My first year in LA went by fast yet at times painfully slow. You see, I moved to LA from San Francisco. I always said by the time I am in my 30's I'd be living somewhere warmer, and that I did. I was raised a JW all of my life. I was the young pioneer brother helping the elderly out in service, and cleaning the kingdom hall bathrooms in the afternoons. I always seemed to go for the tasks that no one wanted to do. Although I went through the motions, I kept a secret, actually two. Ever since I could recall I knew I was attracted to guys, my other secret was that I was a full blown alcoholic.
I could not fathom the idea that Jehovah made me this way to only then condemn me. All I could do was drink and drink. I'd sit in the very front at the KH so others could not notice I was buzzn. My father, who was DF'd elder, drank himself to death and I knew I was headed that direction. I remember On one occasion, I got so drunk one day after the meeting and ended up in a homeless shelter while a nurse on duty was taking my pulse and blood pressure. IN A SUIT. It was then then that it hit me, I was an alcoholic and asked Jehovah to help me stop. Although I lived by myself in the Downtown area, had fabulous friends, worked a big law firm, was a pioneer and very independent, I just did not want to admit it. Soonafter, I started to work a twelve step program with a sponsor, mind you, this person did not know i was gay nor are you able to tell if you saw me. But he said, "Jonathan, you WILL NOT get better unless you start being honest with yourself". I knew what that meant.
I sit here, two years later, shunned by my only living parent and have no relations with my siblings, except one, my sister. She told me JUST TODAY that she can no longer continue to be a JW knowing that she has an abusive husband and no one in the KH will help her because her abuser is an elder. I was more than delighted to hear the great news about her leaving that cult. She is flying out to see me here after many years of no communication because i am gay. Having done thorough research on the "truth" , I felt initially hurt, angry and confused. I no longer believe in the bible, but consider myself a spiritual person. I still work my twelve step program and remain sober. I'm currently working towards my master's and obtaining my teaching credential to teach paralegal school. I am in a loving relationship, and loving life in LA. I do not know what I will tell my sister, what i do know is that I can offer her my experience strength and hope, and I want her to know that she is LOVED, and that love is not conditioned to a belief system.