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2383Re: My Faith Journey

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  • nojam75
    Aug 20, 2002
      David, I just read you journey. I hope you don't mind if I ask some
      questions. I'm just courious to hear how others have overcome the
      ex-gay experience.

      - When you determined that your straight marriage was not working
      out, did you feel like an ex-gay failure or that the ex-gay ideal
      failed you? (In my experience, I felt like a complete failure even
      though I knew that leaving the ex-gay lifestyle made more logical

      - How have you dealt with the ex-gay teaching regarding the supposed
      roots of your homosexuality? (For me, it has taken me quite a while
      to overcome the guilt and feelings of inadequency that were
      reinforced by ex-gay teachings.)

      - Do you ever have doubts like: "Maybe the promoters the ex-gay
      movement were right"? (I have to admit that there are times when
      this thought occurs to me and I have to go through the entire
      thought process again.)

      I'm glad you found us (it's been slow around here lately) and thanks
      for sharing your journey.

      - Norm! (nojam75@...)

      --- In exexgayministry@y..., "DavidPlunkett" <davidplunkett@y...>
      > Hello Christian men and women,
      > It's wonderful to have found this site, and to be able to speak
      > intelligently about our faith journeys being both lesbian or gay
      > Christian. A forum of like minded people is an oasis when it
      > like so many are not "on track" with what's going on.
      > My journey of faith started when I was a small child. I accepted
      > Christ around 8 years old in San Jose, California and was quite
      > enthusiastic to do so. I still remember the inexplicably
      > feeling after making my committment to Christ, not knowing any
      > theology at the time other than Christ loved me and gave me life,
      > not knowing the conflicts I would later face as I emerged into the
      > man God created.
      > I was born the first of two nonidentical twins in Northern
      > of Southern parents. When my brother and I were ten, our parents
      > moved us to rural Oklahoma, where they were both from, and the
      > of many culture shocks began in our lives. I found it incredibly
      > tough (this was 1974 and everything was very Wonder Yearsy!) going
      > from an area as urban as anywhere and knowing only that
      > to a backward, rural, Southern, provincial quasi-town with less
      > a thousand people, all of them knowing each other way too well and
      > having too little to do.
      > During this time of readjustment, I learned to mask a lot of who I
      > really was and try to fit in the best I could (still 10 years old)
      > because the kids in that town and in my school were extremely
      > because I talked different than they did (I lacked the Huckleberry
      > Hound dialect) and perhaps other reasons that I was too young to
      > understand at the time. There were times that I really only had
      > friend, Tammy, and I suppose I repressed the rejection and ignored
      > the remarks for longer than I really remember.
      > By the time I reached high school, I became very interested in
      > Christianity and began a search that would lead me into the
      > charismatic movement for more than a decade. My friend from age
      > Tammy, joined the same church I did and for awhile we sang in a
      > called the "Sounds of Faith" along with the pastor's daughter. I
      > managed to become so involved while in high school that I was
      > the weekly bulletin, and the church newsletter, and was the
      > and was teaching Sunday school to high school kids my own age, and
      > invaribly a whole array of other things.
      > For the most part, my local church accepted me and loved me and
      > no demands, requirements or hurtful remarks regarding my
      > which by this time was probably apparent to many. I thrived there
      > some ways, while drowning in loneliness in others, and it was a
      > haven throughout high school.
      > After high school, I made the mistake in my zealousness to change
      > churches .... I wanted something more progressive, I thought. The
      > church I belonged to was pretty backward (I was still in the
      > of no where!) and I longed for a more relevant Christian
      > with people who I thought were more spiritually attuned. The new
      > church also offered me the chance to become much more active in
      > music, which I had developed during this time. I spent a few
      > here, still dealing with my sexuality very strongly (and all
      > and also beginning to face opposition and rejection from other
      > members who often made up lies about me to prove their theory that
      > was gay.
      > As the lies and half-truths began to surface in church, I somehow
      > held closer to God than I ever did. It never made sense to me how
      > people could judge someone so harshly over something they had no
      > control over (I had still never had a relationship nor dated
      > ever!), which was my very orientation. Sex had nothing to do
      > anything at this point.
      > During the middle 1980s, I was kicked out, chased out or made to
      > unwelcome at 3 or 4 different churches. I somehow saw the need to
      > find another one, each time carrying more baggage and history of
      > abused Christian with me. I found that some Christians were
      > uncomfortable with someone wounded. It was very tough, then,
      > because the inevitable questions always came up. Very few people
      > encountered were understanding enough to really listen, to
      > that I didn't one day wake up and make being gay my choice (just
      > that rejection!), or that most of what they were judging me for
      > never really change, because they judged based on outward
      > characteristics, not my private life, which they could not see.
      > In 1988, I left Oklahoma for good. I relocated in Arkansas in a
      > college town of 50,000 people that is small to me now, but was a
      > major happening place back then. It was a time of change for
      me ...
      > I continued in church, and at the same time tried to "come out"
      > latter 3 months of the year, but found the outside world and the
      > culture I experienced too shocking from the sheltered church life
      > was raised in.
      > While in college, I decided to study matierals by the ex-gay
      > movement, reading books I bought while on vacation so that no one
      > would know who I was. I read stories of people who testified of
      > overcoming homosexuality, and though it sounded hopeful, it seemed
      > too good to be true and overly simplified. Nevertheless, I met a
      > wonderful Christian woman a few months later in a photography
