Gay Man Reconciles His Spirituality With His Sexuality.

Gay Man Reconciles His Spirituality With His Sexuality.

Hi, my name is Nick Donias. I'm from Fort Worth, Texas. Growing up in Texas, I was the youngest of
four children and we grew up in what people call the bad part of town. And I found peace outside of all the negative
activity that happened in my city through going to church. And this was a Pentecostal, Bible-preaching
church. Imagine every day, Sundays of praise and worship,
which is the singing, is an hour long, everyone rushes to the front, is clapping their hands,
running in circles, doing the helicopter with their blouses and shirts, falling on the floor. And that was such a big important part of
church for me, feeling that I belonged to this community that was a safe place for me
outside of all the bad things that were happening in my hometown. But as I grew up I started to learn more about
myself as well. I noticed in middle school I would stare longer
at my friends on the football team than any, you know, Britney Spears in a music video
(although I liked watching her music videos). I had this teen version of the Bible that
talked about different stories of sin. And I remember coming across “My friend
is gay and what should I do?” And I remember when I read that short story,
they pointed to the scripture in the Bible that said there's no room in Heaven for people
like this. I was a senior about to go to college, another
exciting moment for me, but I was on my knees saying, “God, change me, change me, change
me!” And then just something clicked and told me
I can't change. At that moment, I made a choice that, well,
if I can't be fully committed to this then I can't be any part of that. I decided to start to walk away from the church,
and it happened at the same time that was going away from Texas to New England, Providence,
Rhode Island, to my school Brown. Sometimes when I’d go home when I was in
college, I would go home back to Texas. And my family was still going to church so
I joined them sometimes. And the church was such a big support with
helping me set my goals to finish high school, to get into college. They would ask me to come on the stage and
gave a little speech, an update about what I'm doing, and help motivate others in the
church. And then they'd all come around and pray for
me. And I would just think in those moments that
I was being dishonest, that I was a fraud. About my second year of college, I started
accepting myself, coming out to myself. And I started sharing that with some of my
friends from high school and from home. One day, when I was back at home in Texas,
my second year in college, I told one of my youth group friends from church. And I was shocked when they had said that,
you know, “It doesn't matter to me.” He speaks in biblical terms sometimes. He would tell me, like. “You're perfect in God's eyes and so you
being gay is not being imperfect, it's being just who you are.” And although I heard that from him and it
meant a lot to me, I still had my, you know, rooted teaching that, you know, this is what
the Bible says and I need to follow it, word for word. And so even though, starting from him, he
was accepting. And when I came out to my family, they were
also accepting. The church started rumors and [I] came more
out to the church, they still celebrated me. They still were like, “Nicholas, we love
you and we're happy for the journey that you've been on.” But it was still years after that that I started
to reconcile those differences myself. After graduation, I got my first job in New
York and I moved here to New York City, which was one of the best things that could have
happened to me. I had a great community of friends. One night, I was with some of my closest friends. We were celebrating, you know, being here
in New York. We’re growing in our careers. Everything's looking really good for us. And we go out to our usual bar that we end
up at called Therapy. What they usually do is they play these slow
songs but have a upbeat tempo to it. And all of us were like fist pumping our hands
when that beat dropped, like “Yeah!” And then for one moment, I noticed myself
when I'm pumping my hands up and down, my fists turns into an open hand and I just stand
still for a moment. And I'm reminded of a song back when I was
a child at church. And I start singing that song. It's goes “Holy, holy, are you lord God
almighty?” After the moment, I snap out of it and I just
rejoin my friends and we continue the night out. And then on my cab ride home, I think to myself,
like, What was that? What happened? Later on when I thought about it, I just thought
that you know, this is how I felt at church when I would go as a kid and I was surrounded
by all these people in the place that I felt safe outside of my home. That place Therapy was my new home and my
new family. And that was where I found that my peace. After that moment, I decided to explore back
in getting into my religious roots. The more I refocused on my spiritual journey,
realized that, you know, I don't, like – it's a journey. Now on Sunday mornings, I might not be at
church but I am cleaning my house, playing my Christian music on blast, and really worshiping
one-on-one. I can have my fun and community in Hell’s
Kitchen at Therapy, and the same religious experience I've had in Texas at the church
– now I have it at home with my radio and my broomstick. For me, my religious life is as much a part
of my identity as my queer life. And so there's a really great peace that you
have with being able to reconcile accept all of your identity for who you are. If you found peace completely moving away
from religion, then that's good. But if you're questioning, you know, can I
go back? I think the answer is yes. Yes, you can. It's really about one-on-one journey that
you have. And so that's not that big of a step to have
that one-on-one journey.

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  1. Thank you, Nick. The biblical words that always touch me are: You are made in the image and likeness of God. And then I know I am loved.

  2. Growing up a Christian with a very religious family and homophobic father, I always felt like a misfit. I believed I was born just to go to Hell. This brought on major anxiety and low self worth and I turned into a dark world of drugs to feel a false sense of love and acceptance. I became HIV+ by 20 but kept using hard drugs n sex to escape what was bothering me.
    Now after losing many friends from overdoses and AIDS, I've got clean and my health is excellent. I've accepted and love myself, but some family doesn't approve. I have my own relationship with Christ now and feel closer to god than ever! Now in my 30s all I need is a bf/husband lol!

  3. Especially at this point in history hearing this man speak of his faith is encouraging.  For any other persons who are LGBTQ raised as Christian and wondering about where and how to find support for your faith seek out these ministries The Reformation Project and NALT (Not All Like That).  Also the director of The Reformation Project, Matthew Vines has a video here on YT as well as having written the book God And The Gay Christian.

  4. Poor, unfortunate gay christians beat themselves up over being created incorrectly or with some unforgivable aberration. That book clearly states you were made in HIS image, take care and rejoice in the fact that god made you gay 🌈 As gay as you ever dream to be!!
    Amen 😉🙏🏻

  5. I can definitely relate and identify with your experiences and struggles reconciling your spirituality with your sexuality. As a catholic gay man growing-up and remaining an active member in the church was also challenging for me, but through extensive soul searching and reflection I was able to continue building my relationship with Our Heavenly Father. Much love and light to you.

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