God Opened My Eyes

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

My name is Marshall, and I'm 23 years old. I was born and raised in a conservative Christian family, where I was told that homosexuals were a sin. And after being told at age 8 that my father was a gay man, I became afraid. Not of him, but for him. I loved my father, and I do to this day. I didn't want my father to "burn in hell," like many others said he would!

All the while, I grew up going back and forth between my father's home and my mother's home, between my father's church and my mother's church. I found myself caught up between two viewpoints: my mother's side, saying gays were abominable, and my father's side, saying that LGBT (I'd later find out that stood for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) people were only expressing their love in a different manner. The older I got, the more insults I heard about the LGBT community, and the more eager I was to know what God wanted me to think. And in my junior year of high school, during chapel, He answered me. I felt a tug on my heart, telling me to go up to the stage. I did. I took the mic and told what could have been the entire school the truth.

"My father is gay," I'd begin, with tears forming in my eyes, as I was confident I would be expelled from school for this. "My sister is a lesbian, and I am a straight heterosexual who's saying here and now that I will not tolerate anyone hating on my family! I've been silent for too long, and I can't stand it anymore." And when I was finished, I felt this tremendous spiritual weight be lifted off of me. I was free from the mindset of the world. Since that moment in my life, I have never felt more confident in my God, who helped open my eyes. I graduated from high school with high honors, and soon after, I found myself marching in three Gay Pride parades with my church of choice, MCC San Diego; becoming a member of the Human Rights Campaign; being interviewed for articles focusing on adolescent heterosexuals standing up for LGBT rights; and most recently, posing for a NOH8 Campaign photo shoot in Downtown San Diego. All the blessings I've experienced for and with the LGBT community have helped me realize the importance of one simple fact: God loves everybody. It took me years to see which side was right - to see what was truly God-breathed.

I once was blind, but now I see. What some see is abomination. What I see is love.


This is a really inspiring story. I'm glad you found your voice! (:

Clarissa Seaman 05/22/2013 00:14

You're such an angel. God bless you.

Ellaine Larena 05/24/2013 21:27

what an inspiring story! love it!

courtney culkin 06/10/2013 19:32

Absolutely beautiful. Thanks man. I'm struggling with something similar. You don't know the help you've just exhibited. Thanks. God bless.

Luis Gonzalez 12/04/2013 09:53

I'm so glad to see how this has inspired people. I feel so happy! Thank you, everyone :)

And I'm glad I could be of help, Luis. Always remember, in the end, you have to FEEL what is right, rather than simply go by what others say. You have to rely on gut instinct, cuz the way I see it, that's when God is tapping on your spirit and saying, "Hey, listen up." Know what I mean? :P

Marshall Ragsdale 02/15/2014 15:28

Amazing story.

Simona Loužilová 02/23/2014 14:03

Sharing this. It needs to be heard.

Ash 03/06/2014 09:53

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