Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Growing up I was raised in a pretty conservative family home with dysfunction running wild. I went to church at a Baptist church, that was anything but open minded. I became a Christian at the age of 8 and after that began going through all the motions a good little baptist boy should. This is the time when I started noticing my attractions to men, give or take a little time. I was so young that I never thought anything of it.
Back to my family...my dad was an alcoholic and my mother is just plain neurotic. I came out to my parents at the age of 16 after they found out about a relationship of mine. To say the least they didn't take it well. I was called an F-ing Faggot, pervert, and told I was going to hell. I was threatened to be kicked out of the house at 16 and disowned. Needless to say the fear got to me, and I took back the coming out. I didn't know that you could take that back, but actually you can! Who would have thunk.
From the time I was 17 until February of my senior year I "laid low" with my attractions, just doing random hook-ups to meet my "needs." Being from a small town I had to lay low. On February 9, 2004, I met someone who would turn my life upside down. He was an Assemblies of God preacher. I thought he was trying to "save my soul" after seeing that I went to Iowa for the Howard Dean campaign. Turns out he was not trying to save my soul, but rather, he was trying to hit on me, and he was very successful in doing so.
We met at a local restaurant in my hometown and drove for 30 minutes before the "Purple Elephant" in the car was identified. I asked him if he was gay and he said yes. We turned around and went home to his place, watched a movie, and ended up having sex our first date. Turns out this pastor of a small country church was hiding some rather big skeletons in his closet, or should I say his baptisimal!
We started being very close after that and officially started dating about a month later. He told me in that month period that he only wanted to be "friends with benefits" because (paraphrased) being in a relationship would mean he is gay. He was 23 and in the heart of the Bible Belt, was very conflicted. I could totally relate.
That summer I took my first vacation. The preacher and I went together. On our way to Florida, we stopped at a small church where he preached and made some money for our vacation. Our relationship had grown to be very enmeshed and full of fun and excitement. We were attached at the hip. We were doing just great, and then I experienced for the first time, another gay guy paying extra special attention to me.
A local law enforcement officer in town came to my work and told me he knew about me. I instinctively denied it to protect myself...he DID have a gun! Later I gave him my number, which initiated a brief affair(don't know if I can use that term, but I will anyway!)I told my boyfriend, the still-preacher at that time, what I had done. He forgave me and we tried to mend the our relationship the best possible, but it seemed to only go downhill from there.
In August I went to college which brought its own difficulties to our relationship. For the first time in 6 months we were apart for more than 3 days. We ended the relationship for a little while and I started dating a Junior. He was very model like and I had NO idea why he was with an average Joe like me. He was an interesting character. I am a very masculine acting guy, and he was a theatre major...draw your own conclusions. He was a party-going, wild-child while I was and am to an extent very conservative and quiet. He also didn't work and was from a very middle class family. He always seemed to have a lot of cash though(although he never offered to buy!) After that relationship ended for irreconsilable differences, I was chatting with a guy who said he knew my ex from college. He actually had just paid him a couple weeks back for "escort services." Yes. I was dating an escort...aka...a male whore. I also contracted scabies from him, which was a major ordeal.
A month or so after this I started dating the preacher again. We had no problem picking up where we left off, or so I thought. He had went to the pastors of my church and told them he "struggled with homosexuality." They sent him to a weekly Exocud ministry meeting and a class called Living Waters. He would try to apply the ex-gay material to our relationship, and I did NOT like that. He was trying to diagnose our relationship as emotionally dependent. In hind-sight, he was VERY right, but I got VERY offended.
At the end of May 2005 we went on another vacation to Kentucky. There we mended some of the problems we were having. There he asked me to "marry him"
Ok, I was very shocked. I brought up the obvious that we couldn't get married and tried to play my shock off with that. But he was serious...or so I thought. We got back from Kentucky, and 2 days later the unthinkable happened. The boyfriend of 16 months(minus off time) broke up with me because he couldn't be a homosexual anymore(geez...didn't realize it was that easy.) I was horrified, wondering what I could do to resolve this. Being a "fixer" I knew there was SOMETHING I could do to change his mind. There wasn't. He was resolved.
A week later, my Pastor called me into his office. I went curiously, not knowing why he wanted to see me. The unthinkable happened, yet again. The youth had found a text message I sent my boyfriend. (For clarification: I didn't go to my boyfriend's church, I had a different pastor, my boyfriends OLD senior pastor also his mentor) So, natuarally I lied to my pastor, left quickly, and tried to fix. I called my ex-boyfriend and we decided to come clean. I thought I could still get him back at this point, so this mess gave me a reason to contact him and talk. That night we met at Pizza Hut and told my Pastor everything. After that we were forbidden to talk, but we did anyway. My boyfriend then told me about a program he was refered to called Love In Action. My life was nearing a huge crossroads.
July 16, 2005 I got in my car and drove to Memphis, TN. I arrived at the Love In Action house. I was horrified! The people were very nice; however, I hear they are nice in cults, too, but I digress. That day I entered safe keeping, which meant I couldn't talk socially for 3 days. We also went over the rules of everything you could not do. For example, it was forbidden to give each other hugs, talk on the phone, and definitely no masterbation. You name it and there was a rule for it. I went originally thinking to myself, "he'll take me back if I just do what he wants." However, I couldn't see the illogical thought process that was occuring.
After 2 months at Love In Action, I had seen and heard it all from people who've had sex with animals to pedophiles wanting to change their ways. I decided that after 2 months the program had nothing more to offer me, so I left. A week later, I hooked up with a guy who had been kicked out of the program for not complying with the program norms. After hanging out for a few hours the "unthinkable" happened...Two ex-gays who enjoyed each others company had sex with one another. I felt so guilty. I had just spent $7,000 to get "fixed" and learn tools to assure I wouldn't be with men again, and it didn't happen! Was I broken? Did I just totally have no control on my attractions? I still don't know the answers to those questions, but I think I am getting closer...or maybe just becoming more cynical.
At this point, you know where I have been over the last several months. The remainder of this blog is going to be dedicated to different stories of things that happen in my crazy life, with some being detailed and quasi-graphic, but only truth. I will take time to express how I feel on certain subjects as they come up.

