I was born on a September night in 1988. I grew up in a strict religious household in which my parents homeschooled me and my siblings. I was very sheltered and really didn’t know how to talk to people. As a lonely teen in a large church youth group, I shied away from being around other kids, fearing bad social interactions and thus awful embarrassment. I wanted badly to fit in with other kids my age and have great friendships, but I just couldn’t interact properly. It also didn’t help that I was harboring a secret in my life.
From the time I hit puberty, I was sexually attracted to guys. I would sit in my room at night and think about touching other guys like I would touch myself. I didn’t talk to girls, much less have feelings for them. I didn’t know where to direct all this teenage sexual frustration. In my mind, this isolated me even further from my fellow teens, making me feel even more like an outcast and hopeless. And though I did make several good friends throughout my later teenage years, I still never felt normal.
During my adolescence, my dad became an alcoholic. I was never very close to him during those years and was, in fact, so afraid of him that I would hide in my room when he was home. He would later go to jail and prison for multiple DUI’s. My mom and I were closer, but she was so strict that I never really felt like I could fully open up and talk about my struggles. Music was the only thing I felt I could relate to, especially music with screaming vocals. I had metal CDs I kept hidden under my bed that I would blast into my headphones when I was upset. I learned how to scream, too, and had dreams of being in a famous metal band – dreams my parents strongly opposed.
The day after I turned 18, my friends helped me move out of my house in the middle of the night. I couldn’t stand being cooped up at home, unable to spend time with friends, be in a band, or listen to the music of my choice. And I definitely didn’t want to be there when my dad got out of jail. I also left my church. I didn’t know what it meant be in relationship with God then, but I knew I wasn’t going to find any answers in a church that was full of people I couldn’t confide in.
A few months later, at a new church, I started talking to the first girl who showed any interest in me, and we soon started dating. We got married a short time later. It felt good knowing my family and friends could look at me and think I was a normal person. I had heard in church my whole life that homosexuality was wrong, and more than anything, I wanted to get rid of my sexual attraction to guys. I thought marriage and sex with a woman would do the trick.
Well, even marriage and heterosexual sex couldn’t rid me of my lust for men. During my marriage, I got addicted to gay porn. I loved the idea of doing those things with other guys, and wished I wasn’t married so I could. My wife and I would fight constantly, which led me to spend weekends with friends just so I could get some peace from all the craziness.
When I was 21 years old and still married, I found out that a male friend of mine was bi-curious. I knew because I was married, it would be wrong to do anything with him, but more than anything in the world, I wanted it. And so, one night we decided to fool around in my car. After a few more hookups, he decided to put an end to it. I was angry and upset. I had just started giving into that lifelong desire, and now it was all over because he felt more guilty about being with a guy than I did for cheating on my wife.
But eventually, guilt did start to set in. After much deliberation, I decided to tell my wife I had cheated on her. She was very hurt, and couldn’t get past the pain I caused her, so she left a few months later. A week after this, the friend I had slept with disowned me. I was more hurt by this than by my wife leaving. Through our hookups, I felt closer to him than anyone else in the world. I was a closet homosexual who had just lost his wife. The guilt and worries of everyone finding out plagued me. I truly wanted to kill myself that day.
I tried to meet other girls right away, but it didn’t satisfy me. Soon I would start meeting and sleeping with other guys – all while doing my best to keep it secret. Eventually, I came out on Facebook by changing my relationship status to show I had a boyfriend, but was dumped two weeks later. I would then openly claim bisexuality, which was more socially acceptable to my peers then being fully gay.
(the picture above was taken on the day of my first gig in a metal band I was in. I should have been happy, but as usual I was depressed and empty)
For the next two summers after my wife left me, I began selling marijuana for extra money. Coincidentally, my popularity increased, and my new friends all wanted to hang out at my place all the time. I smoked my own product daily, which I used as a getaway from having to deal with my lack of fulfilment and guilt in life. Whenever I got tired of weed, I’d just buy a bottle and get drunk instead. The more messed up I got, the better I would feel. But then I would wake up in the morning – possibly with another guy in my bed – and feel empty and broken. Friends and parties, weed and vodka, guys and girls, and even the money I was making from dealing drugs had not made me even remotely happy or fulfilled.
