I was born in a small town in the southern part of Mexico to a Catholic family. I remember being a kid going to mass every Sunday with my family. I was raised by my aunt because at the age of 3 years old, my biological parents decided to move to the U.S. At the age of 8 years old my biological parents decided to bring me to the U.S.
I became kind of a loner kid, due to I didn’t know any English and I had no other way of communicating with my new classmates and my new friends. I learned English pretty quick and after months of hard work. I was having conversations with my new friends. I noticed that I was different in 7th grade. At the time, I believed my lack of interest in girls was due to the fact that I was serious about my education and trying to fit-in in a new culture, but now looking back, it may be had more to do with the fact that I simply wasn’t interested in girls.
I attended high school in Orange County, CA; during the summer of my sophomore and junior year. I became friends with one of my classmate. I found him attractive and we found ourselves going to the movies and to the beach together almost every weekend. By our junior year of high school, we started dating. We kept the relationship a secret and we didn’t tell any of our friends about us being a couple. A reason, why we decided to keep it a secret is due to we were both in the closet, and we were both involve in school activities. We ended the relationship after 2 years and after we both graduated from high school. In the spring of 2001, I decided to move to a diffent ciy to attend college, and that same year my aunt who raised me, passed away of a stroke. I became furious with God because I felt like if He took something precious and dear away from me. I started doubting God and His plans for my life. I became depressed; I started to feel a void in my heart and started questioning the meaning of life. To fulfill that void in my heart, I started dating and got into a second relationship with a guy.
One of my coworkers was a Christian and he would always pray and would read his bible during lunch time. My coworker would always try to tell me about Jesus and invite me to church. I ignored him so many times and would think he was a “Jesus freak”. Finally, I asked him what was the meaning of life and why I felt a void in my heart. He gave me a book to read called “Why Believed?” by Greg Laurie. I honestly never read the book. I was feeling more desperate and anxious to find out the meaning of life and why I was born. One Sunday afternoon, my new boyfriend and I had plans to go to the movies and eat dinner, but at the last minute he cancelled. I was mad at him for cancelling our date. Few minutes later, my coworker called to invite me to go to church and have dinner with him. I am sure; he was surprised that I accepted his invitation to attend church. Since, I was ready and with no other plans for the evening, I decided to attend church. I was not interesting in joining a church or being religious.
We end up at a church called Harvest Christian Fellowship to the Sunday service called Day-7. I didn’t pay much attention to the service or what was going around me until the end of the message. When the pastor said “If you feel a void in your heart; you need to ask Jesus in your heart” I remember walking down the aisle to the front of the stage to ask Jesus in my heart. I prayed the sinner’s prayer; is been almost 10 years since I prayed that prayer. That same night, I ended the relationship with my second boyfriend because I decided to follow Jesus. It was one of the best decisions and I don’t regret it. I started serving in the church and constantly going to bible studies. On April 23, 2010, after years of hiding who I was, I decided to confess to my fellow Christians that I was a homosexual.
I fought being gay with every fiber of my being. I wished it away. I begged it away. I lay prostrate on my face night after night begging God. I will be the first to admit that I have never been much of a fighter but this I fought. Oh my God what did I do to deserve this? I don’t understand. You’re a father. A father doesn’t desire to harm or torment his children, and yet here I am – Gay. I can’t remember a time in which I haven’t begged God for relief.
One thing I know is that God loves me and wants the best for me. God is my rock and has never forsaken me. All He requires of me is to be faithful and seek His perfect will for every area of my life. I now realize that though I am gay and Christian, I will keep myself undefiled and not participate in any promiscuous behavior. For me to be promiscuous is to shame and reject the very One whom I worship and put my trust in. I will remain single until I am sure of what is right for me.
Based on what I understand of Scripture (my personal opinion), being gay is just another manifestation of our sinful nature that needs to be placed at the foot of the Cross. We sin regarless of our sexuality and will continue to sin the rest of our lives, but my hope is that we will begin to sin less, though we will never be (sinless) until we meet our Savior and Lord face to face.
