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16, gay male, Pentecostal/Charismatic background

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gettingthere
 
Joined in 2008
October 12, 2008, 3:42 pm

Hey everyone. My name is Bryan, I’m 16 years old, and a gay Christian with a Pentecostal/Charismatic background. However, if you asked me if I personally was Pentecostal/Charismatic I would say I’m figuring that all out still. I’m going to give a very condensed version of my story. My parents are missionaries and we had a wonderful home life. It was great. My story is yet another counter-example to those who say homosexuality is the result of bad parenting. I had great parents and I was raised to be a good Christian boy in a good Christian school (which I still attend).


I’ll speed through this part, since I know how short people’s attention spans are nowadays. Started feeling I was gay in middle school. Went through the whole self-hatred and shame thing. Learned about how God loves gay people and began to re-evaluate my own beliefs. Started to come out to others. That’s pretty much where I am now. I’m not out to everyone or openly gay, but I feel like I’m becoming more comfortable with being gay. Life is a journey… which is why I chose the username gettingthere because I thought it was a good reminder to me of how life is a journey and my successes and failures are both parts of that journey.


So that’s it. I don’t really know what will happen from here on out, but I’m trusting it will be good. 🙂


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magsdee
Disabled
Joined in 2006
October 12, 2008, 4:23 pm

Welcome Bryan, so awesome to have you with us 😀


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magsdee
Disabled
Joined in 2006
October 12, 2008, 4:35 pm

I’ll speed through this part, since I know how short people’s attention spans are nowadays.


LOL 😆 😆


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gettingthere
 
Joined in 2008
October 12, 2008, 9:51 pm

Hehe, thanks Maggie. 🙂 I have a longer story, but I might end up sharing it later. 🙂


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Anthony Venn-Brown
 
Joined in 2005
October 12, 2008, 10:45 pm

you are allowed a 1000 words getting there……hehe.


Great to have you here…..I’ll spread the word amongst our young people.


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gettingthere
 
Joined in 2008
October 12, 2008, 11:10 pm

Haha, I know I could have had up to 1000 words and I probably could have used every single of them. Honestly, I’m kinda tired of thinking about my story over and over again so I decided I would just give a short version. But a long version will probably be put up eventually. 🙂 Honestly though, the summary really is a good framework of my story as a gay Christian, even if it’s not at all detailed.


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Dave
 
Joined in 2008
October 12, 2008, 11:41 pm

Hey Brian.


I love hearing stories where people are dealing with coming out (and in what seems to be a generally positive environment) so young. I think I’m in roughly the same place as you, and I’m 23- also with Christian parents who were the best I could’ve asked for and none of the ‘flags’ that are often put at the cause of homosexuality- I can only imagine how different things could’ve been if I’d come to terms with it when I was a teenager. So it’s exciting, you’ve got your life ahead of you!


I know you said you’d post your story later, but just interested-


Learned about how God loves gay people and began to re-evaluate my own beliefs


What was the catalyst/thing that helped you come to this point? Unfortunately I never encountered anything like this in my experience of church.


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gettingthere
 
Joined in 2008
October 13, 2008, 12:39 am

Learned about how God loves gay people and began to re-evaluate my own beliefs


What was the catalyst/thing that helped you come to this point? Unfortunately I never encountered anything like this in my experience of church.


Well, honestly, I always did believe that God loved everybody. I was big on mercy and God’s love and all that. But it never really clicked in my head that God loved gay people or did it click that God was actually perfectly fine with the fact they were gay. So while the information was there, I just didn’t reach that conclusion (mostly because I was told, not always explicitly, but you know what the church says, that such a conclusion was flawed.)


So honestly, I never did reach that conclusion due to things I heard in church. I discovered these ideas through the internet. I can tell you exactly how it worked. My memory rocks, haha. My dad once told me that some people thought David and Jonathan were gay, and how stupid of an idea that was. Well, as a young kid just getting in touch with his gay feelings that intrigued me, so I got out my Bible and read about it. Over and over and over again. I kind of let my imagination run wild, especially 1 Sam. 18: 1-4. You know, where David and Jonathan make their covenant of love and then Jonathan starts stripping? Yes. Those verses. It felt erotic and romantic and it drove me wild. I read the scripture where they kissed like a bunch of times. Every time, I felt a little bit embarrassed. Imagining them as two lovers, cruelly being separated, and having one last passionate kiss to say goodbye turned me on. Yes. I was turned on by a Bible story. I’m sure I’m not the only one.


