My Story

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

Stepping Stones

I remember watching a news segment that showed two guys kissing each other.  I don’t remember what the news report was about, but I do remember saying to myself, “That’s what I am … gay.”  Ever since I could remember, I have liked guys.  Sure, I tried dating girls and I even tried having sex with girls; but for the most part, those physical things never went to the heart, as my attractions for guys did.

I remember acting more “feminine” while growing up than “being a man.”  I did not hunt, play football, or work on cars.  I did not follow sports religiously.  I hated gym class.  I had more girls that were friends than I did boys.  I loved art class, theatre, music, writing poetry, shopping, and talking on the phone (though now I hate to shop and talk on the phone, which I think is a good thing).

I moved a lot when I was kid, and my parents were divorced, so while I had two homes I never really felt at home anywhere.  Growing up I always felt that I was living two lives: one at my mom’s house and one at my dad’s house.  It is not that it was a bad thing, to have two homes; I am just saying it was hard to connect with those around my house – so naturally I kept to myself a lot.

My parents tried their best to give me a good life.  Looking back, I know they loved me and wanted the best for me.  At the time, though, I thought that my parents were against me and did not care much what I did as long as I did not embarrass them.  (It is amazing the perspectives on life a child has compared to an adult!)

I grew up in an Irish Catholic family, though we mostly only went to church for two reasons: holidays and whenever I served as an altar boy (though during those times, it was mostly my step-dad and I who would go).  He would sit in the back on the church when I was “doing Mass” and try to make me laugh during the service.  Laughing – distracting the congregation – was forbidden when serving as an altar boy.  I used to laugh a lot when I did Mass, so my altar boy days were short-lived.

Even with going to Catholic school for 8 years, I never really had a relationship with God, let alone knowledge of Him wanting to be “personal” with me.  I was always under the impression – which was never really disputed by my teachers – that unless I was perfect then God would not interact with me.  After all, in Catholic history, only the “Saints of Old” had one-on-one connections with God; everyone else had no such luck.  After moving to a new Catholic school, and failing through it, my parents thought it would be good for me to attend public school.

In light of this move, I had no problem leaving behind my so-called-shallow-faith in order to embrace a world of agnosticism.  Besides, I was determined to make a difference within myself in this new school.  As the school year drew on, I tried to define myself in many ways, but nothing seemed to work.  In the summer before ninth grade, a friend from school and I started to become closer.  I finally had what I considered a best-friend relationship.  It was sweet.  At first, our friendship was normal; but then we started to “play card games” and my world would never be the same again.

This was not my first “experience” with a guy.  The summer before, a neighborhood boy and I did some things.  Although this new encounter I had with my friend more or less closed the deal on my sexuality: I was definitely gay.  My attractions for guys had always been a pondering question in my mind; but when my friend and I “hooked up”, it was like everything became clear and I “knew” this was who I was.  I cannot explain it, other than I just knew what I felt to be true.  I remember we both came out to each other at the same time.  It was a causal conversation, nothing big and dramatic (I was doing dishes at the time).  We determined, though, to keep our gayness a secret; we were not sure how people would take our new found identity, especially our parents.

Down the Road

My four years of high school were hell.  Though I have some good experiences from it, for the most part I hated every day of those four years.  I came out to my friends in the middle of ninth grade.  Although my friends accepted me for me, I faced hate, ignorance, death threats, name calling, and the like from peers.  Some things came from the jocks of the school, but most of the things came from Christians.  In fact, more than anyone else, the Christians referred to me as “faggot” or damned me to hell.  Their hate towards me only fueled my response to flaunt my sexuality even more.  If their God hated me, which is how they put it, then I hated Him too … the more they yelled at me and condemned me, the more I built a wall of resistance against anything dealing with God and His followers.

I learned to disregard my pain and rejection, and focus on helping other people.  Sure, it was a defense mechanism, but it got me through the turmoil of school, and besides, I was not strong enough to deal with everything that lay underneath – waiting to erupt forth.  So, I helped raise awareness for AIDS education and helped many other gay teens accept their sexuality as being normal.  I was vocal about the discrimination I faced, and I made sure my “oppressors” knew I was not going to go away quietly.  My thought was if I could help someone not go through what I went through, then my battle scars were not in vain.  For the most part, it worked.

However, there was a big difference between my being out and open at school, then at home.  I had waited about a year from coming out before I told my parents anything about my sexuality.  I was sure they would have confronted me by then, but they had not, so I finally told them.  By this point, my mom and step-dad were divorced, and so I was living with my mom and younger brother.

I remember the day I came out, as if it was yesterday.  I had stayed home “sick” from school.  I knew I had to tell my parents about what I was going through, especially since it was eating me up inside every day I did not say anything.  I phoned my step-mom and through stutters and stammers told her, I am gay.  I asked her to tell my dad – I had no clue what to even say to him.  Then I wrote a letter, to my mom, which I would place in her car the next morning – so she could read it while at work (I know, nice, huh?!).  I could not tell my step-dad … which to this day I still do not know why.  In fact, he would not find out about my “gay life” until years later.

My parents reacted differently about me coming out, but they all had one reaction in common: no one talked to me about it.  My dad (from what I have heard) called people and said that if anyone had a problem with me being gay they can just talk to him about it.  My step-mom really did not express approval or disapproval over the fact.  My mom took it the hardest, from what I saw anyways.  She came into my room that night, kissed me, and said that she loved me regardless.  That was really the last time we ever talked about me being gay.

