Born This Way: My Journey From Sexual immorality To Total Deliverance
(Note to readers: Contains graphic content.)
Until now, I have never confessed my greatest secret to anyone. For more than 25 years, I firmly kept hidden the one thing about me that could change the way my closest friends, children, immediate and church family views me. This secret, that I am finally free to share with the world, is that I was gay, and believed for more than a quarter of a century that I was born that way.
You may wonder why I kept my lesbianism a secret for so many years, especially since homosexuality is so widely accepted today, and laws are always being modified in support of the gay community. Truth is, I could never find peace with being who I was, because as a child, I learned early on that homosexuality was wrong, and if I dared embrace it, my final destination would be hell.
It is now twenty-five years later, and I am, finally, able to tell my story. I can honestly say that any such testimony shared prior to now wouldâ€™ve been incomplete. It is as a result of Godâ€™s love, mercy, grace, and Spirit that through this journey of hurt, pain, shame, loneliness, confusion, depression, yet understanding, conviction and deliverance, I am able to stand with the full-backing of the Holy Spirit, share my testimony, and possess the unwavering power needed to withstand the type of fire that comes as a result of such a testimony. I know that from this point forward, my life will be under a microscope. But I welcome it. God has given me a testimony. I no longer struggle with the sin of homosexuality! I no longer feel imprisoned in my body, and, now know for certain that I was not born this way.
When the Bible speaks of homosexuality, the emphasis is placed on the behavior, not the condition. God loves us all â€“ whether homo or heterosexual. It is sin that He condemns that ultimately leads us to hell. The Lordâ€™s words on homosexual behavior, just as with any other sexual immorality, is that it is sinful (Lev. 18:22; Lev. 20:13; 1 Kings 14:24; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; and Jude 7).
Still not convinced? Below is my story. It is a raw, unmanicured account of my journey to, through, and now beyond, homosexuality and sexual immorality. Please read, analyze, and dissect my testament. I have made every attempt to leave out no detail. I realize something that may be embarrassing for me to share, may be the one thing upon which you, the reader, and I relate. My prayer is that you or someone you know is encouraged to confront the culture, overcome what may be a spirit of perversion, and surrender to God his or her will, natural desires, and human understanding. Let God Free you, too!
Bitter: My Journey To Temptation
I was 11 years old the first time I kissed a girl. Although homosexuality was becoming more and more acceptable in society, I couldnâ€™t let go of the little knowledge I had about God. And that was that this (homosexuality) was something that He did not approve of.
For a long while, the fear of going to hell, especially for something I should be able to control, governed my actions. Well, that, and twice as much, the shame I would feel if people knew the truth. So, as you could imagine, I made every effort to conceal my desires. For a while, I was able to refrain from physically acting on my emotions. But that only lasted for a short while. By the time I was 14, I would find myself overwhelmed with lustful desires and consistently watching lesbian pornography in an effort to satisfy my flesh.
The transition to this alternative lifestyle wasn’t instantaneous. With every boundary I pushed, lesbianism consistently crept in. Yes, watching the porn made the doors to this life visible. But the doors were first opened when I learned that my best friend had these same feelings and, in confidence, admitted to me that she was bisexual. I, now, had someone with whom I could relate. Her confession somehow gave my desires validation or justification. Still afraid to tell her my true nature, I just pretended to be curious and eventually allowed her to guide me beyond the doorway and even deeper into this seductive lifestyle.
Bondage: My Journey Through Captivity
By my 31st birthday, I’d grown sick of men. My mind was set! The relationship with my kidâ€™s father had hit a dead end, and he’d been added to my long list of men who could never be trusted. So when my best friend suggested that she, her girlfriend, and I hang out to celebrate that evening, I was down for whatever. To be honest, I was hoping that the girls would invite a fourth friend/date for me. I vividly remember going to the Menâ€™s Macyâ€™s and choosing the nice metro DKNY gear that was hanging on the mannequin. This wasn’t my first time. I’d shopped in the men’s department before. Wearing men’s clothing made me feel dominant, so it was exactly what I needed to make me comfortable in the upcoming role I was to play that evening. I didnâ€™t want it to be apparent that I was my dressing like a dude, so I softened up my look with some sassy red pumps and fly accessories.
