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Being “Out”

For a lot of the people that know me, my homosexuality is something they know, but rarely reference. It’s something that exists, but as I live in a group of close-knit Assemblies of God Pentecostals, it’s looked down upon. I’d like to take this post to let you peek through the window into my journey.

I was sexually molested by three older men in my life on an almost weekly basis from the ages of 8 to 14. 2 of these men were people that were related to me. One of them was someone whose father worked at the church I attended as a child. These events occurred alongside puberty, and thus made things very confusing for me during childhood.

I was raised in the Pentecostal A/G church, and as such I was constantly told that homosexuality was wrong and that I needed to change. However, none of the people in my life at the time really knew how to help me.

After finding out about my homosexuality my parents immediately placed me in counseling. I went to two sessions and never went back. This was when I was 15 or 16. Afterwards, my parents pretty much left me alone about this.

In college, I was openly out to the people around me, even though I was attending SAGU at the time, because everyone I’d ever told in confidentiality had used it against me at some point. I figured, if everyone knew, then nobody could burn me with it.

This proved to be correct, as pretty much everyone who knew treated me with kindness and love, save for a few people. I had entered a dangerous environment and was greeted with open arms. People still stated their disagreement with my lifestyle, but they loved me nonetheless.

Through a series of mistakes, my leadership found out.

They told me three things: 1. I couldn’t tell people I was gay. 2. They can’t have someone who is gay graduate from their program. 3. If I wanted to stay, then I HAD to go to counseling. I went to counseling and actually had a session with the head of the counseling department at my college. He said I didn’t need counseling. *facepalm*

This brings me to Evangel University. It’s 2010, I’m out to basically everyone there in the same way, but I keep it from leadership this time around. Again, the accepting attitude is present and the student body is generally kind to me. I experienced 2 fantastic years there, and 1 semester of counseling that went surprisingly well. They counselor didn’t try to “change” me, but he made an effort to see me as a person, and not as an issue.

This brings me to today. It’s May 26th, 2012. I’ve been praying for almost 14 years, and I’m still gay.

The question that remains in my life at the moment is where do I go from here? I’m enrolled in grad school and leave at the end of August. I plan on graduating from there in a few years.

I don’t know where this is going to take me relationship wise. I’m not attracted to women at all. I wish I was. I feel like it would be easier for my family. They desperately want me to be straight and marry a nice woman someday. I wish that would happen to, but these 13 years have proven that other things might be in the cards. I just don’t know what yet. Would it be wrong for me to fall in love with a man, get married, adopt, and have a fruitful monogamous relationship? I don’t know. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

What are your thoughts? How do you feel about homosexuals? What about “ex-gay therapy” or similar methods? What do you think is the best route for someone in my position to take? And before you answer, think about it from the perspective of a person, and not just an issue. See it through the eyes of the men and women on the battle-lines, and not in the war-rooms.

 

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3 thoughts on “Being “Out”

  1. Sam,
    I had no idea. You are one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, and to be perfectly honest this doesn’t in the slightest change my opinion of you in any way. All the guys I’ve met and had the honor of calling friends who were gay were some of the most amazing people. They are no different than me or my straight guys friends. I may not agree with their lifestyle, but I understand that sometimes things are as they are. I don’t thing “ex-gay therapy” will ever truly work. Especially when traumatic events happen in someones life and scared straight programs to “re-program” someone are a farce. In my humble, minimally educated opinion you should be true to who you are. How else are you going to ultimately be happy? If you’re constantly lying and trying to please everyone else you’re never going to be who you were meant to be. You can’t make a choice based on what your parents think or what other people will think. No one but you and God know what’s best for you. It wouldn’t be wrong to fall in love and marry a man who makes you happy and with whom you feel complete, adopt a few kids, and live life together. Isn’t being happy what our parents truly want for us? It might take some adjusting for your parents, but eventually they’ll come around, and I know I have no idea about this at all, but if they truly love you as their own they will come around. Whatever you ultimately choose to do I hope you are happy. That’s what I will be praying for, for you. You really are one of the most awesome people I know.
    Sincerely,
    Aimee

  2. hey sam!
    First off, love you! this was an amazing article and its awesome that you put a face on such a “touchy” issue. My stance on homosexuality is that yes, its a sin. But so is lust, which i struggle with on a daily basis. I think we often get caught up in ranking sins and struggles instead of realizing that grace was meant to cover all of them. We shun the homosexual but elect the guy who struggles with gluttony and greed as a deacon. I think the church will take huge steps forward once we realize its a genuine struggle that has to be processed, not only prayed over. Just my thoughts, keep up the good writing 😀

    • Exactly, and to some extent, the Church has this taboo and emphasis on changing the gays. I’ve been to counseling w/ no results, and the scientific community (even the guy who CREATED ex-gay therapy) have come out against it and said it’s detrimental to the psyche.

      I also feel like the Church has a real issue with seeing the people first, before they see the issue. That’s my main concern. I have friends in the same boat who were forces into counseling as well. It’s the knee-jerk Christian response.

      I’ve wanted to change for years w/ no results, and so I’ve put it in God’s hands now. It’s on Him. It’s too much stress for me.

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