While I was glad to not be rejected “physically” by my parents, their silence about the issue was deafening, and in that silence, I felt rejected “emotionally.”  My best friends mom, who by now was my boyfriend, took him and I to a support group for gay teens.  Finally, I saw that I was not alone; others had experiences like my best friend and I.  It was a great feeling.  Looking back, I wished my parents had also taken the time to find me help and support – I think that would have helped both of us through everything.

Being “out and about,” I was happy.  However, inwardly, I struggled to find true peace with my life and myself.  I spent many days depressed, struggling to even get out of bed.  I tried to kill myself a few times, I tried pot, I flung myself into relationship after relationship (all being sexual), and I even tried running away from home.  Except for the relationships, I did not follow through on anything, because I knew that was not the answer for me either.  I was confused, because in one sense I knew who I was, and yet, I felt extremely lost.  Except for a few friends knowing everything, I struggled internally alone and afraid.

While in eleventh grade, I met a Christian named Yvonne, who wanted to befriend me.  She was already in the “in-crowd” with other friends of mine, but to me I wanted proof that she was not going to bash me like the other Christians.  To my surprise, she was not like that at all.  Yvonne was not perfect by any means (she was a normal teenage girl with problem) but what she possessed was something I was highly interested in, I just did not know what that “something” was exactly.

I remember Yvonne coming up to me and saying such healing words: “I don’t agree with what you do, Shawn.  But I like you.  I want to be your friend.”  She did not force Christianity on me, she did not force the Bible down my throat, and she did not damn me to hell.  Instead, she loved on my and my friends, which meant the world to me.  In eleventh grade, my friends meant a lot to me, especially since my home life felt unstable.  My best friend, Yvonne, and I would become very close that year and the next.  Looking back, I could see God’s hand in it all.

A couple of months before graduation, I really thought that my life was starting to come together.  My friendships were secure, and I was in a “loving” relationship with a guy.  My depression started to ease up.  Things with my mom were getting better.  High School was ending, and I was thinking about going to school to teach art.  Things seemed good.  Graduation quickly came and went; another chapter of my life had closed, and the summer was shaping up to offer a promising new chapter.

Then Jesus came into my life and wrecked everything!

A New Direction

July 14, 1996.  I had just moved up to a motel room with my boyfriend.  No one knew where I was (including my family and friends).  I had all my graduation money in my pocket, and a trash bag full of clothes.  We were supposed to move into an apartment together, but things suddenly (and mysteriously) fell through.  So, down the street from my boyfriend’s job, we found a cheap motel to stay in until we figured out what we were going to do.

As I lay in bed, watching T.V., I suddenly became ill.  I was sweating and yet cold all at once.  I could not move anything.  I started to feel scared.  What was happening to me? I was alone in the room with no way to reach out for help.  After a few minutes of feeling paralyzed, I managed to get up and walk towards the door.  I remember looking around the room and wondering, What am I doing here? I opened the door and stepped out into the rain.  I remember looking up and feeling the rain beat against my skin – it felt good.  I faced heaven and spoke up: God, if you are real then I need You to help me out of this.

I stepped back inside, took a bath, wrote my boyfriend a “Dear John” letter, packed my things, and phoned a friend to come pick me up.  I walked out of the room an hour later, without thinking twice about my decision.  For the first time in my life, I had honestly felt true happiness, deep within, starting to push through the uncertainty.

After spending some time down at the Shore with some friends, I returned home and phoned Yvonne and my best friend.  I excitedly told them what happened and that I had become a “Christian” but I was not sure.  Yvonne assured me that I had in fact accepted God into my life; in which she was happy to hear, but my best friend was not.  I could not explain my “change” to my friend other than I was happy with whatever I decided to change about myself.

I did not accept Jesus the week before because I was scared of going to hell.  I did not accept Him because I wanted to be a Christian.  I certainly did not accept Him so that I could be straight.  Rather, I accepted Jesus because of His love and peace.  I was at a desperate point in my life where I needed something real to hold on to, because although things looked at peace, they were not.  Simply put, I took a gamble on God and His love.

I had no clue what I was doing, much less even how to start being a Christian.  I did not even have a Bible to read!  Although, through some weird “religious experiences,” some mentoring-relationships, and Bible study, I began to understand the point of Christianity.  What I lagged in was a deep understanding of God’s love, especially in regards to His views about me.

I quickly became attuned to the fact that I could not live a Christian life and be gay.  There was too much guilt attached to what I wanted to do and how I wanted to grow in my relationship with Jesus.  For me, there was too much to compromise if I choose to live both lives out fully.  So, I choose to start suppressing my gay feelings in order to grow closer to Christ.  In this light, I started dating a girl, and I even became somewhat sexual in my relationships with her; but I still was tempted to fool around with guys (which I did, unfortunately).

In March of 1998, my brother committed suicide, and once again, I told God to take a hike.  With the pressures of my inward struggles (with being gay), my depression coming back, my brother’s death, and other things, I figured that this “God-thing” was not really worth the battle it was shaping up to be.  Everything that I was trying to suppress and forget was coming to head.  Through some events, I came crawling back to God … again, not knowing what I was doing or what I was after, but I knew this: I needed Him.  This season of my life would prove to be the “beginning-of-the-end” for me.  My faith was shattered at my brother’s death, and it would take another major turning point in my life to turn me back around.

