Ben 20 - AOG Christian young man is coming out

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Youth Coordinator
Joined in 2008
June 16, 2008, 01:15

Hey guys and gals,

My names Ben, I just turned 20 and I am a Christian and I am Gay. (Wow… It's still hard to say)

I am a member of Hillsong Church, been there since I became a Christian at 16. I only recently have started to accept my self and come to the realisation that i can be me and still be a Christian.

I've found life pretty tough lately. I have been through ex-gay programs (Yes – sadly they still exist) which do not work. Have been going through multiple bouts of clinical depression.

I have been gay for as long as I can remember but for some reason you think you'll change. After praying for years and years for God to 'cure' me and crying constantly almost every night I realised that he made me ME for his purposes – even if I am Gay.

Funny enough that the Psychologist I'm seeing at the moment is from Hillsong Citycare (The church's charity arm). He is such an awesome guy and I am so suprised that he is accepting me for who I am and so helpful in this whole journey. Sure there is that traditional mindset in Him (i think) but overall he is really supportive and is a positive indicator of how the church might be in the future. Hopefully more compassionate and loving. Without Him I might've stayed in the closet and continued the lie.

Anyway. I am about to come out for the first time to my parents and friends. I think I am ready. Any hints or tips. Should I tell my church mates or just leave it as is with my church mates and not mention it. Because I love my church. I don't wanna have to leave just because of my sexuality.

Also any help for trying to explain being gay and being Christian to other AOG Christians.

Anyway. I love that this site exists. Thankyou so much!!

I am looking forward to getting to know you wonderful people better.


Ben G.

Joined in 2007
June 16, 2008, 08:47

Hi Ben, welcome to F2b! It’s great to have you here.

This thread might be of some interest to you, make sure you take some time to check out others in the “Discussion” section too.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
June 16, 2008, 09:16

thanks Sandy for pointing Ben to that thread. thats why we created it……so people could learn from each others experience.

Welcome Welcome Welcome Ben.

its so great to have you with us. When you feel comfortable with meeting up with others and you’d like to join us….then we have a monthly chapter meeting in Sydney. Every get together seems to bring new people. We had 25 at our last and about a third of those were under 30.

its great to know that you are not alone. Something many of us were not able to experience in our journey of reconciliation.

there are a large number of gay and lesbian people at Hillsong……but as yet, from what I hear…..its not a safe place to come out. I’m hoping that will change soon… will require some dialogue and education. Some have been asked to leave…..some are being heavily monitored. etc etc.

Ps Brians recent statement I feel is a real encouragement that a more compassionate and understanding approach is being taken. Its a great step forward and I talked about it a lot when I was in the US recently.

I find it incredibly encouraging to have stories like yours beginning to appear on our forum……so different to the ones like mine…….it took my longer to resolve all this stuff than you have actually been alive. 😆 😆 😆

PS……very brave of you to put your pick here…….good on you. If you find it causes any problems then you can always remove it.

Joined in 2008
June 16, 2008, 12:24

Hey ben how you goin. Firstly can i just say that reading what you wrote was really encouraging. I have left church (AOG too) because of the whole conflicting sexuality thing… and just by the way you speak of your church i can see that passion and liveliness you have for God and for church and it makes me miss the days that i had that fire. but yeah reading your blog gets me excited that maybe i can find it again.

Anyway your making a huge step coming out to your folks. all the best. cant really give you tips cause i think its really context specific, but as AVB always says to me, just remember that you have had a long time to come to terms with your sexuality, and so dont expect your parents to be cool with it straight away. its likely they will a while to adjust to it. as for telling your church mates i spose thats entirely up to you and how you reckon it’ll go down. i think you would be the best judge of that. i was weak and cut off ties with my churchy mates and so never did, but if you do be sure to let me know how it goes.

Anyway, great to know theres another one person in my boat.

have a good one ben.

Joined in 2006
June 16, 2008, 16:29

Hey Ben!

Weclome to F2B! …especially during this time of your life!

Everybody’s story is different therefore everybody’s advice will be different so I hope you will be able to gleen some ideas from this amazing forum that helped me when I came out. A couple of suggestions that helped me included ‘keeping it positive’. I know it seems strange but by you being confident and positive makes it more of a positive experience for everybody.

With my parents I felt it was important to not allow them to start blaming themselves …you know, parents usually start reflecting ‘what did we do wrong?’ or blaming ‘I told you not to let him play with that Barbie when he was young!” …that sort of thing. Diffuse this by saying up front “…I know that there’s alot of theories that parents have something to to with me being gay, I want to tell you both that none of it is true (both scientifically and psyhologically) and to not accept it”. Your parents will also have to start coming out whenever one of their friends ask “So, how’s Ben going?” …so maybe put them in a position of strength by elimating the guilt.

As far as coming out in the church …well …there will definitely be a variety of responses (so brace yourself). You have to be confident and positive …for some, you will be the only gay (in the village) they will ever know personally so it will be very confronting for them …even morso if they love you greatly. You may lose friendships (even one’s you least expected) …but you will also gain some new friends!! In my experience I was actually surprised with the amount of love and acceptance from my Christian circle of friends …but this is not true for everybody.

