My French Ex-Gay and Me: The Movie.

YouTube has tubs of "ex-gays" who love to give their testimony on how God delivered them from the excruciating pain and sheer horror of homosexuality. One caught my attention because he didn't seem to go through all the molesting and sexual exploitation most 'former' homosexuals go through that made them hate homosexuality. I wrote a comment on his first YouTube video that he responded back to and after a few more comments we decided he should write me privately.

It started with me linking him to my blog testimony (in the tags below) in response to what he said in his video and I went further with saying; "Please, look over my blog and I will be glad to answer any question or walk you through whatever you need help with."
He wrote me back:

"So I've been reading through your testimony and I have to say that I quite understand your point of you, but you also have to know that what led me to where I am today is not according to men but according to the direction God put me into from the beginning. I would like to tell you more about my testimony now though it is quite long (this is an understatement from him), I don't have any blog to redirect you to but if you're interested in reading my story I'm ready to write it down for you in an email. 
Let me know!" 

I responded:

"I would love to here what you have to say (big mistake)."

NEXT thing I get is paragraph after paragraph of what was him telling me all kinds of personal issues including spiritual visions people seem to have approached him with when he was young to not be gay, God telling him to leave his first boyfriend and the Holy Spirit telling him he'll get all kinds of spiritual gifts and presents if the boyfriend isn't in the picture anymore (the Trinity really had it in for this particular boyfriend). He finally ended up leaving the boyfriend because of all the Holy badgering and all of a sudden communication was cut off from God's end, the Holy Spirit never gave him his wonderful presents that were promised and he becomes so despondent, he quit school, moved back to his parents and contemplated suicide. He ends up in ANOTHER gay relationship that this time is abusive and all of a sudden God decides to pop into his life again like a deadbeat dad who's kid just turned 18 to tell him stop being gay, again. This time it sticks and God didn't drop him later.

It all sounded odd and almost like a late-nite telenovela you find on the Telemundo channel, but with God causing the melodrama. I wrote him back with trying to find a place to start with what he wrote:

"My first issue is with how you think the Holy Spirit made you promises if you obey that made you feel you had to leave your boyfriend. The Holy Spirit doesn't work that way in being conditional in what He offers. All we desire from the Holy Spirit is there for the asking and if it's not imparted to us? God's Will trumps our desire in His perfect wisdom. I noticed you had people around you (the people in the church you grew up in, the girl who came to you with her dream, the mother) who put in you that the love you had was wrong early on. I think they had more of an impact on you than you know. You're life collapsed AFTER you left your first boyfriend at the 'prompting' of God that started your spiritual journey? Do you think maybe the choices you made were not from God and that is why your life fell apart and you felt God abandoned you? You get another boyfriend who seems abusive and it was only then God came to you again? I see all kinds of wrong here already.

I stopped reading your testimony at this point because I want you to understand something brother. God is not a roller coaster of feelings and prophetic dreams and audible visitations. This is why we go by his Word that gives us discernment with what is from God and what isn't. I believe what has happened to you is you really believing God has brought you to this point, but if homosexuality is not a sin (remember the verses I brought up in your YouTube comment and how I put then in their correct context?), God's Holy Spirit wouldn't have been doing what you believe Him to be doing. As a Pentecostal I know full well the dangers of going by spiritual manifestations that are the work of the mind and flesh. Now what I see here could also be a case of if you truly believe homosexuality is sin, even though the case can't be made from the Bible, maybe God did leave you in your will to leave homosexuality because it became a stumbling block to you, THAT I understand."

The next e-mail from him:

"Franck you should expect have a debate with me on this only after reading the all story. Apparently you didn't understand that I've spend hours writing It just for you and this is really disrespectful. 
You did the same with the video? 
Or you're not interested in my story and you move on or you take the time to consider what I said because you can not expect me to listen to what you have to say if you didn't even try with me ... And it makes you write a lot of nonsense that I can't answer, because the answers are found in the rest of what you didn't take the time to consider (they weren't because after he wrote me this I read everything he said)."

