Though James Parker was raised in a Christian home in a rural community in Northern England, as a young teenage boy he became convinced that he was gay. In his testimony on mercatornet, James said as he struggled with his identity he turned to alcohol, became suicidal and self harming.
At the age of 17, he finally came out to his parents and friends at school. He was shocked when they not only accepted but affirmed his gay identity.
When he turned 18, James moved to London and threw himself into the gay community, even taking on an activist role for homosexual causes.
Despite a promiscuous lifestyle, Parker still had an interest in spiritual things and became involved in a gay lesbian Christian group, which other than promoting safe sex did not have a strong spiritual agenda.
While attending university, he eventually settled down with a long-term partner and together they planned to visit a country where gay marriage was allowed and get married.
But while at university he still had an inner desire for spiritual things and when fellow students invited him to attend a weekly Life in the Spirit seminars, James took them up on the invitation.
At the meetings which emphasized Christ and the Holy Spirit, Jame eventually made the decision to accept Jesus into his life and become a Christian. Initially, he did not have a conflict with his lifestyle and becoming a Christian. He even invited his partner to the meetings, who also was profoundly impacted by the Holy Spirit.
But over the months as he pursued his relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit began to expose areas of rejection and hurts in his life. He started taking therapy to deal with the issues that were popping up.
These sessions didn’t focus on his sexual identity but rather his emotional wounds. James says, “this included the painful process of accepting that I had been consistently sexually abused by a number of men as a child over a three-year period.”
It was this abuse that turned him against heterosexual men. He vowed never to trust men and turned to women for his friendships and identification.
“Through prayer, I began to see how, as a child, I had chosen to make my primary gender friendships among women,” James writes. “I had become emotionally embroiled with everything feminine and had nothing truly masculine alongside me with which to balance this.”
This became the catalyst that led him into the homosexual lifestyle.
As these areas of rejection and abuse were exposed, James broke up with his long-term partner and began the painful process of forgiving those who had hurt him — that also included his parents and siblings.
As the Holy Spirit moved and he forgave, James noticed physical changes — his gait changed from a feminine one to male, and even his voice became lower. But perhaps the biggest challenge came when he slowly realized that he may not always have been gay.
During this period, though still attracted to men, James remained abstinent.
But as he slowly worked through this forgiveness process, he found himself becoming attracted to women. He was in his late 20s, when he first began experiencing those teenage feelings that boys have for girls.
Now living in Australia, James says:
“Today I am a father, something the gay community and selected others told me I would never, and could never, be. …
Today, I find myself a million miles away from where I expected to be half a lifetime ago. I am surrounded by the richest of relationships and am certain of God’s eternal love for me. Nothing can replace this.”
- The long and winding road: mercatornet.com
- The long and winding road: a one-time activist reflects on his journey out of the gay lifestyles: BCN (Reprint of article on Mercantornet.com)