 years. Growing up, I lived a very sheltered life. We didn’t have a television, and we didn’t watch secular movies, except for the occasional ’50s era Disney comedy. I had never heard the term gay or homosexual, never saw it modeled, wasn’t molested by anyone, and had what I thought were normal, balanced parents.
But by the time I was 12, I knew I was attracted to guys only. And looking back, I can see that the signs of my orientation began much earlier. I became sexually active at age 13, and my parents found out when I was 16. I willingly went through counseling and desperately tried to let Christ work this “sin” out of me. I immersed myself in the Bible, church, prayer, and then schooling at BJU. Since I accepted and believed that I was choosing to be gay, I tried to choose instead to be straight.
I experienced great things as God worked in me in so many ways, but this one thing would not change. And it’s not that I wasn’t prepared to struggle with a “besetting sin” for the rest of my life. I was. But you’d think that if I had chosen to be gay, or if it was a defect in my character, or a sickness, that God would have allowed even a hint of heterosexual inclination to find its way into my very willing heart and life. But nothing.
To make a pretty long story much shorter, in January of 2006 at age 28, everything finally came to the boiling point. I won’t go through all the things that happened, but three catalysts really stand out to me. I watched the movie “Latter Days” and I saw real love being portrayed between two men. Not just lust and fun, but deep, soul-wrenching love. In all my struggles against being gay, in all my “falling into sin” and having sex with men, it had never occurred to me that true, intimate love was possible. That same week, I stayed overnight with a guy for the first time. I had never done that before, because the guilt would kick in too quickly. But this time I did, and as I lay relaxed and drowsy in his arms, I suddenly realized, “This feels right. Not just good, but absolutely and completely right.” And most importantly, I got in contact with a guy who let me talk about all my frustrations and struggles. He didn’t argue with me, he didn’t attack Christianity or BJU, he didn’t try to convince me that I was okay being gay. He just let me talk it out. From there, my journey of self-acceptance continued until I realized my orientation is simply part of who I am, just as much as the color of my skin, the fact that I’m right-handed, etc. I finished out the teaching year, and in May of 2006 I came out, knowing that I was giving up my family, most friends, my job, my reputation, my church, and life as I’d always known it.
It was a scary thing to start over so completely, and it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I remember leaving my parent’s house after having told them first and feeling the weight of so much vanish off my shoulders. I wouldn’t trade the freedom, wholeness, and peace with myself and God that I have now, for anything. Having given everything up, God has added so much to me and given me more than I could ever dream possible. All life includes struggles and tough times, and mine is no different. But I know who I am, I’m happy and proud to be who I am, and I love my life!