Anyway, that led me to start looking up things on the Internet, because you can find anything on the Internet. You can also find a lot of trash on the Internet, which I also fell into. That’s a long story as well and my struggles there are also an important part of my coming to terms with my feelings. But anyway aside from that, I also found gay Christian resources. I started with Exodus International. I read the blog of Mike Ensley. I loved his stuff, thought he was brilliant (in a way, I still do. I think he’s an okay guy.) That was kind of the first time I realized God loves gay people. Of course, I thought I needed to change my orientation, but hey, at least God loved me. That was a step up from where I was before. Through his blog, I found a guy called CollegeJay who writes an amazing blog from the Side B perspective. I still read it and I still love it even if I don’t agree with all he says. I think reading his stuff made me slowly ease up to the idea of accepting myself as gay. I continued reading and studying. Eventually I found Side A material. It was a long, long process, but eventually I accepted it. (And then I unaccepted it, but that’s a long story. My beliefs went back and forth for a time, but now they are solid. It’s really not a this happened then this happened kind of thing. It really was a process.)


So there you go. It started with David and Jonathan, then Exodus International, then I read a whole host of other perspectives, before finally believing that God loves me as I am, a gay Christian, and he has no problem at all with that.


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Anthony Venn-Brown
 
Joined in 2005
October 13, 2008, 1:29 am

if its any comfort to you gettingthere……I went in and out of the closet several times……always returning fearing I’d be rejected by God if I accepted my gay self. I thought my gay self was sick and perverted..something god needed to heal me off. What else could I think….it seemed the whole world believed it at that time.


I wont be going back in the closet of course….as I discovered when I came out…..my gayself is the real me….and go loves people who are real…well he loves the pretenders as well……but its healthier for us to be real.


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supercalamari
 
Joined in 2008
October 13, 2008, 7:55 am

Hey Bryan, great to hear from another young gay christian.

Hope coming out goes ok if you go through with it. I can tell you firsthand it was terrifying, exciting and indeed worthwhile, even though I lost a few ‘friends’ and I gained a lot of respect too.


Yours,

Isobel


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Sandy
 
Joined in 2007
October 13, 2008, 9:10 am

Hey Bryan, great to have you here. 16 huh? Wow I’m impressed you have thought so deeply about things. At 16 my biggest worry was why my mother wouldn’t let me get a tatoo and how to skip saturday detention 😆


Good luck with everything, I know you are looking for more people your own age and depending on where you live there are some great places around for gay teens to get together if and when you are ready for something like that. Being around like minded people helps.


BTW, I write too merely journals and text books and stuff… not exactly what you meant I gather, but I can appreacte the art form nonetheless.


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HillsBen
Youth Coordinator
Joined in 2008
October 13, 2008, 10:26 am

Hey mate….


My name’s Ben and I’m 20 and a gay Christian. Still at a Pentecostal church, which is hard but so worth it. am so happy that you have come to these F2B forums. They have helped me so very much in my journey. Don’t even know if I’d be alive today without these people on here and their support.


I know what it’s like to be in a similar situation to you…..all that confusion and isolation. It’s tough.


But for a 16 year old you are certainly a wise one and It sounds like you are moving forward and really learning to accept yourself, as you are..


And God loves you as you are….No one is perfect…far from it. But you can live a life as an openly gay young man and be devoted to God at the same time. It isn’t easy but I wouldn’t give up my Jesus for the world…


Life is a journey… which is why I chose the username gettingthere because I thought it was a good reminder to me of how life is a journey and my successes and failures are both parts of that journey.


Life is such a journey mate….couldn’t agree with you more…


Well….know that you are amazing and God loves you so very much. Will be praying for you and I have msn and facebook….so if you ever wanna chat further just pm me and I’ll try to share with you what I’ve learned from my life so far…..


Take care. 😀


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Placebo
 
Joined in 2008
October 16, 2008, 7:36 pm

Hi gettingthere,


I think life is a journey too.. or you could think of it as a ride, sometimes you just have to hang on!!


I’m not really out to many people at all, and I’m still figuring stuff out, learning, being reprogrammed and I would like to say enlightened. Still got a way to go.


What I can tell you is that you are not alone in your experiences


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gettingthere
 
Joined in 2008
November 3, 2008, 1:02 am

Hey guys, some people have been commenting on my situation in other places, so I thought I would give some more info about my life.


What is it like being gay at my Christian school?


