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This Page - Gay Christian Autobiography - Youth Background, Marriage, Ministry, Angelic Appearance, Name Change.
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Scottish Royal Coat of Arms Crest
Diana, Princess of Wales
The family peerage is without demand, meaning it no longer has any political or social significance, with the Parlimentary changes made decades ago. It remains title only. The original estate and lands in Northern Ireland were dismantled and sold long ago. Also, with several generations of only children, this reduced the family to now just my son and I. The last of my distant Great Aunts, and cousins passed away long ago. Here are pictures of the former titled family members.
As a child, I had low self-esteem. Most of my childhood was spent either alone or with adults. I was not athletic, more interested in intellectual things. I was made fun of by my peers for not fitting in, for being tall and thin. I had few friends my own age. I made my first friend in "junior" secondary school, 1969, and who remained my friend into adulthood. If I did anything or went anywhere it was with him and his friends.
I never dated in secondary American schools at all, never went to the prom or any dances, 1971-1974. I got over my fear of people through music and theatre, but not my fear of being one-on-one with anyone, my fear of being rejected personally. In high school I worked in the Library and as a teacher's aide; additionally, I worked as the Assistant Librarian for a grade school. After graduating secondary school, I toured Europe with a choir, 1974. Throughout my adolescence, I mistakenly believed people would like me if I was the best, the smartest, the funniest, etc. I was the complete and total "nerd." While everyone else was wearing jeans and had long hair, I wore dress slacks, sweaters, had black-rimmed glasses, short hair, and carried a briefcase to school.
My parents moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and I was now on my own, attended school and university in America and London, 1974-1978. I saw love and acceptance in several fellow college students, but didn’t understand its source. My best friend, M______, was a Christian who was trying to be an ex-gay, struggling, believing wrongly you couldn't be Christian and Gay. Unfortunately, later on he dropped out of college, and out of sight for many years. Another friend, D____, would witness to me about the Lord; later she became like a sister to me, and the bridesmaid at my wedding. Every week M______, D____, and their friends asked me to go to a Bible Study, and every week for two years I told them no. Finally, I was so lonely, and they seemed to really love each other, I agreed to go with them to their Bible Study. After six months, I asked the leader of the Bible Study what made them so happy all the time. He said it was Jesus. I doubted it all at first, but one night in 1976, in my apartment, I prayed and told Jesus if He was real to prove it to me. Instantly, I felt I wasn't alone, and I've never felt alone since. This was my "born again" experience.
One of these fellow Christians became my best friend, S_____. Actually, she and I went to high school together, but we didn't know each other then. We never formally dated, we were just always together, and gradually with time we "became a couple." I married her in 1981 because I honestly loved her, believed it was what God, parents, society expected. We dated almost four years before we got married. She was my best friend, and I confused this friendship love with marital love.
was married for several years before I had any same sex attraction. I married my wife in all sincerity, with no "hidden life." As I became more and more successful in my life, in my career and social standing, my self-esteem grew and all these buried feelings I had been avoiding for years began to bubble up to the surface. Becoming aware of my same sex attraction resulted in years of guilt, prayers for deliverance, and finally burnout. At the time, I could not reconcile my religious beliefs and my sexuality, that I was a homosexual, gay, and a Gay Christian. I was afraid to be open about my feelings for fear of rejection and the loss of the life I had and my religious ministry.
I since have done extensive research on being gay and married, and on being a gay father. Many gay married men grow up with low self-esteem, arresting sexual development, becoming almost asexual, and not placing oneself in the position of acknowledging same sex attraction. They often avoid things like dating, showering in gym class, etc.
The majority of gay married men are not aware of feelings for the same sex prior to marriage. Same sex attraction becomes apparent through adult self-esteem development, and marital and/or same sex sexual activity. Most gay married men remain married for a variety of reasons, financial and social stability, children, etc. Those men who go on to divorce and openly living as gay men are those who come to the realization being gay is more than sexual activity. Statistics show despite attempts to maintain the relationship, after the spouse's same sex attractions are openly known, the marriage usually dissolves.
