29, very new to the idea of gay being ok

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Joined in 2015
March 17, 2015, 19:19

Hey all, my name's Chris. I apologise in advance for how long a read this is bound to end up being, feel free to skip to the end.

I'm 29, I'm a Christian, and I've known I was gay since I was about 13.

However, all my life, I've been told that it's wrong. This began when a letter between myself and a female school friend whom I'd confided in, was found by my foster mother. Her and my foster father confronted me on it, and while they did their best to be loving, they were not accepting at the time. They arranged for me to see the minister in the church for counselling. I had a few sessions there, but I never felt they really got anywhere.

At around 17 I got into a relationship with a guy of the same age, which ultimately was ended by me because I felt so guilty, and that it was so wrong.

At around 19, I entered another relationship, which also ended the same way only a couple months later when the guilt and shame became stronger than the need for partnership.

In both cases, it wasn't a quick ending. It was painful, for them and for me. After the second one, I promised myself that I wouldn't pursue any more relationships, because I knew the same thing would happen again, and couldn't go through that myself, or put anyone else through it again.

In my mid-twenties, I found Living Waters Ministries. I ended up attending regular meetings for over a year, where the group would study, pray, and share where each had fallen over in terms of lustful thoughts, pornography or relations with others. At first it gave me quite a lot of hope, that there was "healing" possible, but nothing eventuated and I found myself going around in the same spiral of shame, depression and non-acceptance.

2011-2012 felt pretty rough. I endured the loss of a very dear family friend, an uncle and my grandfather. I was in the middle of my parents' messy separation. I had some reasonably serious health issues. I was in a car accident that wrote my car off, which was the straw that broke the camel's metaphorical back, spiralling me into a depression which lasted about 8 months. However, I came through that.

Late 2014, one of my closest friends of 10 years was discovered sexually abusing his 16 year old daughter, and had apparently been doing so for 2 years. I had become a part of their family over that 10 years, and I was pretty gutted by just how horrible a situation had come out, tearing that family unit apart. That's still ongoing now in terms of legal processes, but I've distanced myself from that.

Fast forward to last day of 2014, New Year's Eve. At a work friends' house party. As we walked down the hallway he mentioned that he had cleaned his room, hoping to 'score' with his on-again-off-again girlfriend because it had been about 9 months since he had. I laughed along, but that was the exact moment that sent me into a deep dark mess, which I'm still struggling with 2 and a half months later. I got such a deep, painful pang of loneliness and hopelessness. The thought that I would never experience that again, the thought that I'm turning 30 this year, and the thought that I've got the rest of my life to live like this.

Since that night, I've had regular 'episodes' of panic, reliving the emotion I felt. I get hot/cold flushes, my heart races, and I get nauseous. About one in 3 nights I've spent time in my bedroom just crying.

About a month ago I confided in a work colleague that I was really not having a good time. I told her all the "reasons" I mentioned about about losing family members, the car crash, the 10-year friend abusing his daughter, but not that I'm gay. I told her how detrimental it's been to my daily life, that I just want to go home and hide all the time, avoiding socialising. That it's made me irritable and unapproachable at work.

She's had some health issues of her own which have been wearing on her sanity badly, so we made a pact that if we both weren't feeling any different in a week or two, we'd contact the free confidential counselling service provided by our work.

A week later (early this month), I was on the phone with them. Again, I talked about all the other stuff, but not the gay topic. I said that I was lonely having lost a close friend. He asked me if I had a partner, or what the story was there. I said I hadn't for a long time – I was pressed a little further. I told him 10 years. I used gender-neutral terms the whole way through, paranoid that if I bought up that I was gay, that I would be pushed to embrace it, when I felt it was wrong. He suggested that maybe I could look at trying to find someone and having a go at dating again. I kind of left it at “yeah, maybe”.

Around the same time as this, I reached out to my foster mother (I still see them both regularly) via text message, and told her that I felt I was struggling with anxiety/depression. She loved on me so much with her responses it made me cry in a meeting room at work. She also said she had something really deep and personal she wanted to talk to me about when an appropriate time came up, but not to worry, that it was a “good” thing.

A few days later I was alone with her, and she raised the topic. She said I could tell her to shut up if I wanted to, but she wanted to talk about my “gayness” as she put it. She clearly felt awkward, but she’s part of the older generation and I don’t blame her for that.

What she said next touched me very deeply. She said that her life experience had changed her views, and that if I felt that it was the life for me, that I should live it. She told me that she would welcome any partner of mine into her home, and that she would even attend a gay wedding if things went that way. It took every bit of strength not to burst into tears!

