My time as a gay JW has now ended. Here is my story:
I was brought up as a JW by my dad and I was baptised in July 2007. I am now 23. From a young age I knew that I had homosexual feelings, but I had no idea how intense these feelings would become. Many may recall the words in the young people ask book saying that this is just a phase some youngsters feel which they may grow out of. I didn't, and I suppressed them for so long. Not only did my life feel like one big lie, but I became very guilty and upset about who I was, and how Jehovah felt about me. Whenever I heard talks about homosexuality, I would usually become saddened, but a part of me wished I could just live as I wanted to. It wasn't a feeling of rebellion; it was the feeling of love and care I desired. As time went on, the feelings continued to grow.
In September 2010, my mental health became very bad. I hated being alive and I prayed so many times to Jehovah to take away these ever growing feelings. I threw myself into spiritual activities which I found helped a little but the feelings still remained. I reached such a desperate moment in my life and I just had no idea where to turn. I was afraid of what people would think of me. How would my dad react if he knew I was gay? What would the elders say and do? If I found a sister would I be happy? I doubted it. One night ( 21 February 2011 ), I was so torn and confused that I went into the bathroom, cried my eyes out and contemplated how I could end my life. After a few minutes, it dawned on me that if just lived my life how I wanted and stopped lying to myself and others about who I was, I may became happy again. I believed this option was better than the alternative. I went into my room, opened Google, and typed in ‘Gay Jehovah's Witnesses’. The first page I saw was a story by a young man called Josh from Australia who had been in the same situation. When I finished reading his story, I was in tears but I felt a flicker of hope. I understood all the negative feelings and badness he felt. I decided it was time.
The next morning I woke feeling rather cheerful which was surprising. I forgot how it felt. From that moment on, I continued going to the meetings and on the ministry for about a month or so, until I realised that I had chosen to accept something that the JW's do not. I stopped going and realised that I needed to forge new friendships and revive old ones outside of the JW box. Slowly, I came out to a few friends, JW and non JW. On 20 March 2011 , I figured that I needed to think about a serious relationship as accepting my sexuality didn’t feel 100% fulfilling. That night, I signed up for an online dating site and got in touch with a young man named Jack. As our friendship grew and grew, I realised that my old feelings were just fading away. I loved being alive. After some time I became so confident in my sexuality that I didn’t care anymore who knew. I told some family members who were all accepting. A few months later, Jack and I became a couple. The feelings I had desired for so long were satisfied. I loved knowing that another person in this world thought about me and cared for me so much. At this point, I knew that my life had now begun. The person I was before had almost died away.
I knew it was only a matter of time before I was disfellowshipped. I was relatively unconcerned now. I felt so strong, and having someone to back me up was a brilliant feeling. One of my long standing JW friends knew about my situation and contacted the elders telling them he was concerned. As I had not been at the meetings in about 3 months, they got in touch with me but I refused to speak to them. After a few more weeks, I eventually came out to my parents who were both FABULOUS! My dad said he would NEVER give me up no matter who I was or what happened to me. Some weeks later, I received a call from an elder who I respect a lot. We chatted and I decided that I was strong enough to level with him. We spoke on the phone for a bit and we arranged to meet so we could chat some more. I made it clear though that I only wanted to speak to him alone. When we met, he asked me about my feelings, and firstly I pointed out to him, that it would be VERY difficult for him to understand unless he had been through it too. I explained the need to feel love and compassion, and also the desire to remain spiritual. From a JW point of view, you can’t have both. I beg to differ. I’m not an evil person at heart. I love the bible, I love Jehovah, but I feel that I need to live my life in a way that makes me happy. This clearly isn’t the way God intended things to happen, but I had to consider the difference between 13 years of depression, sadness and guilt, versus 6 months of pure happiness. Which would you choose? Again its can still be a tough question to answer if you have never had these feelings. After explaining all of this to the elder, I called another elder and simply repeated that I’m not going to change.
They arranged two judicial committees which I did not attend as I saw no beneficial reason to, and on Thursday 25 August 2011 , they announced that I am no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
I am aware now that many brothers and sisters will no longer notice me. I’m sure that some will treat me like they didn’t even know who I am. What on earth is this all about? It’s comforting to know though that not all JW’s will treat me so. Some told me that they would never desert me. Nonetheless, this for me has been one of the hardest things to deal with, and I understand that the organisation uses it as a form of emotional blackmail.
Now I think about the whole situation, I try and look at it with some perspective. This was never about sex, wickedness or rebellion. It was me choosing the way of life which from my experience had caused me the least amount of pain. I know some have told me that they feel I’m a fool to give my original life up. I appreciate what they are saying, but it is easy for them to say it when they have VERY unlikely been in the same situation. I take comfort in the fact that although I’m not the best Christian in God’s eyes, at least I’m sincere and I don’t believe that I chose to do this because I am wicked.
For any of you reading this that struggle with homosexual feelings and are still within the organisation, please please please send me a message on this forum. Talking to others who understand did me the world of good and changed my life right around.
So, I’m officially disfellowshipped. I will of course still be using this forum as I think it’s a great study tool. I love seeing other people’s perspectives on bible subjects and I may need to rant in the future if there are any future JW developments specifically regarding my dad or when I have encounters with other JW's.
Until then, thanks to all who have supported me over these past 6 months. You should most definitely be commended for helping me through what I believe was the most important part of my life. That to me is true Christianity (John 13:34 -35).
Love you all, Timmy Tucker