s a very young boy I was molested multiple times, and as a result, I was confused about my sexuality very early in life. I began grappling for almost any kind of sexual gratification from both girls and boys. In junior high, I experimented sexually with girls as much as I could. Then in high school, I began using an underground Los Angeles newspaper to meet adult men for sex. By age 16, I was using drugs, drinking heavily, very promiscuous and very depressed.
Then I became a Christian and fought against my same-sex desires for six years after that without talking about it with anyone. Eventually, I gave myself permission to use pornography and started feeding those sexual desires again. That led to me visiting gay bars and getting involved in a relationship with a man.
Then I began attending and eventually working on staff at a local pro-gay church. However, I eventually admitted to myself that on top of my living a homosexual lifestyle, I was also living with a lack of conviction and had many destructive behaviors in other areas of my life. I was not living as though I actually believed the Bible. And then I asked myself, “Do I really believe what I’m promoting? Or have I embraced something that I want to believe?” That question haunted me until I decided to pursue a lifestyle change and live out the faith I claimed to have, regardless of my sexual desires.
From there I moved to another city, ended many relationships, and started my life over. I began seeing a licensed therapist who helped me recognize my own emotional wounds and needs as well as manage the stress and guilt I was feeling. I also began investing in healthy relationships with men in the new church I attended who knew my story yet accepted me fully, while encouraging me to continue to live out a healthier lifestyle.
Those relationships were healing for me, showing me that my long-held conviction that there was something fundamentally different about me and no one could understand me was wrong. I began to realize that although I am unique, the human experience of struggle is not unique.
Within a year and a half of my lifestyle change, I met and fell deeply in love with a woman, and we married three years later. We’ve been married since 1987 and have two grown sons. My life now is infinitely more peaceful and healthier in every way. I believe one of the greatest damages I did to myself was in not being the real me. When I came out as gay, I told myself that was an act of authenticity. Now I am being the real me.