At the end of the second summer of dealing, I got robbed at gunpoint by 4 men. It was the single scariest moment of my life thus far. Having someone hold a gun at your face not knowing whether or not they were going to pull the trigger was surreal. All I could think of in that moment was one thing: if I die right now, I know exactly where I’m going… Hell. But they let me live, took what they came for, and left. A day later, I bought my first gun. That night, my boyfriend and I moved our bedding to the living room and we slept on the floor, armed and scared to death they would come back looking to take more from us… Maybe even our lives.
Despite all the fear of another robbery and/or death, I would not, and felt I could not, stop dealing. I had started a business full of customers that wouldn’t leave me alone. One day, while I was at work, I got a call from my boyfriend. He told me there was a police Suburban directly outside our apartment. I went outside my workplace to talk more on the phone, but then saw a police car pulling around to the back where only semi trucks came though. I panicked and told him to flush everything. I then jumped in my car and drove home. There were cop cars all through my apartment complex, and the only one with its lights on was right outside our patio. I was certain they had found out what was going on and had come to arrest me. I drove to the nearest bank to make a deposit and asked the bank if I could use their phone. I called every customer and dealer of mine, told them I was busted, and said they should never contact me again. I even called my mom and admitted to her what had been going on, and asked her to visit me in prison someday.
After I made all those phone calls, I decided that I couldn’t run from the law my whole life. I decided to go back to work as if I went out for lunch or something. When I get back, I was told no one had come in looking for me. In fact, no one at work even knew I had left. I called my boyfriend, and he was still at home. He was nervous, but no one had kicked down our door. I called the complex to ask what happened, and they told me a purse snatcher had run from a nearby business and hid in a patio storage closet in the complex… A few feet from my own patio. In one hour, I went from a running an illegal business to burning it down to the ground. It was kind of a relief, actually.
But when I lost my business, I also lost most of my friends, who were primarily potheads. I felt very lonely. I had been keeping myself constantly surrounded by people and substances to get through each day. I began to realize more and more that my life had been a complete waste. People had been using me for pot and for sex. I had no self purpose, and had no idea whether God wanted anything to do with me or not. I was pretty sure he was real, but where was he? I just assumed he wanted nothing to do with me. For the vast majority of my life, I hated myself. I thought about suicide almost daily by this point.
(the picture above was with my usual attire – a sad scowl and a band tee for one of my favorite death metal bands)
The following January, I went to a young adults church service. There, I heard a guest speaker give his testimony, and it connected with me. God had turned him from a cocaine using, sex-hungry maniac into someone confidentially speaking from a stage and openly showing love to others. I wanted that kind of transformation in my own life. If God could forgive him and make use of his life, then surely God could forgive me. I went up front to the altar and I prayed for God’s forgiveness and for a new start.
But right after I finished praying, I still felt some guilt. I felt I had kept people smoking their lives away for my own gain all while I had held onto a lifelong claim of Christianity. I asked God what I should do. Then I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and saw someone who I hadn’t seen in 18 months – who was always depressed and never smiled unless he was high – grinning from ear to ear at me. He was my biggest customer at one time, but had randomly disappeared. He told me he had moved to California, found Jesus, and now his life was changed. God showed me in that moment that no matter what I thought I had destroyed, he could restore. God – through his awesome orchestration – had protected me, all leading up to this moment where I could turn my life over to him.
Over the near future, I grew in relationship with God, but at a snail’s pace. I was excited to be making new Christian friends, and to become a member at new church, but I hadn’t fully sought God with all my heart. I instead surrounded myself with spiritual mentors and Godly friends, and tried to let them be Jesus for me. I needed constant affirmation to keep myself distracted from my lack of self-worth. Praying that prayer in January without any true commitment to Jesus neither fulfilled me nor changed my lifestyle. And as you’re reading this, you probably guessed it… I secretly went back to sleeping with guys.