      > who really took a liking to me, and we began dating. I had never
      > really dated before, so a lot of what we experienced was really
      > exciting. Before long, we got married in a beautiful church
      > (but only had 24 people there to my dismay!)
      > Before we married, I told my wife a bit about my feelings, and she
      > did not judge them. She encouraged me to allow myself to love her
      > and perhaps that would make me "straight." Although I did truly
      > my wife, I was never the least bit sexually attracted to her. She
      > could have been Julia Roberts, and I don't think I would have
      > responded differently in that area. We began to grow apart after
      > about six months, and though our marriage lasted 2 1/2 years, I
      > the loneliest I have ever been in my life during that time. My
      > marriage to her was not fair to either one of us, but I've found
      > people will do a lot based on hope. If I could have read even one
      > story such as this I might have thought things out a bit
      > The last six months of our marriage, my wife and I moved to Little
      > Rock when I accepted a job there. Wow .... this was a real city
      > there seemed to be a lot of gay people around. I was at this time
      > pretty bitter with the church, life in general, and perhaps God as
      > well. Not knowing what else to do, and seeing that my marriage
      > ending, I began to explore what it was like to be gay.
      > At this time in 1992, I told my parents again (The first time was
      > 1988) and they were very fearful and nonsupportive. My twin
      > didn't know what to make of it either. They had no skills on how
      > cope with this themselves, and none which gave them the needed
      > strength to help me either. The rural areas that they lived in
      > breeding grounds for judgementalism, especially of the religious
      > kind, and I think their concern over what other family members
      > think didn't help much either.
      > By '94, I was in a relationship with a nice guy and we decided to
      > move to Denver. I transferred with my job there, and we relocated
      > there excited for a new future. By the fall, though, it was
      > we were not going anywhere in our relationship, and we became good
      > friends, which we remain today.
      > About this time, I attended a gay-affirming church I saw
      > in Denver. It was my first experience seeing truly worshipful
      > in a predominently gay congregation, and it moved me greatly. I
      > became involved there, and the next January, met my future
      > Timothy. One Sunday morning, he came with a friend (wearing the
      > visitor tag) and sat on the front row. I thought he was cute and
      > left it at that.
      > But after that service, I was invited to another event where he
      > attending, and we happened to ride in the same car, both of us in
      > backseat, and we visited the whole trip there. The next
      > the second time I saw him, he was at a birthday party I was also
      > and he asked me out, nervously as he would drag his shoe in the
      > gravel. It was so cute, I couldn't bear to say no, and didn't
      > to, either.
      > The rest is history. Tim and I have been together nonstop for 7+
      > years. We opened a printing business together over 6 years ago,
      > we founded our relationship on Christ from the start. God has so
      > blessed what we have done together in so many ways. Our business
      > alone was grown from 3 employees in May, 1995 to over 25 this year.
      > We also found perhaps the most amazing Christian community around,
      > totally by accident. When we decided to open our printing
      > I kept my ears open for people selling equipment or fixtures. One
      > day the end of '95 -- when we had been together less than a year
      > had already decided to go into business together (Were we
      nuts???), I
      > found out that a print shop in Little Rock, where I used to live,
      > closing and had their equipment for sale.
      > We announced to friends in Denver we were driving to Little Rock
      > pick up fixtures. A friend said, "How close is Little Rock to
      > Sherwood?" I said, "It's a suburb, why?" She said, "You just
      > to go see these guys!"
      > Now, Tim and I are not the type to just go visit with strangers,
      > we had already made arrangements not only to look these guys up
      > we were there, but stay with them, something very unlike ourselves
      > and something I don't think we've ever done since. But timing is
      > everything, and we met Randy McCain and Gary Eddy, two friends who
      > would be instrumental in our lives in many ways.
      > Randy had recently been fired from a church he was on staff of for
      > being gay, and he and Gary had made the decision to begin a church
      > their home. The week we were there was the first service, and we
      > felt led to begin being a part of it from day one. That was Open
      > Door Community Church in it's earliest days.
      > We have watched Open Door grow from a small Bible Study of 4 or 5
      > over 100 people worshipping in a beatiful building. Tim had never
      > been to Little Rock before we met; now we have made dozens of
      > back there, both by flying and driving, and we continue to long
      for a
      > way to live there. One of the most exciting things that is
      > happening there is that there is a really great mix of gay and
      > straight, male and female and old and young there; something I had
      > not seen in predominently gay churches. And instead of being a
      > storefront, they are a suburban congregation spreading the Word in
      > the Bible-belt South in a manner which is almost unheard of.
      > My hunger for God and my love for Jesus Christ was completely
      > restored. The last few years I have studied grace and what the
      > Testament church was founded on, and when I found Open Door, it
      > exactly what I was looking for. To make the story even better, my
      > extreme love for worship music made the experience there complete
      > that bunch is incredibly talented and anointed. The feeling
      > is simply inexplainable.
      > Tim and I press forward each day, knowing we are accepted by God
      > through Jesus Christ, not for who we are, but through what Christ
      > for us. It is a privilege to share with you. We have posted
      > in this site's photos section.
      > I currently host an MSN community which is an outreach of Open
      > Community Church called "Grace Online". If you would like to
      > out our community, the URL is http://groups.msn.com/GraceOnline.
      > have an active chatroom and good message board discussions. I
      > to spend some time in this site, too, and hope to meet many of you
      > here!
      > In Christ,
      > David Plunkett
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