When I was young I was involved with the church.

I was considered a good Christian boy. I went to Bible study, taught Sunday school and attended the evening church service (the music was better and the sermon wasn’t as boring). When I wasn’t at school or working I was at church or with people from church.

As I got older I started running a school lunchtime Bible study and after leaving school I taught scripture to young teenagers.

I always knew that I was attracted to guys, but I didn’t want to be gay. I thought if people found out, my life as I knew it would be over -” if not over then at the very least changed dramatically.
People eventually found out. I believed that if I prayed hard enough and read my Bible and if people supported me I wouldn’t be gay any more.

I went to meetings, prayer groups and I even read books about how to change your sexuality.
It wasn’t an easy time. It caused a great amount of depression and self-hatred.

Of course I now know that changing sexuality is never possible. I’m obviously proud to be me.

But I had no idea that it was possible to be gay and a Christian at the same time or about churches and groups that accepted gay people.

There are a range of groups and churches in Western and broader Sydney like MCC Good Shepherd (Granville), The Open Door (Penrith), Catholic Acceptance (Haymarket), and Freedome2b[e] (Surry Hills).

All of them are supportive of the gay and lesbian community and most of all supportive of people who are looking at sexuality and Christianity.

For contact details for any of these groups jump online and do a Google search or give me a call, because while you may think there are no alternatives and nowhere to turn, there always are … it is just a matter of knowing where to start looking.

info: If you want any information about groups, services, organisations or community events taking place in western Sydney, you can contact Matt Vaughan at ACON on 9206 2064 or [email protected]

Matt Vaughan is the Community Development and Liaison Officer for the ACON Western Sydney Community Development Team.

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