Conversion Therapy Push Back Videos.

Alan G.

Alan’s Journey. A Description of My Therapy Experience By Alan G.

How can therapy benefit a person who is sexually attracted to their own sex? This answer is based upon my life and experiences. I had unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA) most of my adult life. Though I had sexual & emotional attractions to my own biological sex, I never identified as gay or homosexual. That identity did not feel authentic to me as person and it was not compatible with my faith in God.

‪Here is a short list of ten possible variables that are typical causes of people who have same-sex attraction (SSA)

  1. Unresolved family (generational) issues.
  2. Temperament (most SSA men are highly sensitive)
  3. Opposite-sex parent wounds.
  4. Same-sex parent wounds.
  5. Sibling wounds.
  6. Sexual abuse.
  7. Peer wounds (bullying)
  8. Cultural wounds.
  9. Body image wounds.
  10. Other factors (divorce, death, adoption, religion, etc)

‪I had 8 out of 10 of these potential variables. I was asked about my therapy. Did you find a psychotherapist whom you worked with? My answer is “sort of”. That answer needs explanation. I have never paid for therapy with a psychotherapist or psychologist to resolve my issues with my unwanted SSA. Nevertheless I experienced helpful therapy through counselors, friends and life coaches who helped me to discover a more authentic sense of myself and my manhood.

For example, I met an ex-gay man who had been a psychologist (not in the field of SSA or sexuality) and he was extremely helpful for my therapy. He recommended dozens of resources for my journey into my authentic manhood and my mature self. I began “Book Therapy.” I read books by the well-known authors writing about unwanted SSA and how to resolve those traumas from the past that contributed to my unwanted SSA. I read books on SSA from Medinger, Nicolosi, Bergner, Geoffrey, Cohen, Payne, Mattheson, Van Der Aardveg and others. I read books on co-dependency.

With all of these books, I had my “life coaches” whom I chose from family and friends to read my written responses for each book and to help me process my experiences. I do not believe that a person with SSA can grow and mature without the help of supportive community and affirming relationships. My self-directed “book therapy” with trusted readers (life coaches) helped me to accept myself as a man among men, to lose my body shame. To feel okay as a man and with my masculinity. As these things took place, I found my sexual attraction to men faded. My sexual attraction to my wife began growing once I found my homo-emotional needs were being met in healthy platonic male relationships.

In addition to my self-guided therapy, I joined support groups for men with unwanted SSA (That is where I met the ex-gay psychologist) and others who encouraged my journey of self growth and self acceptance. I also attended Journey Into Manhood experiential weekend (through Brothers Road) two IFTCC (International Fellowship for Therapeutic & Counseling Choice) conferences and the Richard Cohen training for therapists, counselors and religious leaders to help people with SSA .

None of these events are classic therapy, but each has helped me. As my self-acceptance as a masculine man in the world of men grew, I felt accepted in the world of men and I became part of my male community in a new way. My same-sex attractions decreased and my opposite sex attractions increased. Today I feel totally heterosexual. I am married for more than 40 years to one woman whom I love. I have two adult children. I believe I am living the life I chose and the life that is compatible with my values, beliefs and faith in God.

I believe in therapeutic and counseling choice. No client should be denied or restricted in their choice for their therapeutic goals. Bans on therapies, counseling or other practices take away individual freedom to decide. In addition bans may criminalize therapy by trained therapists who can otherwise help people who voluntarily seek their professional help. All professional therapists are already governed by ethical guidelines set in place by their professional licensing organizations to protect their clients from harmful practices in therapy. I believe we need help and we benefit from therapies, counselors, religious experiences and many support groups that help us to heal our difficult pasts. We need freedom to choose a support community that is in agreement with our life goals and to find help for our healing and wholeness.

Thank you for listening to my story. Alan G.

SPACER LINE

By Ali Jaffery. 5 April 2020.

I remember being as young as five when I realized I was different; I wasn’t one of the boys. This lack of belonging, feeling of ‘otherness’ and isolation formed most of my childhood. I was raised up mostly by my dear mother and sisters in a matriarchal family, my dad worked two jobs and was not as involved with our upbringing and I had a considerable age gap between me and my eldest brother. During my school years, I was bullied for being girly. It wasn’t until Year 5 in school when I realized I could use academia as a defense. Therefore, I focused on my studies and education, to build my self-esteem in my peer group. I was around 12 years of age that my feeling of otherness (and conversely feeling so at home with the feminine) with the masculinity was sexualized, I discovered I had same sex attraction. I didn’t tell a soul for 11 years. In those years of silence, I had shame and self-hate that knew no bounds. I questioned everything. I questioned my faith. I questioned my (Kazmi i.e. Prophetic) lineage. I wondered every day why God had challenged me with this – above of other challenges in life. It was easier hiding the reality than facing it.

In this period, we moved as a family from Pakistan to England. I remember seeing this as an opportunity to start anew, a clean slate. However, this move also furthered the feeling of lack of belonging and otherness. I was exposed to pornography online aged 12, which fermented the same sex attraction.

Growing up in a religious household, I had shame of opening up to family and feared the impact it would have on my family’s reputation. There wasn’t any support available. As a community we are good in pointing out whats halaal (lawful) and haram (unlawful), but there aren’t much practical solutions available – at least for people like me. It wasn’t until I was 23, when I was approaching depression that I then started speaking and getting help. I could only find a Muslim yahoo group and nothing else. The Christian community was miles ahead with many support organizations for people with same sex attraction. It was in 2013 when I attended Journey into Manhood experiential weekend by Brothers Road that my life changed and I was able to see a way out.

I worked every week for a couple of years after the weekend with Rich Wyler on myself and the false stories and beliefs I had. Alhamdulillah, fast forward to events in 2019, I found someone unique, Zoya, who accepted me with all this and decided to marry me and broke down my fear of my never finding a woman I would love. The silence in the Muslim community is deafening on a lot of topics. I believe in the concept of “wajib al kifayi” – if no one is doing it in the community, then it becomes wajib (obligatory) on the person that is able to do something. It is for this reason and from my own personal struggle, that I am delighted to start Strong Support, which is a peer support organization for Muslims with unwanted same sex lust.

SPACER LINE

Bilal Ali.

In the Name of God the Most Gracious the Ever Merciful.

My pseudonym is Bilal Ali. I am from the UK and I am a practicing Muslim with a South-Asian background. Thank you so much for stopping by to read about my SSA experience. It really means a lot to me and I hope you will find it insightful and beneficial.

When I was a young child, I felt quite different from other guys. I remember being more interested in things associated with femininity, such as girly toys, the color pink, fashion related things, etc. I did not go out of my way to spend time with other guys, although I did have some close male friends I would hang around with. However, that did not stop other children from calling me ‘gay’ or ‘faggot’. And sometimes I would suffer abuse from other classmates because I was perceived as the weak one. At the same time, although I felt more comfortable around girls, I was not entirely welcomed in their circles. So, I spent most my time by myself.

When I hit puberty in high-school, I became increasingly interested in other men. It’s hard to pinpoint when exactly this happened. However, when it did, It really distressed me. I knew that these feelings were not supposed to be there. So, the first person I told was my dad. He was very understanding, as long as I made a commitment to try my best not to act upon these feelings and agreed with the Islamic boundaries of sexuality. So, whenever I would have feelings for other men, I would turn to my dad who would tell me not to worry or think too much about these feelings. And to let them run their course. Later, I told my mother, then my siblings. They were all understanding.

In high school, the bullying which I experienced due to my queerness was a lot more intense and sometimes took on a sexualized nature. Of course, my classmates didn’t know how much harm they were doing to me psychologically because of this bullying, so I don’t hold it against them. I won’t go into too much detail about it. But I will say that this bullying made me lose a lot of self-esteem and confidence in myself. At one point, I came back home crying after which my parents decided to take actions and talk to the school management about it. In any case, the bullying stopped when I went into A-Level studies. Everyone just became more mature and I was sometimes admired for my studiousness.

When I moved away from home to study at university, life was challenging for me, not least because I felt lonely. I had the habit of not making many friends and receding into myself which I carried forward from primary school. However, I also felt too different from other people to make any meaningful relationship with them, in terms of my beliefs, my hobby preferences and my self-conception of gender and sexuality. Again, as in high school, I retreated into myself.

This was also a time when I became more familiar and interested in the feminist and LGBT movements, since these voices were very loud on university campus, and they spoke to my sense of difference in terms of my gender identity and sexuality. As I internalized their ideas, I became more averse to the male Muslim friends whom I had initially got to know. I began to increasingly view them as more bigoted and frustratingly more conservative than before. This increased my frustration and fear towards men more generally and caused me to become more isolated from them. During this time of loneliness, my SSA increased, and I was beginning to view sexually arousing images of men for the first time. This made my feelings of shame and low self-esteem more potent.