All blessings to you,
All of these lines across my face, tell you the story of who I am…
(Brandi Carlile, The Story)
I was born and raised in central Iowa in a stable, loving, Christian home. I remember praying and “asking Jesus into my heart” when I was about 5 years old. My family attended an Evangelical Free Church and I was actively involved in Sunday school, a small group Bible study, and youth group activities. I took my faith seriously, often reading my Bible and praying. I was baptized at a Sunday church service when I was 13 years old.
Looking back, I recognized that I was different in high school. I became kind of a loner. My main motivation for dating was to gain social acceptance. At the time, I believed my lack of interest in boys was due to the fact that I was serious about my faith and saving myself for marriage, but looking back, it maybe had more to do with the fact that I simply wasn’t interested in boys.
When I was a senior in high school, I decided to go to Northwestern College, a private Christian liberal arts college in Orange City, Iowa. I liked the idea of attending a college where faith played a central role on the campus – the integration of faith in learning, daily chapel services, weekend praise and worship, no drinking on campus, etc. The school and small town were very conservative, safe.
This is how the story went, I met someone by accident. It blew me away. It blew me away… (Brandi Carlile, Hiding My Heart Away)
During the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college (2000) I met the love of my life. As a requirement for my Biology-Environmental Science major, I was required to attend summer courses at the AuSable Environmental Science Institute in Michigan. Katie, another student in the Biology program at NWC, called me up and asked if I wanted to carpool out to Michigan with her. Our lives would never be the same. In Michigan we discovered that we had a lot in common. We spent lots of time together: studying, hiking, laughing, exploring. We were inseparable by the end of the summer. I could tell her anything. Katie’s friendship was an answer to prayer…I’d been praying for a true friend and here she was. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I had fallen in love.
During Christmas break our sophomore year, Katie attended Urbana, a big conference in Illinois for college students interested in becoming missionaries. Out of curiosity, she attended a session on Exodus International. If you’ve never heard of Exodus International, their main objective is to “heal” homosexuals. Shortly after that, Katie confessed that she was attracted to me and I admitted that I felt the same way. There we were: twenty years old, devoted Christians, and madly in love. We had both been raised in churches that preached that homosexuality was clearly a sin. In our minds, the only option was to end our relationship. We were so ashamed and terrified that if anyone found out about us we would be kicked out of school or our parents would pull us out of school to keep us apart. In the years that followed we cried together, prayed together, read the Bible together. We tried in vain to restore our friendship to how we thought God intended it to be, but there was no going back to the way things were before. Over time, it became second nature to simply lie about our relationship. We lived double lives. I believed that after college, we would eventually move on, meet good, Christian men, and live normal lives. God had other plans.
After graduation, we attempted to go our separate ways. Katie moved back to her home state, Minnesota, while I made plans to go to veterinary technician school. Life couldn’t keep us apart for long though. Eventually, Katie moved back to Iowa to be with me while I went to school. After a few years in Iowa, Katie accepted a job in Louisiana. She was trying to be independent and give us both a chance to move on with our lives. That didn’t last long either. By the summer of 2006, we had both moved to Montana. Montana isn’t exactly the most progressive place in the country, but it was the perfect escape for us. Our relationship continued to grow as we spent our free time hiking and camping in the mountains. However, we were still walking a thin line, unable to reconcile our faith with our relationship.
In August 2008, Katie and I attended a Brandi Carlile concert in Boulder, Colorado. At this concert, for the first time in our lives, we felt like we fit in…no one was judging us. It was amazing. I began to consider the possibility of an actual future with Katie. We’d struggled for years to move on and “fix” ourselves. I suddenly realized that it no longer made sense to keep fighting against our relationship. I was no longer convicted that homosexuality was a sin. However, I was convicted that I needed to be honest and open with others regarding my relationship with Katie. On the eight hour car ride from Boulder back to Billings, I decided it was time to tell my family. Katie and I had been together for seven years by this point and had never spoken to anyone about it. When I told my mom, she cried but said she loved me no matter what. I think my family was most heartbroken by the fact that I’d been keeping this secret for so many years. My parents struggled to be supportive and made it clear that they strongly believed that homosexuality was a sin. My brothers and Katie’s sisters seemed to take the news well. A few family members seriously questioned our salvation. They believed we were living a lie and putting each other before God.
