Eight Life Lessons from a Spiritual Gay Man Growing up Fundamentalist Christian


1. Feeling like a Fish out of Water

2. Finding Gratitude for Family

3. Surviving the Playground Jungle

4. Opening to Unique Gifts and Community

5. Embracing the Gift of Sexuality

6. Creating Stability

7. Surrendering to the Heart’s Call

8. Tying it all Together

“I am peace. I am powerful. I am Love.” For many years I would not have been able to make those statements and believe them. Though I still have many decades of learning and growth ahead, I feel the need to share the victories and lessons I’ve learned experientially thus far. My intention is that readers will find common ground and motivation for greater self-Love through my story. By following my own intuitive guidance, I have transformed feelings of rejection, being outcast, and self-loathing into living in a state of absolute self-Love and acceptance. This is not a “happily ever-after” fairy tale with a perfect ending. I am eternal soul energy having a very human experience but for the first time in my life, embracing that humanness and the “imperfections” of life on Earth.

1. Feeling like a Fish out of Water

I was born in a small town in Kansas to two very Loving parents. Though I no longer share the same spiritual beliefs and world views as my parents I am very grateful for the stability, Love, understanding, nurturing, and education they provided for me. My parents are very devoted, conservative, fundamentalist Christians. My spirituality has always been very real and very vital to me. It never ceased to be so. Being so real, it has never worked very well for me to completely accept at face value what I am told. I’ve always needed to personally experience things that are important to me, i.e. God and spirituality. I remember being a child and looking around church on Sunday mornings observing the difference between religion and genuine spirituality. At the risk of sounding judgmental, I could spot the difference in adult churchgoers. I recall experiences of feeling God in my heart very poignantly at certain times and wishing I could always have those feelings.

I felt like a fish out of water growing up in Kansas and especially later in Texas. I was a very creative, highly sensitive child who shunned sports from a young age, while living in the land of wheat and football. When I was four my mother took me along with her to an aerobics class. I sat on the side with a snack and some toys. I remember seeing another little boy there and wanting to go play. However, it was almost as if I voice in my head said, “You are different than him. He won’t want to play with you.”

Though not desiring to be a woman I related more easily with the feminine energies. I felt safer speaking to women and girls. I appreciated the finer things in life and dreamed of traveling to far off places, especially the castles and art museums of Europe. I could relate to my grandmother who also had a taste for nice things and had travelled to such places. She brought back tourist books which I perused voraciously every time we went to visit. I recall going to a diner in the Oklahoma Panhandle with some visiting extended family when I was in second grade. The waitress asked for my order and I asked if they served quiche and hot tea. Needless to say quiche is not frequently featured on the menu in Oklahoma greasy spoon diners. My aunt quite vocally chided me and I felt more foreign than ever.

2. Finding Gratitude for Family

My mother was very influential in my formative years. She has a passion for education and taught me to read at age four. She instilled in me a love for cooking, classic movies, gardening, imagination, music, and so much more. Though very conservative, I feel that her emphasis on education and introduction to the arts opened my mind and helped me to expand my horizons tremendously in the long run. Mom encouraged me strongly, at times, to play sports, but she also let me explore what I naturally gravitated towards. She enrolled me in gymnastics and piano lessons and taught me how to bake so I could enter the county fair junior baking competition. At age eight, I won grand champion in my division. My mom went to bat for me anytime I encountered challenges and always told me how much she loved me.

My dad owned an agricultural chemical business. As a vegan who eats as raw, organic, and as local as possible, I find it ironic that my dad sprayed farmer’s fields with toxins for so many years. I am ever grateful for my dad who, despite living in the very conservative and largely chauvinistic world of middle America farmers, never acted ashamed of me, never tried to hide me from his friends, and never tried to squash my fragile spirit. He hugged me frequently, always told me he loved me, and serenaded me to sleep with his guitar and voice many nights. He loved his son who preferred baking to football, piano to fishing, and gardening to hunting.

3. Surviving the Playground Jungle

The playground and sports were very challenging arenas for me as a highly sensitive child. I was usually relegated to the outfield in little league, shot at the wrong goal twice in my first seventh grade basketball game, never even learned how to throw a football, and preferred the teeter totter to the soccer field at recess. Fast forward to junior high: acne, glasses, ears that stick out, the daily onslaught of name-calling, ear flicking, and cruel remarks about my sexuality were relentless. It became even worse when we moved to small town Texas.

As much as I disliked living in Kansas the town we lived in had robust high school band and choir programs. I didn’t actually hear the terms “band nerd” or “band fag” until we moved to Texas. There, football is a prerequisite for every male in junior high and high school. I remember the older men at church frequently asking me “What position you play, boy?” When I replied that I didn’t play football they acted as if I spoke a foreign language and they could not understand me. I did the best I could to acclimate to the male-dominated, homophobic environment. I had known that I was attracted to males since about fifth grade but pushed that secret down as deep as it could possibly go. Since I was frequently called “faggot,” “homo,” and many other epithets I never verbalized my attraction to males until well into my twenties. Junior high and high school were all about survival. I did the “manly” things I could enjoy, like going to the lake, occasionally camping, and simply spending time in nature. By the end of high school I may not have felt understood or welcomed but I at least felt tolerated.

4. Opening to Unique Gifts and Community

My college and grad school years were spent at a small, Baptist university in Abilene, Texas. I really became dedicated to spiritual pursuits during this time. I was heavily involved in a spiritually-based theatre troupe, went on many “mission” trips around the US and the world with church groups doing volunteer work, and became very active in various groups and activities at the church I attended. I found it all so rewarding and through it all I found a sense of community and belonging. My gifts began emerging in earnest. I had a passion for mentoring others and I also started receiving specific, intuitive messages to share with people. The more charismatic churches would refer to this as prophecy or “words of knowledge.” Some outside of the church would call this being psychic. At any rate, I found that taking a leap of faith and sharing the messages with people really seemed to bring clarity and hope to them. I was humbled and blown away every time a message would come through. I harbored a belief that the messages I was receiving would only come when God wanted to send them and I didn’t think I could ask for them.

5. Embracing the Gift of Sexuality

At this time, my biggest challenge became hiding and stifling my sexuality. Very few people around me would have accepted my sexuality, myself included. I found myself falling in Love with some of my best male friends but denying it vehemently to myself. I longed for touch and affection but was too scared to pursue it. As grad school ended I found so many of my heterosexual friends getting married and starting families. A deep sense of loneliness began to set in.

During these years I went through deliverance ministry three times. Deliverance is a process intended by spiritual prac