5 comments:

grace said...

I look forward to hearing the rest of your story! :)
grace

Willie Hewes said...

You went to Love in Action to get your boyfriend back. Of all the twisted logic surrounding that place, that must take the cake. :)

I'm sorry, I'm not making fun of you, I can kind of see how you got there, but...

Anyway, I wish you all the best in your recovery from being ex-gay, living an unhealthy lifestyle like that is going to effect you, but that doesn't mean you can't be happy, and loved. Hope you find the right guy.

Willie (random passer-by)

Bob Painter said...

J...

I am Bob Painter. I graduated from LiA in September 1999. (I actually attended the long version of the program, having been there for two years before graduation.)

I now am an ex-ex-gay myself. I'd love to have the opportunity to talk in person or chat via e-mail with you.

My hope is that you won't lose sight of Jesus through all of this. I too went through intense questioning and struggles with my Christianity as I emerged a gay man, but in the end, there's nothing more powerful than grace. And John Smid is not Jesus Christ.

Take care...

BOB

Anonymous said...

Hi Jacob,

I have thought a lot about your struggle since discovering your blog report. I always felt that God had His hand on you...I told you that just before you left Love in Action. I still think He does. I and a lot of folks who don't know you have kept you in our prayers. You can figure out how to contact me if you ever need to talk with a Chrtistian who was in your shoes when I was your age. I can promise you that God has a way out of this struggle as with all issues which run contrary to His will. But as the scriptures say, it will cost you everything. For me, until I was willing to pay the price of completely turning my will over to the Lord, 'coming out of homosexuality' just wasn't working for me. When I totally gave up the fight and said "Lord, thy will be done, at ALL cost", He really began to work in my life. I was addicted to homosexual acting out for nearly 20 years. I have been celibate and abstinant for the last 14 years. It hasn't been easy...the Christian path is NOT easy. But I have a life in Christ that means more to me than my own life. Jim Elliot said he is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep for that which he cannot lose.

I am praying for you, Jacob. I care.

Tim Warner

Mike G said...

That was a very enlightening story.
Its really sad that those ex-gay programs are trying to get people to change their sexuality when it simply cant be done, and I think they do more harm that good alot of the time. Im gay myself, and Ive struggled with it too, and thats why me and my man have both been celibate for the last 4 years, and we still share our lives together, without sex. I wrote all about it in my blog. Feel free to check it out.
Good luck to you, and keep following what YOU feel is right. Thats whats important.
take care.
Mike