My response:

"There is no debate with you because I never wanted to debate you in how we came to be in our different paths. Is that how you saw all this? We all have a testimony who have sought God and many times those testimonies contradict each other, who is right? The testimony that is in line with the Word of God outside of experiences and emotion. You say I disrespected you with not reading your whole testimony and I understand your anger because you are right, but what I had to say about the first few paragraphs of what you wrote you didn't even respond to so we could go on from there. 
What I wrote was not nonsense because you didn't understand it or wanted to accept it.

I'm sorry."

He never wrote again and is continuing to post videos.


Anonymous said...

I don't know if you're at liberty to link his youtube channel but after reading this I'm quite curious to watch some of his videos. I guess saying I'm curious is a bit of an understatement. Any chance you can link?

rottenqueerchristian said...

Two things.

Can I ask why?

The second is that what I wrote on this post was what he wrote me privately in thinking I'm the only one who would read it. I gave him anonymity because I still wanted to talk about what he wrote in a later post because I believe it would help a wider audience who are into prophetic dreams and vision manifestations. He knows about this post by the way and if he wanted to reveal himself, I invite him to in the comments here.

Anonymous said...

I respect that. I was just simply curious is all. Ive watched a lot of "ex-gay" testimonies and since you mentioned that he continues to post videos for the public on this topic I figured I'd ask. When I was coming to terms with my orientation I looked into the ex-gay movement out of desperation and believing a relationship with God was not possible if I was true to myself. It did me a lot of harm which I'm still trying to recover from. Your blog and youtube comments have been a big help in that area, but I'm curious about others' experiences and stories, whether that be identifying as ex-gay or ex-ex-gay or whatever.

Thanks for replying though.

rottenqueerchristian said...

He's still doing the "ex-gay" routine. I've dealt with something like this in the past:

Nick said...

That blog post is written very beautifully and very true. I see a lot of myself in it as well. My sister and I would endlessly discuss my being gay in relation to God and how I couldn't accept it as being okay in His sight. She's a bit of a bible buff so she sent me textual analyses and books and scriptures and everything under the sun to demonstrate to me that I wasn't condemned and would go on to explain how and why. I was able to accept those evidences for a short while but quickly would roll back to feeling doomed, and after a couple years of this ongoing process she became so frustrated she told me "I can't understand how you still feel this way!". I can't really understand it either, because I know better, but there's always the lingering doubt and fear from years and years of growing up being told and hearing of the abominable evil of gayness.

So when you mention how if you've set in your mind your homosexuality is a stumbling block between you and God, that's where your heart will be also, I relate very well. I came out to my family last year, after a 3 year process of forking up the courage and nerve to do so, and for the most part have received a positive/supportive response. There were a few hiccups in the beginning but at this point its pretty smooth.

This summer will have been a year since I came out, but I'm still struggling to completely let go of the "tethers around my mind, so the heart can follow". Not nearly as bad as it once was, just working on completely letting it go. Thanks for everything, and the all the resources and strength you've given me.


rottenqueerchristian said...

I don't think you realize what your words mean to me Nick. I completely understand where you are coming from because I was at where you were at and it took me years to understand I have lived with a condemnation over my head that I believed was from God, but instead was from men who wanted me to believe it was from God, doesn't matter their motive. That is why I still have problems with resentment in my heart for what these people did to me and continue to do to others in taking God away from us. I came back from what was done to me, but many don't with hating God, hating themselves and for those who don't have the fight in them, putting their life to an end.

I'm here for you Nick. I'll do whatever I can in however you need me.


Nick said...

Thank you for being so kind. To be honest I was a little scared to comment because I've seen so many of your fierce take downs of anti-gay people I wasn't sure how I would be received, as ridiculous as that sounds.

I spent a lot of time watching countless videos on youtube regarding gays and God and all that comes with those two subjects the past few years. I began because I was looking for answers, to learn, and maybe find some way to reconcile what seemed to be the impossible. Though I was aware of gay affirming religious people and their position and arguments in relation to the Bible, they came across to me as the minority and the loudest voices I heard, and believed, were those of condemnation from respected "theologians". I'll never forget coming across people like Gagnon, White, Brown...and listening to the words they spoke and feeling completely hopeless, forsaken, and like a filthy stain on the earth who would be better off dead because then at least I'd be doing something useful by not tainting the lives of the people around me and being this evil incarnate in the sight of God.