Because of my inward struggles, I submersed myself in more bible studies, more prayer groups, more retreats, more events, and more times of spiritual cleansing.  All the while dealing with two natures: a Christian one and a gay one.  How could I join the two together?  Could I really be gay and a Christian?  What did God’s Word really say about being gay? These were all questions I faced inwardly, as I went about life, not allowing any of my friends in on my crippling struggles.  During this time, I had befriended an old classmate, Pete, and we soon became very close.  It was the first “safe-Godly” male friendship that I ever had.  We did everything together.  Pete really helped me grow in my relationship with Christ, and really helped to affirm in me what God was doing.  Although, I could not bring myself to tell him who I really was or what I was dealing with, I did not want to ruin what we had: a pure friendship.

I knew having gay feelings was wrong, but I also knew that I could not help having them.  I prayed to be straight.  I prayed that these “wrong” feelings would pass away.  I even tried looking at straight porn to “fix” myself, but nothing I tried seemed to work.  I was in counseling and had a great support of friends (who struggled like me) in Philly, near where I lived, but even all of these things still didn’t help me overcome my struggles of sexual identity.  I began to think that I was a hopeless cause and that I would be gay for the rest of my life.  I determined I was not going to marry or have kids.  My church friends thought I was just messing around, but truly I thought: who would want to marry a guy like me anyways?  In my eyes, despite what scripture said and what people prayed over me (even what I sang during worship times), I believed I was unlovable and unwanted.

Finally, I secretly accepted my gayness and reconciled it to my faith.  I would strive to believe what scripture taught, about living a life for God, but I would skip over the verses that talked about “homosexuals.”  In May of 2000, I went to One Day and felt my relationship with God had taken a new level.  I was on fire.  That June I would work at a Christian camp, as a counselor to campers.  Using the basis of Romans 12:1-2 (which was the Camp’s Theme verse), God challenged me through deep refinement in ridding myself of my past and drawing closer to Him.

I would go home during the weekends, head to the gay bars, hit church on Sunday, and be back at Camp for Sunday night’s gathering.  I did this throughout the summer, thinking to myself, Yes, I can do this! I was growing in the Lord, and many considered me a “fearless leader for Jesus.”  Little did I know that I was setting myself up to being exposed – completely!

At the time, I was living with a gay friend (who was a Pastor), and he helped me fully embrace who God truly made me to be – gay.  I did not understand it all, but it made more sense to me than trying to deny something that seemed so “inborn.”  About two weeks after camp ended, I remember sitting at the computer and seeing visions of myself.

I saw a huge hand holding me, and then dropping me.  I saw myself falling down a deep pit, with no bottom.  I could not reach out to stop myself; I just fell, as the Person who once held me watched.  One can easily understand, I was falling away from God, who’s grip on my was being loosened because I needed to fall in order to rise up.  I accepted my vision as truth, and continued to “fall” day after day, until I hit the bottom.  I was finally broken.

I was ready to leave my gay identity.  I was tired of living a life of compromise – between what I wanted to be true (I’m gay and can’t change) and what I knew was true (I’m gay and can change).  I was tired of living in secret.  I was tired of pretending.  I was tired of the one-night stands.  I was tired of drinking away my problems.  I was tired of abusing my body (and allowing it to be abused by others).  I was tired …

In the days that followed I would come clean about my situation and struggles with my friends and move in with my step-dad and his family.  Once again, I did not know exactly what I was after, but I wanted whatever God had for me.  I did not care if I ever stopped liking guys, or if I became straight; I did not care if I ever got married, or had kids.  All I wanted in my life at this time was God.  I wanted Him to wrap His arms around me, and hold me.  I wanted Him to speak into my life and affirm me.  I wanted Him to wash away my pain, scars, and insecurities.  I wanted to be His and His alone.

This new focus, though sounding simple, was very freeing to me because I realized my focus before was so self-centered, instead of Christ-centered.  I had asked God to change me, but I wanted Him to change me into what I wanted to be.  I had asked Him to grow me, but I wanted Him to grow me in my timing and standards.  When I began to let go of what I wanted and grasp hold of what He wanted for me, I began to feel the chains I had placed around my neck begin to fall off.

I stepped out in faith, and landed in His wholeness.

A Journey Without Chains

The strange thing about God’s Wholeness is that it is a two-part process.  I believe it comes down upon us, to start our journey, but then it continues to fall on us and refine us through the days we choose to walk in it.

I was clearly in a new position with Christ.  Not only did I feel free, I knew I was free.  I quickly began reading Acts, and started to pray for God’s Spirit and healing to fall upon me just as it did back then.  I wanted whatever God had for me, and I was ready for whatever He was calling me to.  I began having dreams about Him and I – dreams that I believe He spoke to me through.  I was content with where I was in life, and once again, I felt true happiness.

Then I met a girl and fell in love.

I had no clue what was going on.  I had accepted the fact that I most likely was not going to get married.  I had accepted the fact that I would never have affections for women.  I was fine with all of that, really.  I had met Emily through working at the Camp, and when I had visited some friends one day who were still working there, I saw her again … and my heart jumped.