It was at this time that one day a friend sent me an article. It was entitled: From a Same-Sex-Attracted Person: Between Denial of Reality and Distortion of Religion. [1] The man who wrote it was a Muslim who had SSA but was able to resolve them and get married to a woman and have children. I was very thrilled to know that I was not the only one going through this situation. And to know that it was possible to resolve these feelings in a way that enables you to get married to a member of the opposite sex. After reading the article, I felt a sense of relief. Through this article, I found out about the StraightStruggle.com Muslim support group, which I joined without hesitation. [2]

This support group provides support and advice for Muslims who have SSA. I was so happy to finally be interacting with people whom I could relate to regarding these feelings. I finally felt understood.

The more I interacted with the group, the more I became acquainted with theories and ideas about gender and sexuality which were previously unavailable to me in the university establishment: The idea that social factors such as childhood experiences and sexual abuse could contribute to the development of SSA. And the fact that for many people, therapy has helped them to significantly manage and reduce their same-sex feelings, so much so that they have become more comfortable with the idea of having relationships with members of the opposite sex. Whenever I read the works of Nicolosi, Cohen and others about the causal factors contributing to the development of SSA, I felt they were narrating my story, from childhood up until now. It was as if they knew what I had gone through and the confusion I had experienced.

The StraightStruggle support group was inspired by the Ex Gay movement, which originated from Christian and Jewish communities in the West. Although I was happy to have found this group, unfortunately the Muslim community still lags in providing support networks for Muslims who have SSA.  For one thing, Muslim communities in the West are still grappling with other internal difficulties, such as their status as minority citizens, socio-economic deprivation, as well as the (although not entirely) negative reception they receive from wider society, which can at times be discriminatory, particularly through the media and political discourse. Furthermore, homosexuality is still a taboo topic in the Muslim community, which is difficult to deal with in a nuanced and sensitive manner. Fortunately, there have recently been several initiatives which have sprung up to fill this lacuna and provide much needed help and support.

I pray that these initiatives are successful in helping SSA Muslims achieve peace and serenity within themselves so they can live lives which are meaningful and pleasing to God.

Editors Note. (Below are links to two support websites that Bilal Ali supplied)

[1] https://muslimmatters.org/2016/08/22/from-a-same-sex-attracted-muslim-between-denial-of-reality-and-distortion-of-religion/

[2] https://discordapp.com/invite/7FZMfWb

SPACER LINE

Billy.

My name is Billy and I use to be transgender, but I am no longer. My journey to where I am today is long and convoluted, but I’ll share highlights of my initial struggles, of the process to change my outward appearance from male to female, and what happened to prompt me to return to presenting myself as my birth gender, male. Let’s dive in!

I had many difficulties as a child:
– I was very skinny, nearly like skin stretched on a skeleton – and skeleton was part of the taunting I received from the other kids.
– I had a speech impediment – the other kids would say something like, “What did you say? I can’t understand you.” Whether they understood or not I do not know, so I tried to speak as little as possible.
–  I had many learning difficulties; I didn’t learn how to read until about the fifth grade. An angel of a lady pulled me into a reading lab and worked with me and a handful of others on our reading skills. If it were not for this wonderful lady’s help I don’t know what would have happened to me. My mom also found another lady to tutor me after school in English and other subjects. And there again, without this help I don’t know where I would be.
– I was very uncoordinated and lacked athletic skills. I tried playing softball but was pretty bad at it. I tried playing basketball during P E but no one  wanted me on their team so I would ask the P E coach if I could just run around the football field, and he would let me.
– And, when I was in the first grade, I remember having this reoccurring thought that God made a mistake, I’m a girl – but I was a boy and not a girl. This was a very confusing thought that continued to stay with me through my early life and into adulthood.
– When I was in the 6th grade I was sexually abused by my summer league diving coach. When he would touch me and play with my privates, in my mind I would go somewhere else. I was scared and ashamed. I did not tell anyone about this until I was a junior in high school. I told myself that it had no  effect on me but it really did.

In addition to thinking that God made a mistake, I was a girl and not a boy, I hated my private part. I so much wished I didn’t have it and wanted it gone. The result of my struggles was that my feelings and emotions were very confusing to me, so I worked hard to disconnect me from them; I guess you can say that I tried to become a robot, but it didn’t work. The result was moodiness with occasional breakdowns I.e. I would cry in my bedroom and wonder why I was the way I was. This went on all thorough my childhood years.

So, let’s fast forward many years – I continued to struggle with my transgendered feelings. Many things where going on but I learned to push those  feelings away by moving the pain out of my mind and into my body. I would go running or bicycling or swimming or strength training and pushed and pushed myself. The endorphins from working out helped me tremendously, both for feeling good and for helping re-close that closet I pushed all my feelings into. I didn’t know how to handle my feelings so I moved the pain out of my mind and into my body. Other times I was just numb and moody. No-one really knew me because I wouldn’t let anyone get close – and with my moodiness I don’t think anyone really wanted to get to close. BUT then I got in trouble – in college I fell in love with a young lady and by having that new and very powerful emotion of love, the door that I kept all my feelings behind was blown off the hinges. I couldn’t close it again. Very suddenly I had to deal with Everything! Oh my!

My big sister helped me hugely. She found a therapist for me to see, a sexuality therapist. When I went to talk with the therapist about things, about everything, I often sat on the floor, holding and squeezing a pillow tight to my chest, and I would just cry. I asked many times, ‘What was wrong with me? Why do I believe I’m a girl [when my body is telling me I’m a boy]? How do I become normal and live a normal life?’ I was in college at this time so I started using the university’s resources to do research on transgenderism. In a nutshell I learned that these were deep rooted issues that therapy does not get rid of. The only therapy that showed marginal and short-term benefits was electroshock therapy. I gave consideration to electroshock therapy but, without a long-term solution I dismissed the thought. (I read that electroshock therapy only provided short term improvement but when one’s memory returned, so did the problems)

I also read that there was a hypothesis that my problems were the result of a birth defect, that my mind was washed with the wrong hormone during my development in my mothers womb. So, with all my research I found to answers to help me. I went to therapy many many years. I fought my thoughts and feelings that God made a mistake and that I was a girl trapped in a boy’s body. I so desired to be a “normal” male but one day I threw in the towel and started the process of changing my gender from male to female. Suicide was not an option but it was becoming an option. I was thinking about killing myself more and more, but I had a desired to live and not die, and had to do whatever it took to live! So, I went from Billy to Billie. I went through the whole process to get to, and to go through, sex reassignment surgery. I remember that the very first thing I said, or rather I asked, right after surgery was, “Is it gone?” I was assured that it was gone.

But Oh, I had a rough time in the hospital; I had a lot of bleeding at the surgical site, units of blood and plasma were given; I had to have a lot of gauze stuffed into my new vagina, and I had to have a sand bag on my lower abdomen for a fairly extensive period of time. But, I made it through. I received the letter from the surgeon that I was now female and had my driver’s license and passport changed to female. So, I changed my body to match my mind. The books said this needed to be done To Find PEACE, peace of heart and peace of mind – but I Did Not find that peace.

– I didn’t have many friends and I had a lot of trouble making new friends.
–  I lost a very good and close friend.
–  I lost my job.
–  And after many surgeries, I still had trouble seeing myself in the mirror as a woman. Oh, and did I share that I married a lady right before the  reassignment surgery? Though we were both heterosexuals (ok, that’s confusing so I’ll say that she was attracted to men and I was attracted to females), we represented ourselves as a lesbian couple. We had a love for each other; we thought it was a deep love, but it was hard for us to mentally accept that we were a lesbian couple. If all of this sounds confusing, I assure you, it was! And Yep, I changed a whole bag of problems for a whole bag of other problems! Ugg!

About five years after changing to female I started thinking about changing back to male – I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t at peace, doing what the books and my therapist said to do didn’t fix any of my problems. This was also a time that I was trying to, desiring to, rebuild my relationship with God. I did not desire to divorce my wife because I had already been through one divorce and I did not want to go through another. But, my wife of seven years divorced me. I was presenting as a woman, and now a single and even more broken and confused woman – though biologically a man. I moved back to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to gain the support of my family. And, shortly after doing so, I drove to a quiet spot and just broke down in tears and called out to God. I told Him that I tried everything I could think of to fix my problems and to live, but that I had completely failed. I was in a no-win situation and I didn’t know what to do. I told Him that I put everything in His hands, all of me and all of my problems. Afterwards, it was as though God said, “Now, I have some clay to work with.”
So, with my heart’s desire of drawing closer to God, I decided to go back to the church I went to when I was a student at LSU (Oh boy, did God start working) I joined a small group called The Body Builders (I enjoyed working out and thought this would be a great group to join) In joining the group, I saw that it was a group of middle to upper age men and women, and they were building the body of Christ. 😊 And, on the first day I joined, the group was starting a new study entitled, “Have you ever done something you regret?” I was like – wow – God, really! Towards the end of my first time attending this small group meeting, the facilitator told of when he stole something from a store when he was a kid. That act had weighed heavy on his mind for many years and, as an adult, he had to go back to the store, find the store manager, confess what he did and pay for it. The facilitator then opened the question to the group and invited anyone to share their regret, if they wanted to. The Holy Spirit was talking to me; He said, “Go on, Billie! Now is the time. Tell them what you have done – what you regret.” And my response was, “Are you crazy! I don’t know these people. They will throw me out!”

