I was born and raised as a Jehovah’s Witness in a very strict, by the bible and controlled household. I knocked on doors, didn’t celebrate any holidays and I was a virgin until I turned 28. At that point in my life I was so miserable and unhappy because I was living this double life: God-fearing and chaste at home, and fun, relaxed and social outside of my home. So I decided to come out as a homosexual to the “Elders” who were the spiritual leaders in our church. They had two meetings with me where I had to recite every detail of every sexual encounter I had which weren’t many. They sent me out of the room, prayed and decided to disfellowship or ex-communicate me. Everything I had known from birth – my friends, my family, my beliefs – were ripped away from me on that day. My life has not been easy and even though I still have no contact with my parents (their choice), everything I have gone through, all of my life experiences – the 4 suicide attempts, being raped twice, being in abusive relationships – have made me the strong, married, proud and happy gay man that I am today.
If you're in the New York City area and would like to be a part of IFD's Video Stories, just let me know and we'll set up a time to meet. I always try to make a point that, "Yeah, I’m from the south and I’m gay and I’m okay," you know? And it wasn’t horrible. I finally [...]