Building a Complete  Life
Written August 2009

I was born in Malaysia to middle-class Chinese parents in the late 1960's. I grew up in a
Bible-believing church with a rich prophetic heritage. In my adolescence, I became actively
involved in church life and even took up duties on the pulpit. After high school I was
encouraged by my pastor to go into pastoral ministry. I took it as God’s calling and went to
a Bible college overseas. Five years later I was employed by the church as a field pastor in
Malaysia.

I can’t pinpoint a specific time when I discovered being gay, but it was at a very young age.
I do remember times in my childhood when I would feel a rush of warmth through my body
whenever my father hugged or bathed me. When I hit puberty my curiosity about these
feelings drove me to explore the male body. I became increasingly aware of my attraction
to people of my same gender. Try as I might, I have never been attracted to the opposite
sex. Because I lived in a shame-based culture in which sex was never discussed I did not
talk to anyone about my attractions. I repressed my homosexual feelings and did not act on
them. I read books about homosexuality but they were not exactly helpful. I kept to myself
during high school. In college overseas I hung out mostly with the boys in the dorm. The
culture was very homophobic so I was driven deeper into the closet. I did not date girls, nor
did I have any real homosexual experience all through college except for bathroom
encounters with exhibitionists. My best friend asked if I was gay but I fiercely denied it.

During my tenure as a local church pastor, my greatest setback had been the absence of
a life companion to share the burden of ministry. As a result of that lack, I suffered burnout.
My parishioners were always setting me up with some girl in church. But none of them
interested me. Instead, I would seek out men outside the church. In my mind, being gay
and a Christian were mutually exclusive. Publicly I was an exemplary Christian. Privately I
was grappling with issues of my own sexual needs. My double life took me on wild guilt trips.

Then the amazing internet age dawned in the mid-1990’s. I began chatting with like-minded
people all over the world. One day, at the turn of the 21st Century, I stumbled upon a gay
Christian website. I was fascinated by stories of other gay Christians going through the
same struggles as I did. I started writing to a gay Christian man in New York.  In January
2003 he introduced Kinship International to me. I visited the Kinship website and, to my
surprise, found gay and lesbian members of my denomination embracing their
homosexuality as God’s gift. Thinking this would be the perfect venue in which to share my
repressed feelings without fear and embarrassment, I signed up and was accepted as a
member on Feb 8, 2003. Through my interaction with Kinship, I came to accept my
homosexuality as a gift of God and count myself blessed to be a part of this global
community.

In my early 30’s, I took a sabbatical year off to continue my education in a Bible college
overseas. That year, I met a man from another country who would become the first love of
my life. We started a relationship. I now celebrate homosexual love and sex. I believe even
homosexual sex is a gift of God to be enjoyed in a wholesome and mutually satisfying way.
When I returned to Malaysia to continue ministering, we had maintained contact with each
other.

One day, a senior pastor suggested that I take a vow of celibacy. I was stunned. He had
probably figured it out by then. But God has not given me the gift of celibacy. I knew that I
could no longer carry on in the ministry if I were to be truly free to be who I am meant to be.
I thank God for leading me into the ministry where I have been trained and prepared for
something greater. After a dozen years, my time has finally come to leave the ministry. I
was pushing 40. To be true to my God, I must first be true to myself and to be who I am
meant to be. So began my long journey of coming out. It has been a journey of self-
discovery, a journey to wholeness.

I joined my same-sex partner in his home country for a while before settling back in
Malaysia where I found a new career. Life has been good. I could not have been happier
as a free individual who identifies as gay.

Then I was led to a Metropolitan Community Church in my neighborhood. This is the first
church in Malaysia that welcomes LGBT people and affirms them as God’s children. Here I
found good fellowship with fellow travelers on the journey. I am empowered to grow
spiritually in this open and nurturing environment. Such safe space is missing in the
traditional church I grew up in.
Here in Malaysia with its Muslim majority, it is difficult enough for LGBT people to disclose
their true self without the church condemning them for being who they are. Sadly, God’s
gay and lesbian children who dare to be true to themselves have been driven from their
churches and excluded from the saving grace of Christ.

In spite of the social stigma dealt out to the LGBT community, I see an evolving social trend
toward greater tolerance and acceptance. It may take the churches longer to embrace
equal rights and same-sex marriage, but hope is on the horizon. MCC Malaysia is slated to
be a major player in providing a safe space for LGBT Christians to grow. As in many
places around the world, increasing numbers of young people have been inspired by Gay
Pride and are marching out of their closets in droves. In 2005, Eric Goh, a young gay man
in Malaysia, made history by coming out on satellite TV to a Chinese audience numbering
in the millions. A year later, former journalist Rev. Oyoung disclosed his homosexuality on
national media after being trapped in a painful heterosexual marriage for nine years. The
books he has published about his life and his understanding of queer theology are making
a visibly positive impact on the gay Christian community. I personally draw strength from
these courageous souls.

As for my hopes and dreams, I want to be able to live out my life freely and openly without
fear. I want to be able to share the joys and sorrows of my relationships with family and
friends without reservation. I want to experience God’s unconditional love more fully. I want
to continue to make myself useful to God by reaching out to other LGBT’s in the
community who are struggling to find themselves. I am praying for the day when God’s gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender children could be accepted just as they are in their
respective churches the same way their Creator accepts them.

As a gay Christian, I feel a keen sense of God’s love and compassion for me personally.
God has made me gay so that I could help people like me to be whole. God is glorified in
the love of queer folks for one another. And that is what makes my life worth living.
An anonymous autobiographical account of a religious gay Malaysian man
who served as a clergy person for many years in his denomination; he is in
his early 40's at the time of this writing.
This is an
Other Sheep
webpage
MALAYSIA
Counter
This web page was created in the Bronx,
New York, September 12, 2009.
Visits to this page since September 12, 2009.
Take the 2009 Southeast Asia tour: NEXT
Take the 2009 Southeast Asia tour: NEXT
Our 2009
Southeast Asia Trip
--Table of Contents--
Photo Album of Sites
Visited
 

OTHER SHEEP 2009 ASIA  
MINISTRY

Written Report

NEPAL INDEX  
June 28 - July 10, 2009

THAILAND INDEX
Chiang Mai, Thailand
July 11 - 29, 2009

Bangkok & Mae Sot
August 23-30

SINGAPORE INDEX
August 1 - 7, 2009
August 9 - 13, 2009


MALAYSIA INDEX
August 7 - 9, 2009
August 13 - 23, 2009


RETURNING HOME
August 30, 2009