The Family now knows

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Joined in 2014
June 18, 2014, 22:35

No real idea how to start this so:

I grew up in a fantastically strong Christian home.

I took an overly "mature" stance on relationships at a young age (8) that said, "I'm not in a financial or practical situation to support a relationship, so I will not even entertain the idea or acknowledge the feelings I have towards the subject"

That switch stayed firmly off for 12 years, as a result I never struggled with sexual attraction of any kind while growing up.

My Career:

I joined the Army at 17 as a Combat Engineer (Building and Blowing things up). The 2 and a half years i spent in the Army I would consider my "Wilderness Experience". It comprised nearly daily challenge and harassment against my faith and life choices of being a non drinker/smoker and not trying to sleep with everything that moved. (My switch was still firmly off)

I was medically discharged in 2011 with a condition known as Arterial Entrapment as a result of improper Physical Training. The condition caused my lower legs to cut off any blood flow to or from them. What it looked like day to day was that I could only stand for 10 minutes a day without severe pain and potential muscle damage from blood toxicity.

Flipping The Switch

Soon after my discharge I moved to Melbourne, it was then I started to question what my future could possibly look like with a severe Medical condition.

I began to pondering all of life's aspects, where previously I had completely dismissed the idea of relationships or even the idea of sexual attraction of any kind as something I was not in a practical position to pursue. I started to acknowledge that I am a sexual being, I quickly realised and was quite fearful at the discovery that I might be Gay.

Until my own realisation I was of the firm belief all LGBTI people or people with any thoughts other than very strict heterosexual thoughts were somehow damaged psychologically from some form of abuse or significant emotional event. But through the wonderful lens of hindsight I blew that belief right out of the water, having grown up in what may actually be considered to good of a home.

God Shows His Unconditional Love

One Sunday evening while attending a Conference at Church I came to think and then subsequently agree with the idea that God has nothing but good in mind for me and my life, that this good did not include being unable to stand for longer that 10min a day.

In that moment of agreement the thought that I might be healed entered my mind. I stood up to test this inkling and was drawn into and absorbed into the worship that was going on at the time. Later I came to the realisation that I had been standing, jumping and dancing for the past 3 hours completely Pain free. This and other Miracles I have either experienced or seen has fully confirmed that God has nothing but Unconditional Love for me.

To The Here And Now

On the evening of my 23rd Birthday (4th May 2014) I came to terms with my own sexuality, thus Coming out to myself (in my opinion the most difficult, as your biggest adversary are your own internal thoughts)

Being a passionate believer in having open, honest and deep authentic communication, I knew I could not keep this truth hidden for long. So roughly 2 weeks later on the 16th (Friday Night) I told my 2nd eldest sister (I live with her and her husband to assist one another with costs of living). After "spilling the beans" for this first time I felt all the pressure and stress dissipate, being replaced by the confidence I needed to tell others.

After telling my sister on the Friday night I then broke the news to my Dad on the Sunday afternoon. Due to the nature of our relationship I was not surprised that he took it in stride but has subsequently came back every Sunday night since (He babysits my nephew every Monday and Tuesday, for my eldest Sister and her Husband) and discussed things further over dinner.

Because of some complications my Mum is experiencing right now (Adrenal Burnout) and the fragile physical and emotional state she is in as a result, I gave Dad permission to break the news to her. To my surprise her reaction so far has been quite composed, thus I'm not really sure how she feels at this stage

Tonight I visited my eldest sister and her husband. After a short cuddle with my 10 month old nephew I came straight to the point and told her the news. She was understandably shocked but "Loves me anyway" and needs time to process.

My brother who currently lived with my eldest sister & husband (thus providing evidence as to how close knit my family is) returned from dinner with his girlfriend and her aunt. So having just spilled the news to my sister I could not justify waiting to tell my brother at "the right time".

After he didn't say anything for a good 10-15min I said my goodbyes and headed home, only pausing to finalise the details of our pre-aranged outing to the movies tomorrow.

That pretty much brings my story to now and the act of typing this all out. (18th June 2014)

Youth Coordinator
Joined in 2008
June 19, 2014, 16:44

Hi Russell,

Firstly, I want to welcome you to freedom2b. It's great to have you hear and please know that you are supported. Everyone on this forum has had their own experience with reconciling faith and sexuality and coming out and hopefully we can provide advice and encouragement. 🙂

You have shown incredible bravery and courage in coming out to yourself and to your family. It's not easy from the sounds of it but from my experience it gets better from that moment on. Finally you are able to be open and honest with the people that love you. What a great feeling!

I have also experienced the unconditional love of God and seen the miraculous happen in my own life and in the lives of friends and family members. It's fantastic to hear that you can now stand, dance and jump pain free! God doesn't stop loving you just because you are gay. You have always been loved and you will always be loved. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

It would be awesome if you came along to a freedom2b meeting sometime. There are chapter meetings in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth and youth events in Melbourne and Sydney. Lots of great people come along and they would make you feel welcome. 🙂

Well done mate! The best is yet to come!


