Gay guy, 39, charismatic background, close to coming-out

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Joined in 2007
November 1, 2009, 10:28

This night I saw Prayers for bobby on youtube, I cried my eyes out. Its always sad that someone commits suicide.

Joined in 2009
December 7, 2009, 20:53

I am about 5 weeks too late for this (been travelling heaps), but better late than never. Welcome Stavenger. Your story is inspiring and so eloquently written. Our young Queenslanders are in great hands… Thanks for sharing and wellcome to F2be. Peace and love, Ryan.

Joined in 2005
December 17, 2009, 08:46

better late than NEVER. Welcome to an open welcoming supportive gang of rogues and just really good people!

Joined in 2009
December 26, 2009, 09:39

Thanks for sharing. Given my experience over many years (like you), but getting married, and not preparing to come out (see my story posted here), I would have to say that you are making some very wise decisions. keep it up!

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
January 1, 2010, 11:15

Hi Stavenger

Your story is so inspiring and well told. Thank you!

How are you finding your work at present, especially in those more isolated areas?

I’m not part of the ‘scene’ but am grateful for f2b for keeping me connected with my community. I look forward to hearing more from you as you journey onward.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2009
January 1, 2010, 17:42

Thanks even that it is a little late for your story

As others have already said we can all see a little of ourselves in the stories that appear on Freedom2b[e].

Look forward to more imput from you from time to time.

In the love of Jesus

Joined in 2009
July 25, 2010, 17:29

Hi there Freedom2b friends! I have been on here regularly (lurking) since my original post last October and now I have some news. I AM OUT !!! The biggest step in this story about me was taken about a month ago, when I told those I care about most – my own family – parents and siblings. It is even more amazing to me that I have travelled this journey while living and working in an isolated place in remote Australia.

This has been a meticulously planned action from the outset. In my original post, I mentioned that I was preparing a letter to give my parents. This was a really good idea, as it gave me the chance to get all of my thoughts and opinions clearly sorted out before attempting to speak about it. It turned into a multi-page epic that was drafted and re-drafted many times and in it I told the whole story of my life. It covered the things I cherished about my upbringing as well as describing what it was like to grow up knowing I was different. It was a chance to tell about the ex-gay ministries I participated in, and about the truth I have since learnt about them. It was also a chance to demonstrate that the struggle and turmoil I went through (which you all know well), is totally resolved and that this experience has given me a strong desire to tackle ignorance in a gracious way. I particularly addressed the mismatch between the reality of gay peoples’ lives and the myths that are common in the fundamentalist Christian world. The letter also set a few ground rules by stating that I would not discuss anything to do with attractions, sex etc. as I expected to be treated with the same dignity as when they thought I was straight.

So – what actually happened? My parents came to visit for a few weeks last month and I decided that I would do it then – that way if it all went awry at least it was on my ground and if things were too uncomfortable they could just leave. I called each of my two siblings in the fortnight before this and informed them I was gay and that our parents would soon be told too. My brother and sister were wonderful – they were reasonably quick to realise that the truth of my experience brought a lot of so called ‘Christian’ teaching about homosexuality crashing down. Neither of them had ever suspected I was gay so although it wasn’t a shock, it still took a few days for them to really think about it and let go of their own misunderstandings. I also found from talking to them, that it is important to articulate your own faith – because if they too consider themselves Christians, there is immediately some common ground. This is really important for anyone dealing with fundamentalist family members on this issue – for anyone who still has faith after dealing with this, share that story too and don’t be afraid to state openly the basics of your beliefs – it can give people a lot of reassurance. Giving people time to deal with their own reactions and existing mindsets is really important too – remember it can also turn into a type of coming out for them – regardless of whether they want to be open about it with others or not.

