Adrian Lovel-Hall, a citizen of South Africa, spent years attempting to enter the ministry only to find that being gay closed the doors to him.
Due to the searching for what I believed God was saying and the rejection of homosexuality in the church, I did not formally “come out”, and eventually ended my ministry career in 1998. I felt rejected again. I felt that no-one in the Church had come to stop me leaving, even though most of them knew I was gay. We never openly discussed me being gay, and it appeared that I had to mould into the Church and become ‘straight’.
The months following the end of the 1997 academic year took me down a really hard and painful road. No money, no job, no parents, no partner. I changed churches and eventually found work, changing my career back to banking.18-months later I went into missions so I did not have to come out. But in searching so deeply into myself, I also found that I had a deep respect and compassion for other peoples in the world – especially minority groups. I went to North Africa and South East Asia, but there was something missing – I was gay and I was not out.
On September 11, 2001 I went for an interview with another mission company to be able to work in North Africa, and that was the moment my life changed. The Twin Towers collapsed in New York due to the terror attack, and my life collapsed – at the same time. I was declined by the mission and went on a deep search for healing, changed churches and joined “Living Waters”.
We often hear of Exodus ex-gay programs, but we hear little about Living Waters. This ex-gay course has been disseminated throughout the world offering false promises mixed with genuine concern for the people it seeks to help. At times Living Waters focuses on demons, spiritual bondage, ancestral curses and such instead of the developmental model so often upheld by Exodus. Like many LGBT people who felt called to the ministry, Adrian found a place at the church table to serve as an ex-gay minister.
My narcissistic, introspective way of being came fully to bear during 2002 and I rapidly moved up to leadership in Living Waters, found a lady on a conference with whom I fell in love – or so I thought – and I ministered against homosexuality. This lasted until I was asked to present the lecture in the living Waters week on “Narcissism”!
And like many people who pursued ex-gay treatment, Adrian came to conclusions quite different from what his ex-gay leaders taught him.
Living Waters was supposed to “heal” me from homosexuality but through my new-found life I found that I was becoming a healed homosexual. Living Waters helped me forgive others and be who I was – gay!
I loved my new life – my freedom of being able to come out, the work and me. I have since spent 2 years in the USA. I also know that being gay is who I am. Living in Johannesburg I find it hard as a gay white man in South Africa. South Africa is not as open and accepting to homosexuality as the Constitution states and I have found it harder to be accepted here than in America at times. I still live with my sister and we speak – although she doesn’t really understand the gay life. We are closer now than we’ve ever been.
You can read all of Adrian’s story at Beyond Ex-Gay by clicking here.