"WHO ARE YOU" spelled using scrabble pieces
April 11, 2024

My Identity Isn’t Gay or Gay Christian; I’m a Christian, Full Stop

  • print

This testimony is from a former group member in Harvest USA’s Men’s Ministry.

Harvest USA wasn’t my first attempt to overcome sexual sin and learn about who I am in Christ. Like most sexual strugglers, I have a long story of pain, struggle, and isolation. My challenges started in childhood with autism, social, and sensory issues. Then, there was my family.

My father was an abusive alcoholic and rejected me when I was a boy. I didn’t fit his skewed definition of a male. He eventually divorced my mom and abandoned me, forsaking me as his son. Fatherless, bullied, and ostracized, I turned to food, pornography, and sexual sins to soothe emotional pain.

Then, a new discovery horrified me: I had same sex desires. I embraced a secret gay identity. What I really wanted was my father and his affirmation about being male—his loved son—even though I didn’t fit the stereotypes. Instead, a twisted desire grew in me to make men (who looked like my father) do what I wanted. My perversion started with masturbation and porn but turned into webcam use and sexual encounters with two random men I met online. My heart was hurting, confused, and lost in darkness.

Overcoming Lies with My Real Father’s Truth 

When I became a Christian, I finally began to learn about who I really am because of Christ. I’d learned so many lies about myself and God; he patiently taught me the truth about both. It took a long time for lies to become dismantled, and the process sometimes felt overwhelming. In God’s grace towards me, he wanted me to stop depending on myself and start trusting him and the people he wanted me to trust. There were many times when people I trusted let me down. But God remained constant and faithful.

I’ve learned how to fight sin specifically, rather than resorting to vague and powerless strategies fueled by my pride.

The lie that I was not “man enough” kept me stuck in my false identity and the sin attached to that identity wounded my heart. God healed that wound and, by his Spirit, corrected that lie. 

First, God is my Father and adopted me as his son to not only be in his family but to obey his commands. As his son, he created me as a man to live after his heart, not my desires. 

Second, because I’m part of God’s family, I’ve seen how participation in the church gave me a band of brothers who affirm these and all truths about who God is and who I am. Many of these insights have been uncovered during my time through the Harvest USA men’s discipleship ministry.

These men of God have filled in the gaps of my earthly father’s failures. They’ve loved me well even as I’ve learned how to love them as brothers and not objects to lust after. These men point to my Father in heaven for all that I need. I’ve learned how to articulate how and why I sin as I mortify my sin and run to my Father in Heaven. I’ve learned how to fight sin specifically, rather than resorting to vague and powerless strategies fueled by my pride.

Growing Forward with a Band of Brothers

Early on in my time with Harvest, I started realizing the importance of confessing my lust—whether toward men or things I craved to use in sinful ways. It’s hard to talk about perverted sexual desires for men to a group of men, but each sin I confessed was met with the response of no condemnation and “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). God was faithful every time. My men’s group at Harvest encouraged me to be a hearer and a doer of the Word as we discussed it honestly with each other and prayed together to be faithful outside of our group meetings.  

My sin no longer defines me because Jesus has washed me and sanctified me and justified me.

My time at Harvest USA discipled me to be a man of Christ and of God’s Word. While I continue to battle against sin, I have a band of brothers who walk with me. I confess to them, and they graciously hold me accountable. Much like my full Christian walk, which started 20 years ago, if you were to ask me if this specific phase of my larger journey walking with Jesus was worth it, I would not hesitate to say “yes.” It was worth the sacrifices I made because my spiritual growth is always more important than anything else that I would do to fill the time. I look forward to having further victory and freedom from sexual sin.

Encouragement for My Brothers and Sisters

Brothers and sisters who are struggling with sexual sin and keeping it hidden, expose the darkness of your sin sooner rather than later. Harvest provided me with one of the best environments to learn how to do this well. It will help you grow so much during this season of confronting your sin, so you are liberated to live out who you already are in Christ. Like me, you can grow in not only believing but experiencing the astounding truth of 1 Corinthians 6:9–11:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

I am no longer gay. I am not even a gay Christian. I am a Christian, full stop. Period. My sin no longer defines me because Jesus has washed me and sanctified me and justified me. He tells me intimately that I am his and he is mine.

More resources you might like: