outed, rejected, but moving forward

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Joined in 2009
June 6, 2009, 12:40

I had been married for 20 years when my wife told me to leave. She’d found out that I had been visiting gay websites. That was it. We hadn’t had the greatest of relationships; I tried to please but it never seemed to work- and now it was over. It took 8 months after this for my wife to understand that I was gay; and since then I have had no contact with my three teenage children.

I left one year ago. I was an almost 50 year old man. No friends. Nowhere to go. I’d never really admitted that I was gay- I’d only got as far as thinking that if something ever happened to my relationship, I would never get married again. I’d had casual sex with men over the previous 10 years, but being an evangelical, charismatic Christian meant that couldn’t ever talk to anyone about it, even when I was in my times of deepest need and despair. I couldn’t even admit it to myself.

I knew I was attracted to other guys since I was about 11 and became a Christian soon after. Before I became a Christian, I had tried to please God so much- and discovered that I couldn’t except through trusting in Jesus. But I felt so different, and scared and bad. I was so lonely and felt like a failure. I kept trying hard. In my conservative, bible believing Christian circles, I never met anyone whom I knew to be gay; that didn’t happen until I was 39 !!

Once I found a place to live I started to relax. I wasn’t under pressure to conform; to hide my thoughts and feelings and I didn’t give attention to trying to avoid criticism for not being the man my wife had dreamt she was marrying. But I wasn’t ready to admit I was gay. I crept around a few churches successfully avoiding meeting anyone.

I went to MCC after the church I had been attending had a Sunday morning service where the Pastor and his wife, and another couple were to spend the service sharing about what wonderful marriages they had and encouraging everyone else to do the same. I knew that MCC existed; and honestly, I thought that such a church must be totally compromised in its beliefs and couldn’t be true to the gospel. I was wrong about that!

I joined a home group at Crave MCC- with people who really love me, accept me and support me. I met some wonderful people at the first Freedom 2 b[e] meeting that I attended. I could finally start to say to people ‘I am gay’.

A few weeks ago I was sitting in church. Through the week, I had been thinking about the phrase from an old hymn ‘Just as I am’ (thanks Ben- God is really using you!). And then I realised- God does accept me JUST AS I AM. I come to Him- just me, myself, and the gay bits, and all the baggage- and I trust Him. And He accepts me!! Just as I am. I always felt like I’d failed- especially in the area of sexuality, trying to be straight and in relationships. And now I didn’t have to feel like a failure- because God accepts me just as I am. That’s freedom!! It was so good!!

Lat weekend I read Anthony Venn-Brown’s book. So many parallels between his experience and mine. I am so glad you wrote it, Anthony. I just wish that I had this book, MCC, Freedom 2 b[e] and some wise counsel that would have allowed me to manage the situation with my wife and children better. But we can only move forward.

A few years ago I did a course through a church, which made the following statement. At the time I wanted to believe it, but I couldn’t. But now I can!

I am cherished by God who paid a great price to purchase me.

I acknowledge that I am highly valued, totally forgiven, fully pleasing,

accepted and complete in Christ.

I’m still working through a lot of things: finding a place in the world, in the church, and in relationships. Wishing my relationship with my kids could be restored; knowing that it will resolve one day- but wishing it were now.

Joined in 2006
June 6, 2009, 12:56

Thankyu for sharing your story with us, Im really pleased you hve found a place of peace and resolution within yourself 😀 Ben is quite an amazing young man 😉

Im sure your children will come round and your r’ship will be restored, Anthonys been there before and I know it helps to know youre not alone and someone understands.

It was lovely to meet you last night 😉

Joined in 2007
June 6, 2009, 23:32

As the daughter of a gay man who was married for over twenty years I’m living proof that people do come around I was furious when my dad came out. When he left mum and lived honestly with a man he loved. I was old enough and wise enough to know better. Now, and I don’t say this lightly, I wouldn’t have him any other way because he is so much more himself. All those years I thought I knew my father. Now I can say that I really do know him. That is a gift he has given me and I’ll always cherish it.

AVB is awesome at saying these really inconvienient things when you really don’t want to hear them 😆 and when I was really angry at dad he asked me why I hadn’t thanked him for being honest. Why I hadn’t achknowledged that honesty in this situation took guts no matter if homosexuality was right or wrong. It struck me that I was so wrapped up in my own reaction I hadn’t really considered what it was like for dad.

I don’t mean to presume that the situation with your own kids is at all similar. I understand it must be so hard to wait, to give them time to come to terms with it all in their own way and time. As LGBT men and women we spend years and years working through these issues for ourselves and when we finally come to a place of acceptance we want everyone to feel the same way, right now! It may take your kids years as well, though hopefully not. The best part though, the part that makes it worth the wait is that they will truly know you and love you for who you are. Not who you thought you were or who you thought you should be but you.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
June 7, 2009, 01:25

wise words Sandy……and something we often have to remind people of.

we spend decades sorting through this stuff…..then when we come out wonder why everyone esle isn’t there with us.

our disclosure begins there journey to reconciliation. some get there quicker than others.

of course there are things we can do along the way…..that will hasten or hinder resolution.

Maybe the focus ATM for you Ian is just to spend time making yourself happy with yourself. That will be a great gift to your children in the future…..and they get to love their gay dad.

its so cool that you’ve found places to connect with like us here and MCC. Those things weren’t around when I came out.

BTW……God told me to write the book for you.

Joined in 2006
June 7, 2009, 07:53

BTW……God told me to write the book for you

Isnt God amazing, that just soooo leaves you speechless.

Far out Sandy, Im sitting here with the biggest smile hearing you talk like that.

Joined in 2007
June 7, 2009, 17:40

Far out Sandy, Im sitting here with the biggest smile hearing you talk like that

Bet you never thought I’d get here when I was planning grevious bodily harm all that time ago Mags 😆 😆 😆 Some Christian. So glad you never brought that conversation up again. You’ve all the blackmail material you want on me now 😉 😆

God works in mysterious ways. I was so cranky that dad had MY problem. Why couldn’t he have his own life drama, why steal mine? 😆 😆 Now its entirely plausible that God made dad gay to teach me lessons I otherwise would have been way too stubbon to learn. Of course when I voiced this to dad he threw a handful of orange peels at me and seethed “Not EVERYTHING is about you, Sandy!” Opps!

Joined in 2006
June 7, 2009, 17:57

Of course when I voiced this to dad he threw a handful of orange peels at me and seethed “Not EVERYTHING is about you, Sandy!” Opps!

Gees you had me believe everything WAS about you 😕 now I have to retrain my thinking AGAIN 😯

No its good to see you both so good now 😉 Im saving the blackmail for an opportune time 😛 muhahahaaaaaaa!!!!!!

Joined in 2009
June 8, 2009, 08:50

thanks for sharing your experiences, encouragement and wisdom.

It was very nice to meet you on Friday night Maggie; peace flows out from you. 😉

Joined in 2006
June 8, 2009, 12:42

Thankyou Ian, that is very encouraging.

Joined in 2009
June 16, 2009, 11:58

Hi Ian,

Ali here! I just want you to know how much we love you and are enjoying you being part of our Homegroup.


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