Well, I did not share. And after the small group ended, we walked over to the church building and I was greeted by a church-greeter. She asked me if I was new to the church and I shared with her that I was and wasn’t – that I use to go to this church when I was a student at LSU. She then asked if I grew up in Baton Rouge and I told her yes, I did. Then she asked me, “What high school did you go to?” Oh my, I went to an all-boys high school and I was presenting myself as a lady. So, just like a deer in the headlights I stuttered and told her that I went to a Catholic high school. She then asked if I went to (the all-girls high school that was a block away from the all-boys high school). My response was, “Yes, around there!” and then I very quickly walked into church. Oh boy! Then, The Holy Spirit convicted me – You see, Billie, you are lying! You are lying about who you are and you just had to tell another lie to cover up your lies. The Holy Spirit kept talking to me that week until, in the middle of the week, I called the group facilitator to ask if he would revisit that question he presented to the group – is there something you did that you now regret and would you like to share it with the group? So, the following Sunday I responded to the question and briefly shared my story. I was ready to accept them ushering me out of class, out of the church, and rejecting me. But a marvelous thing happened! They loved me right where I was! And, unknown to me at the time but they were all praying to God for me to know The Truth, and for me to be free. (My good friend shared this with me after I traveled the road back to
seeing a man, both on the outside and in my mind.) In looking back, I now see that they saw that God was working in me and, since they were The Body Builders, they let God work and encouraged me in my journey – and they just Loved ME!

I attended this group regularly, every Sunday for over a year, and I was reading and studying the Bible. At the beginning, when I first attended The Body Builders, the facilitator extended an offer for me to join the small group that meet at his and his wife’s house on Wednesday evenings. I didn’t want to push my luck so I declined. But the Holy Spirit was still working and, after a few months, put it on my heart to join his Wednesday evening small group. So, I called and asked if the invitation was still good; he told me yes and gave me the meeting time and his address. The day I went to that small group study, they had just finished studying one book and was starting (that night) to study another book. The book was Jim Logan’s book, “Reclaiming Surrendered Ground: Protecting Your Family from Spiritual Attacks”. I was like, Ok, this is going to be interesting! I didn’t know anything about the topic.
At the beginning of the book, Jim Logan gave background information on spiritual warfare and presented three specific cases that would be looked at throughout the book. One of those cases was on a man named Bill who was transgender. (Wow! Really God! – OK!) Now, it was my third time attending this Wednesday small group meeting; I show up and no one else is there except the facilitator and his wife – it was their house we were meeting at so I at least expected them to be there. Well, the facilitator, my friend, shared with me that he and his wife wanted to talk with me in private. They did not call anyone to cancel the meeting but everyone, but me, called and cancelled. This was the first time in all the years he hosted small groups that everyone cancelled out on the meeting. He then shared with me that he did not know I was coming to the group when he and his wife selected the next book they would study. And, he didn’t know that the book would talk about a transgender man named Bill – it wasn’t their planning. We did, though, agree that it was God’s planning and the following week everyone in the group showed up and we dove into the book. (God is awesome in all of His ways!) It was in reading this book that I finally finally FINALLY Learned what was going on! It was a HUGE Light Bulb over my head moment – I’m talking spot light power! Jim Logan shared that not all of our thoughts are our thoughts! YES! Not All of Our Thoughts Are OUR Thoughts!!! Jim said that our thoughts ultimately come from God, our self, and the devil, and he pointed to scripture to illustrate. In Matthew 16:13-17, Jesus says that His Father gave Peter a thought 13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. In Matthew 16:21-23, Jesus conveys to Peter that that-thought was from Satan, for Jesus responded to Peter but directs His rebuke to Satan: 21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you,
Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

In 1 Chronicles 21:1, Satan gave King David the thought to count his fighting men. This would make sense for a king to know how many fighting men he has; in knowing how big his army is and how big his enemy’s army is, he gains insight to know if the battle is evenly matched or lopsided. But, if God is fighting Israel’s battles ahead of them, does the king need to know how many fighting men he has?
1 Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number.” 3 But Joab said, “May the Lord add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord’s servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?” 4 But the king’s word prevailed against Joab.
And let’s look at one more, Acts 5:1-3, Satan gives Ananias and Sapphira the thought to keep part of the money back from the land they sold, and to tell Peter that they are giving all the proceeds to the church: 1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?

God makes it clear in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 that our battle is not against flesh and blood and that we are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ: 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ I couldn’t believe what I was learning! I had been looking for this answer all my life! Yes, not all of my thoughts are my thoughts! The thought “God had made a mistake – I’m a girl” Was Not My Thought! I had been deceived! This brought joy to my heart and opened my eyes to the Spiritual Battle we are all in.
I learned more about the spiritual battle with the devil that is taking place, about the armor of God we are to put on to protect us in the battles, and I learned to renew my mind in God’s Word. About a year or so after that light-bulb-moment, I started the journey to change my gender back to male. It took about a year to complete the journey and, at the end of this time, I was presenting myself as a male with all of my documentation reflecting “male”. This was good! And, about a year after that, in 2010, I meet a beautiful lady and we became friends. I asked her for a date and after that first date, I briefly shared my journey with her. Her response was – “Let’s be friends!” 😊 We were friends for a while but, after a while, our love for each other grew and we married. I thought everything was good – I understood more about the spiritual battle I was in with the devil and I was taking my thoughts captive; John 10:10 tells me that the devil comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I knew his deception and I overcame – I was walking in victory. But, somewhere around 2014, I started to backslide.

Like I said, I knew about the battle with the devil but I was not studying God’s Word like I was prior to and through the process of changing back to male. My thoughts were getting to me and instead of taking them captive, I started to act on them, again. I struggled from around 2014 till sometime in 2017. I didn’t know what was going on; I was confused again. But, late in 2017, I found and read Dr. Neal T. Anderson’s books, “Victory Over The Darkness” and “The Bondage Breaker.” It was through Dr. Anderson’s discipleship, via these books, that I learned what I was missing and was then able to completely overcome all my struggles.
This is what I learned:

  • I knew that Jesus died on the cross for me and my sins; that through Jesus I will have eternal life. What I learned was that not only was I forgiven, but I am now a child of God. Also, I do not have eternal life when I die but rather, I became spiritually alive the moment I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and I have eternal life right now. 2 Corinthians 5:17
    says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he [/she] is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
  • I learned that I have a new identity! No longer was I Billy the misfit, Billy the abomination, but my true identity is now ‘Billy, child of God!’ (Galatians 3:26, 2 Corinthians 6:18) This was HUGE! Instead of being identified (in my mind) as a misfit and abomination, my new and true identity is child of The Most High King! What a paradigm shift!
  • I didn’t know but learned that when Jesus died and rose from the dead, Father God sat Jesus down at His right hand and put everything in Earth and in the heavens above the earth, under Jesus’s feet. In other words, the Devil was the god of this world before the cross, but after the cross, when Father God sat Jesus down at His right hand and gave Him authority over all the Earth and the heavens, the Devil was completely defeated. (John 16:11, Hebrews 2:14)
  • I also learned that Father God has made us co-heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17), and as co-heirs, we share in Jesus’ inheritance. In other words, in and through Jesus, we too have power over the devil and demons. Being a child of God, and in and through Jesus,they have to listen to us, to me!
  • I also learned that I am in two additional battles, the battle with the world and the battle with the flesh. In other words, the world offers us all this shiny stuff that promises joy, excitement, happiness, contentment, and more; and in the flesh we look at and desire all this stuff; we think and believe it will fill that whole inside of us – that it will satisfy all our wants and needs. But the more stuff from the world we get the more it leaves us empty. It may fill us for a short period of time, but eventually it leaves us empty, and this is the battle. I learned much more through Neal Anderson and the Freedom In Christ Ministry. And through the provisions that God has already given to us, I am walking in the Victory Jesus Christ has won for us, has won for you and has won for me, through the cross and His resurrection. My desire is to share what I have learned with others, and one way my wife and I have done this is by leading Dr. Anderson’s Freedom In Christ small group study at our church.
  • I have also finally answered that “Why” question I was asking in therapy many years ago. There is a spiritual battle taking place for our minds. Being unaware of the battle does not take us out of the battle but rather makes us more vulnerable to the battle. In other words, if we are inside a building and we look outside and see the grass and the trees swaying back and forth, we conclude that the wind is blowing. We cannot see the wind with our eyes but we see the effects of the wind, and thus make the conclusion that the wind is blowing. With the exception of those born intersex, we are all born male or female. There is a huge effort by the world, the flesh, and the devil to confuse what is male and what is female. We cannot see the battle itself with our eyes, but we see the effects of the battle all around the world. I fully believe that the only way to be set free and to walk in victory can only be fully achieved in and through Jesus. If you would like to see more of my story, look for the documentary “I Want My Sex Back: Transgender people who regretted changing sex” by RT Documentary.
    Where am I today? I am filled with joy and am walking in the freedom that Jesus has won for us. Rachel and I are closer today than we have ever been because there are three of us in this marriage – God first, Rachel second, and me third. My desire is to help others find and walk in the freedom I am now experiencing. For achieving this desire, I am taking classes with Freedom In Christ Ministries and hope to join their ministry team one day; Freedom In Christ Ministries is an international team who disciples others all around the world in the teachings of Lord Jesus and, God willing, I’ll be helping others one day too.

