Closet Secrets - Abuse, Trauma, Liberation

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Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
November 9, 2007, 22:33

I hope you have a coffee or a good glass of wine to help share my journey.

I grew up in a sheltered Christian family with parents who’d spent several years as Salvation Army missionaries. I knew I loved my male friends from as long as I can remember. Arms around each other’s shoulders. Tickling each other on the grass. I even wrote in my Year 3 composition: ‘Robert is my best friend because he plays with me and I love him.’

I was first exposed to gay sex when I was 6 with a young Salvo man. At 17 I worked after school for a married Salvo businessman who was only interested in me for sex from the moment he hired me. I became acutely aware that the Salvos talked about homosexuality as evil while the secret lives of men taught me a different untold story. I longed to find love in the arms of one of my teenage Salvo friends, yet they were tragically a straight lot that resisted my feeble advances.

Having sex with my boss was messing me up enough but when he tried to line me up some work as a prostitute, I went totally off the rails. I bombed out of Year 12, turned to alcohol, got mixed up with high-risk friends and tried unsuccessfully to kill myself with a drug overdose.

During a drunken binge I had a vision of Jesus Christ. His loving, outstretched arms were waiting for me. I thought all my troubles were behind me as I found a group of enthusiastic Christian kids at school who introduced me to Teen Challenge and my first Pentecostal churches. Yet as I learnt to love Jesus more and more I burned with feelings for the special Christian guys who introduced me to my new life. In the meantime another Salvo seduced me and taught me many things about gay sex I’d never imagined. However, he had more sex partners around town than he had time for and I was soon left to travel the journey of self-hatred and shame alone.

After a long struggle I decided God wanted me to work for him and I was torn between The Salvation Army and COC in Brisbane. The Salvos won and at 21 I entered the officer training college in Sydney. I hadn’t been there a week before I was into another gay relationship. However, for the first time in my life my long time secret was exposed and the college principal found out. My sex partner was expelled just like the guy who got his girlfriend pregnant. Yet for some reason I was allowed to stay. I was apparently repentant so the whole matter was brushed under the carpet.

It is hard to emphasise the dilemma I faced since Salvationists were often ‘stood down’ for being caught smoking, gambling or drinking alcohol, let alone having heterosexual sex outside of marriage. Being ‘stood down’ meant not being allowed to wear uniform or take part in Salvo activities for 6 months. I grieved heavily for my friend, oblivious to the fact he’d set himself free. In my guilt I locked myself firmly in a moral prison, destined to serve God, stay away from men and find a wife.

I did find a wife but not before I had to learn another lesson. One day at Salvo headquarters a high-ranking officer locked me in a storeroom. I went into shock when he grabbed me from behind and thrust his hard penis against me. I was out of there like a shot but I became very depressed by the hypocrisy and eventually I left the Salvos behind. It was a massively big thing to do for a 4th generation child of the establishment.

However, the week my wife and I left the Salvos, a Pentecostal woman handed me a letter that was nothing more than a curse. It predicted that our lives would be full of disaster and that one of our future children would die. It sounded nothing like the loving Jesus that accepted me into his arms as a used and abused teenager so I destroyed the letter and tried to forget about it.

My wife and I joined Hills CLC (Hillsong) and later Lane Cove CCC where we were house church leaders. We experienced many health problems with my son and first daughter. My son recovered miraculously but my daughter died of heart failure at the age of two. It was a jolt I couldn’t handle and nor could my marriage.

Life had its ups and downs as a part-time single dad, crying uncontrollably on the Sunday nights after I returned my children to their mother. I was still in grief and I admitted to my psychologist that I thought I might be gay. As if I needed to think about it. She suggested I try having sex with a guy and I promptly sacked her as my psychologist. I was too far in the closet. But I finally allowed myself the luxury of being with another man. The second time I told him I couldn’t possibly do it again because I felt so dirty and sinful. The third time I couldn’t resist. It was a game of Russian Roulette as I struggled to find the key to myself I’d thrown away at the Salvo college when I was 21 … the key to knowing who I am … and that Jesus loves and accepts me as a gay man.

During my recovery I went for prayer healing to a Pentecostal church and relived the fateful afternoon when I was 11 and waiting for my father to return from a trip away. He was often away and I missed him terribly. My dear mother was bereaved of her own mother in India as a small child and wasn’t comfortable with physical intimacy. I was fortunate that Dad was very affectionate to me as a child. However, perhaps with his British stiff upper lip he was worried that I was too much of a Daddy’s boy. As soon as I heard his car I raced out to the driveway and jumped on Dad, kissing and hugging him. All of a sudden he pushed me aside. ‘You’re too old for that now son’ he said.