Well, first off, I think that question can be a little bit misleading. Yes, there is a part of the conflict that comes from the fact that I’m gay. However, the majority of the problems did not stem from that. The majority of the problems stemmed from the fact that I was gay and did not accept myself. That is where the internal conflict really started. Yes, maybe that non-acceptance was fostered by my atmosphere. But most of it was self-imposed. I can’t blame my Christian school or my church or any one else for my non-acceptance of myself because that’s a choice I have to make. Once I began to accept myself, things got much better, but before that it was much harder. Now, this was all an internal struggle. I wasn’t out to anyone at the time, so it was totally an internal thing. I can talk about what my internal struggles were like later, but that’s an important point. I was not bullied or picked on or anything like that for being gay. I was picked on for other reasons, but that happens to everyone at times really.


Many times we as gays accuse Christians of being judgmental, without realizing that in doing so, we ourselves are judging them by saying they are judging us. We like to think of ourselves as victims, but sometimes we are only victims because we refuse to move forward. In such events, we are our own hostage-takers. I’m still working on overcoming that attitude. It’s a hard attitude to get over, because really, some Christians are that way. However, we need to realize that every Christian is an individual. Not all will be that way. I’ve been blessed by people who love and accept me as I am, people in my school. Maybe they don’t actively talk to me about being gay and I still don’t feel comfortable talking about my orientation in school, but it’s better. I feel like I could get to the point where I do.


There are other things to remember. Our school is small and I’ve been here every year. People know who I am. They’ve grown up with me. They know I am a good kid and that I love Jesus. They know who I am. They should know that I’m not the type who would do something just to be rebellious. So I think that really helps, that people know who I am. But there is a strange paradox where it’s easy to come out to people we don’t know but it’s hard to come out to those who we do know. I guess we fear their reaction the most. Most people do know I’m gay, but not because of me (it was because of a rumor that was spread around, I can talk for a long while about that, I learned a great many things from it) so even if they know it’s awkward to talk. But I’m moving forward in that respect. I might even be openly out to everyone before the school year is out. I would not be surprised if that happened.


Anyway. My basic point? The main conflict will always be internal. If your internal conflict is defeated and you have a good support system in place, you can handle whatever external conflict is thrown at you in regards to yourself. It’s all about perspective. Sometimes, I feel extremely hypocritical about saying this, because honestly, I don’t have this nearly as together as I sound like I do. But I’m learning and that’s what’s really important.


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Anthony Venn-Brown
 
Joined in 2005
November 3, 2008, 1:19 pm

you have a very balanced view of all this Bryan…..I know of others who’ve been on this journey for 20 years and haven’t got the level of clarity that you have.


As we resolve the perceived conflict internally then that shows.


What happens next for some people is that as they speak about their new found peace with others they will find some who will reject them. This can be from a few friends to an entire church.


then the gay man or lesbian has another hurdle to cross……forgiveness. this is where many stumble because inside there can still be a level of fragility and hurt…..a rawness. The attacked then becomes the attacker….and so the cycle goes on.


Some of us have seen the way forward….its not attacking individuals or churches…..the enemy is ignorance.….and we help overcome that by being who we are. Gay and lesbian people of faith who live moral ives…..the thing those who are uninformed don’t think exists.


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gettingthere
 
Joined in 2008
November 3, 2008, 2:09 pm


then the gay man or lesbian has another hurdle to cross……forgiveness. this is where many stumble because inside there can still be a level of fragility and hurt…..a rawness. The attacked then becomes the attacker….and so the cycle goes on.


Some of us have seen the way forward….its not attacking individuals or churches…..the enemy is ignorance.….and we help overcome that by being who we are. Gay and lesbian people of faith who live moral ives…..the thing those who are uninformed don’t think exists.


I totally agree with this. Forgiveness can be so difficult and oftentimes, people think it’s unnecessary to forgive those who persecute them. I think of Jesus on the cross, the most persecuted person in history, saying on the cross, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. It’s a mindblowing thing – not just the statement itself, but also that anybody would forgive those their persecutors in the middle of their persecution. That is truly a God thing to do. But look at the statement. Jesus forgave them because they didn’t know what they were doing. I think that is what most people’s problem is, they just don’t know what they are doing is wrong and they don’t know the facts. Oftentimes, they do truly love, it’s just that their ignorance makes them do wrong things. We as gay Christians need to become part of the solution and not continue the problem by becoming spiteful and bitter.


I was reading the excerpt from Candace Chellew-Hodge’s book, Bulletproof Faith. It was great. When I’m in America and not stuck in this little corner of the Earth, I’ll try to get a copy of it along with a bunch of other books I want. But basically, she said that so often we see it being between gays and God. That’s not the way it is at all. We here all know that God is not the enemy. Truly, the thing that brings opposition is ignorance. It should be between gays and false information spread about us. If the truth was lovingly presented, I’m sure most people would realize the wrong that they are doing.


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gettingthere
 
Joined in 2008
November 15, 2008, 11:16 pm

Just an update from me.