I remember asking her out, thinking to myself, What are you doing! I remember telling my friends that we were going out, and them saying, What are you doing! (Pete was over in Africa in missions by this time, so he really did not give me his opinion, though I am sure he thought the same.)  Still, I felt that my dating Emily was a good thing.  I soon told her me entire story and at the end, she still expressed her love and support for me.  As three months passed, I proposed.  She accepted.

While I was truly in love – for the first time in my entire life – I was hesitant about getting married, not on her part but on mine.  Could I really do this?  Could I really be a faithful husband?  Could I trust God in all of this?  Could I trust myself? I was torn between what my “flesh” wanted and what my “spirit” wanted.

All my old feelings and “temptations” of what I had walked away from started rushing back.  While it was very tempting at times to just give up and go back to the way I used to live, I was determined to stay the course.  After a long battle with myself, a break-up with Emily, and lots of affirming counseling from friends and the Spirit of God, I married my true love on May 27, 2001.

I had (foolishly) hoped my temptations would disappear after that day, but they did not.  I learned (through mistakes and triumphs) that it is a daily process to not give in to what your body “longs for” at times.  I had to refocus my desires … renew my mind (Romans 12:1-2) … rely on God’s grace to get me through the days and nights (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, which by the way is my life verse).  It has not been easy, and it has taken many years to comprehend and put into daily practice these truths from God, but the journey has been worth every step.

Do I still struggle?  Yes.  Do my struggles get easier, over time?  Yes!  However, just as I do not allow my past to define me, I also do not allow my struggles to define me.  As I will talk about in later chapters*, I see myself as God’s child … I seek His identity, over my own.  In this (His identity), I find my reason and strength to press on towards the goal, forgetting what is behind me, and striving for what lies ahead (Philippians 3:7-14).

God has used my wife in amazing ways in my journey of healing and restoration.  I stand amazed by her love and grace for me; knowing full well, that it is God’s love and grace working through her.  She is my best friend.  She is the mother of my two kids.  She is my companion in this journey of life.  She is my biggest cheerleader in all of this.

Do I think that this same outcome can be true for others?  Absolutely!  I believe in the power of God’s Word, the saving work of Christ’s cross, and the transforming presence of the Holy Spirit.  Though I believe that we each have a different calling in life, I believe that our focus in life is the same: God’s Identity and Wholeness.  It is through this lens that I write the following posts of encouragement and challenge.

70 responses to “My Story

  1. Hi Shawn,

    Wow. I can’t help but believe that I ran across this blog. It was on a whim lol. But we both have very similar testimonies. My testimony is on my blog, and you can click on my name to get there. It is a bit older, so you will have to look for it…but I would love for you to read it.

    It is so good to hear that there are other guys who find freedom! I am so happy that Jesus set me free from that prison of slime.

    I also have a myspace page:

    http://www.myspace.com/talesoftenacity

    Thanks bro…I look forward to talking with you more!

    A.J.

  2. Pingback: Christians & Homosexuality « Introspections & Ideas of a Black WASP·

  3. I’m a psychotherapist and pastor who has ministered to the sexually broken, wounded for over 20 years. Shawn and I have known each other well as friends and co-ministers together. I am so excited for his ministry and encourage others to pray and support him. God is forcing us into very dark days in our culture. He is refining the light of His people so that we will shine into the darkness showing others the way to true freedom. This could be one of the most exciting times in all of history! We don’t have to overcome the darkness with power, but God will provide a way through it with His presence.

    • I am glad I came across this sight and reading about different stories of gay lesbians is helping me a little bit. I am still in denial, confuse and hurt about my daughter gay lesbian life style. I am trying to deal with it, I have been praying and i know God have the answers. I feel my whole world changed last year in June when she told us. My husband accepts but I am just so I don’t know, please I need help with this because right now I feel I will never accept this or believe in this. I love her with all my heart and I just don’t know how long it will take for me to accept this. I am not trying to judge because we all have skeleton in our closets and sin most days. I am ask to come to her reception and I replied no, I know I am wrong for this but I can’t front with something I am not ready for. I am leaving this in God’s hands and thanks for all these conversations.I am very unhappy and I am glad she thinks this is all the happiness she needs although this troubles me too.
      Please God help.

  4. thank u and god bless for your ministry it is your own testimony and because of the grace god has shined on u that gives my heart hope reading articles like labels makes me feel more confident in who i am in chirst yes my past has been filled with ssa experiences yes ive struggled with gay porn addiction & masturbation yes at times i still fall to that but u have inspired me to keep moving in chirst u have helped rekindle my spark yah bless bro much luv

  5. thank you so much for your inspiring testimony. i have struggled with some of the same issues and have overcome them only by the grace of God. it truly is an ongoing struggle but like you said, it gets easier every day of living in God’s light. He wants the best for us, we are His children. He knows what will hurt us and He wants to save us from that hurt- i wish more people really understood that in reference to sexuality. thanks again brother! God bless!!