I tried to pray myself into change. I tried to bargain with God about it all. I tried to put it aside, ignore it. I threw myself more and more into zealous religious work in the hopes of getting rid of it all, and proving myself acceptable to God.
See Also: My Husband Is Gay, My Dad Is Gay, I'm Gay and Married, Gay and Married, Books Gay, Lesbian and Married, Relationships, Books - Gay and Lesbian Parenting, Parenting and Family Links, Families Joined By Love: Books, Resources, and Community for LGBT Families.
During my marriage, I was very active in religious work, 1981-1991, in addition to my employment as a librarian. I served for a year as a lay Associate Pastor in the Presbyterian denomination, 1978. I left this to join the Charismatic/Full Gospel Movement. I was instrumental in the development and expansion of many independent churches. I served as an officer in the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International, 1978-1988. I traveled the region speaking and teaching in chapters, churches and meetings. I was told I was an anointed speaker, with the gifts of exhortation, prophecy, wisdom and knowledge. I participated in revivals, conventions, retreats, committees, laid hands on hundreds of people in prayer.
Through the years, I participated in the Full Gospel Movement and the Religious Right Movement; I associated with many national Christian religious leaders such as Pat Robertson, Kenneth Hagin, Demos Shakarian, Kenneth Copeland, Corrie Ten Boom, and Jamie Buckingham, to name a few, and Jim Bakker once worked with me in acquiring a position with his PTL ministry.
After many years, I became concerned over the religious scandals of the 1980s and the direction and excesses within the Charismatic Movement. After all those years, still unable to reconcile my religion and my sexuality, I was tired, exhausted. I was not only dissatisfied with the climate of religion in my own city, state and the nation; I was dissatisfied with the climate of my own religious life. I burned out, resigned from Christian ministry, and sat at home for two years. During that time I didn't pray, I didn't read the Bible, and I didn't go to church. What really hurt the most was no one seemed to miss me. Here I was so nationally and locally well known and relied upon for so many years, and now I was hurting and no one seemed to care or even notice I was gone. I cut myself off from everything and everyone. I just sat, dazed.
was never angry at God, but at myself, people, life. About the time my son was born, after two years of sitting, I began to study the Scriptures, determined to understand God, others, and myself, and find the reason why I was the way I was.
I began to have a dream that repeated for a year, 1990. In it, a man would tell me my name was no longer "Brian" but "Ben." "Brian" is Irish meaning, "Strong," what I tried to be all my life. I didn't know this man, or why he kept bothering me. I was determined to confront him, and in time I did. "Why do you keep calling me this?," I asked. "Don't you understand anything?" he replied. I answered no; he looked in my eyes and said, "Jesus!" "Jesus? You know Jesus?" I replied. I never realized this dream could be spiritual, God trying to speak to me. "I have been sent by Jesus to tell you your name is no longer 'Brian' but 'Ben.' Now go look it up." His appearance changed; I realized he was not a man but an angel. I woke up.
I looked in a book of names, found "Ben," Hebrew for "son." I wept for hours. If I am a "son," then I have a "father," and not just a "Father," but as the Scriptures teach, an "ABBA," meaning "DA-DA." If I have a Parent, then I have a Parent who created me and loves me just as I am, a Gay Christian, with all my faults and talents, good points and bad. I began to heal; I later legally changed my name to Ben in 1995.
Through understanding Jesus’ Love, I was finally able to reconcile my spirituality with my sexuality; I am a Gay Christian. God’s Love does not condone the abuse or use of self or other people. God’s Love does not want us to be someone we are not, nor be less than we can be in life. God’s Love sometimes tears down temporal in order to build lasting things; sometimes wounds in order to heal. God calls us to relationship, not to "do," but to "be." Our being is to be this Love in all we are and do. God desires us to walk in our sexuality in accordance with Love, in holiness and with responsibility.
Now out to myself, and accepting myself through God’s love and acceptance of me, I was ready to come out to my wife, family, and the world. But, at that same time, after many years of marriage, my wife announced she was pregnant with our son, B_______, who was born in 1988. Stunned, I postponed coming out, wondered what to do now.
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