All your mountains turn to rocks, all your oceans turn to drops, they are nothing like you thought, you can’t be something you are not… (Brandi Carlile, Pride and Joy)
I began searching for resources for gay Christians and was amazed that there were so many other people out there, just like me. I began to understand and accept that God made me and loved me just as I was. Slowly, Katie and I began the process of coming out to our friends and co-workers. Much to my surprise, most people have been extremely supportive and accepting. I can’t believe we spent so many years fearing that people would reject us if they really knew who we were. I was so wrong. While they still struggle to understand our relationship and still believe the Bible indicates that homosexuality is a sin, our families have both made huge strides in supporting us as a couple. The truth really will set you free.
A few years ago, I never could have even imagined where we would be today. This past September, Katie and I drove to Iowa and Minnesota to visit our families. While we were in Iowa, we got married. It was a simple civil ceremony at the city hall in my hometown. My parents and brothers and Katie’s sisters were there. We have been overwhelmed by the amount of support we have received from family and friends. Of course, there are still “friends” who remind us about what the Bible says about our “lifestyle” but that just comes with the territory. We found a church in Billings that is open and affirming. I am excited to see what the future holds. I look forward to the day when our marriage will be recognized and celebrated by others for what it truly is…a beautiful gift from God. -J. L. (Montana)
I grew up in a small, rural Oklahoma town. I am the daughter of a Missionary Baptist deacon. At the young age of 22, I married a man, “like I was suppose to”. I had two amazing and beautiful children. Their father and I divorced when they were one and four years of age. I had finally decided to be “me”. I had fought with my feeling for women since I was 14 years old. My own mother has told me that I am going to hell and taking my daughter(who also is a lesbian) to hell with me. She says that my partner, who is also a christian, is of satan. I have several family members turn there back on me because of my sexuality. I am presently, after 10 years of having custody, in the midst of an ugly court battle in the state of Oklahoma. A court system that believes that I child should be taken from their parent purely based on his or her sexual orientation. It has been a living hell for me. However! , I know where I will spend eternity and they can say whatever they want but I will never turn my back on God. Your prayers are much appreciated. -S. O.(Arkansas)
Well i was brought up in a very inactive anglican church and left when i was 14 but always believed in God. At 16 i joined a youth group lead by a very radical christian and grew in faith, at 18 i went to an amazing evangelical church and gave my life to God. God has brought me on an amazing journey, freeing me from the pain of my past and providing wonderful godly surrogate parents to me. My father passed away when i was 20 and my birth mother and i are not in relationship so i was alone but God has other plans… he brought an amazing christian couple into my life and i have lived with them as family for 9 years now.
I attend a baptist church where i lead worship at our youth services and run the church prayer chain e-mail. I love my church and my faith is my life. I am however a lesbian and have only just had courage to begin to tell my church friends as i have kept this part of my life secret.
Obviously the view of my church is that i should remain single and live a life of celibacy. They are supportive though and i will cross the issues of a relationship if and when it happens.
I will remian single until i am so sure of what is right for me, i believe you can live without sex but you cant live without intimacy and love and you can get that from friends, family and church.
God is my rock and has supported me thus far and i know he will support me in my future. -Anonymous (England)
I grew up in a Roman Catholic family. Both my parents were converts in their 30’s and loved their faith and I grew up loving my faith as well. Starting from an early age I separate myself from most people from my education – I was homeschooled from 1st grade to high school. I went to a public high school for one year and then transferred to an online school, which I will graduate from on Pentecost (June 12th) this year!
I grew up thinking I was just like every other boy I knew. I didn’t play with dolls but played in the ravine with my friends. I always thought I would marry a woman and have children; I even had names for them at a young age. I for the longest time prayed for my “other” and talked to her in my head. It never crossed my mind that I was gay because I never knew what it was. Likewise I still don’t know what “romance” is because to me that was simply getting the girl at the end of a movie. My parents, bless them, made the mistake of not explaining the world to me at an early enough age. When I went to high school I experienced first hand how cruel and complex the world can be. I met people, my friends, who were “damned” and I finally went through puberty.
I always had role models in my life. Most kids do and that’s “normal” but I would perhaps obsess over them. How could would it be to be with __ I thought. Two people in my life who needed to be supportive role models failed me. I have received emotional, spiritual, verbal and even physical abuse from my catechism teacher. The priest took his side or didn’t want to bother with it. Either way I had a malformed view of religion.
