From they prayer request forum - Celibacy

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Youth Coordinator
Joined in 2008
June 25, 2008, 12:59

Hahaha. ๐Ÿ˜†

You all crack me up.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
June 25, 2008, 16:34

thanks for the clarification everyone. ๐Ÿ˜€

I now take it that i’m human…….with a touch of divinity occasionally. ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†

Joined in 2006
June 25, 2008, 17:31

Oh dear the sandals are coming out ๐Ÿ˜ฏ In shades of Pink of course ๐Ÿ˜‰

Andrew Jones
Joined in 2008
July 2, 2008, 19:26

Leaving church I decided to find my own way for a bit. In short I threw the baby out with the bath water and went head first into exploring sex and my sexuality. All those years of pent up sexual frustration burst forth in a torrent.

I went about my sex life like a rabbit on Red Bull!

I recall the sex has being the most amazing experiences with an amazing effect on my person. Yes I struggled with the church morality for a time and can admit I went from one sexual encounter to the next without my thought for my christian values. It happens. In a profound kind of way I was wanting to have sex to spite the church and its leadership … almost rebellious … nah, it was rebellious! I guess you could say there were two (duality) things happening at once, spite towards the church and the joy of wanting to have as much sex as possible.

There is another tale to add to this story and I hope all of you will see my hearts intent when I tell you. I have found peace with my self now and feel free to pass on my experience to help others …

… throwing myself into the gay sex scene was wild. It was an adventure. And I had heaps of fun. However today I look back and kick myself for being so reckless. I didn’t practise safe sex. Yep, I am HIV+. No sympathy please … I have found a new centre in my life. I am well and healthy with the virus undetectable and a robust immune system. But I would like to ask that if any young gay christian is wanting to explore their sexuality and indulge in casual sex please protect yourself and use condoms. You must always assume that your casual partner is HIV+ if you have not discussed each others status. Even if your casual partner says he/she is negative please be safe anyhow. So many new infections are because guys had unsafe sex without having regular HIV tests and didn’t know they were HIV+.

I am a gay christian and HIV+. It’s not discussed at all. So many young churchers don’t have a good working knowledge of safe sex practises.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
July 2, 2008, 22:21

Thanks Andrew for being so open and honest with us. Disclosing HIV+ status is a big thing.

The experience you shared is, it seems from the people I meet, is all too common. There has not been any research done on this that I know of but I would guess that there would be a higher rate of HIV+ infection amongst guys who come from a church background than those who don’t.

You have mentioned some of the things that drove your behaviour. I found that the people I speak with were often driven also by a feeling of failure and hopelessness. Some had a subconscious belief that they were going to hell anyway……so why bother. It can also be driven by anger or like a pay back or ‘you’d told me I’d get AIDS and die, so that is what i’m going to do’.

I know myself that I had a number of self destructive behaviours happening in my life after I left the church. I just didn’t care any more. I guess I’d lost respect for myself and my life….and saw no future….hope or purpose.

This is certainly one of things that motivated me to start F2B… particularly catch those who had been thrown out or had left the church and provide a safe space for them with quality people who would understand and support them. Not everyone has to go crazy once they come out I believe. In the safe space we can provide it gives them time to sort out what they really want and they dont necessarily have to adopt the gay male culture of the scene if they dont want to.

Better to put a fence up at the top of the cliff instead of having an ambulance withing down the bottom.

Our target market document talks about the special needs of this group.

Group 1. GLBTIQ people who have left Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches

Freedom 2 b[e] recognises the specific needs of this group who can be particularly vulnerable. Many have lost their social network, having experienced rejection by friends and family. Some who have been employed in Christian organisations may have lost their livelihoods and experienced hostility from employers and/or colleagues. They have a sense of failure and shame as they perceive that they have โ€˜given inโ€™ to their homosexuality. They have either been exposed and thrown out of the church or have quietly left knowing it is impossible to change and they will never be accepted as they are. Even though they have accepted their homosexuality they may still live with the subconscious belief that they will go to hell.

The results of the internal dissonance affect people in different ways. For gay men that might include self-destructive behaviours such as unsafe sex and substance abuse. Some have been living with a sexual addiction. Gay men and lesbians can have mental health issues such as depression, and be grieving the loss of a sense of โ€˜familyโ€™ or strong community they once found in church. Some may also be dealing with bitterness and resentment towards individuals, the church and God. Many of these people have also been traumatized by the experience of leaving the church and supposedly turning their back on God.

After leaving the church there may be difficulties integrating with GLBTIQ communities, Sometimes resulting in feelings of alienation, isolation and disillusionment. Constructing and coming to terms with a new gender and/or sexual identity and new personal relationships can also be fraught, and may bring some to the point of self-harming behaviours.

The needs:

a) A non-judgemental safe space where they donโ€™t feel there is any agenda except to support them on their journey. All we need to do is listen, not advise or tell them what they should do. If they ask questions then itโ€™s appropriate to respond with information that can help them which may include our personal stories.

b) Connection with other GLBTIQ from the same background that reduces the sense of isolation and that they are the only ones that have had this experience.

c) Other resources/information/referrals such as common interest, crisis and support groups.

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