So after Hilary was tragically taken, the parties just weren’t fun anymore. Not just because Hil wasn’t there, but because I felt differently. I realised how quickly life could be taken away and that I needed to be totally fulfilled in the life that I have. I realised for the first time that all the drugs and the parties hadn’t made me whole. And the confusion of being half in the closet, and half out made me feel translucent.
It was one night, while stoned on my loungeroom floor that God revealed himself to me. He asked me why I had never pursued him, or given him a chance in my life in what what like a weird vision. It sobered me that night, right up to who I am today. I realised there was a supernatural being, who was all loving and wanted to embrace me.
It has perhaps been this unique first encounter with God that has held me grounded in the desire for simple Gospel meaning. Even though the Churches fed me, this change so you can be a Christian garbage, there was something inside me that was very conflicted by the teaching.
The first church I ever went to was a little church in Melbourne’s east. A church where I circled the carpark the day of Hilary’s funeral. I never made it to the funeral, but I made it to this church, and months later I found myself there again, for a very different reason. It was kind of spooky.
I found that the theology of works that is airbrushed into the fabric of may evangelical churches was very present there and once I had learned the basics of Jesus’s life story, I found the services dull and sad. Part of it was the enthusiasm of being new to Christianity, having that spark or wanting more of God, and looking around at the bored, generational Christians who didn’t seem to understand that there ought to be a celebration.
I quickly learned that denominations like to be distict, they like to be separate, and there is plenty of ‘bitching about the neighbours’.
Realising that baptism by emmersion actually doesn’t kill the real person inside of you and bring on an angelic and other self, I finally confided in a youth pastor who helped me to connect with some Christian counselling. And to my suprise it wasn’t to be what you or I might have suspected. The early thirties guy who met me in the little room overlooking Collins street listened intently to my ‘problem’ and then offered me his disclosure statement.
He told me that he didn’t disclose matters of his personal life unless it was absolutly neccessary and asked for my permission to do so. In a state of confusion and without preparation for what he was about to tell me, he revealed that he was a Christian Minister who was openly gay and living with his partner of 6 years in a committed relationship.
Wow. My jaw dropped and I basically thanked him, said I’d make another appointment, but rushed out the door as fast as I could. This was not what I was expecting to hear. I truely believed at that point that it had been a sign from God, that this man was a trick of the devil and that I was to do this step by step with God. So off I went to make myself straight through denial and false belief.
No. In all honesty, I do believe this began a real journey towards coming out to God, as funny as that sounds, and to myself. I opened my heart for God to change me and do his will. Something that is a very big part of my testamony. God can do all things. Ge can make a man or a woman straight. The real questions are, does he need to, and does he want to?
I may have shared my struggle with a few other people throughout the years, but finally I decided to take myself off to college in NSW and become a school teacher. I was faciinated by the way that children develop and learn.
While I was at college, I was to live in a dormitory for men, and share showers with other guys and my struggle was sometimes intense, and other times less of a struggle. I had crushes on plenty of guys, and only dreamed that we would accidently fall in love. Silly me. I finally surcummed to looking at pornography again.
Late 2004 a friend’s brother came out to his family, and at this point I finally told two close friends about my struggle. I said that I would talk to the brother and help him ‘through it’. A promise I couldn’t keep.
Things reached a climax in 2005, my final year, when there was a lot of Spiritual warfare on our campus. There were people having all sorts of crazy things happen, lots of false prophesy and occult style meetings. The worst of it, was that they believed it was in the name of God. Some of my close friends were involved, and thanks to God, have been released from it and can now talk about it. It was a dark time. A time when I was spiritually harrassed by people I trusted.
Some information about my sexuality was disclosed through a prophetic session they had, and the enemy gave information about me they could not have known. It very nearly brought me down. For the first time, I wanted to take my life because I was so open to God changing who I am, but he didn’t. Not a single flicker of straightness.
I couldn’t minister to my friend’s brother, becasue I had nothing to tell him. I was a fake. I wasn’t different, I was gay and in hiding.
I graduated, alive, and took a job at a school based close to my uni, and was able to remain friends with those still completeing their degrees. I moved in with a close mate out near the lake. It was good.
Then It happened. I was in a wedding party for a good college mate in the South Island of New Zealand. Poor Jamie told his family and friends that when they meet me, they might think I was gay, but that I wasn’t. I had never told many of my mates about being gay.
Well when I met Michael, the bride’s brother. I realised I was in for some trouble. We avoided each other most of the day. I was there to serve as the best man anyway. But later that night we finally got to talk. It was really amazing. He shared about his Christian experience and his love for God, and it was like God was speaking to me though him. God was telling me, I was loved, just the way I am.
He ended up crashing out next to me on the bed made in the lounge, along with a whole bunch of other left over party goers, and the next morning we exchanged email contacts as I left to catch my flight. I was so torn. I emailed him at the airport, and when I got home, there was already a reply.
We kept in contact three times a day, every day and I realised it was a chance meeting that was about to change my life. After a few days I told my flat mate and he was really supportive. Well seemed to be. He had to deal with it in his own way.
I kept it to myself at school, but everyone pestered me so much about getting a girl friend, it made me feel like I was lying. I confided in a few friends at my old uni and at school, but it didn’t take long for it to circulate in the community.
The big long story that can be discussed at a later date, due to a Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission enquiry is that my contract wasn’t renewed at that school.
Michael moved here in June last year and we still live together.
It has been tough for him as we have both gone through the rejection of his sister, my school (indirectly), and some of my friends as they have tried to reconcile faith and sexuality. It shows that lots of people have to undergo a ‘life of unlearning’.
Well that’s kinda it in its basic form. As you can imagine there are lots of details and things that i can’t include unless I write a novel. lol