PART 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
Born Gay or Not
The Testimony of Ron Browning
 Updated the Summer of 2014
Twenty years ago I was a chronic liar, a professional thief, and a gay man.  But PRAISE God on October 31, 1994 Jesus captured me with His grace and set me free!   Today, I am a new creation in Christ Jesus my Lord, Who is my LIFE! 
Liar to truth-teller, thief to generosity, and sexually immoral to a life of purity, a life transformed faithful!  Getting saved changed my life forever.  My destiny, my past, even my current state of existence has been traded –traded for Jesus’ Life living in me.  It began as an exchange; and this journey continues as God puts grace in place throughout my life, day after day.  Salvation replaced my sin-and-dead living for God’s Life, found only in Jesus Christ. 
Before getting saved it seemed that I could get away with almost anything.  As long as I kept moving, the consequences of my sin and crimes were haunting but never realized.  Getting saved removed that bogus safety net.  And over the following 8 years God used the courts and our legal system to teach me how to tell the truth.  Fraudulent crime (stealing) faded into a distant memory; however, the lie of homosexuality was a more difficult giant to battle.
Gay thoughts and feelings riveted my heart, even as a young boy of five or six. I was never sexually molested or abused. But the attractions I held for other boys wouldn't stop haunting me. I knew right from wrong; but these affections pursued me, with an insatiable hunger –an unquenchable lust. 
PART 1: Why Homosexuality?
Growing Up
I don’t know why this temptation afflicted me.  Was I born gay?  Did my relationships scar me, in some way?  Was there an event, or set of circumstances, that molded this preoccupation to sexualize everything?  I don’t know. I grew up in a Christian home, with parents who loved me.  I was cared for by grandparents who treated me like a prince.  I had great adult male role models as a boy.  So why did I develop this obsession with sex and boys?         
The only revelation that might give some rationale, as to my fixation, was an early exposure to sexual facts.  When I asked why my kindergarten and then second grade teachers were pregnant, I wasn’t simply given the birds-and-the-bees, I was given graphic detail –facts with emotional connection.  The intent was good; but the consequence was not.  The detail given to my inquisitive young mind was inappropriate.  Simply put, I wasn’t emotionally able to handle it. Compounding these facts was a boy’s curiosity and our God-given need for male bonding –friendship.
While other boys were rough housing and learning how to be boys, I felt different.  I was more artsy than athletic; music (voice and piano) was my sport.  When boys decided to hang out, I was left out.  I just didn’t know how to fit in.  They played, while I wanted to play.  They joked around, while I wanted to joke, without being the blunt end of their jest.  They had a confidence, I only pretended to have.  While the guys were bonding and learning to be guys, I was withdrawing into myself and my own imaginations. 
Fantasy came easy for me –a blend of super heroes, imaginary friends, and real boys I admired. 
Guess who the hero was –always?
By the latter years of elementary, I was taunted as being cissy, girly, fag, or queer.  About the age of nine or ten, even an influential adult asked me if I was a homosexual.  I didn’t even know what the word meant, but I knew it was bad, by the tone of that conversation; so of course I said –No! But natural curiosity had already led me to explore my sexuality with others.  I found boys more interesting than girls. In other words, during the years a boy bonds with other boys, I sexualized that bonding.  The normal affection a boy has for his friends exploded into same-sex attractions.   
I never experienced gender confusion.  I always knew I was a boy and wanted to be a boy.  Any respect I might have had for another boy, idolized.  The qualities I felt missing from my own person, I saw in other boys.  I yearned for those qualities and after the boys who possessed them.  As a nine year old, I wanted to be like the most popular guys. The ones who were good at everything they did. The ones everyone liked.  The significance and competence, I felt they held, became my utmost desire and fantasy. 
As I came to believe I would never own that masculinity, I began to sexualize my fantasies.  I learned, while engaging sexually with a male peer, I could possess what I was missing and find the-overlooked-me.  To become who I desired to be and find the recognition I longed for.  Communicating what took place in my little-boy mind, is far more fluent from hindsight and with the maturity of age and experience.  Truly, I was in search of the real me.  What I found was a false ID.
Puberty arrived early.  The volcano of hormones intensified my sexual desire; and lust overcame all sense of right and wrong.  If my parents hadn't held the reins so tightly, I would have dived full fledged into gay sex as a teen.  Fortunately, those restrictions kept me away from predators and my own rebellion in check. However, it was in those adolescent years, I learned to live two lives: the life of a good Christian boy (a pseudo-life; a false Christianity) and the life of a gay guy.  The sex that marred my teenage life was few.  However, I was the predator looking for the friend whom I could seduce.  And when my rebel soul found that ecstasy, I felt the most powerful cocktail of masculinity, power, and significance! 
Many of the adult men in my life, including my Dad and my Papa, were highly respected men; and I felt entitled to that same admiration.  I was too young and immature to recognize those longings for what they really were.   Truly, I just longed to bond with my peers. 
A Marriage of Pretense
As the good Christian boy everyone thought I was, I grew up to marry a woman, in hopes of finally being straight.  An adult with a little-boy mind convinced that I could be both husband and father. What a fool, I was! 
Since few knew the passions in conflict within my soul, I wasn’t proving anything to anyone but me.  However, I lived in that pretense for a while; only to find myself overwhelmed by an uncontrollable lust for men.  Since I would not risk exposure with adult men, I began to prey on teenage and preteen boys.    
Oddly enough, I felt more in control of those types of relationships and less at risk from disease.  When my wife discovered my dark secret, she divorced.  That was a no brainer!  This crisis in community rejection propelled me into an open gay life with men of an appropriate age, in which I would have continued living happily-ever-after, if God hadn’t intervened.                   
An Apology
Sex outside the covenant of marriage, between one man and one woman, is sin.  Sex began at such a young age for me and occupied my mind and activities for 22 years.  To those boys, who fell prey to my unquenchable lusts, so many years ago, please know how sorry I am.  I hurt you – spiritually, psychologically, and physically.  I was wrong!  I sinned against you and God.  To the adult men, withwhom I engaged sexually over the course of my twenties, though legally consensual, I was wrong.  I am sorry. You may or may not feel that I sinned against you, but I did.  And not only you; I transgressed against the true and living God.  To all those family and friends who have been hurt by my degrading choices, I regret the pain I have caused.  To all, I ask your forgiveness? 
No!  I am not asking you to forget, though I am sure you wish you could.  I am not asking you to pretend it never happened.  I am not seeking absolution, for I have already received forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ.  I am asking that you forgive my sin against you and those whom you love, because it is the right thing to do.  Forgiveness is remedial care for both you and me.    
I do not blame you for being angry at the monster I once was.  I’m quite mad at him too!  I deserve the wrath of God and hell.  But like all who are truly born of God, I am eternally grateful for Jesus’ forgiveness and Life. 
Taking responsibility for my actions is part of my own growth; yet maybe it will help you find some sense of relief and healing.  The brokenness of my own soul, can’t excuse my choices. There is nothing I can ever do to make restitution.  I cannot, bring healing to all the damaged emotions that maybe ripping your soul to pieces.  What I can do is say – I’m sorry!  Please forgive me?
Continue on to PART 2:  The Lie                                                                                                 PART 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5