Turning the corner in 2008

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Joined in 2008
January 14, 2008, 22:14

Life takes some pretty amazing turns and on my 57th birthday soon after miraculously discovering Anthony Venn-Brown via a website in the USA, here I am about to embark on the most amazing adventure of my life. Having lived overseas for nearly half of my life, I ask myself, “how can this be?”My life has been full of adventures! But in THIS case I am both scared and excited at the same time. This is LIFE CHANGING stuff! I am married with three gorgeous adult children.

I have always liked guys. Even as a very young child I loved my dad dearly and there are many B&W photos of me with my arm around my dad’s neck in the garden at home. I hugged him and even kissed him till the day he died and I miss him a lot! My family used to cause me considerable embarrassment by recounting the story of me as a very young child crawling under the dining table to hug and caress my dads fine pair of legs!! He was proud of his physique and so was I. My mum was a gentle loving woman and so this kind of blows the theory that GAYS are created by a distant father and a domineering mother! In my teens I had a part Maori very handsome “soulmate”. We did everything together but he was either bi or str8. To this very day I dont really know but I suspect he was also gay though there was no gay activity in my day anywhere around me that I knew of. I tried to track Stephen down years later on return to NZ but was gutted to hear from his brother (who I also had a crush on) that he was tragically killed in the Mt Erebus aircrash in Antarctica. Was he perhaps a gay flight attendant on that aircraft? Who knows? His brother didnt want to talk about him and failed to answer my subsequent Emails. I cried inside with the news of his death. I had many secret crushes on guys, even at Bible School. I loved my handsome “mentors” to death! But I did what was the thing to do in the late 70s and got married to a lovely girl I had known in my late teens in the Methodist Church (not to make me str8 or cure myself, but because there was just no other option – I didnt know what being gay was and I certainly knew no gay men)I am “happily married” but always secretly thinking of men, and always quite frustrated inside myself. Like Anthony I had “deliverance” sessions, exorcisms and much fasting to change myself. Nothing worked, at all. I “came out to myself” about 12 years ago in Japan where I worked for YMCA as an English instructor and in the Pentecostal Church. Coming out to myself all began when I started working out at a gym in Japan and I realized the fight to prove I was str8 was over! I discovered that to be attractive to men and to be attracted to men was part of ME, and that I was, Christian or not, destined to be “at home” with men and desirous toward them. The gyms in Japan have awesome facilities and they also have “community” so it is quite normal to be sitting in a steam bath, sauna or plunge pool naked with other men and strike up a conversation. I saw some pretty amazing physiques, and realized that God had created them beautiful! Men were FUN to be with!

In NZ these places would be considered “dodgy” but men in Japan are totally uncomplicated and uninhibited too. So these places were a haven for me. There is NOTHING like that here in NZ.

I remember praying at this time for God to bring GAYS across my path, and I had a genuine desire to befriend them, a feeling that continues to this day.As soon as I had prayed that prayer, that very night, I read an advertisement in the newspaper placed by a GAY mens group called “Out and About” where Japanese and ex pats got together to go bowling, hiking, swimming and dancing at gay discos. Most of their activities were on Sunday and so with my church commitments I was seldom able to attend.But this opened the door to a whole new world for me! I hired escorts, went to gay bars and danced at gay discos on my way back from church sometimes! I felt less and less guilty until one day I had full sex with an Episcopalian priest “Solomon”who had advertised his massage business in a gay magazine. I still have his photo! He was a gentle and kind Japanese man but he shocked me when he showed me photos of The US Presidents aides that he had enjoyed sex with in Hawaii. Soon after one of those visits, I got sick with a nasty virus. My glands swelled up and I was very sick. I felt like I was dying and I did the unpardonable, I consulted the medical dictionary! I then convinced myself that I had contracted the HIV virus as all the symptoms pointed to it! I went into deep depression and was filled with enormous fear. Not the fear of dying, but fear of the SHAME I would bring upon my wife and family, and even worse, the possibility of infecting my wife! I lost 12 kilos of weight in 1 month having lost my appetite and the desire to live. I became quite suicidal and “survived” by taking Holy Communion with my wife 3 times a day! Yes I confessed to her what I had done! She came to the clinic with me at the time of my second blood test for HIV. A combination of a negative result, the fervent prayers of my pastor’s wife who convinced me that satan could NOT take my life unless God permitted it, and later swimming with dolphins in NZ resulted in my complete recovery from depression and I have never been back there.

