The Kinship Blog

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Op-ed: How My Conservative Religion Almost Killed Me

Being told you're an abomination can have deadly results.


JUNE 30 2014 5:30 AM ET

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I stood in the rain peering over the bridge onto U.S. 31, not even a mile from the campus of Andrews University. Not caring to dry my face, I let the raindrops trickle down my forehead and onto my eyes, mixing with the salt from my tears.
What would a wet face matter anyway if in a few minutes I’d be lying unconscious on the asphalt of the highway below? It was Saturday night, October 13, 2012, and I was determined to end my miserable existence.
I wrestled with depression since the eighth grade, when I made the connection between the attractions I was having and the words that society — specifically the church — used to label people like me. I was a faggot, a homo, a freak, and an abomination in the eyes of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The only options I was offered were celibacy, a life of lies, or sin. I wasn’t OK with any of those choices.
Having grown up in the SDA community, I knew what the Bible said about homosexuality. I knew the verses, and I knew the arguments. For years I used them to convince myself that what I was feeling was wrong, and to act on my attractions was the fast track to hell. I spent years trying to "pray away" my attractions, often crying myself to sleep at night, my head whirling with hopelessness and self-loathing. Read the full story...
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Journey - Chapter 1