I kept watching, listening, and searching despite feeling terribly alone and suicidal and believing I was disgusting. I began to see people arguing in the comments sections under these types of videos and would read through them, noticing people educated on scripture taking the opposite position and affirming gay people through actual use of said scripture. In many of these cases, those who proudly condemned me and those like me were losing debates, and boiling down their arguments to irrational selfish biases or copping out by leaving with an accusation of satan's deception. When they couldn't wiggle their way out of being confronted and contradicted with actual scripture from the very book they use to clobber vulnerable gay kids, most would just disappear and leave the gay affirming debater waiting for their points to be addressed...and ofcourse they never were.

You were one of those I'd see confront these people but more importantly you were the most widespread and active person I saw doing this. I'd see your comments and debates on so many videos and was filled with hope and I guess relief, that someone of a stronger temperament was taking to task these people who I viewed as my oppressors, who not only took my joy away but also my access to God. I felt frustrated with people like Justin Lee and even Matthew Vines because as valuable and influential as they have been, they simply don't have the fire or assertiveness necessary to take on the vicious wolves in sheep's clothing.

It's those debates of yours which led me to your blog and left me astounded and amazed at the depth and detail in which you make your case and dismantle hatred scapegoated as God's authority. This blog has given me hope went I felt hopeless, peace when I felt tormented, and strength when I felt defeated. In that, I am very grateful to you for spending so much time and energy on what you do here because I'm sure there are other people like me who have felt safe and reassured from knowing they're not only not alone but have strong people in their corner who have the ability to stand up to modern day pharisees.

Knowing what I know now, for the most part I see through the tactics and BS of people like Gagnon, White, Brown, etc. I even like to joke now that the three of them are the Unholy Trinity, since their names seem to be the most prevalent I see come up in fundamentalist christian circles.

Anyways, sorry for the wall of text. Thank you for your kindness and thank you for all that you do!


Nick said...

I also want to add something which I didn't address before regarding the resentment you said you feel in your heart. And that is that I understand it absolutely. I'm turning 22 this July, and even in the short amount of time I have been alive, I have felt such resentment, even hatred, towards the same people you have described. The people who took God away from us. For a long time I didn't understand it was their doing, and I thought it was God's authority and view. All I ever wanted was to be able to love God, and do my best to live my life in a way that was good in his sight and according to his will. But I was torn over it, because how could I love a God who hated me and wanted my blood? Even amidst that feeling of wrath abiding on me, I told myself that it didn't matter if this was true, I had to love God anyway because God is the ultimate moral much pain as it caused me.

Fortunately, I learned that that was never the case to begin with, and even after having learned that, a new anger and resentment grew in me, the kind that grows when you realize how badly you've been lied to and the damage done by those lies.

It's an ongoing healing process. I certainly hated myself for many years, still have some self hatred left which is hopefully dissolving away with each new day. It's difficult to not feel resentment when you're constantly at war with people who claim to be servants of God. You're constantly backed into a corner, fighting for your right to not only be who God created you to be but also the right to have a relationship with him. A simple right to love and be loved. It wears you down, no matter how strong you are, no matter how many of your brothers and sisters out there you don't know you've helped.

So my point in all of this, is that I hope you don't let that resentment take up too much of your heart. It's already taken up too many years of your life. The people who placed it there inside you don't deserve any more than what they've already taken. My generation has people like you, who have led people like me to a place of increasing peace and expansive love. Your generation unfortunately did not and you have the scars to prove it. I would wish and hope that these words can help soothe and heal some of that resentment and give you just a small ounce of the peace and security you've given me and others. Its specifically your contributions here and elsewhere which have helped me survive through an unfathomable darkness I didn't even know could be suffered through.

In that way, please find solace for what has been done to you, because you've turned that pain into something unspeakably beautiful and invaluable. I would have been lost without it.


rottenqueerchristian said...

You and others like you are the reason this blog is here. I would never talk to a seeking heart like yours. Please Nick, see the distinction of how Christ spoke to the woman at the well and how he spoke to the Scribes and Pharisees, only one deserved a fierce response.

