Homosexuality—How Rewarding as a Way of Life?
“The homosexual condition is rarely, if ever, a matter of choice.” This is an official pronouncement of the Roman Catholic Church in the British Isles.
Faced with such thinking, many despair. They feel that, being involved in the homosexual way of life, any transformation is out of the question. But this is not so. In the eyes of the Christian, with God’s help nothing is impossible. As the apostle Paul expressed it: “For all things I have the strength by virtue of him who imparts power to me.”—Phil. 4:13.
Consider the personal experiences of a man in the British Isles who has contributed the following article, and then make your own assessment.
I HAVE always enjoyed the company of the opposite sex, and as a teen-ager I had my share of girl friends. Nevertheless, even in youth, I felt an attraction toward members of my own sex but rebelled against any thought of a homosexual way of life. It did not appeal to me, especially as I weighed up the consequences of what it could mean throughout a lifetime.
In the 1950’s the ‘Gay Liberation’ movement was unknown. By the early ’60’s, however, a new spirit had started to develop and not so many were against homosexuality. It was more acceptable in a big city like London anyway. Even so, I still held back, rejecting the many opportunities offered me to engage in homosexuality.
Homosexual, but Not Hypocritical
I was idealistic, as so many young people are. I had visions of a good world with morals and standards. Only when I started to make my way in the world did I come face to face with its reality. I discovered that the world is corrupt, and that even people who call themselves straight and normal often act very immorally in many ways.
As my youthful ideals were obviously not going to work out, I remember thinking: “What’s the use? What am I gaining by holding back? I may as well go ahead and live as a homosexual and make the best I can out of it.” With this decision, I embarked on a course of life that was to continue for many years.
Initially I felt some relief in being able to lay my cards on the table and say, “Well, okay, I’m gay, so that’s that!” Even if some did view my way of life as immoral, I did not feel that I was any worse than others who engaged in different forms of corruption. In fact, in some ways I felt that I was better because at least I was not hypocritical, seeking to live behind some sort of facade. Once I had embarked on the homosexual way of life I did not care who knew it. There were plenty of opportunities to indulge in it and nobody objected.
Since casual sex and easily broken affairs seemed to be the norm in “gay” circles, it became apparent to me in due course that I would be better off cultivating relationships with men who could bring me up the social scale. Many “gays” do this and, if they are reasonably attractive, are not short of propositions from influential and wealthy men. As a result, I was taken out and given a very good time by many male friends.
My Affluent Way of Life
Eventually I managed to get myself a very rich boyfriend. He bought me fine clothes and introduced me to high-society living where money was no object. He had a flat in an exclusive part of London and also one in the south of France. I was taken on extravagant vacations abroad and it was thrilling for me to rub shoulders with the rich and famous. Being young at the time, I found it all new and exciting.
In London there are plenty of clubs where homosexuals can meet one another. In fact, it surprised me how many people in ‘higher circles’ I was able to get to know—bankers, lawyers and politicians among them. What an inducement all these experiences were for me to stay “gay”!
As far as religion was concerned, I never had taken it seriously. I was not an atheist by any means, reasoning that there must be some supreme power, but never giving the matter much thought. I found that it was a subject homosexuals rarely discussed.
During my years as a homosexual I had several immoral advances from priests and clergymen. So as far as religion was concerned I had no reason to take it seriously. The Christianity that I saw was no different from the world in which I was living.
Life as a “Free-lance” Homosexual
But the glamour of a “gay” life does not last. Its very insistence on never-ending youth and charm has driven many to despair and even suicide, as I well know. Having to live up to certain standards and always to present oneself as a charming attraction can have its drawbacks. In my case I knew that when the charm wore off, or my looks started to fade, I would be finished, thrown out, as so many others have been. So I opted for independence and decided to leave my wealthy boyfriend.
Having tasted such high living, it was not easy for me to settle down to an ordinary way of life. I found it difficult to hold any kind of job and began to drift with a bad crowd. Eventually I became a homosexual prostitute in order to support myself.
This meant a real risk of getting venereal disease, since it is well known that the incidence of VD among homosexuals is very high on account of promiscuity. My own doctor was a homosexual (I had chosen him for that reason), and so I knew there would be no problems in getting treatment for these diseases. Even so, it was not a life-style that I would recommend to anyone, as it brought with it many other dangers besides VD.
