Freedom for a Gay Teen

Enjoying the sun

“I’m a Jesus Freak and I’m also gay and that is just the way God made me.”

The following is an email I received from a teenage girl. Her story is tragic and awful and beautiful and inspirational, and I had to share it with you here…

Hi Susan,

I’m a friend of your daughter. I actually think you and I met back at one of the theater shows we were in. But I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your blog and also how much my friends that I have sent it to have been enjoying and also gaining from it as well. 

My story is a very odd one. After high school I joined an internship called the Honor Academy that’s run by Teen Mania Ministries because I wanted to be straight. I had  thought that going there and solely focusing on God and doing things for God would make me who I am ‘supposed’ to be.

I was wrong, obviously.

I spent two years there and my second year I was on what was called the ministry team.  Which is the group that goes from city to city putting on this huge youth conferences called Acquire The Fire. You may have heard of it because Phoenix is our 3rd largest event with usually about 3700 kids. But while I was on tour and even my first year I was so depressed because I couldn’t figure out why God wasn’t ‘fixing’ me. And because whenever our speaker got to the part of the session where he spoke against homosexuality I felt sick to my stomach. (I was a camera operator so I sat through all of the sessions).

During my time there I developed feelings for this girl and, long story short, we kissed once during the summer after tour and we felt so condemned by what we had done that we went and told them what had happened. And because I didn’t seem remorseful enough I was asked to leave and my invitation to go back on tour another year was revoked.

Which sucked. To say the least.

And so I left and came back home and was extremely depressed because I didn’t understand why God let that happen to me so I decided what the heck – God obviously does not love me. So therefore I want nothing to do with him so I came out of the closet and just completely turned my back on God and have basically just been running ever since.

Because i had been told that I can’t be gay and be a Jesus Freak.

Until recently when Natalie posted one of your blogs a couple months ago and I started reading your blogs and they have really helped me come to acceptance of who I am. And realize yeah I’m a Jesus Freak and I’m also gay and that is just the way God made me.

And also because of the fact that after I left the Honor Academy and came out in such a huge flaming way I have had other Honor Academy alumni come and talk to me about how they disagree with my ‘lifestyle choice’ and I have been able to direct them to your blog and I’ve seen some hearts changed.

Also on the flip side I have had some alumni who are gay and have contacted me asking how I have been able to ‘deal’ and i also been able to point them to your blog and have seen several of my friends from there come out of the closet and be proud of who they are.

So I wrote all of that to say thank you and that you are making a huge impact especially in my small circle of life.

My sweet friend… You are brave and bold and stronger than you know. Thank you for blessing me and many others. I am so proud of you.

 

9 thoughts on “Freedom for a Gay Teen

  1. Hi, I’m also an alumni from the Honor Academy. I spent 3 years there trying to be straight. Trying to make God “fix” me…Being told my faith must not be strong enough because He wasn’t. A friend recommended this site to me and it’s helped me come to terms with myself and my sexuality. God loves me just the way I am. Thank you for giving me hope again.

  2. When my son Nick came out he asked if he could also come out on the National Day of Silence on Instagram. Because he is a young teen I told him that it may cause a fire storm. Ultimately, he said he wanted to stand up and be honest. We said ok. Within 1 hour a former youth pastor called my son’s YP and then he called my phone and left a message. Well, my my son and his older sister happened to listen to it and they wanted to leave the church completely.

    I told them that you can’t run all the time and you have to speak out. As a result, my son got kicked out of “leadership” i.e. setting up the stage and then we had to pull him out of volunteering with the younger kids. He felt betrayed and upset. His YP and I spoke and he wanted to have this long talk with my son for being gay. I told him no, because then he would be focusing on my son and that is not what will happen. Ultimately, my son, my daughter and I spoke with the YP and he handled it well. My son is accepted for who he is and is not the focus on the preaching. The YP told me that he would not allow any homophobic slurs from his leaders or anyone in the YG.

    A Lot of what churches miss is that they are not educated on this, but more importantly, parents need to stand with their gay child even in church. We as parents who show love and acceptance to our gay children and yet not shy away from gossip and stares makes a church and family stronger. BTW, my kids attend a conservative church (AG) here in the South.

    • My gosh, Nathan! I’m in awe of what you did, how you stood up for your son, and how it worked out! Wow. It does not always work out so well in the church, but perhaps more tragically, parents will not always stand up for their kids. Jesus always put people before law, justice over legalism, mercy over rules. For all of my readers, thank you for standing up so boldly for your son. THAT’S our job as parents, people. Bless you!

      • I grew up in a house where we had debates on every issue at the dinner table. I guess we were taught to stand up for what is right. We were taught that you can’t put everyone in a box and that stereotypes can be hurtful. I have never been accused of being a potted plant as a result. I have gotten in trouble for speaking up, but I will not allow anyone denigrate nor insult my family without me speaking up.

        My son Nick does not really like to make waves. But what he did was braver then I imagined. He is slowly learning that if someone does not like him because he is gay, oh well. I believe that when we stand with our gay kids and not against them, it makes a powerful statement. It is my job as a father to protect him and be a father that will instill wisdom and life experiences to my son. I sometime wish I can do better.

  3. Sounds to me like Teen Mania Ministries is nothing more than a money making business and if you the “employee/believer” did not fulfill Teen Mania Ministries job description you would be fired. How many ministries out there are basically pimping out Jesus and the Christian faith for the money? If Teen Mania Ministries was that concerned they would have saddled up with this gal instead of showing her the door… shameful. I am getting to the point that all clergy, churches, para ministries, staff, administrators should be 100% volunteer and no pay including the seminaries and then lets see who is really in and really out for Jesus Christ! I do believe this fired me up.

    • Lol. I know. The church and ministries have really lost their way when they are about behavior and/or appearances instead of life. My favorite quote of all time I think is from Ravi Zacharias: “Jesus’ offer is not to make bad people good but to make dead people alive.” Focus on behavior instead of Christ’s life in us makes us behave in abominable ways. Thank you, Richard.

  4. WOW! Just WOW! God is amazing! It is imperative that more and more people become aware of the fact that you can be an Jesus Freak and Gay … they are not mutually exclusive terms!!! I believe because of this young persons bravery lives will be saved and the kingdom of God will be expanded. Let me just say YOU GEAUX GIRL!

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