Rev. David Gregory
In the early 1970’s the broader culture was just beginning to talk more openly about homosexuality. But it was fundamentalism that seemed to provide definitive answers to this “problem” that had confused and terrified me from the time I was a young teen. I arrived at Cedarville in 1975 prepared to do the “right” thing. In 1979 I graduated, married a wonderful woman who was also a student there. We went off to seminary, had two magnificent sons, and ultimately I served three churches over a period of 14 years.
By the time I was in my mid thirties, though, the internal dissonance became deafening and apparently not well hidden. My wife confronted the issue with me and we spent three miserable years working through “ex-gay” therapy and support groups. Wanting to do everything I could to keep our family together, I was really quite naive about the damage that ex-gay ministries do to the lives of those who come to them for help. For me it led to depression, despair, suicidal thoughts, and ultimately a complete breakdown.
In the process I lost my marriage, my family, my home, and my vocation. My parents were both terminally ill at the time. I got to my 40th birthday just fighting to survive.
At that point I could look back on many years of tearful prayers, cycles of confession and self-hatred. I had memorized huge portions of scripture with the promise that healing would come. Besides therapy and counseling, I threw myself into my work to try and outrun it, but as I learned the hard way, the human body will only take so much before it starts a rebellion. There was only one thing I had NOT done: to dare to think that God had lovingly created me exactly as I am, and that rejecting my true nature was the same thing as rejecting the God who made me. This was the turning point that saved my life.
Today I am once again an ordained minister, now in the United Church of Christ, a place where I can flourish without having to lie about who I am. I have two grown sons and a grandson with whom I share a happy loving relationship, and a magnificent partner with whom I share a vital, happy, and interesting life.
Of course I would do so many things differently had I known how things would end up, but then again it was exactly the path I took that brought me to the life I now live, and I would not change a thing.