"When I was seven years old, I was molested for an entire summer by a counselor at UC Hospital in Chicago. I buried it deep in my being, but then struggled dressing as a girl. Reasoning that it was safer to be a girl. Transgender issues continued into adulthood. After my first marriage failed, I attempted suicide. But God intervened, and that same weekend I asked Christ to be my Savior. I remarried a few years later, secretly cross dressed.
After the Jerry Sandusky news of molestation of young boys came out, my mind was triggered and all of the memories of that summer flooded my brain and heart. I began drinking heavily, all the while “playing church” so my wife and children wouldn’t know my pain. I attempted suicide again, after my wife found out everything. But again, God intervened. My wife sent me a text to tell me “please come home, and we will get professional help”. The next morning we contacted Hope2Turn and I’ve been walking in freedom and grace ever since. 6 1/2 years later, I’ve come to love the fellowship and teaching at this amazing ministry. My family and I are so thankful to Eric and his leadership and friendship in our lives."
"As far back as I can remember there was confusion. As a young boy, I wanted to be a girl. I liked all the things that girls liked, I played with girls, I dressed up as a girl, and I experienced mockery by others because I was a boy. If I wasn’t with my girlfriends, I was alone with my shame and confusion with no outlet or ability to put it into words or to talk about it for fear of being shut down and made fun of. As I grew, that all went away only to give birth to my same sex attraction. I knew I had to keep it secret for fear of the consequences it would bring. I bottled it up and did not let anyone know about my poison. Many picked up on my difference and verbally abused me. At thirteen years old I discovered pornography and masturbation and it felt good. It became my escape from all the poison I bottled up and helped me cope with the dangers of life. I went to college in the city where I studied art, and discovered there were men who were openly gay, and not ashamed of being so. I found a group that I could identify with and at twenty-one years old I came out only to be scooped up by a man that showed interest in me, and found me attractive. Attention and validation. That opened the door for something I wasn't prepared for; a new life with no holds barred. Sex, clubs, drugs, and no rules. I became addicted to my lover, and all that goes with the lifestyle. A part of me knew it was all wrong, but the rebellious part of me wanted more. Everything came to a screeching halt when I discovered I became HIV positive and watched as many friends died, and I waited for my turn to die. Dark times.
A turn of events. An uncanny thing happened to me as an old friend from high school who I started working with became a new born Christian. Her enthusiasm and exuberance for what had happened to her drew me in. I was curious. I attended a church function she invited me to and God did the rest. I surrendered my life to Christ. Hope and light. I was walking strong in the Lord for a couple of years, and even started attending a group for men struggling with same sex attraction, but what I thought would happen wasn’t happening. I wasn’t becoming attracted to women; I was still same sex attracted. This disappointment, and frustration drew me back to my old friends, and the lifestyle. It happened rather quickly. I was sucked into the debaucherous gay life once more, and this time with a vengeance. I turned my back on God and went full tilt. Drugs, alcohol, sex, clubs, promiscuity, abusive relationship, darkness. I became a full time meth addict, sex addict, and depressed man running from shame, and guilt, and God. Jails, institutions, and death. That is what my life came to. I sunk into darkness and depravity. Depression is what finally took me down. I attempted to take my own life, and woke up in the hospital badly beaten with liver and kidney failure, and in total delirium. God made it clear that He wasn’t done with me. I miraculously came back to full health, and recovery mode. I knew God was at work in my life and I surrendered once more and heard Jesus say to me that my identity as a gay man was no longer and my new identity was in Him. That was my turning point. I became a new creation in Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. His grace and mercy spared me. I became part of His church, attended celebrate recovery meetings regularly, and talked about my same sex attraction struggles which eventually lead me to Hope 2 Turn. I met with Eric who has been a blessing and mentor. I have been attending meetings for almost nine months and have been blessed by the men I have met in the group. There is a joy we experience when we meet, and share our difficulties, and our victories through our lives with Jesus. We worship and give Him praise in our journey together. It has been an answered prayer finding this group with these blessed men. I am so grateful and not alone anymore. Praise God!"