Douglas Messinger


I began my time at Cedarville in much the same way as most of the other freshmen -- fresh-faced and ready to do great things for the cause of Christ. Even before my first year, I remember visiting with my parents and thinking about all of the great things I could accomplish by being immersed in the Cedarville culture. I also remember thinking that this was my last chance to rid myself of those "sinful" attractions toward my own sex. I was certain that those feelings I had when I saw a cute guy walk by was just another attack from Satan, and I had already spent a considerable amount of time in prayer asking God to take away those feelings and desires.

I knew for a fact that going to Cedarville would help take away those wants. The only problem was that Cedarville didn't lessen the attraction; it merely made the cravings stronger. Worst of all, I knew that if I had shared my secrets with anyone else I was in threat of being kicked out of school. So I kept it all in, afraid of what consequences would await me if I slipped. By the time I was a junior I had gone from being the "model Cedarville student" to a young man embittered by his situation, unable to overcome what I had been taught was the ultimate abomination.

I managed to graduate in 2003, moved to Orlando then to Indianapolis where I joined the Indianapolis Men's Chorus. I developed great friendships with men who had gone through similar experiences as I did. I realized that being gay was not a curse, but a gift from God and that I could use my story to help other men who at one time or another felt abandoned by their faith. Over the years since graduating I have learned not to begrudge Cedarville for their attitudes. I have learned to appreciate the friendships I made there, the experience I gained. I hope that in the future they can begin to see through the intolerance and lack of understanding. The Christian faith is about love and acceptance -- not hate and rejection.