Unfettered from Homosexuality
The year was 1996, and I, at age 16, had a cropped haircut and spoke and dressed like a boy. Most people were not able to tell that I was actually a girl. When I went to women’s restrooms, I scared all the girls; when I used men’s rooms, no one batted an eye. While I thought I knew everything about the world at that time, in reality, I had lost my direction in life.
Getting to This Point!
When I was only five years old, I was sexually assaulted by my cousin. We were immediately caught by our grandmother. She furiously scolded me and accused me of engaging in lewd actions, but she quickly helped dress and clean up my male cousin, leaving me to slowly put on my clothes by myself. All I felt at that time was that I was a dirty person.
From then on, I viewed boys with a mixture of fear and hatred. I believed that women were weak, unloved, and had no social status. I was tired of being a girl, tired of wearing girls’ clothes. My parents could not understand why their precious little princess, who used to love wearing pink dresses, suddenly started refusing to wear skirts and became more and more like a boy. They thought this was a phase I would grow out of, so they did not think too deeply about my behavior or try to find out what caused these changes.
But as the years passed by, they became increasingly alarmed to see their cute daughter transform into an androgynous fake son. Unfortunately, by that time, I had entered my rebellious phase and no longer listened to what they said. When I was ten years old, I watched a news program that documented gay rights movements in San Francisco. It was during this program that I first heard the idea of “homosexuality.”
After that, I began secretly reading books and watching movies about homosexuality.
When I was 16 years old, I got my first girlfriend and engaged in an immoral relationship with her. As I continued down this path in high school, I had more than 10 girlfriends; yet these relationships were never meaningful or long-lasting. My high school years were the darkest period of my life. It was during this time that my mom finally realized that she had raised a lesbian in her household.
I was determined to go to America and learn about the gay rights organization and their methods of protesting, and then campaign for these rights back in China. Eventually, I came to America for college and continued my lifestyle, having many girlfriends of various nationalities. By the time I was 21, I had become entangled in complicated relationships with my group of lesbian friends and started skipping classes and drinking alcohol. My grades dipped so low that my college recommended I withdraw from school. Throughout this whole time, I wanted to commit suicide. Yet it was during these dark times that I came to know Jesus Christ.
Choices that Matter
While the root of my choices and lifestyle at age 21 stemmed from the trauma I experienced at age five, my own personality and character flaws also shared much of the blame. Envy, greed, laziness, pride, wrath, and lust all had a hand in my degenerate way of life. I could always find some excuse for my mistakes and lived my life believing that I was a victim. However, this mindset never helped me achieve peace of heart. If I had been able to face my own mistakes and see the path of righteousness earlier, my life could have been so much more fruitful!
When I came to the U.S., having to learn a new language, customs, and food helped to quell my headstrong and outspoken ways, but it did not change my sexual orientation. In fact, I believed that I was courageously defending my right to love and hate whomever I wanted.
The Most Important Question
Though I attended a Christian kindergarten as a child, I grew up with the mistaken belief that Christianity was a religion only for westerners—that proper Chinese people prayed to Buddha or their ancestors. In my first year of university in America, a college Christian association known as Campus Crusade sent two students to each dorm to knock on doors and spread the Word of God. Thus, two girls came to my dorm room, asking “Would you like to know about Jesus Christ?” In a split-second decision that surprised even me, I replied “Yes, I do. Please tell me about who Jesus is.” These college missionary girls used a pamphlet called “Four Spiritual Laws” to introduce me to the Scriptures. I learned that Jesus was our Savior sent from God, and that day, I chose without regrets to believe in Christ as my Lord.
Introduced to True Love
Unfortunately, I was still steeped in sin. Although the two girls always called me, asking whether I wanted to go to church, I never went because I had heard that the church disapproved of homosexuality. When I was 21, I moved out of my girlfriend’s apartment because the world of my lesbian community was too complicated. People seduced each other’s girlfriends left and right, even going so far as almost killing each other. We were ensnared in a sordid and lewd existence. While the movies I watched had beautified and romanticized the homosexual lifestyle, in reality, the relationships that I witnessed were sex-driven and meaningless.