Blessings, my friend, I hope you have a Wonderfully Blessed Day!

“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b) The devil comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, but I came to give live, and to give it abundantly (John 10:10) “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” (John 8:36)

SPACER LINE

Claire’s Story

* Names have been changed to protect privacy.

SUMMARY: I was involved in same sex relationships for ten years, I was “out” to family and friends, was not attracted to men and even “settled down” with a woman and bought a house with her. Several years later, – following meeting with a psychiatrist, a psychologist and pastoral support, as well as after time getting to know myself, and discovering and accepting God’s plan for gender and sexuality, – I have left that lifestyle, and am married to a man I love deeply, and have no interest in same sex behavior.

I grew up in a household that was in some ways loving, but also deeply disordered. My mother suffered an addiction which deeply affected my father who became very distant and angry. There was a lot of shouting and tension in our home as my parents slowly separated, then divorced. As my mother became less stable and began spending days then weeks away from home, my mother made it my role to cook and clean the house. I was fully in charge of this by 14, trying my best to support two younger brothers entering puberty and a deeply broken father.

I first felt same-sex attraction at 13, with a crush on a quiet and beautiful classmate. We became friends, then one night she crawled into bed next to me with my arm around her. That began a series of similar relationships – emotionally intense, “joined-at-the-hip” type friendships, combined with increasing physical closeness that became sexualised through my teens. In the following years my mother moved away, and my father became our primary carer and did his best to support my brothers and me as teenagers, but was still emotionally distant (with the exception of uncontrolled anger when he was really struggling). As a result I learned not to express my own negative emotions and to fear strong emotions in others – instead gravitating to the gentleness I felt in other girls. My father was also ill equipped to address the emotional and developmental needs of a teenage girl, and so effectively treated my brothers and I alike. I cannot remember him affirming my attractiveness (which I was deeply uncomfortable with anyway, as I correlated this with weakness) or my femininity, and I believe this is one of the reasons that my appearance and mannerisms became increasingly masculine.

I read books on homosexuality where I could and gleaned information from the Internet. My feelings were intense, deeply personal and elating, so much so that I decided I could no longer hide my ‘real’ self and came out at 15. My school’s welfare officer sent me to a local government program with other same-sex attracted young people (run by a lesbian), and my doctor sent me to a counselor at the local community health service (also a lesbian). Unsurprisingly, both encouraged and congratulated me that I had found my ‘identity’!

My parents struggled with my same sex attraction for a time, but they rarely talked about it and were frankly preoccupied with their own problems, so my sexual development was low on the list of priorities. They welcomed my friends to the house, even when they knew that we were sleeping in the same bed.
Men occasionally sexually approached me, but all experiments were short-lived, never felt right or good, and I didn’t believe it was possible to have a relationship with them the way I had with women. Not surprisingly, my mental health deteriorated and I was referred to a psychiatrist, all the while still trying to fill the role of “mother” at home, and doing what I now recognize was a desperate sexual playing out of my own unmet needs for love and affection. When I was 15, I was diagnosed with a mental illness and referred to a secular psychiatrist who I would continue to see, and who would later be a factor in my leaving the same-sex lifestyle. Paradoxically, it was also during this time that I started going to church. I was baptized at 16 into a major denomination, at a parish with a female minister. In a way, I thank God that I walked into that church – my reading into radical feminism had given me such a low view of men that I don’t know if I would have stayed with a male priest.

In my late-teens I moved in with a gender-confused male friend, “David”* (who I “officially” dated for a short time – but was really just friends with) and his family. I finished high school and began my first job where I met “Sarah”* with whom I would have my most significant same-sex relationship. She was vibrant and attractive – she had also been my boss and was seven years older than me. The relationship was intoxicating and hit with a bang & we were effectively living together after three weeks. For the next few years I firmly believed I was a lesbian, I lived with David and Sarah (later we even bought a house together) and my circle of friends was composed almost entirely of people who were same-sex attracted, experiencing gender-confusion, or involved in other sexual issues. I can also see now how I surrounded myself with information that continually affirmed my life-choices, such as having a spiritual director who was herself in a lesbian relationship. Yet by God’s grace I still continued to attend church and even began a theology degree (at a liberal theological college). It was through these studies that I worryingly realized that my feminist, liberal-progressive theology required a significant reinterpretation (even rejection) of portions of Scripture and the Christian tradition, and I started to wonder if my beliefs really stood up to careful criticism.

At the same time huge cracks began to show in my “chosen family.” David had a same-sex relationship with another house-mate, then Sarah began a sexual relationship with David, then the partner of my friend and lesbian-Christian spiritual director confessed her love and passion for me – She was almost twenty years older than me, someone I looked up to, and while I was certainly attracted to her, I mostly felt powerless to refuse. It was one big, incredibly confused, mess. I was seeing first-hand how unstable the queer lifestyle really was. These people I loved and looked up to were really quite damaged (childhood trauma, family breakdown, infidelity, sex with multiple partners, mental illness, other sexual sin and substance abuse were all very common). And I started to see how much their belief-systems largely acted to justify the unhealthy lifestyles they were living. Worst of all, I had been singing the same tune right along with them. With a lot of soul-searching and tears, I came to a challenging and frightening conclusion: I had built my house on sand, and I wanted Out.

During this time I had continued to see my psychiatrist and had been sharing my journey with him. He always maintained a calm and non-directive approach when listening to me, however I do recall one key conversation where I shared how I was realizing that I had been quite misguided for a long time, and he said to me, “Well Claire, I think you are going through all the normal developmental steps that usually occur, but because of your illness it was delayed by a few years.” This was a key insight in helping me to understand that much of my same-sex behavior was a developmental step, perhaps I should have gone through it at 13, and then transferred my interest to men, except I was now playing ‘catch-up’. I realized after that conversation, that sadly, the small missteps that early teens often make, had become magnified as my adult opportunities and lack of parental oversight had allowed a more dangerous outworking of these sexual impulses, that hadn’t been directed to grow up in a healthy way. But thankfully it also meant that I was a person in process who could develop with time and care.

As I began to abstain from various types of sin, and began to speak more critically about the lifestyle and life choices I saw my friends making, I lost most my friends, but started getting to know the God that I had, for years, been trying to shape in my own image. I discovered the work of Prof. Mary Kassian (from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) whose passion for women’s issues mixed with a respectful, academic, critique of feminism spoke volumes to me, as did the complementarian teaching on God’s design for gender. I spent the next 18 months or so also seeing a secular psychologist, reading, getting comfortable in my own skin and catching up on development that I’d missed (even basic things like how to have healthy friendships with women). The Psychologist was another step in my healing and development as he helped me realize that some of my sexual behavior with both men and women had actually been quite traumatizing, and if I wanted to be well and comfortable in myself, I needed to process that trauma.

The psychologist helped me to no longer feel so afraid of men or to feel distaste towards them. He reminded me that while I had had some bad experiences with men, I also knew some decent good men, and it would be a category mistake to consider them all badly. He also helped me to no longer feel helpless in the face of older women, by processing my deep wounds around being wanted or rejected by them (issues largely rooted in my mother having left the family). I learned that much of my attraction to older women had been a gripping, clinging attachment response, and instead I could have my own opinions and preferences, and my desire for them reduced as I worked through these issues. These steps helped me to feel far more comfortable in many situations, yet I still believed that my sexuality was deeply, probably permanently, damaged. I couldn’t consider a relationship with a man, but no longer desired a relationship with a woman. I experienced a shift in my attractions as part of addressing my delayed development. The more I made space
for my own natural femininity, I stopped feeling the need or attraction to finding that femininity in other women. For years I had been grasping for the beauty and softness I saw in other women, while suppressing the beauty and softness within myself.