I was really into art. I would draw people and portraits. I found landscaped and still life to be boring and lifeless. The problem lied in WHOM I drew. When I drew girls I felt guilty. I had a bad experience of people telling me they didn’t like they way I drew them. Also, I always felt “guilty” when girls would be ‘indecent’. Did I draw men then? No, I felt “weird” when I drew them. So I was left drawing “me” or different people who, despite looks or even gender, represented me. I did all of this unknowingly which comes up later.
I was born with a speech disability, I stutter and it’s just something that I have been teased and teased about. I went through the training like “The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain”. I took to talking to myself to help myself “get certain words down” – my Mom didn’t like it and told me to stop it. So I did it internally. Even learning the prayers hurt inside because I could never say the Hail Mary without messing up.
I chose to study Japanese because I wanted to transform something “ugly” about me into something “beautiful”. I was appalled to see such objection and ridicule from peers and even family. It took a lot of hard work and effort before people stopped saying “Lier, you just want attention” to “Is this too hard to translate for you?” to “How do you say (expletive)?” I now teach Japanese and study Chinese as a hoby. All my experiences have shown me that I want to be a teacher and help the world see through new colors. (Be patient I’ll wrap this up.)
So when I realized that I was “gay” I took it HARSHLY. Whenever my brother or family made fun of a gay guy, which was fairly often, I took it personally. I eventually took to cutting myself (at my hips and eventually my sexual organs). Talking to myself led to serious mental issues where I heard and conversed to people in my head. I split myself up because I couldn’t live with the contradictions in my life. I eventually told my parents, first with that I was snkinsefrenic and then later that I was gay. They took it as a mental problem. Actually, I have a history of not being taken seriously because I wear several levels of masks. They thought it would be ‘cleansed’ through therapy – the guy tried to convert me and led me in circles of self doubt. I didn’t feel it was a solution and lied to get out.
I then searched for my own solutions. I got over both the cutting and “visions/hearing” problems but I now deal with bipolar mood swings. I pretended to be a happy person but the secrets burned holes in my heart. I actually came out twice! My parents told me that I couldn’t trust my thoughts, feelings, heart, beliefs or conscious. I had to turn myself off and run on ‘autopilot’. My parents accept me and love me – but on more conditional terms that I pretend that I am “healthy” and not “act on feelings or emotions”. I was told never to bring it up to anyone else and had some threats here and there. My mother would sometimes breakdown and cry when she looked at me. Even now I get nasty comments or something she, out of fear and love, doesn’t mean. My father took it more maturely but tells me that I “may not be all that faithful, and that maybe I should lookelsewhere”.
Two months ago I was in a deep depression. I became a mean and hurtful person who stopped all relations with God – “He must hate me for who I am or to give me this”, I thought. I realized that all this time I have been hating myself and God and not giving my trust to either one — I didn’t even know who I or God was. I slapped on an image of “God” to realize it’s MAN’s image. I found GCN (Gay Christian Network) and a bunch of Christian gays and found that God loves me and intended me to be the way I am. To wish for a different life would be wrong, I don’t know best, GOD knows best. I looked in the Bible and saw a familiar pattern. Man wanted a warrior of a God, Jesus gave himself up as a servant. Man wanted to CONDEM and JUDGE the sinners, and Jesus ate and forgave them. He turned up the political, religious and even cultural world they lived in.
I recently found your blog and while it’s still young I believe strongly that it’s what God wants – and this time I trust what I feel and believe! I don’t pretend to understand things I know as heck I don’t. I’m only 18 and I don’t need to make these decisions right now. I just know that God loves me the way I am – even the “gay’ part. I may fall, but I will strive to be strong and follow his footsteps the best I can – whether that is to be celibate or not I can’t say. I don’t know the answers, ask God.
I want to thank the Christian gay community for breathing life into my spiritual and daily life. I feel completely different. I used to be quiet and self hating, unconfident and confused. I flipped entirely, though I still have to bear my parents’ words and actions patiently. They may tell me that I need to change or that I have to live this “cross” alone but I’m only taking my first steps and I have a long way to go. As the Japanese expression goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. -Anonymous