During the prayer healing I suddenly saw that at the moment my father pushed me away, Jesus was loving me, caring for me and hurting with me. He loved me in spite of the fact that I was gay. I since realised God made me that way, but for me the journey of discovery was greater than Pilgrim’s Progress.

Recently I attended my daughter’s 21st birthday party as her openly ‘out’ gay Dad. Her gay ex-boyfriend was there along with her mother’s gay ex-boyfriend and my son’s gay workmate. It was great to be accepted for who I am but I was far more interested in ensuring my daughter had the night of her life. Being gay may be a mystery but looking back, it makes perfect sense. The secret to being gay is accepting yourself.

Thank you for reading my story.

Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
November 9, 2007, 22:41

Accidentally forgot to put my name.


Joined in 2007
November 10, 2007, 00:33

Hi Kit,

Thanks for sharing your story. You obviously lived through, and survived some very painful times.

God bless,

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
November 10, 2007, 10:04

I condsider myself to be blessed Kit. I never experienced any sexual abuse or predatory behaviour myself. Coming to terms with our sexual orientation can be difficult enough in a church culture that sees us as perverted……but the experiences you have descirbed makes things so much more complicated.

From the emails I get……the people who often seem most stuck in this area are those who have expereinced sexual abuse……..trying to separate the normal healthy same sex orientation from the same sex abuse certainly makes things much more complex pshychologically. wouldn’t you say.

Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
November 10, 2007, 13:09

Hi Anthony

You have no argument from me. Trying to separate normal healthy same sex orientation from same sex abuse has taken me years. And my experiences were tame compared to many (in relative terms). First life gets tangled between attraction and experience. A small taste of sex as a child with a young adult created a secret bond that existed only in my mind. When I went back for seconds I was pushed away.

Rejection became even more painful after puberty when I wanted from my friends what they couldn’t give me. The pain and embarrassment of always trying to seduce another boy made me more susceptible to men. Every rejection makes it harder to risk another relationship.

Then there’s the issue of reputation. Once one man came on the scene there were others to follow, suggesting some kind of network going on. I’ve only told excerpts of my story, of course, but there was also the case of the Salvo stalker who arrived on my doorstep after threatening to ‘get’ me (in the Biblical sense) with a flood of nuisance phone calls. Perhaps my abuse stories were why I wasn’t kicked out of college. Maybe I was too much a security risk to be set free.

Above all is the demonising of the victim. The paedophile says the child knows what they’re doing. When I confronted a Salvo Commissioner several years later I was asked if I led the men on. It’s the ultimate blow – being blamed for what other people did … or at least being blamed for arriving at a point where you can finally speak about it. After all, your claims are just ‘word against word’ and I was begged not to destroy another man’s life. You are regarded as a slut for no fault of your own. It creates some deep pains that time may never heal.

A helpful tool I found is perspective. Even so it took me several years of university study on sexuality to come to that point. There are probably millions of people who’ve walked in my shoes and some are no longer around to tell the tale … perhaps they never told the tale before they took their own lives prematurely … missing out on the opportunity to be liberated. They make me stronger because I want to encourage other people there is a future. We can find happiness.

Perspective also says its not about organisations, churches or scout movements because all manmade structures are flawed by the inherent evil nature of humankind. Too harsh? We all hopefully have good intentions but we are capable of abusing the rights of others. One problem with the Salvation Army was their basic claim that Christians had no rights. That sure made me easy prey. Even predators have needs and good intentions but they need to be held accountable for their actions.

So yes, Anthony. The tangled web makes life extremely complex and I think abuse survivors with same-sex attraction need a special assurance that they are truly loved and that it’s ok to step out of the closet. I assure you I still loosen quite a few tears when I revisit this stuff.


Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
November 11, 2007, 13:53

I have a burning question and I’m not sure if anyone can help me. Can anyone explain the phenomenon of a pentecostal curse?

In my post I wrote: “the week my wife and I left the Salvos, a Pentecostal woman handed me a letter that was nothing more than a curse. It predicted that our lives would be full of disaster and that one of our future children would die … I destroyed the letter and tried to forget about it.”

The letter predicted at least a dozen catastrophes, many of which have come true. If I’d devoted myself to evil, perhaps I could understand it. If I’d accepted or believed it, perhaps I could understand. But I’m basicly a good man.