I was gaining a far more balanced and godly view of sexuality and gender. I explored some traditionally female-dominated interests, while maintaining my traditionally male-dominated interests (mostly science and mathematics), and I happily joined my now confident feminine dress with short purple hair – which I still had when I met the man I would marry. He had just finished his training as a minister and soon after meeting him I thought, “I like this one. I could stand next to him.” – which was a completely new type of attraction for me. I was genuinely attracted to him but not because he was a mirror of me (he certainly wasn’t!) and I didn’t lose myself in him. I found myself willing to trust that he would lead us aright (and he has). And I wanted to serve God with him – I could now see my relationship as not just about filling my needs – but part of serving the Kingdom of God. I was proud of my progress and honest with him about my past, but I still made a few mistakes and harbored some guilt about my history. How could I have been so confused for so long? Why did I let myself stay in those unhealthy and harmful situations?

It was then I found the Pure Passion series and shortly afterwards Exodus Asia-Pacific, which helped me see how I ended up in the situations I had thrown myself into. I met with a pastor that works in this area, and she helped me to understand and forgive myself for my former actions and impulses. With a little support from the pastor and a Christian counselor that I saw for a few months afterwards, I made further connections between my same-sex attraction and the deep alienation I felt with my own gender – both from my fear of becoming my mother and from being forced at a young age into a subservient role serving as cook and cleaner for my male family members. I could see more clearly how my sexual development had been stunted, and was still in need of healing. In particular, I reflected that I needed to name the things I had done as sins, as not God’s plan for me. In doing this I experienced forgiveness, a sense of freedom and the firm knowledge that God was Never Ever going to let me go.

I don’t know that I would call myself “straight”, and “ex-gay” feels awkward (why define yourself by what your not?) – so I’ve moved away from labels altogether. Most recently, my husband and I have started speaking up for Christian sexual ethics in our denomination and I pray that I will one day have the courage to tell my story more openly. One small step in this direction has been to release the update of this article under my first name, rather than my middle name which I formerly published it with.

I have, in the past year or so, come to realize that shame about my past serves neither me nor God, and it is time for me to be honest about my story. This is especially so now, given the likely possibility that others may soon be barred from having important and searching conversations like the ones I have outlined above. It deeply troubles me that the kinds of conversations I had with my secular mental health supports, conversations that were key in my healing and development, may soon be illegal.

In conclusion, I was involved in same sex relationships and various sexual sins for ten years – but I came through it and I got out, and today I am happy, deeply in love with my husband, and comfortable in my own skin. My heart goes out to young people experiencing same sex attraction today and I hope that this story encourages them, their families, and those who support them, to take an honest, realistic and long-term view of gender and sexual development – even when that means naming deep wounds.
– Claire

SPACER LINE

Dani.

I am an Australian woman with same-gender attraction. I was aware of my same-gender attraction from about 15 years of age. At that time I was very young, naive and unsure what to do. But I had a conviction that God made the world in love and order, that Jesus died for my sins and to bring me hope in following him, and that the Bible was God’s true word for all people. This ‘ideology’ saved me from making a lot of bad decisions, and helped me cling mentally to hope even in emotional depression.

I didn’t want to be attracted to women, and I didn’t want any romantic encounters with women. Although that intimacy was something I desired, I believed it was wrong because that’s something the Bible teaches. I avoided close friendships with women, and was often antisocial though at the same time I longed for close friends. I felt deep shame and worthlessness because of my attraction to women and because of masturbating, when I believed I should be attracted to men and have sexual self-control.

I also had nightmares, terrible visions, periods of depression, and a lot of confusion connected to this issue. Around the age of 19 I began seeking assistance from older Christian women I respected, who counseled me, listened to me, corrected me, gave me advice, read the Bible with me, and prayed for me. I also went through two programs ‘Freedom in Christ’ (Christian cognitive-behavioral therapy and prayer) and a Healing Hearts Ministry program (Bible- and Gospel-based healing from sexual abuse and relational issues) in Canada.

Over the last six years, I have received a lot of assistance in reforming my understanding of sexuality to conform to the Bible and the teachings of the Christian church: seeking to obey God, the source of Christian morality. I have sought out this counseling/mentoring in the Northern Territory where I lived until the start of 2019, and for the last six months from a mentor in Victoria. I have experienced decreased depression, an end to masturbating, greater clarity of thought, more healthy friendships, and better civic contribution through “conversion practices”, or Christian lay counseling or mentoring. I have benefited in many ways from Christian mentoring.

Although I am still attracted to women, I hope in God’s promise that all who believe in him will be perfected in him, and this means one day I will be free from attraction to women. For now, I know how to manage these attractions, repent when I fail, and receive the grace of God who knows me back to front and loves every part of me.

SPACER LINE

Daniel Mingo, Ministry Director.

Testimony Rewrite 2018.  “Beyond Surviving.” 10-minute version.

Abba’s Delight.

“You formed my inward parts; you wove me in my mother’s womb.  My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book they were all written:  the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.  Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all.  I thank You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.—excerpts from Psalm 139.

He loved me even then, before I was born.  God knew and foresaw the pain I would experience as a child: lonely, friendless, feeling unloved-even by those in my family.  He heard my cries when I would call out to Him to change me miraculously into a girl.  I had heard of His miracles from Bible teachings in Church.  Why couldn’t I be one of His miracles?  Why couldn’t He change me into something else?

I hated being a boy, being ridiculed, being bullied.  I didn’t connect with Dad, with my older brother, or with the other boys in the neighborhood.  I wanted to be like them, but they were all about sports and rough/tumble while I was about singing, dancing, acting and just generally being the entertainer. But Father was loving me even then, as He watched my life as it was, His heart grieving for me.

He was also watching and grieving when I was sexually molested by a stranger at 13, the frailness of my personality and identity again being shaken.  It is no wonder that, with this trauma and my lack of male bonding in my early years, I grew up to be a man with a confused sexual identity, attracted to my own gender!

John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become children of God.”  As a senior in high school at 17, Father revealed the person of Jesus to me for the very first time when I heard that I could ask Jesus into my heart to forgive my sins and become my Savior and Lord.  This was the first time that I ever heard that God loved ME.  I JUMPED at the chance to be adopted into His family.  I looked for Him to change me, to give me joy for the misery I had grown up with and still experienced as a teen.  He did change things in me, but not the things I was expecting, nor in the ways I was expecting.

The Lord didn’t change my circumstances, though, as much as He began changing my heart.  He showed me that to have friends, I needed to be a friend.  He taught me to reach out to other people, to stop isolating myself and feeling sorry for myself.  By the end of my senior year, I was voted by my co-graduates the “Friendliest Guy in the Senior Class,” this one who felt friendless most of his life.

But everything wasn’t perfect.  I believed that my same-gender attractions that had bombarded me since the onslaught of puberty would reverse, and I would be attracted to women only.  With hormones raging, I sought God every day in prayer and in the Word to change my attractions, and to calm down my urges.  My young adult life was a constant, on-going ritual of anonymous sexual encounters followed by sorrowful vows of repentance, promising   never to repeat these sins again.  I was so desperate I would plead with Him either to castrate me or just take me out, so I didn’t have to endure anymore of the pain.  I so wanted to live a pure life, yet it just seemed impossible.  But then I read where Jesus once said, “With men, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”

Even before I was born again, instinctively I knew I was supposed to grow up to be a husband and father.  The Lord didn’t bring my wife to me until I was 31. Fran and I will celebrate our 35th anniversary this November.  She did not know she was marrying a coward.  It wasn’t until ten years and three sons into our marriage that  I finally voluntarily confessed my same-sex attractions to her and my ongoing infidelity under the powerful conviction of the Holy Spirit, when I was feeling the weight of the guilt and shame I was living in, continually turning my back on our vows.  In that time of conviction, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, saying, “Daniel, it’s time to tell Fran.”

I didn’t understand the significance of James 5:16 at the time, but I began to see God’s transforming hand as his words came to life when he wrote, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another,  and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.  The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”  Over time after my disclosure to her, I discovered that with my wife’s prayers and support, and my subjection to a recovery process realizing that I was feeding a sexual addiction, Father was sealing me in His plan and purposes for my life.  Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 6 took on new significance as well, as I realized I did not to live in homosexuality any longer.  “And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”

Now,  25 years into my recovery and healing process, I am still discovering more and more of God’s amazing grace:  the power to do His will, and of His overwhelming love for me.  I had feared that because of my sin, He would disqualify me from serving Him as a worship leader, something I’d done for about 30 years.   There was a period when He had me “on the shelf,” so to speak.  But when that season changed in 2003, He led me in a new direction when I became   the branch director of a post-gay ministry, working with men traveling behind me on the same road I’ve traveled, and giving them hope:  saints who would need to hear for their own encouragement Father’s story of overcoming and victory in my life.