  6. Shawn-

    I read your testimony and it’s like reading into my own child’s mind. He is 14 yrs. old and is struggling with SSA. We first realized there was something going on around 12 when we checked his on-line activity. We addressed this issue with him and he professed to not want to feel that way and that he knew it was wrong and wanted to change. We immediately made an appointment with a Christian counselor. He saw this counselor for about a year. He had his last session at the end of 08, which he professed to have his struggle under control for the most part. We went into 09 thinking things were all good and well. Well, it’s been a couple of months ago now that we found his on-line activity which proved different. We confronted him about it and he pretty much told us “I’m Gay” deal with it. He says I just can’t change it, I’ve tried… He also stated that he wishes he was born different (normal). Naturally I was devastated to hear the news, not for fear of disappointment or shame,but simply (my child could face and eternity of Hell)… Up until last year I’ve had my son in church from the get go, he was raised on the sound doctrine of God. He even professed to accept Christ as his savior at 11yrs of age and asked to be baptized. My husband and I have had our fair share of marital problems since around 2007 and it’s been a struggle to stay involved in church since then. It’s pretty much been “MOM” me, involving my son in church. My son’s dad has never been much involved. I say all that to say that I’ve had many discussions with my son since then and from what I can gather he is at the point where he questions every inch of Christianity. He stated that he didn’t really believe there was a God in Heaven. If there was, why would he ever allow him to have these thoughts and feelings that could ultimately send him to hell. I’ve tried my very best to talk to him and try and explain the best I know how. I’m slamming into a new brick wall every day. I fear for my son’s well being, his life in general. I know how mean kids can be. I know that depression can kick in and you can lose all will to go another day. I know “fear” is from the enemy and each day I have to remind him God is in control. I just ask that you and your ministry lift my child up in prayer and ask that God move in a mighty way. That my child’s eyes can be opened to truth and truth only, that God would reveal himself so he would know his very existence is very much real. I’ve read so many testimonies of men and women that have left the gay lifestyle behind through the transformation of God’s grace and love. I only pray that for my son Brandon and the others like him that struggle. God Bless you and ministry.
    In Christ
    Carol Tinsley

    • Dear Carol;

      I just read your response to Shawn’s testimony on his web-site six11ministries. I want to link up with you in prayer support for your son.

      My wife Edna of 54 yrs and I walked through hell with our two older children a son and daughter. The issues we dealt with were never same sex attraction but hetersexual promiscuity, tobacco & alcohol use,
      expermentation with witchcraft, just general rebellion,and defiance.
      How we came through that with them is a story in itself, too long to get into just now. I just wanted to identify that I have walked where you are currently walking as a parent.

      In addition I currently am serving as Prayer Coordinator at our church, Howard-Miami Mennonite Church, near Kokom, IN where I formerly had been pastor. I have had this position now for seven years and have had the opportunity to work together as a team of five, two of us men, and three women, meeting once a month to determine how the Lord would have us enhance the meaning of prayer in the life of our church.
      Since the spring of ’08 when one of own young men graduated from college and declared himself homosexual anb moved to Chicago into a “committed” relationship with his college roommate, we as a team have felt the Lord giving us a specific prayer assignment for those who have grown up amoung us and are now elswhere either in a homosexual or lesbian relationship or pursuing one. That list right now is five including one who as a college prof at one of our church colleges is encouraging those coming out pursuing that life style.

      My wife and I as parents & us as a prayer team want to link up with you in prayer support. Information enhances intercession. So, if I could have your permission to share what I have just read of your story with the prayer team and you would keep me updated via e-mail I will count it an honor.

      A Fellow Pilgrim;
      Harold L. Mast
      htmast@netzero.net

  7. Stumbled upon your blog today. Thanks for sharing and thanks for what you do. I’m a youth minister and I’m dealing with this topic in an upcoming class. Blessings upon you and your family.

  8. Dear Shawn I appreciate your honesty and your focus on Christ and making your focus of spiritual growth on allowing God to do the work in you. I am not on the same page exactly with you. I am in a same gender relationship and have been for 20 years. I did the back and forth struggle as you did but in the end came to a different place. My story is too long to tell here but I just wanted to say i appreciate you not being rigid and cookie cutter with how you view those who are GLBT. I know that I have a living, vibrant relationship with Christ and we all will know as we are fully known when we get to heaven.
    Friendship, Loyalty, and Love in Christ,
    Rev. Cori Wood

