Young, Gay, and Christian!

by: Steve Payne, Youth Pastor of GCYM


Greetings, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Being young, gay, and Christian doesn't seem to be a reality for some people. But I'm living proof! It isn't the easiest thing to be. I thought being a Christian is hard. Try being "Young, Gay and Christian." When you put those three together, it is a lot more complex at times.

My name is Steve Payne, and I am the president of GCYM (Gay Christian Youth Ministries). Being a youth myself and growing up in a church, I've gone through the hardships of being a Christian who happens to be gay. The Lord has laid it on my heart to minister to the out cast GLBTQ youth of our society and bring them back to Christ.

The purpose of GCYM (Gay Christian Youth Ministries) is to rebuild what has been torn down by the misuse of scripture by churches and the Religious Right. Through peer counseling, Bible based advice, and affirming the love of God, His Word on the issue of being gay over comes youth confusion. For the Apostle Paul states at 1 Corinthians 14:33a, "God is not a God of disorder (confusion) but of peace."

When I first accepted the Lord on October 31, 1992, I thought I knew enough of God's Word to get me by. I knew I had problems with my sexuality, but I wasn't going to let that stop me in serving the Lord. Even though at one point in 1998, I decided that I wasn't going to go to church because I was afraid that God didn't love me. For six months I didn't attend a church or pick up a Bible. I was afraid of being criticized for being gay. We can have hope through God's Word at Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Compare 1 John 4:16, 19)

It wasn't until I went to my church (Sunland Foursquare Church) that I started going to when I was 12 years old. I thought that God would help me become straight like all my brothers and sisters in church were. I thought, 'does anyone else have these feelings that I have?' I would ask myself this question several times. I got to a point that I almost told my best friend and Youth Pastor that I felt that I had homosexual feelings. But I was scared to share these feelings because I thought I would get kicked out of my church.

I read all the passages that condemned homosexuality and I thought they were true, because it was God's word. In November 1998, I went to my pastor and I told him that I had read all the Scriptures, and said that I had homosexual feelings. I was surprised because he didn't condemn me. I started attending every service held at the church (Sunland Foursquare Church) and devoting my life to Christ. I had my ex over where I was staying in a house (that the church purchased), and was living with a fellow brother in Christ.

One day, one of the our elders and the brother living with me sat me down and prayed over me to rebuke the spirits of homosexuality, pedophilia, to name all the partners that I had, and smoking, and other sins that was accused of. Then the pastor's wife basically told me to either serve the Lord or stay in sin. Both times I was crying. I was confused. I wanted to serve the Lord, but after I prayed and confessed I didn't feel a change. It got to the point that I couldn't stand suppressing my feelings, I got back with my ex and I told him that we are going to a gay affirming church. From then on I started studying God's word with Bible helps, and asking questions and really started seeking the Lord. Also, Frank rededicated his life back to Christ.

When I was growing up in the church, I knew that the Lord wanted me in ministry. Where? I didn't know and when I found out it was hard because a gay Youth pastor didn't seem too plausible to me.

I started going to a gay affirming church, after about six months, I asked the pastor if we could have an outreach program for Youth. His response was that there were to many legal issues. The Lord had put in me the desire to minister to youth. Then one night in April 1998, I started to build a web page for gay youth.


Our Purpose and Goal

GCYM has been on the Internet since April 1998, and is still active presently. Our hope is that God will expand it so that we may hold Bible studies and do more then what we are currently. With trials that GCYM has gone through, we still haven't given up. As God's Word states, 'its not by might, nor by power, but by the spirit of the Lord!!! When I first started GCYM, I was 18 and now I am 20 years old. I have received hundreds of emails and thousand of people have visited GCYM since it has been up. Please stand in prayer that those that are searching for truth in the GLBTQ Community will come to terms with their sexuality and Christianity. Most important, that our Christian Faith comes first above all else and then our sexuality. God doesn't look on the outside for appearance, but the heart and he loves us no matter what. If we are right with God, and follow his commandments, we are righteous in his eyes. He loves each and everyone of us. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. For Paul encourages us and says, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:38-39.

Romans 8:1 says: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." We can have a relationship with Christ for if we are in Christ there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. He loves us for who we are.

Our Goal for the year 2000, is to reach as many teens as possible. We know that our time on this earth is short. We need to keep our eyes on the prize, the everlasting life that is awaiting us.


Footnote:

"Twenty-six percent of young gay and lesbians are forced to leave home because of conflicts over their sexual orientation." Paul Gibson, U.S., Dept. Of Health and Human Services (Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide, 1989)

"When adolescents do come out, they are usually alienated from peer groups and other social groups. Even the adult gay population often turns a cold shoulder in fear that they will be perceived as a 'recruiter' if they offer assistance. Lesbian, gay and bisexual teens are often hesitant to seek help from school counselors or teachers." Thomas W. Marino, To be young and gay in America, Counseling Today, May, 1995.

"Suicide is the leading cause of death for gay and lesbian youth." Paul Gibson, U.S., Dept. Of Health and Human Services

Copyright ©2000 by the author
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Books:

Free Your Mind : The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth--And Their Allies

Ellen Bass, Kate Kaufman (Contributor)

Two Teenagers in Twenty : Writings by Gay & Lesbian Youth

Ann Heron (Editor)


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Also In This Issue:

Discovering The Unshakable

Y2K or Y2J?






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