I was raised by a Southern Baptist minister in the ultra-conservative Bible belt and struggled with a same-sex attraction. I share, through the eyes and mind of a child, what it was like struggling with something I didn’t ask for.

Because of the bullying and disconnect from my male peers, in addition to my unfortunate experience with “Christians” who didn’t have the heart of Christ. I stepped into a gay bar at the age of 18 and quickly became immersed in the “homosexual lifestyle”. It was the first time I felt a bond with men, and I wasn’t being mistreated. I fell into the many temptations that are commonplace in the gay world from pornography to drugs.

I had no hope and struggled with anger, self-hatred, and depression. I went on a path of self-destruction and battled alcohol/drug abuse, an addiction to sex, turned to hustling (male prostitution), and eventually attempted suicide. I never saw God as the answer because of the mean-spirited “Christians” who made it clear that God hated homosexuals, that AIDS was His wrath on the homosexual community, and that we were going to burn in Hell.

I desperately wanted a relationship with God, but because of my hatred toward Christians I was determined to find Him another way. After turning to Hinduism, the occult, and New Age teachings for answers, I still felt a void and struggled with continuous thoughts of suicide.

After 25 years in that life, most of it in the Los Angeles gay club scene, I had to get honest with myself. I still felt empty. With much trepidation I started going back to church. Thankfully, God connected me with Christians who truly had the heart of Christ. Many shared, in love, how homosexuality was not part of God’s plan and prayed for me.

Unfortunately, I found myself in one particular church whose pastor taught that homosexuality was okay in God’s eyes. An LGBT class was formed and the message was continuously grilled into our heads that “gay is okay”. However, I struggled with more despair, confusion, and shed plenty of tears. I couldn’t find peace.

God eventually revealed the twisted lies of the “liberal, Christian theology”, Hollywood, the LGBT community, and even the lies I had believed about Him. While liberal pastors/teachers were teaching that homosexuality was okay, I was also hearing numerous testimonies of LGBT individuals whom God was delivering out of that life. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33; Jeremiah 17:9; 1 John 4:1; Proverbs 3:5). Someone was lying and I knew it wasn’t God! A loving God wouldn’t create me to be gay and then condemn the behavior. Over a period of time God graciously provided the kind of healing I needed in order to have the strength to walk out of that life.

I turned my back on all of it, repented, and fully surrendered my life to Christ. I have been on the road of celibacy over ten years now and have no regrets about my decision. I can honestly say that I finally have peace with myself, my peace of mind (the mental torment and suicidal thoughts have ceased), and I’m truly at peace with God.

My story is not about glamorizing a life I once lived nor is it about self-pity. Deliverance from what many refer to as the “homosexual lifestyle” is possible. There is hope in Christ. This is merely my journey and what I learned along the way. God has not given up on the LGBT community. To God be the glory! (John 3:16; John 10:27-30)