Back in November, a tremendous gathering of former LGBT people whose lives were radically changed by Jesus Christ recently gathered on Capitol Hill to share their powerful message with the world: that no one is beyond the reach of the powerful, saving grace of God.
These bold men and women were in Washington D.C. to lend their powerful voices to the fight against the so-called “Equality Act”. After speaking with several legislators about the dangerous legislation, they gathered to share and hear one another’s incredible testimonies.
Among many other speakers at the event were Luis Ruiz and Angel Colon, two mighty voices for Christ’s liberation from the bondage of sexual sin and survivors of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting.
“For a long time, I was very broken and hurt,” Ruiz told the crowd. “I found out that I was HIV positive because I was promiscuous. My generation would say a ‘ho.’ While I was searching for men, sleeping around a lot, I didn’t realize that there was a man looking for me.”
“And His name is Jesus,” Ruiz continued. “I was able to find a church where they loved me. And they taught me that my identity is not my behavior. My identity was not who I thought it was. But it was a child of God. So I stand here to say that I was a homosexual, a former ‘ho.’ And now I am a child of God.”
Later on, Colon gave his incredible testimony.
“My name is Angel Colon,” he began. “I am a former homosexual. I am a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016. I was shot six times, sustained a shattered femur and suffered nerve damage. A day I will never forget — a big turning point in my life. Even in the midst of chaos, I prayed and prophesied over my life that I would survive and live free. And here I am today, standing here with no pain, here in the Capitol with my Changed family.”
“Many think I’ve made my decision to leave the LGBT community lifestyle because of the shooting,” Colon continued. “But I was desiring change way before June 12, 2016. Going through this horrible tragedy made me make the biggest decision in my life, which I’m very happy with. I made this decision a year after the Pulse nightclub shooting—finding what was the most important thing in my life, which was finding my true identity. Which was in Christ. And today I stand here in the Capitol, sharing to the world that change is possible. Yes, I am known as a Pulse survivor, but I really want to be known as living proof that God does transform lives.”
Next up, April Lockhart of Albuquerque gave her testimony.
“I am a former lesbian,” she said. “I’m very passionate about this topic because I really embraced that life. I won’t talk about how or why I went into that lifestyle. But I fully embraced it, and I was confident in who I was and I sought it out. I was a champion for the LGBT and I really even liked to just be out there and promote it.”
“I had fully believed in this lie that gets perpetuated that people don’t change, they can’t change, and if you try to change them, it’s detrimental to their health,” Lockhart continued. “And I just want to say that’s a lie.”
“I almost missed out on some of the best and most precious moments of my life,” she said. “I wasn’t going to get married. I wasn’t going to meet my husband. I wasn’t going to get to have my own children. This is not something that my mind was even open to. I didn’t know that it was a possibility for me. And I stand before you now a changed woman. I don’t struggle with same-sex attraction. It’s almost like it never was for me. And so I would like for that lie to stop being perpetuated. It’s just simply not true. People can and do change if they want. And we need to be allowed as free Americans to seek that out. Nobody has the right to tell you you can’t be what you want to be. And I did want change. And through the power of God, the Creator of heaven and earth, this was able to happen. These days we’re able to happen. These moments. And I’m a happy woman.”
Kevin Whitt, a former transsexual, drag queen, and prostitute shared how he lived a life of confusion after experiencing severe abuse at the hands of his father.
“Over the years I had had probably 5,000 sexual partners because I was a sex worker,” Whitt said. “I hated myself. I hated the fact that I was a man. I never knew how to accept myself or truly love myself. And then about six years ago, someone invited me to church.”
“And God began to change my life. Began to change my heart. And began to change my sexual identity, my gender confusion. And I began to heal from all those things,” Whitt continued. “Change is possible. Because if God can change me, He can change anybody.”
Former transgender “man” Kathy Grace Duncan, of Portland Fellowship, took the stage and shared her story of freedom from dysphoria.
“Before I went to kindergarten, at a very early age like three or four, I believed that I should have been a man,” Duncan began. “I felt that I should have been a man. Dysfunctional family situations: my dad was very emotionally and verbally abusive to my mom, which told me that women were hated, women were weak and they were vulnerable.”
“I was then molested by a family member which went on for two years, also confirming that women were weak, vulnerable and hated. At age 18, I finally surrendered and went into the lifestyle, took hormones and changed my name. From there, I began to live as a man,” Duncan said, giving her heartbreaking story.
“Two weeks later, I got saved,” Duncan said. “However, because I didn’t hear from the Lord, I thought He was okay with my lifestyle.”