So I found myself in the position of bringing comfort to other men in Christ  as Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 1:3,4:  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in our affliction so that we may comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Through the support of and accountability with my pastors, church family,  and support groups, I continue in that healing process today.  Pursuing my passion to know Jesus and to be known by Him, and keeping these other safeguards in place, have enabled me to remain steadfast on the course He has laid out for me in serving Him as He establishes His kingdom here on earth through His people.

Over the years, Father has brought healing in my relationships with my wife and sons.  I often joke that the Lord took a man with a messed up sexual identity and gave him three sons to teach how to become men.  He also brought healing in my relationships with my Dad, Mom, and other family members from whom I had felt separated.

In His love, the Lord has shown me that He isn’t changing me to become more perfectly conformed to His image just so that I can be a swell guy in the end.   He is changing me because He has called me to fulfill His destiny in my life on earth and to bring glory to Him through my testimony of His faithfulness, and that His word is true.  Revelations 12:21 says, “And they overcame the devil by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives even unto death.”  As I chose to die to my flesh-feeding life that included homosexual activity, God found a willing son, a useful vessel to further His kingdom on earth.  And, in the process, He answered my childhood prayer, to change me from who I was.  He performed His miracle!

SPACER LINE

Erin.

I never thought I would publicly share such deeply personal things about my past, but I feel like I must, because I was a transgender child. When I could get away with it, I would use the boys bathroom instead of the girls. I practiced peeing standing up. I thought if I could master this, I could “pass” as a boy. I hated it when I had to dress as a girl. I hated my female body. Sometimes I would put duct tape over my vagina to hide it. Sometimes I would go into a rage and pound my vagina with a rock until it was swollen with bruises. Sometimes, when I brushed my hair, I would experience such self-loathing that I would beat my head with the brush, sharp bristles tearing into my scalp until my hair was matted with blood.

My first grade teacher, Ms. Hicken at Howard R. Driggs Elementary School, was concerned about my behavior and my insistence that I was a boy, so she referred me to the school psychologist. The school psychologist met with my mother, my teacher, and the school principal and made some suggestions for how they could help me feel more comfortable with myself. Some of the recommendations from the psychologist included putting me in Bluebirds (Campfire Girls) or Brownies (Girl Scouts) so that I was around other girls, encouraging me to stop wearing my brother’s hand-me-downs, and exposing me to strong women who would be good role models.

In states where “conversion therapy” is banned, it is illegal for therapists to make the simple recommendations that I had. A man I recently met told me that as a child he was sexually assaulted by an uncle. As he grew up, he struggled to make friendships with other boys. He craved male companionship and started engaging in same-sex relationships. But today, a therapist’s suggestion that the boy is not old enough to decide if he is gay or straight is not permitted in states where “conversion therapy” is banned. Bans on “conversion therapy” prevent therapists from telling children that they are too young or too immature to be having gay sex. Both this man and I were sexually assaulted as children. His assault led him to believe he was gay. My assault resulted in my developing a trans identity with the belief that if I wasn’t a girl, I wouldn’t be sexually assaulted again. If he were a child today, “conversion therapy” bans would require therapists to tell him that he was born a homosexual and that being a homosexual is normal and natural. His therapist would never address the underlying cause of his same-sex attraction, and he would be denied therapy that would help him understand the impact the sexual assault had on him.

If I were a child today, “conversion therapy” bans would require my school psychologist to report to my teacher, principal, and mother that I was a “trans” kid. The school would allow me to dress like a boy, be called by the boy’s name [I’d picked out “Timothy”.] and use male pronouns. The school psychologist would likely insist that I be allowed to use the boys’ bathrooms at school and play on the boys’ teams. The school psychologist would “affirm” my belief that I was born in the wrong body and that my self-hatred was valid.

Between kindergarten and first grade my brother and I were abducted by two men and taken to a public restroom. I was brutally sexually assaulted and my brother was not. In my child’s mind, I thought that being a boy would prevent me from ever being hurt the way those men hurt me. Not my mother, not my school teacher, not my school psychologist knew that my trans identity was based upon my desire to keep my body from being sexually violated again. It took years of therapy before I understood the connection. If therapists had not been allowed to question my gender identity, I never would have made the connection. I never would have understood that my hatred of my female body was the result it being violently violated. I never would have realized that my transgender identity was a coping mechanism.

The talk therapy that helped me and many others is now illegal in many states. Children are being denied appropriate mental health services and therapists are required by law to “affirm” a child’s transgender identity or same sex attraction. Transgender activists have adopted a philosophy regarding children with gender identity issues; children should be transitioned to the gender they identify with, first socially, and as they reach puberty, medically. These activists deny that talk therapy is helpful in managing and resolving gender dysphoria, and assert, without any proof, that it is harmful.

No evidence supports transgender advocates’ contention that transitioning children is beneficial in any way, but there is strong evidence proving that transitioning can be harmful. A Swedish study shows that those who transition have a higher suicide rate. Transgender advocates scare parents, telling them that if they do not allow their children to transition, their child is at risk of depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide. This fear-mongering convinces parents to allow children to dictate name changes, preferred pronouns, and medical interventions even though we recognize that children are not capable of making these kinds of life-altering decisions in any other situation.

There is no other situation in which therapists are encouraged, required, or legislated to affirm a child who has inaccurate perceptions about themselves. A child who suffers from anorexia is not “affirmed” in her perception that she is fat. A child who suffers from bi-polar disorder is not “affirmed” in a belief that he will rule the world when he is manic. A child who is crippled by anxiety is not “affirmed” that her anxiety is a healthy coping mechanism. When the general public hears the term “conversion therapy”, they are encouraged to believe that it means electro-shock therapy or other physically and mentally abusive types of intervention designed to turn a gay person straight, otherwise known as reparative therapy.

“Conversion therapy” is an umbrella term that generally refers to any form of therapy that does not affirm sexual orientation or gender identity, including talk therapy. Despite the claims of activists, there is no evidence that failing to “affirm” a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity “undermines” self-worth or increases suicidal ideation and substance abuse or that the therapy exacerbates family conflict. Instead, the evidence suggests that both sexual orientation and gender identity are influenced by environmental factors, including peer and family pressures. Early childhood trauma can also cause children to identify as gay or transgender.

SPACER LINE

Hemi.

How my life was while I was practicing a homosexual lifestyle: I was living a life sort of in my own world, my relationships with friends would never last more than a couple months because I didn’t feel I belonged anywhere, my relationships with family was temperamental as I would move from home to home (many times because of my behavior) I was using drugs at the ages of 13-14 (marijuana and experimenting with ice and also drinking alcohol) whenever I could get my hands on it (in most cases almost daily) I had such a poor self image that I didn’t even want to live past 18 years old, in fact I had never imagined it.

I was living a promiscuous lifestyle, sleeping around with guys a lot but after every time I slept with someone I would feel this overwhelming shame and guilt that I actually thought was normal until I spoke to a friend who told me that it wasn’t normal to feel that, I would try and stop my lifestyle but I was sort of addicted to these relations with guys.

My cousin told me about Jesus Christ and I found it intriguing however I thought I could never be a ‘Christian’ because I was gay. I initially actually attended this church with my partner at the time these people never actually condemned me though, they told me about sin and the consequences and also about this forgiving God. I felt I needed God in my life more than anything.

What I did to change: I would be lying if I said I did anything to be honest, personally when I tried to live a heterosexual lifestyle on my own I just ended up burnt out and more depressed. there is a scripture that says “but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Mathew 6:33) this may be in a different context but I found as I sought God I started to worry less about my sexual identity and anything else I just wanted a deeper relationship with Him.

I still remember the day I walked into church and I saw this woman singing on stage and she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, I had never looked at a woman like that before so naturally I was shocked and I actually walked out of the church and had to pick myself up. This attraction was indescribable it didn’t feel like how I used to be attracted to people.

My life now: I am now dating this woman and have healthy and reconciled relationships with friends and family, I am addiction free and serving as an usher at the Potters House Church Beenleigh. I am able to commit to simple things like study and work. I am happily abstaining from sex until marriage (Which to the old me would of felt depressingly impossible) I have a restored self image and can joyfully tell you this story today because its so real to me that it even astounds me how God has changed my life when I think of how my life has radically changed.

P.s I have read pieces of the Latrobe study and I do feel for the people have shared their story on this sensitive topic however I want to encourage anyone who reads this that if they are struggling with the same thing, that it is possible to change and be ‘a new creation’ just hang in there.

To take away the freedom of pastoral care and prayer and call it harmful would stop people that are living the way I was from ever having the freedom to find options to change, granted some people don’t want to change however there are people out there who DO want to change so please don’t rob them of these options.