I moved by myself into a large apartment with many rooms. I was heartbroken, lonely, and angry, and felt that I had been cheated by my lesbian so-called friends. But, at the same time, I believed that I deserved this anguish, since I had also participated in activities such as cheating on my partners, stealing away someone else’s girlfriend, and engaging in complicated relationships.
Since these issues were about my homosexual relationships, I did not dare to share my predicaments with my new Christian friends, so I suffered by myself. I was afraid of losing what friendships I had left and of being alienated. At the same time, I was in danger of being kicked out of school because I skipped so many classes and attended parties instead of studying. Many times, I had to retake a class before I barely passed through the minimum grade requirements. I contemplated committing suicide — ending my life as well as my problems.
Miserable, empty, and alone in my big apartment, I picked up and began reading the Bible that one of my Christian friends had given me. I read about God’s compassion and comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-5), His “everlasting love” and “loving-kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3), and my tears started flowing uncontrollably. All these years, I had desired deep and loving relationships; however, the lesbian community I had known was a selfish and sordid world. Everyone I knew looked out only for her own outer beauty, youth, charisma, and wealth, using them to attract girlfriends. So when God says “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5), the pain and suffering that I had hidden inside of me suddenly bubbled up to the surface and were washed away by the tears I shed. I had never cried before because, wanting to be like a man, I felt that I should put on a brave front and never cry no matter how sad I felt. But that day, I cried! I knew God loved me and accepted me unconditionally.
And God Created Woman…
From then on, I started attending a campus Chinese church and Bible study group, and began to passionately read the Scriptures. The brothers and sisters in my church told me clearly that homosexuality was a sin against God, and that I should not continue on that slope. Nevertheless, they never shunned me or rejected me for my past. In contrast, they took care of and protected me from straying from the path of God. This was a crucial time for God to rebuild my broken soul through the church. The church needed to be able to balance two extremes. Emphasizing blind love over discipline would twist and stunt my life—as well as overlook the righteousness and holiness of God. Emphasizing stringency and the judgment of sin over compassion would estrange God’s kindness and care from me.
As my soul was rebuilt, I stopped relying on masculine clothes and mannerisms to mask my insecurities and suffering as a woman. No longer did I force myself to dress and act like a man; no longer did I hate myself for being born a woman. When I was growing up, I detested the changes my body went through during puberty, despised that I had a monthly period. Now, I learned to thank God that He created me as a woman, able to become a mother, to have children—to bring forth precious life into this world. After God created man and woman, He “saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:27-31). Since God decided to create me as a woman, I knew it was a “good and perfect gift…from above” (James 1:17). Thus, I began learning to accept the body and life God had given me, and to reject and avoid the temptations and accusations of the devil.
The Path of Escape
In 2013, I graduated from a seminary, with a double major in Biblical Counseling and Biblical Studies. Did I still make mistakes and experience failures after graduating from the seminary? Did I still face worldly temptations? I admit that I did. But I knew from the bottom of my heart that God was always right; His moral standards were also absolute. I knew that if I cooperated with God and opened up my heart to Him, He would protect and heal me, and rebuild my life from what was broken apart by the devil’s work. God released me from the fetters of homosexuality!
In recent years, my main weapons against the devil and his fallen angels are prayer, fasting, reading the Bible, and unfailingly attending Christian fellowship meetings. I always remind myself to make decisions that will bear good fruit in the future—even the decisions that are private and not noticed by anyone else. Jesus Christ said that “there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” “What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs” (Luke 8:17, 12:3). I have learned that blessings come from following God’s Word—not just from gaining biblical knowledge. As we follow God’s Word, it shapes our character and we are able to treat others according to Christ’s teachings. When we avoid evil, we revere God, and His love and grace are enhanced.
May the Heavenly Father, who parted the Red Sea to rescue the Israelites from the Egyptians, give you understanding and the strength to follow His Word and overcome evil. May the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse you and cover you; and may the Holy Spirit lead you to His truth.
(This article was first published in Chinese, in Chinese Today, Monthly Issue No. 615, by Chinese Christian Mission, and translated into English by Iris Chang.)