I had a talk with my Bible teacher on Wednesday this week. It was an interesting time. I learned some good information that will help me make better decisions in the future.


First off, I learned that every teacher already knows I’m gay, which is actually great for me because now I don’t have to worry they’ll treat me different.


Secondly, I learned that I will not be expelled for it. Which is also great. 🙂 I had heard I would be. They used this ridiculous phrase, I first heard it after my dad talked with the principal. It was ‘encouraging other students’. I had no idea what that was supposed to mean. I thought it referred to telling other students that it was okay to be gay or encouraging gay behavior in the other students, but apparently that’s not it. Only after talking with my Bible teacher do I understand it and it means something totally different from what I thought it would mean. They basically don’t want me to have a boyfriend. That’s my interpretation of the phrase more or less. I don’t understand how encourage = having a boyfriend, but that’s apparently what it was. I don’t think it’s fair. I understand they have their own beliefs and they are obligated to follow their beliefs, but I still think they are misguided.


My teacher explained it like this. If there is a student who has similar ‘leanings’ as me, then of course, we will be drawn to each other, but we can’t allow that or something. It was really weird now that I look back on it. I actually don’t understand how close I would be allowed to be with such a person (assuming such a person eventually appears at our school, atm there is no such person, so I’m not worried right now). But it sounded like I couldn’t even be close friends with a gay student, because we might potentially do something sinful. Seriously? o_O Whatever. I’ll make it no matter what, but that was just really strange. And I still don’t understand how that is equal to “encouraging”. ???


There was also a lot of other stuff that happened, but I’m just going to let it go and not be overly critical. I’m grateful that my Bible teacher was as cool as he actually was, it could have been much, much worse as anyone who has read stories from gay people in church knows.


But that meeting pretty much changed something. I think I’m going to change my goals until I’ve graduated. After graduation, I’ll do whatever, but I’m looking at my two last years of high school right now. I don’t want to be kicked out and I don’t want to stir up unnecessary conflict. There will be times when I get to say my peace, but I don’t have to force my peace upon others. Worrying about this so much has caused me to have difficulty forming relationships with others because my mind is so wrapped up with this issue. It became an obsession. I need to let this go so that I can instead focus on those people immediately around me, my friends who need me to be there for them. I’ve been withdrawing some times or not going in as deep as I could with my relationships because I’m just so preoccupied with the gay part of me. I accept myself, but I need to stop letting my orientation hold me back from close relationships. It’s really not worth it.


So I’m going to stay out of the closet, but very quietly. I don’t believe right now would be a good time to be totally out. We’ll see as time goes on, but I don’t want my gay identity to be holding me back. So instead of hiding it or being the full on out and proud guy, I’m just going to be in the middle, just being myself. I’m not ashamed of it or anything. I’ve just made the fact that I’m gay such a big focus in my thoughts and so I’m trying to just get over that so that I can now move on and look at other things. When I’m out of the house, I’ll evaluate my life once again and decide what I want to do once more. But right now, I need to do what I need to do in order to get along in my current environment. I’m staying here on F2b, because I love it here. 🙂 I’m just trying to not let this be the be-all-end-all issue or an obsession with me.


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magsdee
Disabled
Joined in 2006
November 16, 2008, 9:09 am

You know that is really awesome 😀 we most definately dont need to be militant and also allow our orientation issues in ourselves and outside of ourselves to take us over (in saying that I do understand people who have deep seated hurts and issues surrounding that, been there myself).


It is so good youre just being yourself and will be allowing yourself to have some wonderful r’ships with people around you, its also good you didnt have a devastating outcome at school, so awesome to hear of a positive outcome thus far. 😉


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iplantolive
 
Joined in 2008
November 16, 2008, 3:21 pm

Yes, to be too preoccupied with your sexual orientation to the detriment of your whole self can be a bit negative and counter-productive 🙄

I’ve done some recent work on my values and beliefs, and I can honestly say that most (if not all) of this was done without specific references to my being gay. My personality is a much bigger consideration in defining how I view and interact with people around me.


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Anthony Venn-Brown
 
Joined in 2005
November 17, 2008, 1:23 pm

I think you are a fine example of a gay christian young man. You have earned a lot of respect with us here at F2B.


Remember….this is your safe space…..you can be totally out an honest here.


I’m glad that the talk went so well. We know it is not ideal….but we are at the fault line of change….on the other side it looks even brighter for the next generation. Your life will help make that a reality.


It seems from what the teacher has said that once again there are certain assumptions about what it means to be gay……which is not really fair. But the way you talk…..I’m sure you are going to break down many of those preconceived ideas and misconceptions.


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