A London (UK) perspective -Male 30

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Joined in 2008
November 8, 2008, 22:48

Howdy people!!

Well I thought I’d join in the fun and post my sad story – in the vain hope that someone finds it interesting or helpful. lol!

I guess, starting from the present and working backwards, this has been the worst and best year of my life – and as it happens is also the year I turned 30 (eeeek!!).

Up until June I was seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist (that’s two different people in case you’re wondering!) and taking a pretty high dosage of anti d’s to keep me on an even keel. I thought the process would never end because I was determined (with the last remnants of my spiritual arrogance) to prove the Psychs wrong and show them that coming to a place of acceptance in terms of my sexuality was NOT the thing that was causing my chronic depression! “I’ll show them” I thought (and hopefully witness to them in the process)! lol!

Within weeks of coming out to my parents and friends (more on that later), joining a UK evangelical gay support organisation that has bravely distanced itself from the mainstream church ideology on this issue, and deciding that as much as I can’t wait to go to heaven and see the fulfilment of Gods promise “Behold I make all things new”, I sure as heck did not in fact want to hasten that by taking myself out (I wanted to live!); meeting a wonderful man and starting to fall in love – my life changed radically. On my final appointment with the psychiatrist, he looked at me as I entered his office and remarked how much better I looked (without me even saying a word as to what had happened).

Rewind………… So, I was born into and grew up in (for 27/28 years) what I guess could be called a very strict Pentecostal/apostolic church – complete with hats for the ladies and modest attire for the gents! lol!

From quite early on I felt a genuine connection with God. It’s hard to explain and I still don’t understand it now. To others I just appeared as a precocious “keeno”. And so whilst my relationship with God was actually (unbeknown to me at the time) forming a strong backbone for what lay ahead, I was just enjoying the fact that I could get attention and affirmation for the preaching; youth leading; and worship leading that I was doing.

Anyway, down to the interesting stuff… so I kinda knew there was something different about me from quite early on (pre 9 years old at least!) and as the years went on I knew I wasn’t really as interested in girls as I thought I should have been. What followed were years of internal torment, trying to deal with my feelings; cope with family pressures as a result of my dad’s (a pastor at the time) very serious “moral failure” (resulting in my parent’s breaking up and quite an upheaval to my family’s previously affluent lifestyle); and to pretend that I was still the best thing God created!

I told myself and everyone else that I was much too holy and busy for any relationships (knowing full well that I couldn’t cope with pretending I was straight to any potential girlfriends) and so by the time I finished school and then uni, got a stable job etc etc I was 27, still living at home with parents (now reconciled and very happy together), still pursuing a warped view of holiness; still addicted to gay porn; single; depressed (due to this issue and a whole range of others); and secretly quite mad at my Creator for refusing to change me despite years of service/prayer/fasting/begging/reading books etc.

Like a lot of people here, I’d tried to end it all more times than I could count and it’s a miracle that I’m still alive.

By 28 I decided to take action and force myself straight by dating my best friend (female) of 10 years. Risking a beautiful friendship by going through with that plan, it was a complete disaster. Moved out of home; left church; and plunged into a deep misery which lasted 2 years! During that time I started to go to Hillsong Church London where for the first time (despite being “saved” since I was 10!!) I actually started to understand why the gospel actually was good news! I never knew why they called it Amazing Grace before, as I didn’t even understand what Grace was. To me Christianity and life was just something to be endured until the rapture! lol!!

Changing churches totally saved my life really. And it was that close connection with God that I always had, which kept me sane during that time.

Having never dabbled with sex, had a serious relationship, or even been able to talk about my true self to anyone I was completely repressed/on edge/wound up and pretty much unsociable – but still able to maintain a façade to hide how miserable I was.

That’s when I stumbled across the first gay Christian organisation that I joined. Whilst that one is in no way gay affirming (they insisted on celibacy – which at the time I also believed to be the ONLY way) at least gave me my first steps into accepting who I am and allowing myself to believe that God did actually love me. The long hard process to healing started in earnest. But as I began to uncover the layers of rubbish that had accumulated around my life, the depression got deeper.