Eventually, we all – my best friend, her girlfriend, my surprise date and I – met up, and immediately my pre-meditated plan went into action. I intentionally got extremely drunk, so I would be able to blame ANYTHING THAT MAY HAVE HAPPENED on the alcohol. I knew that tonight would be the night that I actually sleep with a woman. I was anxious, but at the same time scared. Scared that folks may know that beyond the alcohol, this was really me. Scared that this may really be me! But, I soon convinced myself that there was no reason to worry. IT WAS THE ALCOHOL because without it, I wouldn’t be able to do it. And IF something should happen, it would be my first and definitely, my last time. And one time clearly wouldn’t qualify me as gay … so I thought. Needless to say, it went down that night and to my detriment, “It was intoxicating!” I think I was more drunk from the encounter than I was from the actual alcohol. Before I knew it, I was in a sexual relationship with a different woman. Every time we were together, it felt right. But, when apart, it was as if I had all my senses. I would question myself and God, wondering, “Is this real?” But it had to be! It felt too natural not to be – even more natural than being with a man. Things soon began to accelerate quickly. I constantly found myself making excuses–justifying my behavior. My mind went from “I will never be with a girl” to “Ok, I’m with a girl but only this once.” I tried to convince myself that “It’s just sex.” But deep inside, I feared that it was more. I really tried to tell myself that the emotions I was experiencing were just surface. I really believed, at the time, that “I would not be with another girl,” “Nor, would I ever be in a real relationship with a woman.” But, that wasn’t true. I would soon be with yet another woman and in a homosexual relationship. I was going deeper and deeper. And the longer I was with this woman, the more apparent it became that I could never be with a man again.
Bond-servant: My Journey Beyond the Sin
Now, you may expect me to say that when I got saved and joined a church, I was instantly freed from homosexuality. But that couldnâ€™t be farther from the truth. God did free me from sexual immorality, but it would not come directly. There was a process, a new journey, if you will, that God had to take me through. He would guide me on an expedition back through my past, painful memories, and regrets, in order to move me forward and beyond my sin. God had to first allow me to revisit the hurt and the many uncomfortable truths that led me to the comforts of this lifestyle which, now I understand, was designed by the enemy long ago to hinder my spiritual purpose and destroy my soul. Giving my life to God and accepting him as my Lord and Savior was just the beginning. It would take several years post salvation for me to freely serve God â€“ free from guilt and shame, transparent, and able to share my testimony without the fear of judgment.
Throughout my process to freedom, contrary to what many may expect, never did God confront my homosexuality. Instead, he challenged me with the fact that I, like any other person, was born in sin and shaped in iniquity. Homosexuality was just one of the manifestations of my sinful nature and personal circumstances combined. God made me fully aware of my sin through his word; and, eventually, led me to realize that I was not born this way, but was motivated by the seducing spirit that was in harmony with my flesh. Learning that this behavior wasn’t uncontrollable or innate, I began to question God even more. I wondered, “Lord, if I was not born this way, why do I still have these desires, even after the cross? Even after confessing my sin and living a life of denial?” Dealing with the mind games and the shame continued to hold me captive. Even by this time, knowing that I wasn’t born this way, in my heart, I made myself okay with the fact that I was going to die this way. Knowing I wasn’t born like this should’ve made things easier–given me hope. But, it didn’t. I’d been robbed of the one excuse I had for not being able to control my behavior. Sure, I believed that God could free me, but I couldn’t imagine how. I’d already given my life to Christ. I expected God to heal me immediately. But, he didn’t! And I didn’t know what else I needed to do to overcome. I had no point of reference to go to. There was no one that I knew personally that could walk me through this process. Though my Pastor, and those I valued spiritually, knew of my past lifestyle, I still felt alone. I wasn’t ashamed to tell them that I was gay as much as I was to share that, even after all these years post salvation, I still feel perverted in my mind. What would they think if they knew that there were nights when I would just cry because I couldn’t understand why these feelings wouldn’t go way?