I hear you about people like Brown and Gagnon and that is why I try to speak on directly what they state, here, and elsewhere. The big obstacle for me are their followers who censor my comments because they see these religious individuals as heroes defending the Truth of The Gospel, I noticed most times the Bible becomes inconsequential to them the longer I debate them, time gives them away and they start breaking down. I have to give some credit to a few, they have made my debating skill as sharp as a razor and have brought arguments to me that I wouldn't have otherwise known. The rocks they think they throw at me always become the rocks to build my house of how I believe stronger.

I don't know how much you have read of my blog, but for every Gagnon, there are two theologians who believes the opposite, Gagnon himself has stated he's in the minority with his view. These religious leaders and theologians are held to a different standard and I speak on them as one speaking on apostates, there is no common ground between them and myself because what fellowship is there between those who repel from God and those who bring God? We work to opposite ends and that is why I am harsh. I'm a different creature from what they usually come across, one who speaks in confidence with making a case from the Word of God using only those words. Paul said to have a defense for how you believe, I do with hammer and nail.

God comes and brings me these little slices of hope, like what you are doing now and I praise God with how He can use a broken person like me in this mighty work as I do it imperfectly. Even if one person was helped, a person like you Nick, by my efforts, It would be the greatest gift my soul could ever get.

See my blog as your home.

What date is your Birthday?

Nick said...

Oh believe me, I ripped through this blog inside and out digesting everything I could get a hold of. Took some time but I was insatiable. As far as characters like Gagnon and the like, I'm fortunate to understand now that they are indeed in the minority. However 4 years ago when I started the process of coming to terms with who I am I didn't know that because their voices have been the loudest. A deafening minority. Having sat through hours and hours and hours of debates with Gagnon types, I got so frustrated because no one seemed to realize or notice what I was noticing.

Usually, almost always, the antigay theologian in question would dance around any points made by their opponent, reiterating and regurgitating their own points again and again. At their worst, they would just flat out ignore points made all together to save face. I saw this happening again and again in so many debates I decided to stop watching them altogether. What is the meaning of debating an issue if all one party is going to do is dodge, divert, and ignore points completely. Utterly useless. Useful in the sense that you wise up to these people and see their true colors, but overall a waste of patience.

I've come to understand that homophobia is a purely secular phenomenon. It is merely masqueraded as religious or divine in origin. Ive caught evangelicals even admit this, admit their homophobia existed before their alleged "conversion" to the faith and being born again. Interesting how that works. Their cop out is that God placed the law in the hearts of men, so even before their rebirth they knew instinctively something was wrong or "off" about homosexuality, like a bad cheese....

Perhaps just as others have helped hone your razor sharp debating skills, so have you affected mine. So thank you for those resources. When it comes to censoring, how much security in truth do you really have if you have to resort to silencing valid inquiries into whats actually true. Seems a far cry away from a certain man I recall saying "Come now, let us reason together".

Regardless, I can't pretend to know how any of my words have affected you, but I hope they are able to accomplish some of the things I mentioned previously. The work you've done need not be perfect, it has been more than sufficient in its fruits. For a while now, I have truly felt as if this WERE home. So once again thank you for that.

I'll be 22 on July 10.

rottenqueerchristian said...

You've got it. You took the time and you saw it:

"... almost always, the antigay theologian in question would dance around any points made by their opponent, reiterating and regurgitating their own points again and again. At their worst, they would just flat out ignore points made all together to save face. I saw this happening again and again in so many debates I decided to stop watching them altogether. What is the meaning of debating an issue if all one party is going to do is dodge, divert, and ignore points completely. Utterly useless. Useful in the sense that you wise up to these people and see their true colors, but overall a waste of patience."

They deflect, ignore, act as if their points are a given, machine gun points to where you don't know where to start at. Once you see how they do a debate, it's like learning the secret of a magic trick and it won't fool you anymore.

Nick said...

The depressing thing now is you stand by and watch droves of people buying into these characters' BS and are none the wiser. You can't make people see if they are not open or willing to. But I guess comfort can be taken in knowing things are changing despite all of is, and are only changing faster as time goes on.