I prepared my parents a few days before by telling them I had something I wanted to tell them and that it would probably be a shock, but that it should help them to understand me better. I left things at that and went away on a business trip for a few days – I actually wanted them to speculate about what it might be and in doing so reduce the potential shock of the whole thing. When I returned from my business trip, that evening they couldn’t wait to sit down with me and talk. I had also told a couple of staff at work (which is a bit awkward when you’re the boss), but I knew they would be supportive in case I needed somewhere to go that night. I told Mum and Dad straight up that I was gay and that before we talked any more I wanted them to read the letter – so I gave them a copy each and went off to have a shower. When I returned to them I knew the letter had been such a good idea – it eliminated the need for lots of questions and they knew from its contents that I had tried everything to see if God would change my sexuality. They were very loving in their response and made it clear there was no need for me to worry about being treated badly or differently by them. Mum shed a few tears thinking about how I’d had to deal with this all on my own. They told me they were surprised at themselves for feeling at peace about it so quickly. I think things went better as there was no boyfriend or relationship involved. However, I was honest with them about the future and made it clear that if anything happens that way it is in God’s hands – so they know it is a possibility in my mind. Dad expressed concern about what treatment I might experience in the future from others if I am more open about my sexuality – this is a normal reaction from a loving parent for their child. Once again, like with my siblings, they needed to talk again after a few days. I think we all need to realise in this coming out process that a lifetime of attitudes and ignorance cannot disappear in others immediately – we forget that it’s taken us years to get to the point of coming out. My mother is an avid bible reader and is always open to what God is saying to her. I was amazed that in the days after my news, without any direction from me Mum had (on her own) re-examined the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, had been led to read about the eunuchs in the NT and had even come quite close to an understanding of Romans 1 that is like what I now believe. Her eyes were open to understanding and the veil of ignorance was lifting.

The revelation of the news that a loved one is gay, in a fundamentalist family is something I now believe has the power to expose and rid people of various ‘masks’ we often wear as Christians. Even when the reaction from family is not so good, I strongly believe that the foundations of the Gospel message provide a common ground that can cut through all of the rubbish that people think is Christian.

It has been a long road and certainly not as hard for me as it is for some others. Dealing with loneliness has been one of the biggest rods for my back, however I know now that this issue causes people to feel lonely not just in isolated places like me, but in the cities as well. But this too can be turned into an experience that shapes your character and spurs you on to take a positive step – but that’s another story.

It was wonderful to catch up with some of you at the F2b meeting in Sydney while I was there on holidays recently and to put some faces to names as well as meet new friends. I will be back in October – thank you so much for your support through this forum – it really is a great thing for all of us, but especially those like me who are in remote parts of our big country.


Joined in 2010
July 25, 2010, 18:51

Dear Stav,

I am so glad that things went well with your family. It especially warms my heart that you were able to reach out to them via your common bonds of faith.

I also found it interesting that your mother picked up on the account of Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-39).

A common misconception by the population at large is that Eunuchs were simply castrated male servants. While it is true that come Eunuchs were castrated, most rulers (Roman, Arab, Hindu, and so on) would not bother, as there was the chance the injury would kill a prized servant. Eunuchs were simply defined as men who had no desire for a woman’s touch.

While some cultures mocked the Eunuch (the Greeks could be quite cruel) some saw them as providing a useful service: i.e: being a male that one could trust with the care and teaching of one’s harem and in the case of matriarchal rulers, a man you could trust, period. Why? Because the Eunuch would not attempt to seduce one’s female company or oneself.

As it was once said, “Saying you were a Eunuch in the ancient world was like saying you were a hair dresser from San Francisco. Even if you were not gay, nobody would believe otherwise”.

Phillip knew what this man was (Ethiopian Eunuchs traveled in luxury, and wore symbols and clothing of their station and purpose so that all would know that he was ‘a man apart’) and what he was about. Phillip, as a Christian in a time of persecution, knew that every time he opened his mouth he risked death and yet resigned himself to death to glorify Christ. He did not fear offending this man.

He could have made any demand of him. He could have told him to give up his riches, or renounce his sexual orientation, or a thousand other conditions in order for the Eunuch to call himself a follower of Christ.

What was his one requirement? “Do you believe that Christ is the Son of God?”

That’s it.

Considering that the early Church until the fourth century did not have a problem with homosexuals (or gay marriage for that matter) , it is safe to say that neither Christ nor the apostles had an issue with homosexuality.

Glad to hear that your mother figured that out!

Yours in Christ,


Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
July 26, 2010, 12:09

hey Stavanger……what wonderful wonderful news. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I so believe in the letter method with parents and family…..its a great way to do it on so many levels. I think you have actually experienced all the benefits yourself from doing it this way…..both for you personally and also your family members.

I always work with people to create a strategy to come out…….you’ve done well.

Great to be out of the closet eh…….its a dark place. Restrictive, fearful, shameful are some words I’d use… you have a contrast any other words you’d add.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
July 26, 2010, 19:19

Hey Stavanger

What a triumph!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Sounds like you planned things beautifully then carried them out to perfection. Well done!!!! That’s a huge accomplishment. 🙂 🙂 🙂

I agree with avb about the positive use of a letter when coming out. Your outline is similar to that used by others here with great success. It’s a fantastic help for both you and your family, ensuring they have the best information and time needed to process the news.

And what a wonderful family you have! Hearing the way your Mum has dealt with things really renews my faith in Christians. 🙂

Thanks so much for sharing.


Ann Maree

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