Scott’s testimony: On the right side of eternity
From a young age I had a very negative idea of what it meant to be a man. I thought that being a man meant working hard, playing rugby, drinking alcohol, and being angry all the time.
In contrast, being a woman meant staying at home, drinking tea, singing songs, and having fun. Faced with this idea of male and female,I knew which one was preferable to me.
I deeply resented the fact that I was expected to grow up to become a man and viewed the world of men with a mixture of fear and contempt. With so few male role models in my life I inevitably began to model myself on the women who surrounded me. I soon became a very effeminate young boy and was ridiculed at school for acting like a girl.
By my late teens, I was still very much a child and had no idea how to be an adult. Having never been initiated into the world of men, nor affirmed in my masculinity, I was starved of male attention and love. I was male but men were still a complete mystery to me. The desire to be loved and accepted by men soon became sexualised much to my shock and horror, although strangely not to anyone else, including most members of my Catholic family.
My male friends began to mature emotionally whilst I remained a child. Their interests began to change while mine stayed the same.
‘Why were they so obsessed with girls anyway? Boys are way more attractive.’ Such were my thoughts.
The realisation that I might be gay was yet another disappointment in what felt like a long line of bad luck. How could God allow me to suffer so much? What was the point of it all? Whilst attending art school, I took my first tentative steps into the gay community. It was less of a ‘coming out of the closet’ and more of a ‘peering round the door’. What I saw on the other side terrified me. Sex, drugs, alcohol, and more sex.
While I didn’t want to be like the men I had grown up with, I really didn’t want to be like any of the men that to me seemed little less than godless heathens. So I kept the gay world at arm’s length, occasionally dipping my toes in whenever it suited me, but always on my own terms.
However, the more time I spent with my gay and secular friends the more pressure they placed upon me to ‘pick a side’.
There was no room for Jesus Christ in the art scene and the fact that I was still a practicing Catholic was only barely tolerated. The pressure to choose a side continued to grow and the inner conflict, anxiety and restlessness became unbearable. There was no tolerance, no respect for differences, no true equality.
I soon discovered that serving two masters was exhausting. I thought I could evangelise the world but the world was starting to indoctrinate me. After one disastrous alcohol fuelled night where I almost gave myself over to sexual sin entirely, something snapped inside of me and I finally chose a side.
I threw myself at the feet of Christ, exhausted, disappointed, ashamed, and miserable and I haven’t left Him since.
After leaving my gay and secular friends behind I prayed to God to send me a new group of friends who would be wholesome rather than a corrupting influence in my life. I now have a solid group of friends whom I love dearly and for whom I would lay down my life. ‘No greater love hath man than to lay down his life for his friends.’ It is this kind of love that God intended between men, not romanticised or eroticised love, but fraternal, filial love. The type found in the camaraderie of soldiers in the trenches, in the mischief and hijinks of schoolboys, in the love that Jesus had for His Apostles. Man was not designed to face other men in romance but to stand side by side as brothers.
After five years of deliberate reparation of my broken masculinity and making good with my Creator I am almost unrecognisable to those who once knew me. I now feel like a man – and yes, I look more like one. I am also excitedly dating a beautiful woman.
After fully reconciling myself with the reality of the natural law, and fully embracing the purpose of God’s design, I have experienced an inner peace and clarity that I wish everyone could have, especially those who experience same-sex attraction. I now want to give to others what I truly possess myself: Jesus Christ.
I no longer worry about being on the wrong side of history because I know I am on the right side of eternity.
This article was first published in The Catholic Weekly newspaper, and is reproduced with permission.
Read testimonies from those who have experienced same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria and found healing and hope in the Christian faith: