I am a 20 year old male. Two years ago, I have openly admitted to myself something I have known all my life: I’m gay. Yet, a few months ago, I became a Christian. All my friends tell me that I should pray about my preference, and that I can change.
Often I feel I really want to change, not just because I don’t want to sin against God, but also so that I can marry and have kids. I really, really want to have kids, especially sons. But I just don’t feel any attraction to girls.
Again and again, I have tried to be straight, praying, reading Christian books, but to no avail. And now I am so discouraged by the seeming futility of my efforts. What do I do?
To make matters worse, I’ve grown very fond of an 11-year-old guy, who used to be my neighbor, and I was very happy when I was with him. We would play games and talk about school, friends, dreams, etc. I never thought lustful thoughts about him though.
I didn’t think much about this thing I had for him, until after he moved, leaving unannounced and without a trace. I then began feeling very sad and hopeless. And I miss him terribly. I’ve never been this sad all my life, which surprises me sometimes. It’s been almost 5 months since he left, yet I still haven’t coped with this loss. Now I don’t know what I felt about him. I always get these thoughts that I “loved” him, and feel very guilty afterwards, because I thought I was doing something immoral (homosexuality and pedophilia). Please help me. Can a gay person really change? If he can, how does he do it? What is it that I am feeling for this guy? What do I do now?
Thank you for taking time to read this letter.
God bless you.
My heart goes out to you as you are faced with some intense issues. Let’s deal with your friends first and the fact they want you to change from being a homosexual because they are telling you need to. First, you — as you are — belong to God. Your sexual orientation has nothing whatsoever to do with how you feel about God. Sex is a further expression of one’s deep and intimate love for another. The gender of the person whom you love is of no difference to God. What matters is that you recognize the love for the person and the ensuing relationship as a gift from God. There are very few passages in the Bible that supposedly say negative things about homosexuality and most of those are flat misrepresentations of the story or what the author was saying. I would encourage you to read “Whosoever” cover to cover as well as Rev. Buddy Truluck’s site to deal with these issues.
The reasons your efforts to be straight have failed is because you are not straight. God has created you in a very special way. One of those specialties is the fact that you are a homosexual.
Now, on to what I perceive as the more difficult issue. Your affection for this 11-year-old boy. I can not tell with certainty from your letter that you had anymore then a “big brother” type of relationship with him. You said that you had “no lustful thoughts about him” (sexual feelings) and thus I don’t think your concern over being a pedophile is valid. However, with that said I am concerned about what this relationship was about. If I am correct that it took on the scope of a brother type relationship then your feelings make perfect sense. If it is more than that and involved sexual fantasy or inappropriate touching or thoughts of developing an intimate relationship — then I would say those feelings are inappropriate and I would encourage you to seek counseling from a “gay-friendly” therapist. As it is you have suffered a loss and the feelings you describe are typical when we lose someone close to us unexpectedly. Further, I am going to go out on a limb here and say I think your concerns are because of what you have been told or taught about being a homosexual. You have been told that we are child molesters and perverts. This could not be further from the truth. Pedophilia is a illness which involves serious power and control issues and is not generally limited to the gender of the child.
Can a gay person change? NO! What do I do I now? Begin the journey of understanding that God is more concerned about your love for God and being the best of what God created you to be. Do not be worried or frustrated over what people who have no understanding or desire to understand you. Find ways to meet people of your own age with your same interests. Do a search on the web using key words like gay, youth, and support. If you check out our church’s website you will find on the links page a couple of links to different youth support groups. Remember, you are a child of God. You are a gift to this world from God!
Editor-in-Chief of Whosoever and Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta, Rev. Paul M. Turner (he/him) grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994, have been in a committed partnership since the early 1980s and have been legally married since 2015.