Joined in 2014
June 19, 2014, 16:51

Thanks Ben,

I will be attending the Freedom2b event this Friday night in Melbourne.

From different peoples stories I have heard, in my opinion I have had it extremely easy.

Admittedly, I have only told immediate family who I am extremely close to.

I have yet to tell any of my friends as yet, even ones at my church.

According to my brother there is a discussion coming up at the Young Adults at my church.

Also I am happy to report that although my brother does not understand how this could happen, at this stage he is choosing love of Family over fear of something he doesn't understand.

Yours in Christ,


Joined in 2010
June 19, 2014, 17:04

Welcome to F2B Russell!

I look forward to meeting you tomorrow night at the Melbourne gathering, and sharing a bit more of the story over pizza!


Joined in 2014
June 22, 2014, 22:48

I had a great time at the Melbourne Gathering on Friday night.

I really enjoyed meeting all of you and knowing and feeling free to be completely honest to who I am.

There is an exciting development occurring at my church young adults.

They plan to address the myth that "God hates Homosexuals".

The young adult leaders are waiting on final approval if the church as a whole is ready to open that can of worms yet.

As a result of this possibility, tonight I was able to share with one of the leaders my keen interest in this discussion in light of my being Gay and express a little of my story.

Regardless of what the church leadership decide I know that the heart of the young adult leaders is that of love and acceptance.

I was also able to suggest a few places for them to look for some information and advice as to how to potentially tackle this for the first time.

I believe they have a real opportunity to do this really well if they choose to.

Chapter Leader
Joined in 2006
June 23, 2014, 17:42

Hi Russell,

It was great meeting you on Friday Night and now having just read your story it does fill some gaps. You truly are an amazing young man and as a parent I would be very proud of you. Coming out to your family is a big step and now you are begining to come out to your church! The fact that they are planning to address the myth that "God hates Homosexuals" is a positive sign. At least they are not just burying theirs heads in the sand. As we all know this is something that is NOT going to go away. I am so glad you have tapped into some support here at freedom2b as I feel it is really important to have people you are able to speak to and that you dont feel you are doing this on your own. I see you have enrolled into the course that Matt Glover is running and that is awesome- this seems to have come at the right time for you. 🙂

Hope to keep seeing you at f2b when you able to make it. Just know that we are here, you are doing a great job! Regards Linda

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
June 28, 2014, 22:47

Hi Russell

I want to add my welcome and congratulations to you! 🙂

You have done so well, and I agree with Ben that things will keep improving for you. You have already come through the process of coming out to your immediate family and it sounds like they are loving people and really trying to understand and be supportive.

Good on you for linking in with the Melbourne f2b group too and for signing up for Matt's course. You have accessed some wonderful supports with those two resources.

If your loved ones need support or to talk with someone who has been where they are, PFFLAG is a very positive organisation made up of friends and family of those in the wider LGBTI community, available to support friends and family of LGBTI people. What a lot of people don't realise is that the coming out process for LGBTI people has a parallel process for loved ones as they come to terms with the news of your sexuality and how they think, feel and express that to themselves and others. Sometimes it helps if they can talk with someone who understands this.

It's also a positive step that your church are questioning whether God really does hate gay people. Ps Rob Buckingham changed the culture in his churches by extending a warm welcome to LGBTI, and you will find his message in the following link from our discussion section.—ps-rob-buckinghams-message-about-lgbt-and-the-church-t1115/

100 Revs (a group of ministers) are also fully welcoming of LGBTI and march every year at Mardi Gras as a way of extending God's love to our community.

It is great to hear the start of your story and I look forward to hearing more, especially as you find increasing acceptance for being who you are.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2014
July 15, 2014, 08:56

I am pleased to say that my parents might possibly count as allies soon.

I got some great feedback from my dad last night following my spending last Saturday with them discussing things and answering questions.

He and my mum see my coming out and the subsequent required reassessment of their theology as "an upgrade" that will allow them to serve and represent Christ better.

I recommended my Dad read Ken Wilsons – "A letter to my congregation"

He is half way through it and really enjoying it.

My Mum also just finished reading "Torn" – by Justin Lee

While I was visiting I shared watching "Through my Eyes" the testimonial documentary made by GCN

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
July 17, 2014, 15:44

Hi Russell

This is wonderful! 🙂 I so love that your parents see your sharing with them about your sexuality and their subsequent reassessment of their faith as an opportunity for "an upgrade". Fantastic. 🙂

How great too that they are reading positive and helpful stories and you are sharing useful resources with them. I am so happy for you and would definitely say your parents are well on their way to being wonderful allies and supporters. 🙂 This has made my day. 🙂 🙂 🙂


Ann Maree

Joined in 2014
July 17, 2014, 16:11

Wow! That's an awesome healing testimony, and a wonderful story that has since unfolded. It sounds like you have a lovely family, and your parents' reaction and aftermath is so very admirable. How are things with your eldest sister?

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