22 y.o. ex-AOG-churchie recently out to family and friends!!

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Joined in 2008
February 19, 2008, 17:52

Geez… how to start such a complex and emotional story. (ps im crap at spelling and grammar so please excuse that).

I have grown up in at Christian family since birth, and by Christian family I mean that EVERYONE, including extended family and friends, had a Christian background. The first 15 or so years I was part of the Salvation Army and from 15 onwards I was in a lively AOG church in my area. I have had gay orientations as far back as I can remember, but always considered it a childhood phase that would pass, and thus never considered my sexual desires as ‘wrong’ or ‘sinful’. That is, until the age of about 16/17. That is when i started to realise that maybe my gay desires were actually part of who i was, rather than just a distorted way of thinking.

From a young age I always wanted to be a youth pastor/evangelist/preacher. That was my dream, my desire and what I thought was my ‘God-given destiny’. I did leadership courses at Hillsong, served as a highschool youth leader in my church for 5 years and was just so passionate about serving God and preaching his word. I invested time, money and energy into this passion. And that is exactly what made it so devastingly difficult when my passion started to dwindle due to my realisation of who I was (a gay man) forced me to make an extremely difficult decision. A decision with pretty much only two choices…. Either i sacrifice my sexuality for God and live a celibate life OR I sacrifice my faith in order to fulfil a desire to be in a loving sexual relationship with another guy. I chose to sacrifice my faith [which is said so lightly in words, but this very decision way probably the biggest struggle of my life]. At the end of year 12 instead of going to bible study, i went to uni to study psychology. Since that time and up until when I read “A life of unlearning” (in 2006) I struggled in my head over whether I have made a bad decision, and whether ive compromised my hopes and dreams for a ‘sinful urge’. Was I just a weak Christian who succumbed to temptation? Is being gay really a trait or did I choose it? What will happen if I continue down this road? Will I go to hell? These are the big questions I was asking and never quite seemed to find any real answer. Now I believe that perhaps there didn’t need to be a choice between church/god/religion and my sexual orientation/desire to be in a relationship.

The hardest period of my life was the time from about 15/16 years old up until when i was 20 (2006). I wont go into it too much because it was a painful period of my life, including strong suicidal urges, hate for God and the church, hate for everyone who had a ‘normal’ life, hate for myself, fear of hell, fear of rejection, fear of never loving and being loved…. in summary i felt ALONE!!. Thankfully I made it through that stage, and with thanks to AVB and a truly inspiration friend (who came out to me in 05) i have realised there are more people like me!! that fact alone was the most comforting thought for me and from that stage onwards I have began the “life of unlearning”… and rediscovering my beliefs and purpose in this world. Im still in this stage, and thus any friendships of people in similar circumstances would be amazing!!

For the record I’m in a very happy relationship with an amazing guy which has lasted 9 months tomorrow. My family and friends know about me and my boyfriend… and yes at times its quite awkward and embarrassing… I especially hate the extra attention I get (be it subtle or obvious) … but im unashamed of who I am and most importantly IM HAPPY!!

I kind of feel like I have massively simplified my struggles so much by attempting to put my story down in words. I have skipped large chunks of my life struggle, and skimmed over others, but hey I’m sure that those in similar circumstances already know how painful and hard a Gay life in the Christian world can be… I just wanted to let you know that there is hope… and a happy ending!!

I am definitely more than willing to talk to those who have felt or still feel that no one truly understands them and that no one can relate… because I DO understand. And so do many others. No one is alone on this journey … and for me (like ive said) what made all the difference was knowing that there’s others like me.

Cheers. That’s my life in 809 words!

Joined in 2006
February 19, 2008, 20:31

Welcome to F2B Luke_18 D Thankyou for sharing all the 809 words of your life story wink No truly, its awesome that you have come to the place that you have and if you ever feel you just want to share any aspect of your journey, go for it when youre ready. Its great to hear that your family and friends are so accepting also, did that take long?

Joined in 2008
February 19, 2008, 23:27

hey. thanks. my friends have been great! but i guess thats because most of the ones ive told arnt christians. As for the family they kind of psuedo accept it. They accept ME and love ME and are accepting of my boyfriend too… that said they still dont agree its whats best for me and I often see the dissapointment in there eyes. Which is horrible. I sometimes wake up to mum crying on my bed too… which makes me mad, but i also understand that its her way of trying to protect and care for me, which is appreciated. its a hard one. in the end what gets me by is knowing that this is in issue in which i need to be selfish and think of my happiness before theres. so yeah. they’re doing good with it.

Joined in 2006
February 20, 2008, 10:00

Youre right that is a hard one, especially when Mums cry but as you say, its your own future and happiness thats important and with what you know differently now about scripture, its a new road for many of us but one that we have embraced and God still loves us and is still on his throne.

Mums are so caring but need to let go and know when, Im 40 and Mum still tries to keep the umbilical cord wayyyyyyyyyy too tight LOL. God love her, must just be a part of parenthood. Im so happy you have found a great b/friend by the sounds of it. wink

Joined in 2008
February 20, 2008, 10:52

haha. yeah mums definately know how to cling on. its nice to know but yeah can get hard. and yep boyfriend is an absolute champ!!very happy. thanks for your comments!

February 20, 2008, 19:08

Good to read your story Luke.

I know what you mean about mums.

My mum and dad came to visit me in Melbourne in 2000, just after they found out I was gay. On the last night they were with me mum kissed me goodnight then whispered in my ear, “Don’t get AIDS”.

Most mums only want what’s best for their children.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
February 20, 2008, 20:18

welcome Luke…….its important that we share our stories because for the one who shares there are 1000’s out there still going through it and now they know that you got through ok.

Most of the emails i’ve had from readers all began the same way…..your story is my story……..I’m sure yours will be particularly helpful to other young guys and girls.

it takes some time to sort things out. 6-8 years for me after coming out. But there was no one else to talk to about spiritual things then…….now there is and it seems to accelerate peoples healing process.

BTW…..mums Dads etc…..i often remind people who are having trouble with their families accepting that their children/brother/sister/friend is gay………it took you years to accept it………so once you are out dont expect everyone to resolve it overnight.

cow shoes
Joined in 2007
February 20, 2008, 20:36

So good to read your story Luke. Yes there are plenty of us out there and all ages too. I’m 57 and only came out last year when I fell in love with my American partner after nearly 34 years of marriage. I am still coming to terms with my walk as a Christian and a gay person especially having been saved in a penecostal church more than 35 years ago. What I do know unwaveringly is that God loves me, amazingly still loves me and I feel really happy with my life. I figure we will work on the things that are troubling or perplexing .

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
February 20, 2008, 23:18

its encouraging isn’t it to see young people coming to a points of resolution…..knowing it took us almost a life time.

I often say that i’ve had four miracles.

1. I’m still alive

2. I have no mental health issues

3. I’m not bitter and twisted

4. I still have a faith

At least there are those of us now who can let the younger generation know they are going to be ok. Of course its even more exciting to see the younger generation saying ‘I am ok”.

……i’m sounding like an ol’ fogie now….. 😆 😆 😆

Shantih Shantih Shantih
Joined in 2008
February 21, 2008, 12:12

What are you talking about? That story was better written than mine, and I claim to be good at writing! 😆

It’s good to hear your story, Luke, it’s probably the one I can relate to the most (although, still not a lot, admittedly). I’m glad to hear that everything has worked out quite nicely so far, despite all the bad times.

I also know what you mean about the darling (read, ‘frustrating’) protectiveness of mothers. I mean, I know I’m only 17, and that she hasn’t had much time to get used to her firstborn growing up, but surely there’s a time when you have to stop giving the ‘don’t talk to strangers’ talk. 😆

And Anthony – although I can’t speak for Luke – for my part it, is nice to hear your stories and their message that ‘we’ll be okay.’ It is very encouraging.

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