After that, for the first time, I seriously looked into the alternative viewpoint that God was OK with me being gay and living that way. I found articles talking about the biology of homosexuality, and for the first time felt like maybe God did make me this way, even that part of me. That it wasn't a “corruption” or “evil” that happened sometime during my lifetime. Maybe it didn't need to be prayed out of me by “concerned” church members.

Further to that, I found articles discussing Bible passages, and providing alternate viewpoints, considering context, translation, and the society of the time.

I'm still seeking out more, hoping to see God further revealed through what I'm learning.

Yesterday evening, I had my second counselling phone call. I decided “screw it” and told him the real deal. He took it really well, saying he guessed it already after I was avoiding the topic last time. It also turned out that he was a Christian as well. He was really affirming. I was a bit blown away by how much better it had gone than I expected.

That all leads to where I am right now. I want to learn more, and I yearn to feel more confident in what I'm learning, because 15 years of being told otherwise is really, really hard to shake.

I'm thinking of going to the Melbourne meeting this Friday ( ), but I'm so nervous.

I'm finding hope in what I'm reading and learning, but I'm scared at the same time. What if it’s wrong? Or just as scary, what if it’s RIGHT? I've got 15 years of being told it’s wrong, how can I possibly rewire my brain to not associate gay with shame? How will the rest of my family and friends take it?

If you've made it this far, thanks so much for reading – and maybe let me know if you’ll be there on Friday, I could do with a friendly face.

Joined in 2014
March 17, 2015, 19:37

Thanks for being so brave as to post and please go to a meeting – you are not alone.

Matt Glover and Associates have been recommended on here and are in Melbourne:

If you're happy with your current counselor, of course stay with them.

Hugs to you,


Joined in 2014
March 18, 2015, 14:18

Welcome, Chris. That was a beautifully written post, and I admire your honesty, awareness, and wisdom. It's wonderful to read the positive developments in the last few weeks with your foster mum and your counsellor. I'm very much where you are in terms of hope and fear, and I still have a lot of questions surrounding my own gender identity and what it all means, but be encouraged in continuing to seek God and know that you're by no means alone.

I wasn't planning on going to the Melbourne meeting on Friday. I'm about to PM you my mobile number, though, and if you're still hesitant to go, send me a text and I'll gladly accompany you. 🙂

Joined in 2005
March 20, 2015, 23:32

Hi Chris

Welcome to Freedom2b.

Thats quite a journey you are on there. Some of it I can empathise with.

I grew up in quite a religious family and never questioned the teachings – and yet in hindsight – although I never put a word to it – I new i was different (and gay) from quite young – but I never thought about it – was very monastic and devout.

I was a keen active member of the churches I went to participating in a number of ways.

Yes somehow – in my mid 20's I met a Guy and we just happened to move in together (because although neither of us were willing to admit it – we were both attracted to each other) and eventually we ended up in a totally closet relationship

That actually became quite difficult because I was very close to my (adopted) parents and by nature Im an open and honest person and for the first time I was hiding some thing. I also had to deal with the cognitive dissonance between my religious beliefs and the fact that I eventually came to realize I was gay and had a boy friend.

That relationship – sadly didnt end well but fast forward many years and Ive been with my current partner 14 years. We married (In New Zealand) last year. He is accepted by my family and I am by his. I have reconciled my sexuality and my belief system and I am now out at work and have been in the last several jobs.

When we were engaged (which was a surprise engagement by my Partner) we had neighbours and work colleagues and school friends and friends from my childhood all there to celebrate my engagement. Interestingly there were more straight people there than there were LGBTI friends. It no longer defines us its just a part of us – the way I like Doctor Who and the way my Partner doesnt !

Our Journey isnt over – and Im sure there are challenges and sad times ahead – of some sort for me and you (indeed everyone) . Eventually everything ends but my point is that life is a journey and you cant tell where you will travel from where you have been. However, I can say i have many friends and acquaintances who have managed to deal with this issue of faith and sexuality (as have i) – each finding a path through.

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I would encourage you to attend the Melbourne meeting. I am in Sydney but they are really nice people down there and will make you feel right at home. In addition – we can help you by discussing any specific questions here on the forum – from many people who have had journeys of their own.

There is list of resources on the website here that you may find useful – if you havent already looked through it – and there are many many stories and posts (from across some time) and you may find it worth looking through those as well.

