I come from a complicated family. Both my parents remarried, so I had elder half-siblings from both sides. Despite my parents’ love for one another, their relationship was destined to doom. My dad had several affairs, which eventually split the family. I stayed with my dad and another woman for some time when my mother left. Then, I started living with my mom and another man at the age of eight. This man was abusive and had no care for us.
Both experiences meant I had no father figure to look up to. My mom was the only one taking care of me. In primary school, I was much closer to female classmates. I also spent a lot of time playing dolls with my elder sister, even picking up on her behaviours. Although I do have interactions with boys, such as my brother and in school, I still felt alienated from the male community hence never really fostering close male friendships.
I admired male seniors in high school and befriended them. There were the cool ones and I wanted to hang out with them but it just felt awkward because I don’t talk and act like them. There was just this gap between us. I was more feminine than the average teen boys in school. I soon befriended pornography and was fixated to the intimacy within the videos. I liked men with good body structure and sexual appeal because I’m just a scrawny little kid. After some time, I realised I was into men. Although I had a crush on a few girls in school, but men were really more attractive. I wanted to talk about the human sexuality with my mom, but it seemed to be a taboo topic. I did my own research and found out about homosexuals, which led me to watch gay pornography. I got to know different communities of gay men and learned about the phenomenon when I was 15 years old.
Being a Christian, I had my struggles. I knew that God did not intend men to be with men. I understood all the contributing factors from my personal experiences and some basic concepts of psychology, with affirming facts of theology. The attachment formed were merely the amplified feelings of the loneliness and the hunger for intimate relationships. Nevertheless, I still wanted to pursue a relationship with men. I longed for that fairy-tale love story to happen in my life.
Once I left my hometown, I got into several relationships and met up with different men. I just wanted to quench the innermost emptiness. I knew what I did were wrong in the eyes of God, but the desire to indulge and numb the pain was strong. I still went to church despite living this life of sin. This secret sin remained covered even though I became a leader in church. I kept a double lifestyle for around 2 years. After several warnings, God’s conviction finally gripped my heart. I had to let go of that relationship with a man, leading me to release myself and to grow more spiritually. I am still not totally immune to the attraction towards men, but I know that I should not step into it and learn to take control over these feelings.
My heart and mind were full of fresh wounds and old scars, but God took His time to tend to them. It took many of His reminders to affirm me of His love. I had to release the labels on myself to move forward into what God has planned for me. Despite my past, the different moments of pain and sinning against God, our Heavenly Father still chooses to lead me while holding my hand.
Throughout my journey, I had a mentor I can trust and friends who would care for me. I didn’t need to reveal my struggles to everyone. I thank God that my mentor did not see my struggle as something huge, which according to the Bible is a sin, but no sin is worse or less bad. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23), so why should we judge one another? I know God is working in my life. He is patching me up and letting me reach to those having similar struggles. Recently, I’ve grown fond of a young lady, which was a sign of a breakthrough given that I was only attracted to men since the age of 15. To many who are experiencing the same thing as me, this is a miracle.
To those who may be wondering, change is possible. Our behaviours and our thinking, our “inclination” and our character… these are all achievable in Christ. I’m still learning how to be a man that God wants me to be, other than portraying masculinity, He wants me to be like Him, the loving father figure that I lacked to experience. I aspire to be like God, to lead others in His ways and His word. I thank God that some people can see me as a loving brother and one who has a father-like gentle heart. I don’t know how God would use my testimony to impact others, but I pray that it exhibits some significance to you – be it the sign that God loves you, the hope to change, or the heart to care for others.