My name is John. Yes, even at 5 years old I was attracted to the same sex. And all throughout my childhood and teen years I was attracted to guys and had many sexual encounters with them. I gave my gay desires full rein.
Then I got the truth at 21. All my life I was obsessed with death. I would be afraid to go to sleep at night for fear I wouldn't wake up and be dead forever. So one night in a state of panic, I prayed so hard that God would get me answers to questions I had had all my life. The very next day when I came home from classes, I found a tract in my door, "Would you like to understand the Bible." It advertised the book, "The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life." And one of the questions it said the book would answer was "Where are the dead?" I excitedly sent for the book.
Three days later a brother and a circuit overseer called at my door. I eagerly let them in. When they pulled out the book, "The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life," I said that I just ordered that book! They opened to the table of contents and asked me what topic would interest me, and I said "Where are the dead?" We opened the book and they started studying with me right then. I knew right away that I had found the truth that I had been praying for all my life! The brother that studied with me was a former Jew and Gilead graduate. His zeal had me to all the meetings after just 3 studies ,and after just 6 studies, I was out in service every Saturday and every Sunday. Over the years I served as a regular pioneer, ministerial servant, and elder.
The first Watchtower the Witnesses left me had an article about homosexuality. I devoured the articles. I thought, well, to please Jehovah, I'll just have to give up gay sex acts, you know like turning off the water faucet. Well, little did I know that trying to suppress my gay desires was like trying to stop the flow of water at Niagara Falls! It's really been a daily fight for all my life, and my gay desires are as strong as ever. Well, then several years back I did give in to my gay desires.
I was disfellowshipped for my homosexual acts. I was out for 26 months! Finally, I was reinstated and am committing no more homosexual acts. It reminds me of what the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians in his second letter, at 2 Corinthians 2:5-11: "Now if anyone has caused sadness, he has saddened, not me, but all of you to an extent—not to be too harsh in what I say. This rebuke given by the majority is sufficient for such a man; now you should instead kindly forgive and comfort him, so that he may not be overwhelmed by excessive sadness. I therefore exhort you to confirm your love for him. For this is also why I wrote to you: to determine whether you would give proof of your obedience in all things. If you forgive anyone for anything, I do also. In fact, whatever I have forgiven (if I have forgiven anything) has been for your sake in Christ’s sight, so that we may not be overreached by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his designs."
So after just 5 months, yes 5 months, Paul admonished the overseers in the Corinthian congregation to reinstate the expelled brother "so that he may not be overwhelmed with excessiveness sadness." So you can imagine the excessive sadness, the severe depression, almost like PTSD, that I experienced for those 26 months! I didn't appeal the disfellowshipping at first because I felt so guilty about displeasing Jehovah. But after some months I began to think about the reasons that the elders gave for disfellowshipping me. I wrote an 8 page typewritten letter about the situation and submitted it to the Branch.
I specifically quoted the elders' reasons for disfellowshipping me and quoted directly from the Branch's publications to show how those reasons regarding my actions were erroneous. The elders got a copy of the letter and met with me. I don't think they liked that I wrote to the Branch. So after 8 months they denied my plea for reinstatement. They said that being disfellowshipped would be good for me! Wrong! Well, let me tell you, nothing good, nothing positive came out of the disfellowshipping. For me the disfellowshipping was crippling and debilitating, to say the least. I was repentant from the get go, even showing works that befit repentance!
Shortly thereafter, a statement came out in the Watchtower saying that "elders can misinterpret our actions and misjudge us"! I am convinced that that was the case with me. Anyway, water over the dam. And, as Paul wrote, I was "overwhelmed with excessive sadness" for 26 months and have had a long struggle to heal, and still healing.
Another gay brother
Another gay brother talks about why and how being a gay Jehovah's Witness, evidently from England, is such an incredible struggle. I'm sure many of us, if not all of us, feel the same way and can completely identify with his experience.
I was raised and baptised as a very serious Jehovah’s Witness. Every waking moment of my day was lived for Jehovah and his organization and for nothing else. I was also gay. Whilst I was told I could have Jehovah’s favour if I did not practice my homosexual feelings (like a straight person could whilst not committing fornication) I personally felt that it was different if you are gay. Regardless of how much self-control I manifest, I was gay. We are not people with homosexual feelings; we are gay people, gay to the core.
A heterosexual man's attraction toward a woman feels completely natural. For me and other gay Jehovah’s Witnesses, our attraction feels natural too – but for men. The thought to be with a woman is simply not there, for some of us it just isn’t something that could ever be considered.
When we overcome temptation, like the thought of stealing or viewing pornography, we can feel proud that we overcome it and have Jehovah’s favour. But despite not actually engaging in homosexual activity, just because we are gay, we are something that Jehovah apparently detests. It is such a struggle because we know (as many have said to me) we are not considered as normal and have to wait for Jehovah to fix us in paradise.
Can you imagine what this does to young men in the organization? Saying that being gay is not normal and we have to be fixed, especially when to us our feelings are completely normal and natural. It is not a learned habit or something you can overcome. Many times I have sat through meetings and the topic of homosexuality or homosexuals has come up and I cringe at what I’m hearing and I have to get up to go to the toilet just to stop hearing it, because I don’t want to be reminded how being gay is wrong and how gay people will be destroyed at Armageddon. Yes, I know it only refers to those who are practising homosexuals, but knowing how God hates homosexuals and knowing that I am one and can’t fix that is mentally debilitating.