Has anyone else experienced crap like this? It seems to have followed me against my wishes for too long.

Thanks. Kit

Joined in 2006
November 11, 2007, 16:13

Kit I have never heard of such a thing and its beyond me how any Christian can even think to do such a thing. shock Sounds more to me like something from the dark side of some very bad christianity.

Their is no way of saying this without sounding very spiritual but I would pray with someone about this to break the enemy off of your life and your loved ones and forgive the person who did this (for your own sake not as a let off for them) and pray for that person, I really dont think they understand what they are doing and the repurcussions on themselves for doing it.

Sorry but my alarm bells for your own personal/spiritual protection went off and just feel the need of one or two others to pray with you personally and just pray until they sense a release. Even tho some of this stuff came to pass, keep the promises of God before your eyes, especially Psalm 91, I pray that often and have found it to be very good. Try not to be filled with fear because of what has happened (I know easy to say, Im sorry)

God is bigger than all that and I know that prayer and keeping HIS promises before you will help a lot. ( this is something I would do and have done when I have had similar but never had an actual pentecostal curse, mind blowing x )

Joined in 2006
November 11, 2007, 16:36

I just re-read your story, again another of many stories where I just want to give you a big hug………I am so pleased that you are living your life openly as a Gay man. The best years are around you and ahead of you.

I also went through years of abuse as a young child and it does do your head in a bit regarding sex, actually a lot, but God has brought me through so much already and although there is more to go, I dont have the shame associated with that anymore, I still get angry but find myself forgiving the person/s and I settle again God takes over.

Its just beyond me how people think that such a young minor can seduce an adult at all, much less to the point where the adult “has to” act on it. My ex accused me of doing that, seducing the perpetrator who abused me for years when I confided in her, I almost died, I was speechless and almost passed out in the shock of it but wanted to also knock her block off. She had big problems though and accused me of many things I wont even mention here. Jesus does love us and every person who hurts kids (misleads them in anyway) as he says “it would be better if they had a millstone tied around their neck” I let God deal with people whose aim is to hurt me or have hurt me in a very bad way and pray that they wake up and turn to God in repentance and hope their lives turn around. But where necessary I wouldnt hesitate calling the police or blowing the whistle to possibly save those who might fall in their hands. (but this is up to the individual and I understand those who cant or havent been able to blow the whistle where necessary.)

Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
November 11, 2007, 23:26

Thanks for your thoughtful words magsdee. I graciously accept the hug. I’m very pleased that Pentecostal curses are not common and I hope nobody else has been there. I denounced it when it happened but after my daughter died, my wife of the time reminded me of the letter. Several subsequent traumas have made me more sad and/or angry about it. But there is life beyond the bizarre … or the dark side. I take on board your suggestions. I filed 2 police reports about assaults but neither got anywhere.

I’m also very touched by the story of your partner. It’s over 6 years since I last ended a relationship with someone of the opposite sex. Last ditch attempt at being straight before I came out. I confided to some Christian friends in front of her that I experienced abuse as a child and she totally freaked. I think the words were: ‘How do you expect me to deal with this?’ My response: ‘Well I was actually the one who had to deal with it. And I did!’ If that drama hadn’t happened I may have still been in the closet. God forbid!

Thanks. Kit

Joined in 2007
November 12, 2007, 16:14


Thank you for sharing your story. I could actually feel the emotion of the things you told to us. The trauma you experienced makes my heart hurt for you and so many others of us who went through such rotten things. What gives me some contentment today is how it seems like so many of us who truly loved God and really wanted to work for Him actually survived. I believe many did not survive because they destroyed themselves over the things that happened to them. Their true stories and what really happened to them may never be known.

That’s another reason why I feel it’s so important for those of us to tell our stories and the truth about our journeys. There can be great healing among us and others if we tell it and get it out. Somehow, God kept us alive and around for some reason. I could have been dead many times. If for no other purpose, we have gone through this and survived so that we can help someone else.

I truly believe that there are many more who will start to come forward in the days ahead and they will need our help. It takes a lot of courage and faith to come forward and tell it but if it will help some other person who feels so alone and thinks no one else could possibly understand, it’s a real thing.

Pentecostal Curses? Someone recently suggested I had a Generational Curse upon me because of some sexual sin done by some of my family in the past and that’s why I was gay. It was my understanding that the blood of Jesus Christ covers everything Satan, voodoo, curses or any other medium wants to throw over you. There are ways to do spiritual warfare over such things. Prophecies can fail.

Thanks again for sharing with us. I feel stronger because of it.


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