A Settled “Married” Life
It was at this unhappy time in my life that I met the man I lived with for the next 10 years. Right from the outset, my new partner and I got on really well. I was extremely fond of him and we began to set up home together much as a normal married couple might do. We viewed our relationship as something rather unique and special. Neither of us felt freakish or strange about it.
As a couple of companions we were very happy. There was an intense, deep and loving relationship between us. In fact, we felt that the love we had was deeper than that of many heterosexual relationships we observed. Though we had many opportunities to go with others and inducements to do so, we always stuck together. Those 10 years he and I were together were among the happiest years of my life up to that time.
The Challenge of Truth
Then one day I obtained a Watch Tower publication. As soon as I started to read it, from the very first sentence, there was no doubt in my mind that it was the truth. As I read on, I could find no fault in what it had to say. It raised no questions for me. I had never studied the Bible, but this just had the ring of truth about it and I remember thinking: “This has got to be the truth!”
My eyes were opened to options that I never knew existed. As I came to learn of the Bible’s hope for mankind, it threw an entirely new light on everything. I had a lot of free time to think. Looking back, I suppose it was a spiritual longing I had, although I did not recognize it as such. I had always felt that there must be a better way to live, not only for myself but for the whole world. The opportunity to choose one that is truly purposeful and satisfying, with everlasting life as the goal, made good sense to me.
It did not take me long to recognize that I was at a crossroads in my life. As my appreciation of Bible truth deepened during my studies, I knew I would have to change my way of life, but would I be able to face up to the challenge?
The Biggest Decision of My Life
I knew by this time all the Bible had to say about homosexuality. Although I had never before been confronted with its statements, I felt instinctively that what it said was right. My life was certainly not a natural one. But I needed the strongest motive for wanting to alter my way of life. It was my growing love for Jehovah God that made me want to change.
My first reaction was to get my companion to learn God’s ways. I wanted him to make the change in his life pattern too. Members of the local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses often invited us out to meals and social gatherings. We were shown much understanding. My companion had every reason to see that he was not being left out of things. Indeed, he was being encouraged as much as I was. But sadly, he did not accept the truth as I had hoped.
We eventually divided up our flat, each having his own room. But soon, we had to acknowledge that a split between us was the only solution. How was I going to do it? I remember thinking: “Well, Jehovah will make it possible for me.” I had my trust in him.
The time came and we decided to part. It was like slicing off one whole side of my character, leaving it on the ground.
Consolidating My Faith
You have heard it said, as I have: “Once a homosexual always a homosexual.” But it was not that way with me. I quit, once and for all. Even so, I still have to work on changes in my life pattern. How reassuring it has been for me to bear in mind Jehovah’s all-embracing understanding of my problems! I have grown to realize that he alone knows individual circumstances and backgrounds and takes into consideration damage caused by environment and in other ways as he lovingly gives guidance through his holy spirit.
There have been many times when I felt I would have to give in to the pressures. Yet I knew that I had benefited in so many other ways from the truth. After all, sexual desire is not all there is to one’s life. There is so much more to living, and I found that, having the truth of God’s Word, other avenues opened up to me, helping me in my desire to see changes in myself. Yet, problems take time to resolve. Homosexuality is no exception.
When the apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Corinthians* he mentioned homosexuality as a gross sin, but he did not particularly underline it as the only one, or as being worse than the others mentioned there. He listed it along with other serious human failings, and surely if we fail in any one of those it means coming into God’s disfavor. But I have found that, when we try to conquer our weakness, Jehovah strengthens us. To expect to get any instantaneous cure would be wrong. But with Jehovah’s spirit helping in the exercise of self-control, I have learned that it is possible to work on in the way of the truth and manifest Christian endurance.—Rom. 5:1-5.
It is humbling for me to know that Jehovah has been able to use me, and despite my imperfections he continually strengthens me.
Many of my Christian brothers have been so very encouraging and kind. I am truly grateful for the loving opportunities and guidance Jehovah has given me through his Word, his spirit and his Christian congregation. It is my heartfelt desire to conform to the life-giving Christian personality and live to bring increased praise to his name.—Eph. 4:22-24.