Before-hand: The Examples God Gives
But all of my questions would be answered when God began to meet me where I was. The Lord gave my pastor messages like “Abandonment,” which was about making the decision to leave your past behind you and never return; “Walking through Eternity Blindfolded,” which emphasized how we carelessly go through life without considering the spiritual consequences; and “The Women that Was Still Not Loosed,” which explained why we often remain bound even after salvation. After hearing these Spirit-led messages, I began to clearly see God and understand why I was still bound. Every message had one common theme: It is time to let go of the things that keep us bound. The things that we suppress and hold on to. The things that hinder us from moving forward with God. To answer my questions of “why” and emphasize the need to let go, God would use two biblical references: the Children of Israel post Egypt, and the Woman with Infirmities.
First, consider the Children of Israel and the Exodus journey from Egypt. Before allowing the Children of Israel to enter into the promised-land, God had to first change their mindsets. He had to cure the root of their behavior, so that they wouldn’t carry the ways and behaviors they’d learned in Egypt into their future. Had they not undergone the process, they would eventually return to that which was familiar. Being free or saved and having the title “Christian” doesn’t automatically change your behaviors. When you confess and accept God as your Lord, he leads you through a process of understanding, challenging that which you’ve always believed, and gives you the supernatural strength to overcome that which you would’ve otherwise remained a slave to. That being said, God had to teach me through the preached word that although I was living a life of salvation, there were still things in me that He needed to remove – behaviors that would hinder my walk with God.
God also allowed me to see, through the message entitled, “The Women That Was Still Not Loosed,” that just like the woman with infirmities, I had a weakness – a sickness- that I’d learned to live with. This woman had gone to church 18 years, but could not walk straight as her soul was crooked. I, like the woman, was also sick with an infirmity of the flesh. I’d struggled with something with which, I knew, God was not pleased. And I needed to understand “why.” Why was I still this way? No, I did not act on my emotions or put myself in a position to feed my flesh, but it was difficult not to – the feelings were still there. After a while, I just accepted that this was who I was. We say it all the time, but “killing my flesh,” carrying the cross, was a daily practice for me. I was sick, perverted, and had been for a long time. Hearing about this woman, who too had considered her ailment a permanent part of her being, gave me hope. Knowing that God saw her crookedness, and thought it not just necessary, but imperative to heal her and on the Sabbath, encouraged me. I realized that God was waiting for me, just as He had for the woman, to show myself faithful despite my infirmity. The woman could have allowed her issue to hinder her walk with God, but she did not. She, like I, had grown to hate the sin, and consequently, denied her flesh in an effort to remain faithful to God. As a result of her faithfulness, God healed the woman of her infirmity, her weakness; and would soon heal me of my mine.
Brokenness: All A Part of God’s Plan
What felt like breaking, was part of God’s plan. Without even realizing, my healing process had begun. But freedom wouldn’t come without God first revealing the root of my weakness – the culprit behind my sexual immorality. Through a series of messages, God allowed me to see that what kept me bound by my own flesh and hindered me from moving forward in him, was unforgiveness. Hard to believe that I, failing to pardon the behaviors and actions of those that wronged me, had caused myself to become bitter and resentful, and to seek acceptance in hidden places. Unforgiveness had become the fuel that drove my lustful desires. It was “why” I was the way I was. You may be wondering, just as I did, “What does unforgiveness have to do with my homosexuality?” Truth is, it has a lot to do with it. God can never truly hinder us from the manifestations of a sin without uprooting the cause. This process, for me, was very painful, because it meant remembering and facing things that I spent much of my life trying to forget. Things that unknowingly, shaped my life and the way I’d chosen to live.
God dug deep into my past. He illuminated the relationship that I had with my mom – the blame, hatred, anger and, resulting unforgiveness I held in my heart, even beyond her death. He took the time to show me where, in my abnormal childhood, it all began. Somewhere in-between my mom’s addiction to drugs and alcohol; the verbal and physical abuse that would result in my having bruised and blood clotted eyes; and her cocaine-addicted “minister” fiancĂ© who would sexually abuse me when she wasn’t around, I began to hate my mother. I resented her for not believing that it was her man that introduced me to pornography at the age nine, and then progressively moved to molesting me. I resented her for choosing this man over me, bringing him into my life, and then failing to protect me from him. During the time of abuse, from both my mother and her fiancĂ©, I sharply recall my little brother not being touched or beaten. It was then that I first desired to be a boy. I started wearing my hats backwards and standing over the toilet to tinkle. I dressed like a boy in hopes of him not being attracted to me. Since he never touched my brother, I figured if I portrayed myself as a boy, he would not touch me either. Unfortunately, that couldnâ€™t be farther from the truth. I dove so deep into this role that unnatural affections began to blossom within me. Before I knew it, the interactions with my mom’s boyfriend and my dressing like a boy had become consistent. Things progressed so quickly – I was changing, but no one had noticed. Not even my mom. So, a week before their wedding, I finally gathered the nerves to tell her what had been going on, and my worst fear was proven. She did not believe me! Even with physical proof of molestation and rape from the Rape Crisis Center, she still took the side of her fiancĂ©. And after I exposed the abuse, my mom blamed me for her boyfriend leaving and then attempted suicide in front of me while begging me to change my story. In the end, he had abused me and it was entirely my fault!