Joined in 2015
March 21, 2015, 22:30

Thanks all for the replies.

Renee, I still have 4 sessions I can use with my employer-provided counselling, but I'm sure I'm on a longer journey than that, so it's good to have that website bookmarked for later.

Tamid – while we didn't end up meeting up as I had another friend arranged to support me, I still appreciate the gesture and hope we meet sometime.

ShadowBoxer – thank you for sharing that part of your story, it's encouraging.

The biggest news for me this week has got to be that I came out to a work colleague, the same friend I'd been talking to for a while about other stuff. She took it really well, which has helped me get a small step closer to accepting myself. I've gained a really good friend through this part of the journey, too.

Also, I did go to the meet-up on Friday, but I don't think I did very well. I didn't really socialise at the meeting, I kept to myself in the back corner. I'm not good in group situations sometimes, and through nobody else's fault, did spend much of the evening feeling pretty anxious.

Don't get me wrong, the group was very friendly and welcoming, but other than online and with a select few close contacts, I'm not out of the closet – so to be in a room of 25-30 people with all of them able to assume there was something different about my sexuality was pretty overwhelming, despite my 'head' knowledge that of course everyone in the room was potentially in a similar situation, and that of course they were accepting.

It was good for me to go, to dip a toe in so to speak. I'll probably come along to another meeting, but I'm still kind of anxious and unsure.

When I don't (yet) accept myself for how I am, I can't help but want to hide it, whatever the company I'm in.

Would anyone Melbourne-based be interested in catching up 1 on 1 for a coffee/beer/food/whatever sometime? It would be cool to share stories, and I think it would help make it more 'normal' for me.

Joined in 2009
March 22, 2015, 01:39

Quote from laser on March 21, 2015, 10:30 pm

Also, I did go to the meet-up on Friday, but I don't think I did very well. I didn';t really socialise at the meeting, I kept to myself in the back corner. I'm not good in group situations sometimes, and through nobody else's fault, did spend much of the evening feeling pretty anxious.

You did fine. I remember my first freedom2b meeting in Sydney. I did much the same as you – just sorta stayed quiet at the back and sussed it all out. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just how people like you and I are when in that sort of situation. Just sitting back and taking it all in can still be a big help as it leads to more later down the track. It can all certainly be a bit daunting to start out with, and I can assure you that everyone else in the room last Friday would understand that perfectly well.

If I was remotely near Melbourne I'd definitely be taking you up on that 1-on-1 chat, I think it's a great idea. Unfortunately I'm on the other side of the world right now, but I'm sure there are others here who would be happy to help you out.

Joined in 2015
March 23, 2015, 22:58

Thanks Chris, that's reassuring.

Still interested in catching up 1 on 1 with someone, if anyone's keen. My shout 🙂

Joined in 2008
March 24, 2015, 14:38

Hi Chris

Welcome to freedom2b ☺️

I appreciate you sharing your story with us and it's lovely to see those who have already responded to your post.

It's wonderful you came along to our Friday meeting. For the first time in ages I offered to 'man' the door at the start of the night to allow others in our team to have a turn facilitating the beginning of our meeting. As a result I feel I should apologise for not connecting with you.

The film that we showed, as I mentioned at the movie conclusion, was one that could have some triggers. Considering your journey, to this point, I am grateful you were able to attend and let us know of your experience.

As mentioned already Matt Glover is a counsellor we have on board as a reference for people however Matt is also one of freedom2b's volunteer chaplains and he usually attends the Melbourne chapter (unfortunately had to miss the one you were at)

I would encourage you to think about chatting to him, you could send a private msg if you like. As you have said you are already linked in with your work counsellor, which is fantastic. I'm suggesting Matt as a connection with the Melbourne group and someone I know you could be safe talking to. I would love it if you could come again next month and give us another go! I will make sure I am available to meet you properly, so ask for me

Joined in 2008
March 24, 2015, 14:40


I have some free time next week if you want to do a coffee?

Joined in 2010
March 24, 2015, 20:25

Hi Chris,

Sorry for the late reply! And sorry to miss seeing you at the Melbourne meeting too.

Happy to chat further if you would like to. Use private message or email me at [email protected]. Or call 1300 38 50 20

For what it's worth, you can use your employer supported counselling with me if you like, but I'm happy to touch base for a coffee if that's what you'd prefer. And there's a whole bunch of great people that you'll encounter at F2B that will happily meet up with you for the same.

It's a journey, but please remember it's not one you have to take alone.

Matt Glover

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