When I returned to NZ to live I attended mens camps, Promise Keepers mtgs, and had special counselling. I even contemplated attending Living Waters seminars. My counsellor took $600 just to listen to my confession of GAY sex and to tell me that I was like an alcoholic. I would ALWAYS have to stay away from GAY men. But NOTHING took away my gay feelings, or dealt with my desire to be loved by and to love men! I have stopped trying to fight it. I am still in the closet in my job and in my church and community.

In 2008 my desire is to LIVE AUTHENTICALLY. If this rings any bells with anyone here, please feel free to Email me.


Joined in 2007
January 14, 2008, 22:40

Hi Denboy, great to have you on f2b! Where in the US do you live? We could be nighbours 🙂

Coming out to yourself is one of the healthiest things you can do, honesty is so important. Society is certainly to blame for alot of the pain same-sex attracted people experience but we ought to take some of the responsibility ourselves too when we try to behave in ways that are detrimental to us. ‘Acting straight’ never did anyone any good and one of the biggest steps is realising its all an act.

I hope that f2b will be encouraging to you in your persuit of personal authenticity. I encourage you to read others stories and get some perspective on how other people have both defined what ‘authentic’ actually is and how they go about living that out. It’s always a great encouragement to realise that despite the odds or the circumstances it can be done.

All the best.
Joined in 2008
January 14, 2008, 23:01

Actually I came across Anthony in a USA website but I LIVE in New Zealand. Please keep in touch though!

Thanks for responding. I am so glad to be here.

Joined in 2006
January 14, 2008, 23:13

Hey Denny, thanks for sharing your story D Looking forward to hearing more form you.

Ditto to Sandys reply D living as the person you are is so important, I had to hit almost 40 to realise that (almost 41 now cry LOL) but its the best thing that ever happened. In hiding and burying stuff in yourself, you take other things along with it that are a part of yourself, most unhealthy.

the fervent prayers of my pastor’s wife who convinced me that satan could NOT take my life unless God permitted it

I like what was said to you, its true and God would never let satan take anyones life anyhow, wasnt that one of the reasons why Jesus came, to save us from that creep? wink

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
January 14, 2008, 23:48

Hey Denny……welcome… is so good to connect wiith others isn’t it. The sense of isolation so many of us have felt for so many years is terrible. No one to talk to. Who can we tell our secret safely too without the fear of being exposed or judged.

I look back even to my tormented days in High School. If only there was a teacher I could confide in. But alas…..homosexuals were imprisoned or treated with electric shock treatment or lobotomy’s. Why would we tell anyone that we were homosexual….the consequences for a young man beginning his life were frightening…..and so we were set up to live a life of secrecy.

I would recommend a great book. The Velvet Rage. Fantastic.

So my friend….thanks to Freedom 2 b[e]…..we need no longer be alone.

May you journey on to living an authentic life. Feels good to me.

Joined in 2007
January 15, 2008, 10:00

Hey Denboy,

Don’t stress about no one keeping in touch thats the beauty of F2b there are so many talk-a-holics here, me included! 😀

So you have decided that 2008 you want to live ‘authentically’ which is great but what do you think that actually means? How does that play out in your life, what things will change, what won’t? It’s always best to have some idea of where you want to be specifically even if you have no idea how to get there!

Trying to live authentically or in other words trying to be a genuine person can mean so many different things to so many different people, its anoyingly postmodern in that way, less of an absolute truth. 😆 I know that I encompass different things within the term than Anthony or Maggie. I guess its about working out what YOU want and if you are a Christian working out what you think God wants and going from there. It sounds almost as complicated as it is!

We would love to hear more from you as you continue to journey so keep in touch. Too bad you don’t live in the US 😥

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