Growing Up Gay Attending Coastline Bible Church, Day I of IV

"What My Church Taught Me About My Sexuality"

Daniel Gonzales

October 6th, 2009

When I entered middle school my family switched to Coastline Bible Church (known then as First Baptist Church Ventura) because it had a more active youth program.  What my parents were not aware of were the radical right wing ideas and anti-gay gospel taught at the church which even filtered down into youth programs.

As an ex-gay survivor activist I have spent the last several years telling my story of having gone though ex-gay therapy but have never elaborated much on how my church’s teachings affected my decision to pursue therapy.

This series of short videos will run through the end of the week. Today I present day I, “What My Church Taught Me About My Sexuality.”

Far too many gay youth who grow up attending church are taught horrible, awful, terrible things about their own sexuality. For me to say that 15 years ago I was taught homosexuality was simply “wrong” would be silly. Rather I prefer to illustrate how I learned about homosexuality in church, by recalling specific incidents that would shape the rest of my life.

I believe the years of anti-gay teachings I endured as a minor at this church amounts to psychological child abuse — To not tell my story and how my life was harmed by my church’s teachings would be a disservice to other gay youth currently enduring the same thing.

Part I, “What My Church Taught Me About My Sexuality”
Part II, “The Harm Of Trying To Fit Into Someone Else’s Mold”
Part III, “Distrusting Science When It Doesn’t Agree With Your Faith”
Part IV, “Gender Conformity And Giving In To Peer Pressure”

Tom

October 6th, 2009

This is a great video – I look forward to the series continuing this week.

R Holmes

October 6th, 2009

Thanks for this. I didn’t attend an official ex-gay programme but yes, the church taught me that homosexual love was perverted, and christians I knew tried to “cast the spirit of homosexuality out” of me.

All in all, not great for the self-esteem.

R Holmes

October 6th, 2009

P.S. At our youth group, some guy gave the talk on what Christians are allowed to do before marriage. I’m sure he thought he was being witty when he said “don’t touch what you haven’t got”. I remember feeling both amused about the implications for me as a gay person, and depressed that it didn’t even enter his head that there might be gay people in the group.

Joe Allen Doty

October 6th, 2009

Many of these churches where they teach homosexuality is a sin really don’t believe that sexual orientation really exists.

And there are some who think that a guy is not homosexual when he isn’t doing the sex act with another guy. Using the same logic, a married and Christian heterosexual man is not really heterosexual except when he is having sexual intercourse with his wife.

Regan DuCasse

October 6th, 2009

Homosexuality doesn’t exist, but an intangible like God or whatever, DOES?

I don’t want to disparage a person’s faith. But that sort of thinking doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

I believe and hope there is a God, or two or so.
It’s the middle men of arrogant intent who get between a person’s ability to have that personal and deeply abiding relationship with God that’s a serious and dangerous problem.

William

October 6th, 2009

Thank you for the video, Timothy. I, too, look forward to the next ones.

What amazes me is that these fundamentalist Evangelicals still seem to imagine that banging on like that will prevent people from growing up gay. It has no effect whatever, of course – except to make it more difficult for those who do realise that they’re gay to come to terms with their natural sexuality. Why is it that they still haven’t got the message, I wonder?

William

October 6th, 2009

Sorry. I meant Daniel, not Timothy. My apologies.

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