The Purple Heart of Ex Gay

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Joined in 2008
January 7, 2008, 09:13

As a gay woman, I have always had a close relationship with God. I talk to Him every day. When I was younger, I was mainly praying; no, pleading with Him to understand how the feelings I have for women could not be a sin. It petrified me knowing that there was a possibility I was on my way to hell for loving women. At the time, I had never acted on those feelings.

At first, I was naïve. I was naïve to think that my church would truly accept me as a devoted Christian who loves God, and not concern themselves with my sexuality.

When I gave my heart to Christ it was when I met my best friend who would eventually become my ex-husband. I introduced myself to him and we became fast friends. We started to spend a lot of time with each other and eventually began to date.

I chose to date a man because after attending services every week, going to Bible study, and hearing the preacher’s sermons about the sin of homosexuality, I began to wonder if my soul was truly in jeopardy.Soon after, I opened up to him about how I had been fighting my feelings for women. He truly believed his love would “change” me and within no time, he proposed to me at my Aunt’s house. I said yes to him because it was better for everyone involved. I was brainwashed into believing that being lesbian or gay was a sin.

The next day, He and I shared the news with our church. But some congregation members knew I had struggled with feelings for women. When they learned the wedding date, they immediately confronted me. The pastor told me that in order for us to marry at our church, I had to be exorcised of my lesbianism. I couldn’t carry my “sin” into my marriage with my husband, he said. Church staff members began to shout tongues at me, and laid their hands on my forehead in order to cast demons from me. I didn’t know whether to cry, laugh, or scream, so I stayed emotionless, quiet, and scared.

A few weeks later, the church claimed that I didn’t “receive the Spirit,” and therefore we could not marry in our church. He and I married out of state. We began to attend a new church. The new church was worse than the last.

I continued to fight my feelings for women and for the next couple years. The staff at the new church tried to cast demons from me, in front of the entire congregation, several times a month. Even my own husband helped to hold me down while the pastor screamed at me in tongues.

I felt violated by the pastor and the men of the congregation, and I had marks on my arms to prove how violent the “exorcisms” had become. In fact, one night, noticing the bruises and marks left on my arms, I knew I had to leave. The next day I left the church, and my husband.

As much as I loved God, the humiliation I encountered at church was too much to bear. I couldn’t believe that my own husband was putting the church before me and my safety and well-being.

When I think about what happened to me, I am astounded by the fact that we are still giving certain religious leaders the authority to advocate to us such a blatant degree of hatred and discrimination.

My hope is that in sharing this story, there can finally be an honest discussion about what gay and lesbian rights are, and expose those who use the Bible to hide behind their hatred. I am wondering when “Christian” people are going to put a stop to the hatred of gay men and lesbians. This is not a religious issue. It is a human dignity issue.

January 7, 2008, 09:33

I enjoyed reading your story Athena. The church has a lot to answer for for its treatment of gays and lesbians, as well as a lot of other minorities. As you said it is a human dignity issue not just a religious one. The majority of secular society has accepted that homosexuality is just another variation of human behaviour. Why can’t the church?

Joined in 2006
January 7, 2008, 10:20

Welcome to F2B Athena. I am shocked but not surprised at the treatment you received, its amazing that in some cases authorities cant be called in to deal with some instances of outright abuse. The church cant be touched by law ( in any way? I am not 100% certain on this) and many are clearly abusing that. Im so sorry you had to experience what you went through and yes I am also all for doing something about cases such as this and bringing change into the churches attitude on homosexuality.

How are things for you now? if that is ok to ask.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
January 7, 2008, 10:51

yes welcome Athena and thanks for sharing your story…..hope you find some of the discussion threads a place where you can also share your insights.

I’m sure that as more of us share our stories we are creating a new awareness that didn’t exist before. Most of us left the church under a cloud of failure and shame. We had no voice….indeed we actually did want to talk about it as it was too painful.

Now though we are speaking out with a new confidence…..knowing who we are and strong in our relationship with God.

Its important in telling our stories that we don’t reproduce what we accuse others of. If there is hatred in some circles of the church then it will not be overcome by returning hatred.

I still work by the principle of treating others as I want to be treated. Its challenging at times. its much easier to attack back…..but then all we end up with is a boxing match… one wins….the players only retreat in the end likcing their wounds and no one has moved in their position.

Joined in 2007
January 12, 2008, 22:40

Hi Athena great to have you with us on the forum. Feel free to take part in the discussions section too, we need more women I think! 😆

It’s such a shame that you were treated badly by your churches, its a good thing Christianity is not the sum of the people who practise it or we would all be in big trouble.

I’m interested to know how you came to the conclusion that the bible has got it wrong about homosexuality. I understand why you would not put alot of faith in the people at your church but what about what the bible says, how did you come to the decision you have?

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