First Person testimony: God challenged me about being “born gay”
Editors Note: LaKenya Clanton is a property manager currently living in Florida. She’s been following Christ since 2007. She’s speaking out about her freedom from lesbianism because she wants others to know that questions and doubts no longer dominate her life. GCM Watch is exclusively publishing excerpts of her testimony. For the full testimony see note at the end of this article.
Until now, I have never confessed my greatest secret to anyone. For more than 25 years, I, firmly kept hidden the one thing about me that could change the way my closest friends, children, immediate and church family viewed me. This secret, that I am finally free to share with the world, is that I was gay and believed for more than a quarter of a century that I was born that way.
You may wonder why I kept my lesbianism a secret for so many years. Especially since, homosexuality is so widely accepted today and laws are always being modified in support of the Gay community. Truth is, I could never find peace with being who I was, because as a child, I learned early on that homosexuality was wrong, and if I dared embrace it, my final destination would be hell.
It is now, twenty-five years later and I am, finally, able to tell my story. I can, honestly, say any such testimony shared prior to now, would’ve been incomplete. It is as a result of God’s love, mercy, grace, and Spirit that this journey of hurt, pain, shame, loneliness, confusion, depression, yet understanding, conviction and deliverance, that I am able to stand with the full-backing of the Holy Spirit, share my testimony, and possess the unwavering power needed to withstand the type of fire that comes as a result of such a testimony. I know that from this point forward, my life will be under a microscope. But I welcome it. God has given me a testimony. I no longer struggle with the sin of homosexuality! I no longer feel imprisoned in my body, and, now, know for certain that I was not born this way.
I was 11 years old the first time I kissed a girl. Although homosexuality was becoming more and more acceptable in society, I couldn’t let go of the little knowledge I had about God. And that was that this (homosexuality) was something that He did not approve of.
For a long while, the fear of going to hell, especially, for something I should be able to control, governed my actions. Well, that, and, twice as much, the shame I would feel if people knew the truth. So, as you could imagine, I made every effort to conceal my desires. For a while, I was able to refrain from physically acting on my emotions. But that only lasted for a short while. By the time I was 14, I would find myself overwhelmed with lustful desires and consistently watching lesbian pornography in an effort to satisfy my flesh.
The transition to this alternative lifestyle wasn’t instantaneous. With every boundary I pushed, lesbianism consistently crept in. Yes, watching the porn made the doors to this life visible. But the doors were first opened when I learned that my best friend had these same feelings and, in confidence, admitted to me that she was bisexual. I, now, had someone with whom I could relate. Her confession somehow gave my desires validation or justification. Still afraid to tell her my true nature, I just pretended to be curious and eventually allowed her to guide me beyond the doorway and even deeper into this seductive lifestyle.
Before I knew it, I was in a sexual relationship with a different woman. Every time we were together, it felt right. But, when apart, it was as if I had all my senses. I would question myself and God, wondering, “Is this real?” But it had to be! It felt too natural not to be – even more natural than being with a man.
Things soon began to accelerate quickly. I constantly found myself making excuses – justifying my behavior. My mind went from “I will never be with a girl” to “Ok, I’m with a girl but only this once”. I tried to convince myself that “It’s just sex”. But deep inside, I feared that it was more. I really tried to tell myself that the emotions I was experiencing was just surface. I really believed, at the time, that “I would not be with another girl” “Nor, would I ever be in a real relationship with a woman”. But, that wasn’t true. I was would soon be with yet another woman and in a homosexual relationship”. I was going deeper and deeper. And the longer I was with this woman, the more apparent it became that I could never be with a man again.
Throughout my process to freedom, contrary to what many may expect, never did God confront my homosexuality. Instead, he challenged the fact that I, like any other person, was born in sin and shaped in iniquity. Homosexuality was just one of the manifestations of my sinful nature and personal circumstances combined. God made me fully aware of my sin through his word; and, eventually, led me to realize that I was not born this way, but was motivated by the seducing spirit that was in harmony with my flesh.
Learning that this behavior wasn’t uncontrollable or innate, I began to question God even more. I wondered, “Lord, if I was not born this way, why do I still have these desires, even after the cross? Even after confessing my sin and living a life of denial?” Dealing with the mind games and the shame continued to hold me captive.
Even, by this time, knowing that I wasn’t born this way, in my heart, I made myself okay with the fact that I was going to die this way. Knowing I wasn’t born like this should’ve made things easier – gave me hope. But, it didn’t. I’d been robbed of the one excuse I had for not being able to control my behavior. Sure, I believed that God could free me but I couldn’t imagine how. I’d already given my life to Christ. I expected God to heal me immediately. But, he didn’t! And I didn’t know what else I needed to do to overcome. I had no point of reference to go to. There was no one that I knew personally that could walk me through this process. Though my Pastor, and those I valued, spiritually, knew of my past lifestyle, I still felt alone. I wasn’t ashamed to tell them that I was gay as much as I was to share that, even after all these years post salvation, I still feel perverted in my mind. What would they think if they knew that there were nights when I would just cry because I couldn’t understand why these feelings wouldn’t go way?
What felt like breaking, was part of God’s plan. Without even realizing, my healing process had begun. But freedom wouldn’t come without God, first, revealing the root of my weakness – the culprit behind my sexual immorality. Through a series of messages, God allowed me to see that, what kept me bound by my own flesh and hindered me from moving forward in him, was un-forgiveness. Hard to believe that I, failing to pardon the behaviors and actions of those that wronged me, had caused me to become bitter and resentful, and to seek acceptance in hidden places. Unforgiveness had become the fuel that drove my lustful desires. It was “why” I was the way I was.
If you would like to read LaKenya’s powerful, first person account of her freedom story, use the contact page to request the full pdf file for free.