Did God Make Me Gay?
By Christine Sneeringer
"Don't you know that Kate is gay?"
My friend's words stunned me, because I didn't have a clue.
Kate and I were both athletes, and we had a lot in common. As we got to know each other, we became really close.
So when Kate called me one day and said, "I want to be more than friends," I naively thought she meant she just wanted us to be even tighter than we already were.
That's when another friend dropped the bomb: "Don't you know that Kate is gay?"
I was confused. At first, I was upset that Kate liked me that way. But after I thought about it, I figured that nothing could be wrong between two people as long as they loved each other. And Kate and I certainly loved each other.
Once I admitted that, I was freed from my inhibitions, and Kate and I became lovers. I was 15 and she was 17, and it was exciting to have someone care so deeply about me, wanting to know all about me.
We'd see each other at school all day, then spend hours on the phone together at night. We always checked with each other before we made any plans with other friends.
When Kate graduated a few months later, she turned down several athletic scholarship offers from colleges, choosing to stay at home because we couldn't bear to be apart. We were totally consumed with each other.
I hadn't "planned" to become a lesbian. So how in the world did I end up this way?
When I was young, life taught me that being a girl was a liability.
My alcoholic father had a violent temper and would often hit my mother. Because my mom was a victim, I figured it wasn't safe to be female. I wanted no part of being a girl. So I looked up to my older brother; I wanted to be just like him.
I preferred sports over playing with dolls. I grew up on the tennis court, playing in my first tournament when I was six. I played Little League baseball when I was 10 and tackle football with the neighborhood boys.
I was seen as one of the guys because I was as strong and tough as they were. "Tomboy" didn't begin to describe me--I walked like a boy, dressed like a boy, talked like a boy, even spit like a boy. Most adults thought I was a boy and often called me "son" or "young man."
I hated my name, Christine, because it was sounded so feminine. I told people to call me "Chris" instead.
My parents divorced when I was 12 and sent me away to live with relatives, where I was molested by an older cousin. Like most children who have been sexually abused, somehow I thought I was to blame.
I thought, If only guys didn't find me attractive, things like this wouldn't happen to me. From then on I wanted to conceal whatever shred of femininity I had left, believing that all guys were sex-crazed monsters.
That's the mentality I had when I started high school. And I still was often mistaken for a guy because of my masculine appearance and mannerisms.
That kept most guys away. But not Kate, another masculine jock-type. And it wasn't long before she was asking me to be "more than friends."
My relationship with Kate lasted a year and a half, until my mom found out. She found a love note I had written to Kate.
"Do you want to tell me about this?" she asked, dropping the card on the table in front of me.
I didn't look up from my cereal, continuing to eat in awkward silence. Mom opened the card and began to read my words aloud: "My dearest Katebo. I'm so glad you are in my life. You make it worth living. I want to spend the rest of my life with you because I love you more than anything. When we get older I can't wait to get married."
My mom demanded that our relationship end. She called Kate's mom, and together they worked to end our love affair. Eventually they were successful.
After Kate and I broke up, I began to experiment with guys sexually to find out if I was really gay or not. But each time I felt used and degraded because the guys didn't care about me at all; they only wanted sex.
As a result, I knew I preferred being with a girl. I found it very gratifying, and it felt natural to me.
In college I continued in homosexuality. I enjoyed being the center of another woman's world. It filled a void in my life as I deeply longed to be loved.
While in college, I fell in love with Sue, a married woman seven years older than I. Her husband worked long hours, leaving Sue emotionally needy and looking outside her marriage for ways to meet those needs. I was there for her.
Sue was also regularly attended church. She felt guilty about our relationship, because she believed homosexuality was a sin--not to mention her unfaithfulness in her marriage, which ultimately led to her divorce.
I was dealing with guilt too--over being gay and a homewrecker. But Sue and I remained lovers anyway.
One day I told Sue I'd like to join her church's softball team. I met with the coach, and pretty soon was on the team.
That was the best move of my life. Joining that softball team was my first step to freedom from the gay lifestyle.
In the three seasons I played with those girls, something stirred in my heart. I was drawn by the love that my teammates had for each other--and for me. I don't mean romantic love, but a love that seemed so pure and so right.
My teammates knew I was different, but they never treated me like an outsider. I later found out that they were praying for me all along.
I decided I wanted to experience what they had, so I started going to church. I never dreamed that after all I'd done, God could still love me. But I was wrong.
God loved me completely, without reservation. He forgave my sins, and wiped the slate clean. I couldn't resist that kind of love, so I decided to become a Christian.
Sue and I soon decided to break up, but after six years in the gay lifestyle, I wondered if God could deliver me, if he could make me "straight."
I continued to suffer in silence with my homosexual desires. I was angry at God because I thought he had made me this way. I didn't yet understand that it wasn't God's doing, but my own. I had chosen this path for myself, even though I was just trying to protect myself from men. I had just been looking for love in all the wrong places.
Not long after I became a Christian, I was listening to a call-in show on the radio. The man taking the calls seemed to understand the struggles I was dealing with.
The man, Sy Rogers, was a former homosexual and the president of Exodus International, an organization that helps people try to break free from the gay lifestyle. He said something about a seminar several weeks later in Orlando, just a couple hours from my home in Tampa. I made plans to attend.
That seminar changed my life. Sy shared his story of overcoming a lifetime of homosexuality, and I was filled with hope that I could, too.
I found out about an Exodus ministry in Tampa, called Straight Ahead. I began to attend weekly support group meetings.
Meanwhile, at my church, I was uncomfortable trying to fit in with the girls. Though I was still masculine and being called "sir" often, I wanted to feel more feminine. But I didn't know how.
Later that year, I found out how. I attended an Exodus conference in San Antonio, and participated in a makeover session. For the first time since I had been sexually abused as a young child, I wanted to be pretty and attractive--just like the other girls at church.
As I walked back to my room after the makeover, I felt like God was talking to me: "You know those girls at church you envy because they're beautiful? You're no different. You are beautiful too, just like them."
Stunned, I continued walking as tears stained my cheeks. My roommate was ironing her dress before the evening banquet when I walked in, still crying. She looked at me, confused.
"You look great. Why are you crying?" she asked.
"I'm p-p-retty," I stammered, surprised at this new revelation.
All my life I had struggled with intense feelings of inadequacy about being a girl. And suddenly I saw myself as "just like them."
When I returned to my church in Tampa, I asked everyone to start calling me Christine. I wanted to be feminine. I met godly, strong women who helped me see that being female wasn't a liability.
I came to realize that straight girls have the same insecurities that I'd always dealt with, and that I was more like them than I ever thought.
I also came to see guys in a different light. They could be true friends who were interested in me, not sex. For the first time, I felt safe as a girl. Gradually I became comfortable and secure in my new role.
The key to my healing was developing healthy same-sex friendships. As I did this, my sexual attractions for girls diminished. I also saw a counselor to help me deal with the sexual abuse and family issues, and I continued my involvement in church and Exodus.
With God's help and the support of caring people, I completed the journey out of lesbianism.
Homosexuality doesn't cast a shadow on my life any more
Contact Christine with your comments at [email protected]
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Christine Sneeringer is the Executive Director of Worthy Creations in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, a parachurch ministry specializing in sexual redemption. A gifted communicator, Christine's passion is to educate and equip Christians to deal with homosexuality in a compassionate and biblical way. She has been walking in freedom from homosexuality for 21 years. Her testimony has been featured in Charisma, Campus Life, Decision Magazine and recently on the Dr. Drew show. Christine is pursuing her masters degree in counseling psychology. Contact Christine with your comments at [email protected]
© Christine Sneeringer. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
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