The one thing that I suggest you do is to make sure that you have a solid network of people who already know and support you on your journey. For me, I would meet the F2B guys once a month as well as a few close straight friends who were keen to see me live with integrity.

Hope this helps you ‘out’.

Keep us posted!

iain 😀

Joined in 2006
June 16, 2008, 19:04

G’day Ben,

Im so glad you have found freedom2b!!

I hear you on the crying yourself to sleep and praying over and over for God to ‘cure’ you. It’s a tough road but we are here to support as much as you need. You are so correct that you were made for Gods purpose…even though your gay…especially because you are gay.

Look forward to getting to know you!!


Joined in 2007
June 16, 2008, 22:46

Hey Ben,

I’m 29 and I’m a homosexual.

I have to say that there are so many things you said in your story that could have just been my own words. I totally identify. You are not alone. God’s spirit is finally reaching us through all the lies we are told and guilt we have felt, and still sometimes feel. He is telling us ‘we are made for a purpose’ and that is so amazing. So gracious. PRAISE HIM!!!

I love Hillsong and I love going there. I haven’t been for ages though.

Coming out to my friends was kind of hard. A lot of Christians really haven’t had to think too hard about this topic yet, and for many they can tend to just recount the things they have been told. It’s sad, and sometimes very painful. You will know the right people to tell first, my friend. Those you share spiritual thoughts with, and who are ‘on your page’. They might grapple, feel challenged, but they know you and your journey and they will come around. All I’m saying is be prepared for the worst and you will never be disappointed. I just had mixed reactions. But over time, things got better for me and I have lots of wonderful Gay and Straight Christian friends now.

Family is hard. I don’t know your family. My family were all like ‘at last you figured it out’. Mum only cried because she thinks I won’t be able to have kids now. But I said “Ma, it’s not the 80’s” LOL. My partners family really struggle with his homosexuality. In fact he hasn’t even told them about me yet because of the quarrel it will cause. We have been together for four and a half months. That’s hard for both of us, and what you need to remember is there will always be support to help you through if you chose to embrace it.

Freedom 2 b[e] is a great network, and it would be great to see you come to the next meeting. It’s real cas, I only plucked up the courage to come along 2 months ago and I’v been on this forum for well over a year. Dumb hey. I really wish I could have been going to the meetings the whole time because they are way more chilled than I thought, and just so enriching and supportive. There are some other great young people like us, but so many experienced people who have amazing honesty and insights to share that inspire and have hugely impacted me.

The truth sets us free. It really does. It’s the first step in becoming someone who can celebrate who they are. I affirm your decision to start the coming out process and will do what ever I can to be supportive, having an understanding of how diverse the experience is for everyone.

All the best, and remember, Jesus is with you.


Youth Coordinator
Joined in 2008
June 17, 2008, 02:34


Thanks so much everyone for such a great and helpful response and to think that not too long ago I thought I was alone in all this.

I’m still yet to read Anthony’s book but I’m told it’s very good and I hope to go book hunting for it soon.

The monthly get together sound great. I can’t wait to go to one and I am looking forward to get to know you all more.

I just wanted to say thank you all for being encouraging. It is great to know that I am not alone. That it’s okay to be gay and that I can still live as a Christian. It is a journey but I am moving forward.

I am in the process of writing a letter to my parents (Yikes) which I will post shortly in the coming out thread. I’m trying to figure out when would be a good time to tell them. Maybe in a few weeks.

Although my parents recently found out about my depression and suicidal thoughts and almost blamed themselves for it even after telling them that it is not their fault.

It’s strange. A while ago I was scared of anyone finding out and now I feel kind of excited about telling people. It will be hard and I know that people may not react well but I will finally be living in the truth. And that’s worth celebrating.

Thanks for the advice and I’m sure that I will definitely put it into place. It is great to meet so many genuine and really caring GLBTQI people. It’s almost like my stereotypes are dissapearing. Thank God!!

Anyway I’ve got a few big weeks ahead of me as I face some of this. I’m nervous 😕 but excited at the same time :D. It’s such a great feeling to actually accept who you are!!! 🙂

Until later,

Have a great week all.

Joined in 2006
June 17, 2008, 07:20

Hey Ben!

I am Lloyd, and I am gay and I think all these people are fantastic.

You are taking such brave and massive steps to your future, and we all know that feeling and how lonely it can feel. That in itself can show you, you are not alone, and even though we are words on a forum currently, we will support you!


Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
June 17, 2008, 11:14

If you want to email me privately Ben….I’ll make sure you are on the newsletter list for the Sydney meetings.

Sounds like you have the right energy. Best to come out when you are excited about it and have worked out that your same sex orientation is not an illness or perversion. Remember….being gay doesn’t automatically mean we are immoral…..any more than being heterosexual means you are immoral.

I’ve come out several times then went back into the closet. Previously the coming out was always with a sense of shame.

Thanks everyone for your encouraging words for Ben…..I’m sure as he says it has made a difference.

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