From the time I was 8 hours old to 14 years old I had epilepsy. I became a born again Christian when I was 14 through Royal Ranger and since then have never had epilepsy (I was part of AoG since I was 10 yrs old).
I was sexually abused from the age of 10 to 17 by 20 different people, 5 of them were family (4 cousins & 1 uncle) in Sri Lanka, when I came to Australia I got involved in gay sex in public places and eventually in sex on premises clubs and tried to fight it by getting prayer, counselling, breaking generational curses, doing Living Waters, Boundaries, I even did courses on self esteem, self worth & a course on how to say No.
I fought my sexual orientation for 18 yrs and thought that I was gay because I was abused as a child; this is all I knew, so this is what I did.
Then in 2002 I found out that I was HIV positive (HIV+) and met some great Christians living with AIDS through He Intends Victory. To add to the emotional roller coaster, I found out in 2003 that I was a diabetic too. Also in that year, I had two accountability buddies to help me beat this homosexuality thing but that too failed although it was the closest I ever got as I didn’t have sex for 11 months. (I later found out that suppression doesn’t work with me).
The Lord told me in January that I would leave my church in July but had no idea how it would come about. In June I met Hiro (he went from hero to zero quickly) and I couldn’t deny that I had fallen in love with a man. In July I went to Hillsong Conference and the Lord told me that there was going to be a death before I came back to Brisbane. A month after meeting the man of my dreams ( the one I was making plans on living the rest of my life with), he told me it was over that he had fallen in love with someone else (this was the death I had felt as he did that to me on the day I was coming back to Brisbane). This hurt really bad as Hiro was 20 and I was 38 and he had fallen in love with another 20 yr old guy who was HIV negative (HIV-).
I left the church I used to go to and I accepted myself as a gay man and joined MCC (a gay church), I struggled with the concept of being gay and a Christian (as they seemed to be two opposites), until I was introduced to the Gay Christian Network and found that it was ok to be gay and Christian and that you can be both. I know I’m ok and now know that God loves me UNCONDITIONALLY (His agape love) and He accepts me as I am. He created me different and that’s ok.
Today, I have the most wonderful man as my boyfriend and yes…..he is 20 (was 18 when I met him) and has accepted me and loves me as a HIV+ gay Christian man.
Yes, I fell in love with a man and was forced to have a reality check. Yes, the Lord told me I was going to leave my church and everything was fulfilled.
If I could testify to what God has done in my life last year, it would be to say that I’m now living a life of HONESTY. Men Affected by Rape or Sexual abuse (MARS) taught me that I can value myself by being honest; I can have a good self esteem by accepting myself and being honest.
What do I mean? The worst SIN I committed was against myself, because what I did, I hide and did it in the darkness thus living a life of deception and deceit.
I was on the road to coming clean and living a life of honesty when I found out I was HIV+. This really shook me up as I thought of myself as straight or maybe bisexual. Such an event was needed for me to stop living in my dream world of playing straight and coming to terms that I was gay.
This process did take me 3yrs and I’m grateful that I got there. Coming out has been the best thing I did because I’m living true to myself, it has been the worst thing as people haven’t understood and have rejected me or hurt me intentionally sometimes and unintentionally at other times. 2005 was the year I became honest, honest with myself, with my God, with my friends and family. I wouldn’t change it for anything!!
In April 2006 I started HIV medication. This was a whole new world of side effects that I had heard of. However, for me the worst side effect I had was, diarrhea and some would say that’s good as they have had worse.
In October, my boyfriend and I celebrated one year together and also in the same month I started an online group which I hope on day will grow into a ministry. The group is called Hope Is Vital and spells HIV. I have always wanted to work with HIV+ people and since I have to be celebrant to work with He Intends Victory and not be gay, I now have a group that accepts anyone as they are. As I’m not a qualified counsellor, I have also started studying Human Services at QUT so that I can at least do some counselling as I want to work with newly diagnosed people who are going through the emotional roller coaster.
If you know anyone who is HIV+, please tell them about Hope Is Vital. It would be an honour to help them.