  9. Pingback: Six:11 Top Blog Post for 2011 « Six:11 Ministries·

  10. The Story of an Exhomosexual Jesus Emilio Carbonell :
    As a boy, I began to feel same sex attractions at age 10, which I acted out with older kids. I later became involved with older homosexuals and bisexual men. Before deciding to do my transition, I lived my life as a regula homosexual man. When I moved away from home, I met a man who I thought was a woman. He introduced me to other “men” like him, who befriended me. We spent a great deal of time together. I asked them how they had got that way. So one of them introduced me to a doctor, who evaluated me. I was on my way to becoming a woman, just like my transgender friends.
    As a result of this I became physically developed as a woman, even though I was not one. The hair on my body and face started to fall off. Time passed by and I was happy with what I was seeing. Along with the physical changes, my personality changed. I felt that I was much more beautiful than the other transgenders. I became very arrogant. Even though my breasts had enlarged, I wanted more. I went to see a surgeon. She injected gel into my buttocks and began to pump them up. I saw an increase in their size right before my eyes.
    However, as the time went by, I became depressed. I was never able to be happy or find true love. I was in love with a guy who I thought was the best thing that had ever happened to me. But he was abusive. Despite his abuse, there was almost nothing I would not have done for him. But it was all in vain: He left me for someone younger. Later I fell ill with HIV and HepC with cirhossis.
    In the homosexual and transgender cultures, youth is very important. As a result, I was obsessed with my body and personal appearance. Acceptance by others in this lifestyle requires a good body and good looks. In order to be part of the homosexual or transgender crowd, people must meet certain criteria. men have to have more dominant female features.
    I was the center of attention and felt important. One time I saw myself from a side mirror and was frightened because I thought it was someone else.
    At one point, I was so depressed and lonely that I wanted to kill myself. After much suffering from abusing drugs and sex , being very sick in the hospital with Cirrhosis of the liver, and spending long days at the Psychiatric Hospital, I wanted to change my life.
    I turned to Christ. I stopped abusing drugs and dressing as a woman . Slowly I began to look like the gender of my birth. I went back to calling myself by my male name, the one that my parents had given me and that I had abandoned for all those years. I began to see that I was a new creature in Christ. I began to associate with people who were Christians. They loved me unconditionally, and I didn’t always have to look “beautiful” to be with them.
    Eventually, no one could tell that I had been a transgender for all this time. I knew God did not want me to live like this. He had made me whole in His love, and He would continue to complete me now. I began to experience a confidence that I had never had before.
    Now I am ready for the Lord to move me to the next step so that He will continue to work in my life. Jesus changed both my body and soul. I have been changed to be unchangeable. Never did I imagine that I would be giving this testimony. Take it from me, regardless of what you have done, when God is in you, your life will never be the same. Jesus Christ is the most powerful experience that ever happened to me!!!!!

    Pueden Visitarnos en Nuestra Web en Espanol/ You can Visit our Web for Spanish Speaking community Recursos/Resources Links/Enlaces Testimonios/Testimonials
    Information/Information Alabanzas/Worship
    http://www.exhomosexualjesus.com/index.html
    EX-HOMOSEXUAL POR JESUS http://www.exhomosexualjesus.com

  11. Happened to have passed by your blog… wow. That was an awesome testimony. It was the “self-conscious” instead of “Christ-conscious” part that struck me hard. I know it’s true for most of us (LGBT or not)… we are more conscious about ourselves and what we do for God instead of just stripping down everything and letting go, just looking towards Him. And glad you’ve learned about that. I want to…get to that point to where I’ll be Christ-conscious instead.

    Your testimony is such an inspiration. Smiles.

    http://greyskeilrainbow.wordpress.com

    • Thank you Tacticianjenro. It is all about Him, and not about us. Keeping our eyes on Him, and seeking His heart, is key in overcoming anything life throws at you – gay or straight. Being mindful, that it is Jesus who’s our ultimate prize.

  12. Wow. Ran accross this website on Facebook. Amazing story. I know you have shared a lot at youth but I didn’t realize how hard your struggle has been

  13. Thank you so much for your testimony. My 18 year old daughter is in the hospital because she was suicidal last night, She left home around Christmas for about two weeks because she felt she couldn’t live here and be openly gay. She came home, was cutting and started seeing a counselor about 4 months ago. I know she is struggling and so are we. She is taking depression medication. I love her so so much. Thank you for your insights, I will continue to pray and trust God.

    • Hi Mary, my daughter is 19 and is in a treatment plan as of this morning for having suicidal thoughts and taken to the ER last night! We are so praying for God’s hand and miracle. I feel your pain!

  14. Mary Thanks for sharing your Concerns, You and your Daughter are in our prayers list. Our Ministry have a website. feeel free to visit us, and you can also send us a message or follow us on facebook. some information is in Spanish becouse we are doing outreach in the Hispanic community. but we have information in English, too.At one point, I was so depressed and lonely that I wanted to kill myself. After much suffering from abusing drugs and sex , being very sick in the hospital and spending long days at the Psychiatric Hospital, I wanted to change my life.
    Jesus Christ called me out. I stopped abusing drugs and dressing as a woman . I began to look like the real me. I was a new creature. I began to meet with people who were Christians. And they loved me unconditionally.

    http://exhomosexualjesus.com/ENGLISH-LINKS.html

  15. I am SO glad I found this website! My Son told me this past weekend that he is just coming to terms that he is bisexual & he wanted me to know. My son Lives with his dad and I don’t get to see him a whole lot because I live in Indiana & he lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I wasn’t really suprised at all to hear this because I have seen his posts on facebook; & at first I thought that he was just trying to show grace to everyone, but about a couple weeks ago there was one in particular that turned a light bulb on in my brain and made me wonder. I told my Son that I suspected, & that it doesnt change anything for me; that He’s Still my son & It doesnt change my Love for him one bit & that its not my place to Judge his decision & that it was something he needed to work out on his own; but, I would always Love him and be there for him. So nice to see good confirmation of this on this site.

    One of my most favorite scripture verses is

    Romans 8:28 God works all things for good for those that love Christ & are called according to his purpose for them.

    I believe this with all my heart!

  16. My precious son told my husband and I earlier this week that he is gay. He is 20 years old. I am completely heartbroken and scared for him. I do not know what to do. So afraid of doing and saying the wrong thing. We are Christians and have raised our children in church. My husband is a deacon in our church, which is non-denominational, Everyone loves our son; he is funny, talented and loving. When he told us, i did tell him i love him and that would never, ever change, Then I told him that homosexuality is a lie of satan and that God tells us in the Bible it is wrong. From our conversation I can tell Jacob does not totally accept the Bible as God’s word. He did say that he loves and believes in God. Right now things are so confusing for me. All i want is to know and believe my son will not go to hell. I am so glad i found your website. It gives me hope. Thank you.

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting Cindy. There is hope in Christ, for all who trust in Him. My prayer is that you family experiences this over and again through this journey.

  17. Thank you for sharing your story, Shawn. I am a mom of 4 girls (2 are married with children my 3rd is engaged to be married, and my 4th, the baby, is whom I’m writing you about). I wish I had read your story before I asked my 22 year old daughter to come home (she lives with her girlfriend) and talk with me. (It had been 2 years of agony that I pretty much knew about her being a lesbian, and I needed her to just let it out so that I could deal with it.) Sadly, I wasn’t thinking about her…I was so wrapped up in myself and during our conversation, I said things now that I regret. For one, I did preach the Bible (something you mentioned not to do n your Parents section) and although I reassured her that I love her no matter what, I also told her I didn’t accept her choice of living and I would continue praying that the Lord would change her. After reading your story, I realize how wrong I was in saying those things to her. She said she is very happy with her life….she loves her girlfriends, so I’m not sure she is going through the struggles you were. But one thing I think I should fix is the silence. Neither one of us have discussed it at all since our talk 6 months ago, and although she only stops home when her sisters are visiting, I do call her at least once a week to see how she’s doing. During the days following Hurricane Sandy, she brought her partner and another girlfriend here since we had a generator. It was hard having them here as you can imagine. We carried on as if nothing was wrong. Should I initiate another conversation to break the silence and ask her forgiveness for the things I said (because she won’t), or just let it be? I just don’t know what I’m doing.

    • Hi Susan,

      Thanks for commenting. I would initiate another conversation with your daughter, starting off with apologizing for the hurtful words said. Explain how you’re trying to understand everything, and your desire to “reconnect.” This places the ball back in her court and hopefully knocks down any barriers – or at least starts too. Listen more than speak. Just the same, your heart needs to be heard to. However, like I said before, this is not a time to vilify her “lifestyle.”

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  19. Many, many years back….my parents found out I was gay and living with my new boyfriend. The person who told them said it at church REALLY REALLY loud and broke down sobbing. My mom was so gracious. She put her arms around her friend and expressed faith in God.

    This was the week of Thanksgiving, my friend from church called me and shared the dramatic story he had witnessed. I got a call from my sister soon after. “Mom and Dad want to be sure you know they want you to be at Thanksgiving dinner. They said they believe being gay is OK with God, but nothing will make them stop loving you…and hey…bring your boyfriend…we would love to meet him”.

    Over the years I brought home a few different guys, my parents loved and treated them just like one of their own children. Love and family always took precedent over preaching (although mom insisted we sleep separately in her home, she made sure to let me know she would insist the same for any “not married” and not to take it personal as an insult which I did not). Brothers and Sisters loved me unconditionally.

    Many years latter God called me away. I’ve been celibate now over 10 years. My true love is Jesus.

    Why do I write this long comment? “Love will overcome a multitude of sins”.

    Be gracious, loving and kind to your children and their gay friends and let the Holy Spirit do it’s work. Stand in faith believing in the finished work of Christ. God has a way of surprising us. He has a plan and will do what is needful to bring us to his son.

    In the end, the less hurtful words and actions, the less to forget and forgive, the better. “Love will overcome a multitude of sins”.

  20. ooops, typo “They said they believe being gay is OK with God”

    Meant to write, “they believe being gay is NOT OK with God” lol Shalom

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  22. I am happy for those who believe they have been changed, but it doesn’t seem to me that they are not still gay, more like they have surpressed who they are to please God….is that what God really wants? Not trying to hurt anyone’s faith here or testimony…just trying to understand why if we are born in the likeness of Christ, become saved, but still are gay….why????doesn’t God love and form us from the day of birth? Why inflict with such a difficult thing to overcome…just don’t get it

    • Thanks for commenting Roberta. God works within us in various ways. The more we allow His love and Spirit to transform us, the more restored in His image we become. Many on this site, including myself, believe that God’s word clearly speaks against having same-sex relations. And because His words speaks as such, we believe that those who have same-sex attractions – of any kind – should not act upon those attractions. This is no different than asking a straight man and woman to not cheat on their spouse or have pre-material sex. Is this something that is easy to do? NO WAY! However, through Christ, all things are possible. The more we rely on His strength and Spirit, the greater our victory is over sin.

  23. Back again, sorry…just want to say one more thing, I am left handed…not the norm right? I did not choose to be left handed, just am….should I force myself to be right handed because most people are right handed? Wasn’t there a time when people thought left handed people were witches? Just saying…

    • The big difference is that God doesn’t speak about “left-handedness” being a sin. He does in regards to acting upon same-sex attractions.