Needless to say, my mom and this man were back together within weeks. And by now, news of the abuse had spread. Armed with the knowledge that my mother did nothing to protect me, the brothers of my mother’s fiancĂ©, who were also ministers of the church, began molesting me. The relationship between the molester and my mom eventually ended, but she continued the relationship with his family, and so continued the molestation. Even his teenage relatives would have us – kids – perform sexual acts on one another. After a while, it all became the norm. Having experienced perversion at such a young age, I was exposed to many things. My mother, using my premature knowledge of sex to school me on how to manipulate men, told me at age thirteen, after asking for lunch money, “With a body like that, you should always have money!” She was implying that I should use my body to get what I wanted. This advice, from the woman who was supposed to love me more than anyone else, coupled with the ongoing abuse from men, would be the propeller to my deep rooted journey along this twisted path of sexual immorality. My being violated by a man, not only initiated the transgender desires, but fostered my perverted thinking, and established a place for very unnatural cravings to blossom – exponentially.
Before long, I would assume the identity (mentality) of a male and build my whole life around this warped, distorted view of the life I believed God had created me to live. The desire to be loved and feel wanted, while broken with unforgiveness, had landed me in this secret life of homosexuality and sexual perversion. Was I born in sin? Yes. Was I born this way? No. Personal circumstances, uncontrollable by me, produced, in me weaknesses – sexual immorality. The enemy, then, exploited those weaknesses by presenting me with temptations that fed my immoral desires while filling my mind with crooked thoughts. Such thoughts led to my corrupt beliefs and consequent actions. Looking back, there were so many things birthed out of my travesty of a childhood – hatred, anger, jealousy, alcoholism, drug use, prostitution, and homosexuality. Though I kept my homosexuality a secret, it was a way of escape for me. No one knew but me. No one could control this life but me. Whenever I felt, broken, hurt, or confused, this was the life to which I would turn. Had it not been for the Word of God, this way of life would have been a permanent part of my being. I am, today, filled with joy to know that God saw my crookedness, and thought it not just necessary, but imperative to heal me after all these years – even after building a life around this lie. All God was waiting for was for me to show myself faithful despite my infirmity.
I could’ve allowed my past to hinder my walk, and at times I thought it would, but I never ceased to seek God’s divine deliverance. I believed that the life I lived was wrong in the eyes of God, and grew to hate that which God despised. IT WAS HARD but through the grace of God, I was able to deny my flesh because, more than anything else, I wanted to be faithful to God. As a result, today I am healed. I am free of my infirmity, my weakness. It’s funny how God does things. All this time, I was looking for God to confront and remove the homosexuality. But He didn’t. Instead, He delivered me through a process that prompted me to confront my past. Through His word, He led me to understand that I was not born this way, and that my response to what happened to me led me down this path. In order to truly be free, I had to face the worst part of my past and sincerely forgive all of my predators, including my mom. The process wouldn’t be easy. There was no praying the gay away, nor any five-step program to reference. At times, I even wished that there were messages of condemnation to make me feel horrible, but there were none of those either. I now understand that my deliverance could only come one way. God had to take me on this step-by-step process to not only show to me that I was not born this way, but to show me how the things hidden in my heart kept me in bondage. Freedom was possible. But in order to taste this freedom, I would have to gather the courage to confront who I really was, forgive all who had wronged me, and denounce that which I’d come to believe as truth. Now, I can truly say with an open heart that I AM FREE and I was NOT BORN THAT WAY!!!