If you are gay and a Jehovah's Witness.

I want to start by saying that I know how you feel, the guilt, the shame, the pain. I know all of it. The disgust that you feel every time you look at yourself in the mirror, the feeling of worthless, the extreme loneliness and knowledge that you will be forever alone. Sure, you can have friends that might be around you, that might know you are gay, but yet, that feeling of desperation will not leave you. No matter how hard you pray, how often you preach, how hard you scream to Jehovah. You feel alone.

If you are reading this, you are probably feeling also the guilt of reading the words of someone that is considered an "apostate". Please, before you judge me, hear me out that I DO NOT WANT YOU TO HARM YOU IN ANY POSSIBLE WAY. On the contrary, I am terribly terribly sorry and sad for the extreme sorrow you are feeling, cause I felt it too and it's maddening. I am also not going to tell you to leave your community, it's not up to me to tell you to do anything. The only thing that I can do is to give you my own witnessing.

I want you to know, and please listen to me carefully, I want you to know that happiness is out there. That the world is not the scary, ugly place you might now believe it is. That worldly people aren't out there ready to kill you. The world is full of kindness and beautiful real unconditional love. People are ready to see you and embrace you for the totality of who you are, and not just some side of you.

I didn't believe it was possible, I kept wondering that my only solution was death, because you couldn't possibly leave Jehovah, and at the same time you couldn't live in the world of Satan, so over and over, the only alternative I ever thought about was death.

It destroys you, from within.

No matter how online groups such a resource for those of Jehovah's Witnesses, or Christians who are "heterosexually challenged", or Watchtower magazine might paint it, how you might find support in an anonymous group of online people (which are trying their best to survive in their pain), or coming out to a close friend, you won't.

Because denying who you are and the need for love and care you deserve is not fair, nor natural. Read that again.

No matter what they say, being gay isn't a t-shirt you can decide not to wear, it's not a thorn, it's not a curse. Being gay is who you are, a part of your DNA, your genetic making right from your parent's womb, your identity. These incriminating use of the term "sex drives" (as they are often defined) or urges, accounts for the fact that being gay is just about the sex. It is not, being gay envelopes exactly the same of being straight, all the different types of love, and intimacy and closeness, future and hopes of a family.

If you are still reading, I probably would have stopped lines ago when I was in your same situation, please I want you to know that there's a big, bold and graceful world outside that golden cage. There is peace, blessings and freedom. Sure the world has its issues,I'm not going to pretend it doesn't, you probably know it very well, but it is not all like that. There are people, out there that will become your most wonderful friends and lovers, that will teach you love that truly surpasses every thought.

So, please, if you are thinking of killing yourself, don't, give yourself another chance, go and walk into the unknown.

I don't know you, but I truly love you and I really hope for you, in you to see the beauty in living a life full of self worth and embracing and expressing your self fully, you can live your paradise now.

Yours Andy xx

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