One of the first emails I received after A Life of Unlearning was released only in Australia in 2004
My mum sent me a copy of your book’ A Life Of Unlearning’. I was really blown away by it. I grew up in a Pentecostal AOG church. By the age of 13 I was quite heavily involved in the youth group By 17 I was leading worship in our services and several groups within our youth ministry. It was also at 17 during a revival meeting my Pastor prophesied over me to finish school and enter Bible College.
At 22 everything with the church hit the fan, the and things were quite horrible for a long time. Eventually I was just too worn out to bother any more – I left. I’ve carried a lot of hurt and anger towards those who told me I was loved only to abandon me when I most needed friends and support. The final chapters of your book broke my heart! I had to put it down almost every paragraph to refocus my puffy red eyes. But somewhere between you saying “Something died in me that day.” I had a moment where something inside me wanted not to be broken anymore. For the first time I wasn’t convincing myself that I was loved and valued and that everything was ok. I actually knew it.
One of the many stories now on the Freedom2b website
I have been a Christian all my life from when I was about 5… I believe that God is my saviour but have severe trouble coming to grips with why He would love me.
I’m not “out” to anyone… Not sure how to go about it or even if I should.
I have known I was “different” to those around for many years… Just not attracted to girls… And living in a small country town (out Dubbo way) doesn’t help…My struggle really started 5-6 years ago when i was in grade 9… I came to the conclusion I must be gay… I have been raised by a Christian mother whose stance was basically “Gay is wrong… My Grandmother didn’t help either… I remember watching a dancing competition on TV and being told “They are wonderful, Too bad they are gay. They’ll go to hell!”
I have always believed that decent Christians aren’t gay and if they are there are programs that can fix that.
In year 9 i couldn’t come to grips with myself and attempted suicide… I was caught by a teacher and rushed to hospital. Diagnosed with depression. I figured that if I put these feelings and my “religion” in a theoretical box and left it alone I would get over it…. I attempted suicide again in Year 10 and once again in Year 11.
Which brings me back to this week. I am currently in Sydney for work and was fed up with myself again.
I was planning on killing myself for good.
My work entails searching popular social media websites i.e. Blogger, Twitter etc for mentions of the company I work for. I was finishing my work, sending it to server and about to write a goodbye email before drowning myself.. Before I could finish my email a stray result came into my inbox. It had nothing to do with my work and didn’t match any of my criteria. There is no reason it should have been there. It was the story of another young guy like myself who had been helped through this site.
I opened it and howled my eyes out… Reading about another person in my circumstances and finding out I am not the only one… Then I found a link to this page and howled even harder… Finding a group of people who believe you can be a Gay Christian. Even better seeing the evidence against “Ex-Gay” therapies made me feel so much better.
I’m so grateful for this site… Without you guys I wouldn’t be alive… Literally.
Shan (19 year old living in western NSW)
One of the first messages I received when A Life of Unlearning went digital on amazon.com
I just wanted you to know that you are an inspiration to me. Reading A Life of Unlearning assisted my mental health and acceptance for myself in a tangible way. I used to be on six antipsychotic drugs and now I’m only on one mild antidepressant. Thank you. It truly did help. I’ve always been taught that God hates me. I made a lot of friends in conversion therapy. Out of forty, only six are still alive (one died naturally, the rest suicide.) Your book gave me hope and let me see a truer Christ.