I was baptised at 15. Sometime afterwards, I messed up and engaged in light homosexual activity. I kept it concealed and was eventually appointed as a pioneer. When I was 17 a brother from a neighbouring congregation and I formed a friendship and inappropriately touched each other. He confessed to the elders and we were both privately reproved. I felt my life was over. At this point I had not accepted I was gay and because of the judicial procedure the elders and my family had to be told. Rumours leaked out about it into the congregation. It was devastating to say the least.
A gay worldly couple started studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses up in Birmingham. They accepted it as being true and decided to separate in order to get baptised. They moved to different congregations to make it easier not to fall into temptation. Whilst impressed with their level of faith in order to do this, it is sad gay people are denied very basic human rights, the right to love someone and build a home with that person. These two men now have to spend a life in this system alone, watching other brothers dating and getting married and growing old with their wives, whilst they stand around gathering dust. All gay people are in this situation. It is painful to watch your friends grow up and marry whilst you are left alone. You cannot marry; neither can you hang out with your friends as you once did, as that is what happens when they marry. It becomes a lonely life with no prospects in that regard.
I started to be stigmatised for being gay. Other brothers did not feel comfortable to invite me on holidays that they arranged. Several congregation events were organised, and I was asked to pick up a young brother from a nearby village. Every time he would cancel coming. I learned that his father did not want his son and me alone in the car. I may be gay, but that does not make me a pedophile. In fact, I was still a virgin and did not want to engage in sexual activity with any person due to my love of Jehovah. That this father thought I might sexually attack his son hurt deeply. He was not the only one. Soon, I was learning that all young brothers in the congregation had been warned not to be alone with me. I was not after sex, and had no plans to sexually attack these people, but because I was outed as being gay, people became uncomfortable with me. I lost any chance that a brother will house share with me or want to go on holidays. It became difficult just to make friends.
Some say it is no different than for a sister that has never married, but it is not the same. She still has the hope and possibility to find a marriage mate. A gay Jehovah’s Witness never has that hope. Having friends in the truth does not make up for it. It is hard to buy a house, or even just to rent and pay bills when you have to do it alone without someone else to help financially. I cannot share with a sister, nor can I share with a brother. A brother and sister, even though their friendship is platonic, cannot be alone together. As a gay Jehovah’s Witness, I cannot be alone with either sex. So now I am left completely alone.
To sum up why the life of a gay Jehovah’s Witness is so destructive, you;
have feelings of complete inadequacy because you are something detestable to Jehovah
need to be fixed in paradise because you are abnormal
live a life alone, watching all your friends set up family, knowing you will never experience love, hold someone or build a life with someone
will have elders share your confidential information with members of the congregation, especially among your peer group, making it difficult to form any friendships
will have parents keep their children away from you, making you feel like a sexual predator
Experience of a homosexual actor
A homosexual male, an actor, who eventually settled in New York city, tells how he made the change. This man was thoroughly homosexual. Let him explain the about-face he has made and the effort on his part that has been involved:
“I had been a homosexual since the age of eight; by the time I was twenty-three years old I came to be in absolute, unquestioned servitude to my flesh. Like many homosexuals I tried to salve my conscience and the seriousness of my immorality by saying, as do many sophisticates of this world, that I was ‘gay.’ But the simple truth of the matter is I was a pervert. I can still recall at least 150 males with whom I repeatedly engaged in every kind of sexual perversion. I do not say this to try to excite or ‘turn on’ anyone who may have homosexual tendencies but to illustrate the level to which I had fallen. Actually, by the gay world’s standards, I might have been considered only a moderate homosexual since I engaged in immorality with less than three different men each day.
“Secretly I knew that my homosexuality was wrong. And when, a few years ago, I was invited to a meeting of Jehovah’s witnesses, I began to reinforce this conviction about the error of the homosexual course. Additionally, I liked what I heard from the Witnesses. The idea of living forever in a paradise earth really appealed to me. It was so pleasant, so relieving. I had always wondered why the world is the way it is, with so much hate, greed and selfishness in it. I wondered what hope there was for the future. Jehovah’s witnesses gave me the answers. But even at that I did not immediately change my homosexual way of life; I knew that would be difficult, as I enjoyed it very much. Further, I was continuing my acting career, including taping my TV shows. I was making a lot of money and that, too, would not be easy to give up.
“However, in 1969 I was working in New York city and went to the ‘Peace on Earth’ Assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses at Yankee Stadium. During the concluding remarks I was really brought face to face with reality. The speaker directed his remarks to those who were not Jehovah’s Witnesses, saying: ‘You know you want to be in God’s new order. So why don’t you come along with us, and gain life in that new order?’ The simple truth of those words hit home. I did want life. I did love Jehovah’s people. From that moment on I began to make changes in my life. It was a question of either serving Jehovah and living or staying ‘gay’ and dying.
“To say that from then on I never had a homosexual experience again would really sound nice. But, unfortunately, it would be a lie. I did slip after that. But I did not give up. I detested what I had done and made a firmer resolve that I would not repeat the immorality again. Few persons probably can ever appreciate the fight I had—the terrible agony, day and night, as the ‘flesh’ cried out for satisfaction sexually.
In time I won the fight, but not in my own strength. Continually I went to God in prayer and asked for his help, and he did help me. However, I took action in harmony with my prayers. “I resigned from all acting engagements, even though it meant giving up many material comforts and much public exposure as an actor. I realized that the atmosphere in the field of acting is simply not conducive to practicing true Christianity or any decent morality. In time I completely left off all homosexual practices and was accepted for baptism by Jehovah’s witnesses.
But particularly what brings me pleasure is that I now have a clean conscience, and I know that I am living a life that is pleasing to Almighty God.”