      P.S. One day us left-handed people will rule the world 🙂

  24. Shawn, loved your book. We need more materials for the Church on how to lovingly handle this issue.

    I have been asked by one of our denomination’s (Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod) Recognized Service Organization to write a brief booklet to those who have homosexual desires. I was thrilled to be asked because I don’t think I have ever seen a major organization from a conservative denomination actually address anything “to” homosexuals before. I see lots of stuff about homosexuality and lots of stuff for family members. but I don’t think I have ever seen a conservative Church say “here is what we want to say TO homosexuals.”

    I don’t know how to contact you but I would like to use the following quote from your book:

    “Every day I was damned to hell, and while other ‘sinners’ had a chance at God’s love and forgiveness, my friends and I were never offered such hope.”

    I know that Group automatically gives permission to quote up to 50 words but I wanted your permission also.

    I would appreciate it if you would contact me. (my email should be visible to you – if not, please reply to this post and I will post my email address) I would be happy, also, to send you a copy of what I have written.

    Thanks,
    Pastor Matt

  25. I don’t think i could be happy like this 😦 i hate god for letting this happen. it shouldn’t matter.

  26. I could not be happier to read your testimony!!! I do not believe God creates people to have SSA. He would not contradict His word. At the same time, I believe He loves all of us. He DOES NOT love the disobedience and sin. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing story. There is hope and grace to be had in His word and the TRUTH. His love is there. It just needs to be accepted. Denying the SELF is the key, just as you said. It’s way easier to just say, this is the way I am and I can’t change. Praying more will see and hear you and turn away from the sin.

  27. Shawn! What an inspiration! Wow! So incouraging to see what God can do. I pray that God will surround you with His angels and provide protection and give you boldness! I pray that He will be closer than a brother every minute of every day. And that He will allow you to see things spiritually that others cannot see so that they may be incouraged and blessed and ultimately Jesus would be lifted up!!

  28. Shawn,
    Thank you for sharing. I was just so blessed by your words. not because your outcome it what I desire for my daughter, but because of the beautiful unfolding of God’s love embracing you and you seeking it with all your heart. This is the heart’s desire I have for my daughter that she can embrace who she is and what that will mean for her is what God will determine. But I don’t want her to feel that she has to choose one or the other. But, I think unfortunately, in this world it is a choice. I would love to get some advice from you personally in dealing with my adult child and if you could email me that would be wonderful! I am very broken, but clinging to Jesus!
    Thank you.

  29. This blog gave me more help than I can let you know! we are walking through this right now with my son ,he is 21 and raised at home to know the things of God and has walked away and is now living in this lifestyle and you have given me so much hope ,because so many articles don’t share testimonies of a transformation ,they just try to get us to except the situation as finality and I don’t believe that that is true at all ! I believe that God is faithful, and has a call on my sons life and that when my son surrenders his life back to God ;God is able to help him be completely delivered and I have hopes of him marrying one day as well! thank you again !God bless you

  30. dear shawn..i am a mother of a gay son who used to be on fire for GOd..an a 16 year old nephew who just tried to kill himself because he was struggling with being gay and the thought that God doesnt love him because of what he has heard us christians say.. my heart breaks for both of them..and i pray for them daily and let them know that i love them..we all love them no matter what..and God loves them as well..i guess im just looking for answers myself..ways to help them understand why GOd says what he does about this issue..and to help my sister (the mother of my nephew) understand how GOd, in her view and her words, could allow someone to be created to go thru this and do what her son did to himself if hes all knowing ..and loves us so much….we are all questioning ..why..as a christian women who loves the lord i too have questions..we all need answers..how do i help them ???

  31. Dude! Awesome. I was looking for a Tozer quote for my sermon” tomorrow, and I didn’t feel like digging my book out, so I googled, and ended up here. You rock man! Praise God for the power of His love and your testimony. May it increase in the days ahead, a gentle answer that turns away wrath and life lived in love that brings you into proximity with the broken and hurting. It’s all about intimacy, identity and inheritance! Would love to connect with you a little bit more sometime. Keep on!

  32. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. ..I have learned so much from it and as I type, I cant help but sob for my daughter. I truly believe that circumstances surrounding our lives while she was a child has caused both her and I to want love so badly that we both compromised. I walked away from God when she came out gay and started allowing sexual abuse and self destruction in my life. I am trying to find God again and this testimony has given me hope than ever before!! Thank you and I will start to love my daughter differently now and not be afraid to set boundries either

  33. Thank you so much for sharing your story. My son just came out to me. He doesn’t want to tell many people including my husband so I feel very alone in this knowledge. He wants to continue his Christian walk, but wants to find a committed Christian gay man. Your story gives me hope. He doesn’t want to sin. His big question is that wouldn’t God want him to be happy. He feels that if he waits until marriage and finds the “right” man that he won’t be sinning. I know that the best thing for me know is to pray. Thanks so much!

  34. Steven we ar devestated. Our beautiful, talented, sweet and very successfull daughter off 30 came home to tell us about her homosexual relationship of 3 yrs. We are so very very sad for her…. how do we get through this

  35. I truly believe it was no coincidence that I came across your blog. My daughter just turned 18 & has had multiple girlfriends over the last 4 yrs. She doesn’t believe in God despite going to church all her life. It breaks my heart because she was taught different. Yours is the 2nd testimony I’ve read today about being saved from homosexuality. I believe its God telling me not to give up on my girl. That there still hope that she will realize how very much He loves her. So thank you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your testimony!!! May God richly bless you for sharing your story!

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