SPACER LINE

Ian Lind.

Testimony. (Short version).

When I first asked the lord to come into my life I was about 12 years old, It really excited me that I was going to be “Born Again” for 2 reasons.

1.        I hated my life as it was, I never felt like I belonged

2.        To start over again was too exciting

To cut a long story short my experience was cut short as my mum hated the thought of me being born again and wouldn’t let me go to church or fellowship with the next door neighbors who introduced me to the church. They taught me the lords prayer and gave me a Bible so I could read when mum wasn’t around.

As soon as I could I left New Zealand at the age of 17 I got on a boat to Sydney for a little bit I felt free, no one knew me! very quickly realization hit that I  had no where to stay and I had no money, so I needed a job !  I was lost!

I went to the police at central explained my circumstance and they took me to the salvation army to see if they had some temporary accommodation, they asked me what I did for a job and I said I was a chef, they offered me employment straight away.

While working for the salvation army I met this friend who was helping out at a Sea shell shop down at the rocks, he asked me if I wanted to help as well, so I said that’s great! so I went with him to meet the owner of the shop, we got on great, the owner took me under his wing like a father would and started to show me the business, he was a very kind and caring man and I really enjoyed his presence.

It wasn’t long before he introduced me to one of his friends which took me out for dinner then took me to his place at Hunters Hill, he asked if I wanted to stay the night and he would take me back in the morning.

I said yes that would be great. Talk about naive! He showed me the bed so I got into it and he joined me, I was so shocked and confused, this was my first experience with a man! I had no idea what to expect, I had often had thoughts, dreams of another man holding me, BUT never in a sexual way. I had always thought I was meant to be a woman as I liked the company of men more than the company of woman. I was so confused as I was always quite feminine The way I dressed, the way I walked and the way I talked.

I might add at this point all this seemed quite natural to me and I was always berated for it, and I was always being told that I was gay BUT I had no idea what that meant.

From this point on my life started taking on a whole new meaning, it seemed I have found myself at last. Life was pretty fast at this point. I found the work I loved. I fell in and out of gay relationships, I found work at Gay night clubs and restaurants as a chef or a waiter. I was the youngest manager of a night club called the Tivoli in George Street.

I quickly became a workaholic as this was where I was the happiest, BUT I was also tied up with people that enjoyed to party hard.

The bottom started to fall out of my world, my health really started to affect me around the age of 22, I was getting really sick from poor eating habits, smoking way to much, drinking and the occasional drugs. I hated where my life was so much I decided to end my life and tried to commit suicide.

As this didn’t work I desperately tried to get my life on track, my job was secure, I had money I just didn’t know happiness, and I desperately prayed for guidance, I felt sure life was meant to be purposeful,  I just need to find it!

I had decided that the Gay life was not what I was looking for, I had been through some pretty ugly relationships and they devastated me emotionally which led me to try to end my life, So the only way forward for me was to get my life back into some normality, so I was radical in the direction I thought to go, I started to exercise! I sought help with my diet, I stopped smoking and drinking, I dumped all my friends except one who worked with me. Richard was some one who I could talk to about anything, he was also my harshest critic!

At 27 living in Redfern by my self I met this woman who was south African quite a stunning looking woman, we started a relationship which was short lived, I was like a fish out of water! it was almost like having a relationship with my mother! talk about control!

It wasn’t long after this that I bumped into my next door neighbour who always seemed happy and very chirpy, I introduced myself to him and I asked why he was so happy, he told me he was a born again christian and he has the life of Christ in him!

I didn’t know what to do whether to run or hide! I was just so shocked I just stood there and he told me all about Jesus.

That night he came to my place with 3 other people and they all told me their testimony, they then asked if I would like Jesus in my life, I said yes. We would all meet most days to read the bible and teach about Jesus, it wasn’t long before I was baptised, and recruited into witnessing on the streets of Sydney with this group of people that didn’t seem to belong to any church.

One day after about 2 months the leader of this group asked me a little about my past, and I happened to tell him that I lived across the way for 4 years, he knew the guy I was living with, and straight away knew I was Gay, I was told then that there is NO way I can be saved! that I was an abomination, that Homosexuality was the most grievous sin against God! I was excommunicated and told to leave the area.

I was devastated at this, and quoted the Bible that I was born again! I was no longer Gay, that I have been forgiven! that Homosexuality is no more a sin than stealing or lying according to the bible!

I remember this guy telling me never to go to Frank Houstons church, so I started to look for this church as I felt God was leading me there.

It didn’t take long to find, BUT because of what had happened to me I didn’t want to be known too quickly in case I would be thrown out, I knew all the answers would be in the Church! This situation I found myself in was for me going to be the answer, one way or another I needed to find the truth because the Bible say’s the truth will set you free!

I started to go to home fellowship about 4 months after joining the church and after long talks with a paster Phil  who convinced me this was part of the Christian walk.

So the meeting started and Phil looked at me and asked me what my definition of LOVE was! Everyone was looking at me as I was expected to answer, after what seemed like an eternity I just cried my eyes out! I had no answer, as hard as I tried I really had no idea about love! My idea about love was a man holding me tight and saying I love you! Not what I could say in this situation!

What this did for me, was to really find out what love is all about, and the only one that could give me the answer was Jesus though community and the word.

It wasn’t long after this that I was invited into a group called Exit ministries, participated in the Living Waters program.

After about 2 years of being involved with this group I was so frustrated with not finding the freedom from Homosexual thoughts, I had gotten into a relationship with a girl from work who I started to take to church, at this point in my walk with God, abstaining from any sexual activity was for me a blessing, especially with Marie, I was so scared of messing this up! but I felt this was where God wanted me.

I must say at this point Marie had no idea of my past and to be honest I was to scared to say anything.

In my walk with God I didn’t identify with being Gay as I was born again even though I still had thoughts about it I never looked back, so for me this wasn’t an issue.

I was asked to lead Exit ministries, I asked Frank Houston if I could go to America to attend a Living waters training, I desperately needed to get some reality to this ministry, and as much as I wanted to be free within myself I wanted everyone that came to Living Waters to know of the reality of Jesus in our lives. I was hearing every Sunday of the love of Jesus BUT I needed to experience this love!

Frank was very happy for me to go, the timing couldn’t have been better, Marie and I were married by this stage, Marie also knew my past and understood what I was doing being involved with Exit ministries, primarily I was involved for 2 reasons, one was I wanted to help prevent youth suicide as I believe gender confusion is a major factor to this, and 2, I wanted to experience the freedom of being a Christian, of being Born Again.

CLC Waterloo was a great church and I felt the more I did the more I was appreciated, this theme was a constant in my life, I found that I was doing more and more, almost at burn out! It was almost like swimming against the tide, the over whelming tide of need within the church. I just knew I had to know the reality of Gods presence!

At this Living Waters training at San Juan Capistrano in California, I came before the CROSS, a huge cross at the centre of the room, I thought straight away that this must be a Catholic church! what have I done?

This was the first time I had travelled to America, I didn’t know what I was in for, BUT I felt a peace at being there, and I felt Gods peace!

So I relaxed and prayed that this is Gods will to be here then let Gods will be done, He knows my heart, and he knows all of my past NO one else knows.

One of the teachings was “Mother wound” I will never forget it, as the person was teaching this God was ministering to me and showing why my mother was in capable of really loving me, why she was so emotionally absent, then God started to minister to those deep wounds, all I had to do was to stay present to Him, I cried like never before, I was able to forgive my mother and in so doing I was able to receive the healing, after the session which lasted about 2 hours, I felt like never before, a sense of well being!

This was something I would never have realised was missing until I received it, GOD was mothering me at this point.

The next session was the father wound, again as the person was teaching God showed me why dad had never connected with me, I was able to forgive him, at this point God ministered to me by actually holding me and hugging me close to his bosom, I felt the affirmation of being a man! again I was a mess! I never thought I was worth it!

At the end of the 7 days I was a completely different man! I understood why we are called to be “born again” because that is exactly what the process is about, for me there is now a reality of being a born again believer, a Christian, and this was only the beginning!

The first thing I had to do after coming back to Sydney was to ask Marie to forgive me for not seeing her as God saw her! I was seeing her through my brokenness, what a change God made to our relationship!

I started a new ministry called “Living Waters Australia” We re – trained all the leadership and ran it for about 8 years, in that time the ministry was full on, we started 4 ministries outside of our church, we had 200 people in groups for 30 weeks within our church, I realised fast that this ministry is not just for people with same sex attraction we were helping a lot of people that were struggling in their marriages as well, so we renamed what we were doing to relational wholeness.

In effect we were being what the church should be! we were ministering to christians, equipping them to minister to others, God was raising an army!