“Four years later I was confronted by the church, and they asked me ‘Who are you? Who are you really?’ And at that point, I told the truth and said ‘I’m a woman living as a man.’ And the Holy Spirit blew into me,” she stated. “And I realized at that point I needed to go back to being the woman that He created me to be. The next day I started that journey out. Five years later—it took five years for the hormone effects to really wear off—and at that point, I crossed over and began to live fully as a woman. That was 26 years ago. And I have to say, I’m changed I’m free. I no longer struggle with the attraction to women.”
Never underestimate the power of speaking the truth in love, people!! What a testimony!
Elizabeth Woning, co-founder of the Changed Movement, was also there to share her powerful transformation story.
“I was often suicidal or out of control,” Woning said. “I came out during my early 20s and found solace and comfort in the LGBTQ community. They were my family. I was pursuing the path of an ordained pastor in the LGBT-affirming church movement when I began questioning my faith. That long journey led me ultimately to question my sexuality as a lesbian. Over time as my faith brought deeper emotional health, I also experienced an unexpected change in my sexual desires. Today I’ve been married to my husband for 14 years. I no longer experience same-sex desires and I no longer have symptoms of bipolar disorder.”
“I’ve seen the restoration I have in countless lives of other Christians,” Woning declared. “Our faith compels us to share what we have received. We simply want to offer a vision to those who feel conflict in their sexual orientation. But also to ask that America recognize there are multiple options for people who experience LGBTQ. People deserve the right to choose their own path and follow their religious convictions, especially in matters of their sexuality.”
Among the more shocking and heartbreaking testimonies given was that of Christopher Sims, who was heartbreakingly raped by his father and tortured by his mother.
“I’m a person who formerly had a same-sex attraction. When I was very young in New York City, my father—who is a pastor—raped me. And when I got to kindergarten, my mother and my father decided to take me out of school. And I was taken out of school for a total of eight years.”
“And during that time, I was tortured by my mother,” Sims recalled. “My mother was very hurt by men. So any sign of masculinity was a trigger and a threat to her. I can remember her beating me with a wire hanger until I was bloody and putting alcohol all over my body as I stood in front of a mirror. And I learned at that moment that I could not be masculine. I learned that I had to be effeminate. I had to emulate my sisters to avoid triggering her and so that I could survive.”
“By the time I was 18, I had been living in Alaska for a year,” Sims said. “I had been through foster care. That was a time where the things that I had suppressed began to manifest themselves through pornography addiction. By that time I had a restraining order. I was in anger management. I was in counseling for PTSD. And I had a measure of gender dysphoria.”
Even still, God worked in Sims’ life.
“It was also that year that a friend who was 18 decided to force me to go to church,” he said. “I wanted nothing to do with church. But when I went to that church, I saw something in those people’s eyes that I had never seen before. I saw a God that my parents did not tell me about. Those people in that church – they didn’t hate me or anything. They loved me. I saw life inside of them and I wanted that freedom and that life. The love that I saw inside of their eyes convicted me of the error of my ways. And I remember for three weeks just telling God how sorry I was for all the wrong that I had done. And He said ‘Christopher, I love you.'”
“Our rights are being threatened in America. Governors think that they know better how I should identify sexually than I do,” said Changed Movement co-founder Ken Williams.
“Apparently, we’re inappropriate. It’s okay for everyone else to choose their sexual identity, but not with us because we’re not going with the narrative. How disrespectful of us not to go along with the narrative. Well, with all due respect, what gives you the right to decide what I’d like to pursue with my sexuality? Why in the world would you or someone sitting with a gavel or someone in an elected office decide what therapy I should or should not be able to get?”
“We have chosen a different route for our lives,” Woning chimed in. “And in following that path, either through professional counseling or faith-based discipleship, we’ve obtained levels of fullness and fulfillment that most assume is impossible. We’ve all experienced a life-altering change that has impacted our sexuality. Many of us are in happy marriages to our opposite-sex spouses. Some even would say they no longer experience any same-sex attraction. Several of us have de-transitioned. We no longer identify as LGBTQ. And many, many people upon hearing our testimonies of fulfillment are seeking what we have.”
“All of us up here, we love, we absolutely love the LGBTQ community,” said Pastor Jim Domen. “We understand you. We know what it’s like. We’ve lived there. We’ve walked it. We’ve been from gay bars and back. We know the journey. We know the pain. And we’re not telling you that any of you have to change. But if you’ve ever thought or needed help or desired to change, we would want to talk to you.”
The voice of these people is a crucial one in our social climate today. In America, it seems those with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria are not allowed to do anything less than celebrate it, however unwanted their feelings may be. These folks are here to shake up that narrative for God’s glory.
If you would like their help in reaching an LGBT loved one with the saving truth of the Gospel, check out the Changed Movement for more information.
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