Having to take off time from work for stress (which in my line of work is not particularly celebrated!!) and to descend deeper into an emotional black hole was horrendous. My parents and friends couldn’t understand what was happening to me and why the “cool cucumber” that had always been there for everyone else was fading. That’s when I decided to come out (June this year).

Thank God, my parents and friends have been great about it. As my dad said to me during a very tearful conversation “who is anyone to cast a stone?”.

3 months ago my story would have ended here but after a lot of prayer and reflection I started to really get into Gods word on this subject as the church’s stance did not seem to make much sense. I can only say that God led me to another organisation called Courage (UK), through which the final process of me learning to accept and love who I am, in order to embrace the life God has given me and not throw it away, has begun. Through that I was able to re-think what I had been told all my life and to see myself in a more holistic and healthy way. Thank God I was able to meet someone (the guy I referred to above) who I’m convinced was brought into my life by divine design! I’m certainly under no illusions that things will be smooth sailing hereon-in, especially given the road I’ve travelled so far, but all I can do is “rest in the Lord” as it says in Psalms.

The last few months have been a whirlwind for me and I’m just at the place where I’m working out my life with God in it, completely afresh. I could have just given up on the “God thing” and released the pressure years ago, but for some reason God has radically held on to me and I couldn’t/can’t let him go. So to be open to the idea that actually He doesn’t have a problem with me being me, is so empowering. And I feel that deep in my heart. Yeah – it takes some unlearning, reflection and re-relearning, but for me my main litmus test was whether I could still feel my connection with God even if I got into a relationship. And I do!

After, years of church attendance and involvement (seeing the behind the scenes stuff and witnessing the manipulation and enforcement of human opinion, prejudice and bias on the use of the word of God (“handling the word of God deceitfully” I think was how it’s put in scripture!) I’m not reliant on the church for its blessing – but on God.

Someone sent me a beautiful anonymous email recently the last line of which read:

“God, I am gay. I humbly ask for your blessing”. And that’s all I feel I can and ought to do.

Joined in 2006
November 9, 2008, 07:01

Welcome to F2B Nicky jay 😀 and its been very encouraging reading your story. I love what your Dad said “Thank God, my parents and friends have been great about it. As my dad said to me during a very tearful conversation “who is anyone to cast a stone?”. How true.

Joined in 2008
November 9, 2008, 08:37

Hey… Thank you for your amazing life story that, eventhough parts are difficult, has a hopeful tone to it all,! Your story is VERY interesting and VERY helpful. I think it is a very mature Christian who can stand outside of the confines of their Church and just hold onto their positive relatonship with God.

Also, THANK YOU for the words from Micah: –

And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

These words have special significance to me and to see them at the end of your message ‘hit me between the eyes’. You never know how the words you write here are going to help people.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
November 9, 2008, 09:04

yep…..welcome Ricky-Jay……great to have you with us.

Its better to sort this out at 30 instead of 40 , 50 or even 60 for some.

Its amazing isn’t it how much of that internal dissonance causes mental health issues.

hope to hear more from you.

Joined in 2007
November 9, 2008, 09:37

The internal what Anthony?? 😆 😆 smarty pants.

Welcome nicky-jay. Don’t be afraid to check out some of the threads in the discussion section, and some of the earlier ones can be accessed by turning back a few pages at the bottom right of your screen. Hope you find us interesting and helpful too.

Joined in 2008
November 9, 2008, 11:56

Oo – thanks for the warm welcome all!!! Great to ‘meet’ you all. Look forward to speaking more as time goes on! 🙂

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
November 9, 2008, 18:42

The internal what Anthony?? 😆 😆 smarty pants.

You’ve complimented me before Sandy in the use of that word. 😆

Joined in 2007
November 9, 2008, 18:59

And it never fails to impress oh literate and knowledgeable one 😆 😆

I was in a bookstore yesterday and picked up a book called “Society, Dissonance and Identity” I thought of you.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
February 27, 2009, 08:38

Hey Nicky Jay….I’ll be in London in two weeks.

How are things going with you.

Joined in 2008
March 2, 2009, 18:39


How come? Business or pleasure? I must warn you – it’s supposed to be the start of spring but it’s still a bit chilly here! 🙂

I’m very well – thanks for asking!

Will you be speaking anywhere when you’re here?


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