But even while living a double life, God gave me a vision – yes, an actual, enveloping-my-eyesight vision. In that vision he told me what he wanted me to do with my life. He told me to “reach the gay community for Christ.” I was thrilled that I now had a clear purpose, a mission from God to drive me. But there was a huge problem with that: my unrepentant, behind-the-scenes lifestyle was in direct conflict with this new command. Another problem was that I still wasn’t putting God first in my life or spending much time with him. Having a purpose in life became more important to me than having an intimate relationship with God. I let my mission define who I thought I was instead of finding my identity in Jesus.
Shortly after this, a friend of mine suddenly died. I felt intense guilt and pain about this, because I never told him about Jesus – although I had felt I was supposed to while driving to sleep with him for the first time. I felt that his blood was on my hands. I felt disqualified from God’s work and I began to question whether or not God still wanted to use me. This began a 6 month long depression. One day, I decided to earnestly seek God and really pray for the first time in months. I asked God if He still loved me and had a plan for me. God confirmed it that night at church. The pastor mentioned my exact calling from the pulpit, confirmed that I still had it, that God had in fact not given up on me – and even quoted Bible verses I had read earlier that day. But despite all this, I still went back to giving God a half-hearted commitment for over two more years.
On Halloween weekend 2016, while I was walking around downtown dressed in my costume, I decided to go to a local gay strip club for the first time. Figuring no one would recognize me in my costume, I decided to relax and have a drink. Many drinks later, I ended up going home with someone I had never met before that night. After waking up the next day, feeling as disgusted as I could be, I decided that enough was enough and I had to make a choice. I could not keep on serving two masters, and this time I was going to seek God with ALL my heart, soul, mind, and strength like he had wanted the whole time – and I was going to be fully surrendered, even if it killed me.
So that’s how I came out. First I came out of the closet, then later I came out of the gay lifestyle. Since that day I surrendered to God, everything has changed – and is continuing to change. I started seeking God and his holiness with everything in me, and God has transformed me more as I’ve fully given him control than in the previous 4 years combined. I’m learning to love people in a new kind of way. I have a genuine peace that has changed my attitude towards life. And I’ve realized that my struggle hasn’t really been about straight vs. gay so much as my will vs. God’s will. Even if I could have somehow turned myself straight, that wouldn’t have changed the fact that I didn’t know God, and was missing out on the amazing life he wanted for me. If you truly seek God, you will find Him, and there is nothing in this life that can compare to knowing God and living the life He destined you to live.
Sometimes a little obedience to God takes you to places you would never expect. As I started getting closer to God I started experiencing some genuine attraction to women. I started praying that God would give me a wife someday, but that his will would be paramount.
Shortly thereafter, God told me to post my testimony in this blog – and wouldn’t let up until I did it. After I shared it on my Facebook page, a girl from my church read it. A few weeks later, this girl and I had a conversation about it while serving together at a community outreach. We became friends right away. We started dating a few months later, and a few months after that I got on one knee and asked her to marry me. I never imagined I’d find someone so perfect for me. Everything I’ve ever prayed for I found in this girl. As of April 13th 2018, Rae is my wife.
I’ve had the chance to speak at a conference, and at a few churches about the amazing things God has done in my life. I’ve had the chance to help men and women who are struggling with the same things I’ve struggled with. Just like that man who shared his testimony in front of me all those years ago, God has completely transformed my life, and nothing will ever be the same again. Amazing things can happen when you fully surrender your life to God and act in obedience towards him. He has amazing things for us, and we will never experience them unless we put him first in our lives.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” -2 Corinthians 5:17
“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my [Jesus Christ’s] sake, you will save it.” -Matthew 16:25
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” -Romans 12:2
Email me at Keithweston918@gmail.com if you have any questions, would like prayer, or would like me to speak at your church or event.