Our Stories

Accepting the Feelings… and the Exorcism – Peter

I was a little boy in the south who had a profound deep-seated faith in God.  I prayed all the time that I would be a good person, that I would be nice to people, that I would be kind and complete God’s will in the world.  I had good, nurturing parents who encouraged me to follow my talents.

As teenager, realized I was different, but I still knew God loved me.  I didn’t understand, but I wasn’t afraid. I left home for college, accepted myself and realized I’d never marry and would live my life as a gay man.  But then I started going to a church that claimed to have a different answer. They wanted to cast the demons out of me.

I tried really hard.  I prayed and read the Bible every day.  I even got married to a sweet woman in the church. The church and my wife performed a ritual exorcism.  But my thoughts of men never went away.  They were always there no matter how hard I worked or what I did.  Finally, I decided to make peace with those feelings.  They weren’t evil.  They were part of what made me human and what helped me love another person.

Once I accepted that my feelings were there, my life became peaceful again.

On the one hand that experience made me a deeper, more spiritual person.  I especially don’t take love or relationships for granted because I fought so hard to figure out who I am.  I’ve thought about life and what it means to be in love.

I now think it’s inherently evil for a church to tell you that you have a devil in you for being gay.  It’s wrong. Nobody should have to go through what I did.  The experience did make me stronger, but it also hurt a lot of people, including my ex-wife.  If gay boys and girls could just fall in love and marry their high school sweetheart, that would be so much better.

At that church people thought that because I was gay I couldn’t be a teacher, that I wouldn’t be a good role model.  But I did become a good teacher.  At age 29 I even became a school principal.  And I have a wonderful boyfriend.

I wouldn’t trade one day in my life for what I have now.