Desert Stream ministries is still the most effective ministries in the world for healing Gods people, I had the pleasure of ministering alongside Andy, and I also had the pleasure of attending a Leanne Payne training which was amazing.

I must say here that we were accused of “Conversion Therapy” by some Gays within the church, BUT the truth was everyone who was involved in Living Waters was being converted to Christians that were healed, That were born again! if that was what conversion therapy meant then yes we were guilty, but then every Church should be guilty!

Everybody that was involved was in a desperate situation that demanded truth and healing in their lives and were happy to receive any and all  ministry from God!

The ones that were saying this were Gays who refused to change their lifestyle! and one was a pastor/evangelist in the church who was stood down for his lifestyle.

Jesus was changing lives, healing people of their past and freeing them to be present to Jesus, they were experiencing what it is to be a Christian.

I stepped down from the ministry in 1998, Connor my son had just been born, and I felt God saying to me to step down and be a father and husband to my family.

Marie died in 2009 to cancer, we were married 21 years, I thank God every day for what he has done and continuing to do in my life, I have married again to a most amazing woman Toni Roy, Connor is now 22 years old.

None of this could have happened out side the Church, I was convinced more than once that I was born Gay, and I am glad to say what a lie that was!

The thing that convinced me was, GOD being a loving God would not permit me to be born gay then say it’s a sin, this never made sense to me as a Christian!

Ian Lind.

SPACER LINE

Mitch

For as young as 5 years of age, I knew I was gay. My mom, crippled with her own fear had indoctrinated me that all men were the same – that you can’t trust them, they will surely end up cheating on you. My dad was emotionally absent even up till now. I led a double life hiding the truth from them, until I decided to find those like me during university. I have been seeking the truth about this whole gay Christianity (as I was brought up a Christian) for
as long as I can remember.

I endeavored to change myself by going out with the opposite sex whom I find attractive, but failed. I recognized my family unit was majorly dysfunctional; the obvious factor being an emotionally absent dad. The other was a mom who was bi-polar, schizophrenia, as well as an older brother who has Triple A Syndrome disability. I was also bulimic from all the added pressure on me being the only normal child. My bulimia was miraculously healed as I have been praying for healing in a church I was in. Since then, I felt God was real, not just a fictitious tale learnt from Sunday school in church. Because of that miraculous healing, I felt loved despite my inherent homosexual nature.

One evening after school, I queried God whether homosexuality was a sin as I had been contemplating about it a while – was fantasizing and entertaining thoughts considered sin? The following night I received a Daily Bread booklet (which I have never subscribed to) in my letterbox. The title of the cover was homosexuality and therein laid my answer to the question I asked God the night before. It was an incredible and surreal experience which I will always remember – that God of the universe exists and bothered to answer me straight away! I was 15 years old at the time.

I had a relationship during University after years of being deprived of affection and being loved and ultimately feeling lonely, believing that God still loved me even if I chose this path. I thought I was in love, however I was in love with the ‘idea and superficiality’ of my ex-girlfriend, as she was viewed by many as a trophy catch, being in the modelling and celebrity circles. It was an intense and maniacal relationship that left me clinically depressed when the turbulent relationship ended.

During that time, mom brought me to church where I was supernaturally healed from depression by God. Doctors were baffled as I was completely off meds. It left an indelible mark on me which sparked my journey following Christ. This was under the pastoral leadership of a church I was a part of for around 5 years. I confided in the pastor and a few trusted women in this church. During this time, I experienced the truth of God’s unconditional love despite my thorn(in my flesh), but at the same time, I cannot disregard the blatant truth about homosexuality in the bible. Hence, I chose to ‘want’ to change. I believed God was able to help me because He had done it before healing me miraculous of depression. I didn’t know how He was going to change me or when it was going to happen but I just believed in Him to do so in His time.

Through this time, I grew in my walk of faith whilst keeping my sexuality hidden. I served in leadership at church as I kept myself accountable to a pastor and those few whom I trusted. They were my support network from church that kept me on the right track even though I regressed every now and then. I kept declaring verses that were close to heart: Matthew 6:33 – Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will given unto you.
2 Cor 12:9 – My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness. I declared these verses over my life every day for 5 years through years of doubts and trials.

I first met my husband in August 2005 through a mutual friend. During this time, I was unaware of any internal changes within myself. However, I have noticed my growing sexual attraction towards the opposite sex through the years of my Christian walk. Prior to this, I would be extremely put off by the thought of being sexually attracted to males or even entertaining the thought of having intercourse with them. When my husband entered my life, we connected on a deeper level almost instantly, having a clichéd connection of a long lost soul mate. We were later married the following year by a pastor. We have two beautiful boys, now aged 7 and 9 years old. It has been challenging being a mother as I had no prior interest nor experience with kids and was fearful of being a damaging mother like mine. Suffice to say, I love my family – my husband and my kids; even though they aren’t perfect, they remind me of God’s unconditional love, faithfulness and grace in my life. Looking back at the past, I am so thankful that my life has taken a turn to
where it is now. I cannot imagine what it would be like to continue to be who I was before.

It was a life riddled with extreme complications, inauthenticity, depression and misery.

SPACER LINE

Mitch

For as young as 5 years of age, I knew I was gay. My mom, crippled with her own fear had indoctrinated me that all men were the same – that you can’t trust them, they will surely end up cheating on you. My dad was emotionally absent even up till now. I led a double life hiding the truth from them, until I decided to find those like me during university. I have been seeking the truth about this whole gay Christianity (as I was brought up a Christian) for
as long as I can remember.

I endeavored to change myself by going out with the opposite sex whom I find attractive, but failed. I recognized my family unit was majorly dysfunctional; the obvious factor being an emotionally absent dad. The other was a mom who was bi-polar, schizophrenia, as well as an older brother who has Triple A Syndrome disability. I was also bulimic from all the added pressure on me being the only normal child. My bulimia was miraculously healed as I have been praying for healing in a church I was in. Since then, I felt God was real, not just a fictitious tale learnt from Sunday school in church. Because of that miraculous healing, I felt loved despite my inherent homosexual nature.

One evening after school, I queried God whether homosexuality was a sin as I had been contemplating about it a while – was fantasizing and entertaining thoughts considered sin? The following night I received a Daily Bread booklet (which I have never subscribed to) in my letterbox. The title of the cover was homosexuality and therein laid my answer to the question I asked God the night before. It was an incredible and surreal experience which I will always remember – that God of the universe exists and bothered to answer me straight away! I was 15 years old at the time.

I had a relationship during University after years of being deprived of affection and being loved and ultimately feeling lonely, believing that God still loved me even if I chose this path. I thought I was in love, however I was in love with the ‘idea and superficiality’ of my ex-girlfriend, as she was viewed by many as a trophy catch, being in the modelling and celebrity circles. It was an intense and maniacal relationship that left me clinically depressed when the turbulent relationship ended.

During that time, mom brought me to church where I was supernaturally healed from depression by God. Doctors were baffled as I was completely off meds. It left an indelible mark on me which sparked my journey following Christ. This was under the pastoral leadership of a church I was a part of for around 5 years. I confided in the pastor and a few trusted women in this church. During this time, I experienced the truth of God’s unconditional love despite my thorn(in my flesh), but at the same time, I cannot disregard the blatant truth about homosexuality in the bible. Hence, I chose to ‘want’ to change. I believed God was able to help me because He had done it before healing me miraculous of depression. I didn’t know how He was going to change me or when it was going to happen but I just believed in Him to do so in His time.

Through this time, I grew in my walk of faith whilst keeping my sexuality hidden. I served in leadership at church as I kept myself accountable to a pastor and those few whom I trusted. They were my support network from church that kept me on the right track even though I regressed every now and then. I kept declaring verses that were close to heart: Matthew 6:33 – Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will given unto you.
2 Cor 12:9 – My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness. I declared these verses over my life every day for 5 years through years of doubts and trials.

I first met my husband in August 2005 through a mutual friend. During this time, I was unaware of any internal changes within myself. However, I have noticed my growing sexual attraction towards the opposite sex through the years of my Christian walk. Prior to this, I would be extremely put off by the thought of being sexually attracted to males or even entertaining the thought of having intercourse with them. When my husband entered my life, we connected on a deeper level almost instantly, having a clichéd connection of a long lost soul mate. We were later married the following year by a pastor. We have two beautiful boys, now aged 7 and 9 years old. It has been challenging being a mother as I had no prior interest nor experience with kids and was fearful of being a damaging mother like mine. Suffice to say, I love my family – my husband and my kids; even though they aren’t perfect, they remind me of God’s unconditional love, faithfulness and grace in my life. Looking back at the past, I am so thankful that my life has taken a turn to
where it is now. I cannot imagine what it would be like to continue to be who I was before.

It was a life riddled with extreme complications, inauthenticity, depression and misery.