Pray the gay away? – From The Books of Mark

 pray-away-the-gaySo I read an article on the Huffington Post about a family that had their son chose either his love for Jesus or his sexuality. The article is below

I don’t ever remember being given an ultimatum to choose between Jesus and sexuality but it has always been established that “it wasn’t what little boys did.” I grew up in church. We went on Sunday morning . A non-denominational interracial church there was only 1 service unlike some churches today.

We met in schools and hotels. The building was not what was the church the people were the church. The year was 1995. My mom had just died the year before, and my dad was in jail. I was empty, my heart hurt and was dark. I was angry and I wanted to be something, or somewhere else. I got baptized in the spring in the Atlantic Ocean.

The church told me I would have a powerful testimony, that God wouldn’t give me more than I could handle and the number of people I could help by overcoming would be tremendous. I studied the bible, I had a disciple. I was being disciple. I have a journal full of notes I took at each service. The time came to talk about my sins, to be free of the secret so I could step into the light. I confessed my attraction to men.

The rules for me were no different for me than that of my other male counterparts. Love thy neighbor as thy self, Turn from lust, don’t be gluttonous, or greedy, envious, prideful, slow to anger. The guys, when they saw an attractive woman or saw a commercial on TV that was sexually provocative turned their heads, changed the channel or confessed if they had impure thoughts. Masturbation was treated the same way. It was confessed and we prayed harder…with greater conviction that we be saved from the obsession, from the lust, from the impurity. To save ourselves for the one that God had planned us to be with.

There was one small problem. The guys didn’t have to be around the girls constantly. As a matter of fact it really only happened at church, church functions, church southeast conferences, church camp, or on double, triple, quadruple etc. dates as we got older. I however were around the guys all the time. It was hard not to lust when the object of my lust surrounded me at every turn or glance. I suppressed it talked, to my discipler we read more scripture and prayer more together.

I got older and as the anger subsided the puberty took over and the fear crept. We moved from Charleston to Atlanta. Same church. At church camp we met. Some of us have known each other 1994. There were others I have known or had known me since at least 1986. We had all grown up. My baptism felt fake. The praying wasn’t helping. I went on date with the girls. There wasn’t anything there and there wasn’t ever going to be but I tried. Atlanta was different. there were things I heard about here that I never were even a thought. If there had been other gay men around I was totally oblivious. No one ever said that there were others. I felt like I was alone. No one ever treated me any different. The men loved me the same they had before they knew.

I left I stopped going to church. I couldn’t anymore I was miserable. Leaving didn’t change the miserable. All that Bible in my heart and in my head only made being away worse. I went off to school and started to drink. I drank heavily. The drugs started. It got out of control. I went back the church. I had no friends outside of church it was the only place I ever felt like I belonged. We were in college now and things were much different.

This article struck me deep because this kid’s story was my own and several others’. For some reason I didn’t die from my addiction but I could have easily. It should have happened because I didn’t care anymore. I had given up on everything and everyone. The one thing I wanted was for it to all go away but the only thing that I knew I had control over was whether or not I stayed not everything else.

The church and the Bible didn’t cause me to drink and drug.  I did it  because I wanted to escape.

I didn’t choose to be gay. My Aunt Faye told me when I came out to her, ” Honey is that all you have to tell me? I’ve known since you were 3.” Everything in me tried. All they ever wanted from me was to love God.



Filed under In the news

2 responses to “Pray the gay away? – From The Books of Mark

  1. We’ve had this talk before but we knew. Mom said she knew since you were a toddler just like your Aunt Faye, but she said she’d never say anything until you came out because that was something you’d have to discover yourself. I totally see her point, but sometimes I wonder if there’s a happy medium: how to you prepare a child for coming out? The neuroscience is still relatively new and it is my hope that the science will be accepted as fact by the time Josh is of age. I just feel sorry for those who died before the science was widely published. News flash: LGBTQ are God’s children too.

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