I attended every LGBT+ related seminar at Urbana 2009 so that I could gain a better understanding of how to share God’s love with the LGBT+ community. My plan was to start a Bible Study the next semester at my college: a study to repair the church’s reputation with LGBT+ people. I know first hand their frustrations, because I myself have same sex attraction. But I also know Christ, and the love that he has for everyone.
I also know that despite the church’s reputation, I have yet to run across anyone who condemned me – or said that God hates me – because of my same sex attraction. I thought: “What if I were to show the LGBT+ community at my college that Christians do not hate them?” Would they be willing to even listen to me?
I shared my story and talked for several minutes with Bill before he presented his message. Near the end of his seminar, he said that he was going to do something that he had never done before. He asked if those with same sex attraction would like to come stand with him. I knew – right then – that I was going to go forward. Everyone in the room clapped for us for longer than most people usually clap. After Bill’s prayer for us, the seminar ended and people – free to go – instead came up to give me and the others a hug.
That experience meant at lot to me. When we stood at the front and looked back at the crowd, I was really nervous. At that point, I had only shared my same sex attraction with people I knew and trusted. To hear all those people that I did not know clap to show me that they care about me was really breathtaking. I had to hold back the tears because it was a great feeling. I am no longer afraid to tell people about my life.
I know people say that Christians hate LGBT+ people, but I have yet to experience any hate. One reason why Christians seem to “hate gays” is simply that most Christians really don’t know how to react or else they are confused by this topic. Most Christians I know do try their best to love everyone.
I have not been able to share with the LGBT+ community at my college but others around me have. After Urbana, I shared my story with my campus ministry and they saw my vision. They have since worked hard to get to know students involved in the LGBT+ community. I hope this will continue for years to come.
FOOTNOTE: Near the end of this semester, I shared with one of my friends that I have same sex attraction. Not long after that, she prayed for me and then we went our separate ways. The next evening, I realized that I didn’t have any same sex attractions. I have prayed since I gave my life to Christ that he would heal me. Since my friend prayed for me back in mid-April, I have had very little same sex attraction. I know that it is only by the power of God because I have tried everything to change, to fit in, and to be “normal” since the sixth grade. I thank God for His AWESOME POWER and what he can do to really change a life. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.