My name is Matt Moore. I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana in June of 1989. I was born again in September of 2010. This is my story.
Some of the things that I am about to reveal in this writing I have never written or spoken publicly about. Please, bear with me if the writing doesn’t flow eloquently. Because some of these things I just don’t know how to put eloquently. I have not thought about some of these occurrences much since they took place, but the more that God reveals to me the truth and origin of the homosexual feelings I have, the harder it is to keep blocking them out of my mind. Even at this moment as I type out these words, I am fighting the urge to shut my emotions down completely and numb myself as I tell you this. I’ve always been good at that… turning the emotion “switch” off. But I don’t want to live like that anymore. I want you, even through these written words, to feel what I feel and connect with me in a real way. I pray that God opens up your heart to be able to do that. And I pray that through doing so you will be able to relate to me and my struggles in a way that can help and strengthen you.
To the best of my memory, I was the age of 4 or 5 when I was exposed to pornography for the first time. Obviously I did not choose to open myself up to it, but because of another’s actions, I was. He would get me to watch it with him. I also remember that multiple times I would play a “game” with this person which entailed me undressing him while he was asleep. I guess I must have been reenacting whatever I had seen in the videos we had watched. There was never any kind of molestation between me and this person, only what I have just described above took place. After watching the pornography and playing these “games”, I also remember at least one time something similar happened with my mom’s friend’s son who was about my age. No sexual contact took place, just another “game” where I asked him to expose himself.
When I was around the age of six, my parents split up. My mom immediately pursued a relationship. Another relationship, with a woman. This woman basically lived with us, as I remember sleeping over all the time. I of course was shielded from the knowledge that she and my mother were romantic in their relationship. But I had an innate feeling that there was something more to it. I wouldn’t be told about the fullness of what was actually going on until I was 13 years old, almost seven years later. But I wasn’t surprised. Nothing inappropriate ever happened between me and my mom’s girlfriend or anything like that, nor was I exposed to any kind of sexual behavior between them. But now looking back, I believe that there was some kind of demonic presence about her and the situation (I know it’s not politically correct to talk about demons in today’s world. But it’s a reality, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not). It’s the only way that I can explain knowing what was going on without really knowing.
You see, I did not even know what “gay” or “homosexuality” meant until a couple years later when my dad would sit down and explain it to me. But I already had a spiritual awareness of it, I guess you would say. I had “feelings” that I could not really explain in words due to a lack of knowledge, but those feelings were very real and were affirmed by the knowledge that I would acquire from that conversation with my father. I knew at that time that I was one of these “gays”. (It was also at this time I fully realized what had happened with my mom and the other woman. My mother quickly got out of the gay lifestyle, in a matter of months, and was remarried and had more children).
From about third grade to sixth grade, I didn’t think about homosexuality much. It never really crossed my mind. I do remember I played with girls more than boys and was quite uncomfortable around other boys, but there was nothing much of sexual nature in my thoughts during these years. When puberty hit in full swing, everything changed. I started developing crushes on other guys that I was friends with in middle school. I definitely knew that it was wrong, but my perception of “wrong” was defined by the culture I was surrounded by. In my mind, me having a crush or being attracted to another male was wrong because everyone else said it was and because everyone else was having feelings toward members of the opposite sex, not the same sex.
In my freshman and sophomore year of high school, the intensity of my homosexual feelings grew. I started to have more friendships with guys than I had in elementary and middle school, since I played football. My attraction toward other males was strengthening. I was great at being friends with the girls, but never had any more emotions for them beyond those of friendship. Simultaneously, it was harder for me to be friends with the guys because emotions beyond friendship would start manifesting. But I became really good at suppressing those feelings and doing what I needed to do to be perceived as somewhat normal. Well, to not be perceived as gay.
The next occurrence I will speak of I also have not revealed as public knowledge. When most people ask, I tell them that my first sexual experience with a guy was in college. But this isn’t true.
When I was 16 one day I went to the mall. If you’ve ever been to the restroom at the mall there’s a good chance that you’ve seen the writing on the walls and stalls, people putting up their phone numbers with explicit messages. Well, on this day I saw one of these “invitations“ and I saved the number into my phone. I definitely didn’t call the number, I was way too shy and scared to do that. But I did text the man. For a couple of weeks, we would text periodically. We would talk about things sexual in nature, not to your surprise I’m sure. One day during the summer, I was out mowing yards and I just could not get the idea of having sex off of my mind. So I started to text this guy because he was the only avenue by which what I wanted so badly to do could happen. I didn’t know any other gay people. All day long I kept toying with the idea, and the more that I toyed with the idea the more my heart started to race and my adrenaline started to pump.
He called me, I answered, we talked, and I headed that way. The whole drive over to his trailer park, I couldn’t believe what I was doing. I knew it was unsafe and risky, but my overwhelming desire to have sex shut out all other logical thoughts. I pulled into his drive way, walked up on his porch, and he opened the door and I went inside.
It’s hard to explain how I felt walking out of his door. Numb would probably be the word best fit to describe what I was experiencing. I was numb and in shock at what I had done. I had had these thoughts, lustful thoughts, for years… but me actually having sex with another man really took it to a whole different level and my “gayness” became more realistic to me than it ever had before. I did not think that I would feel this way! I thought I would be ecstatic. I thought that I would be satisfied.
As I got into my truck and drove away, the emotions hit me like an avalanche. I was so ashamed and disgusted by what I had done. I started crying out to God… I don’t know why. I had never really acknowledged God much before, but my first inclination was to ask Him to forgive me and change me. I wanted God to make me straight. So I became what I thought was a “Christian” the next day. I stopped cussing, tried to stop thinking about guys, and started listening to Christian music. This was a short-lived phase that faded out in a couple of months.
You see, I wasn’t coming to God because I knew I was a sinner and needed His forgiveness through Christ. I was only coming to God because I wanted Him to make me straight. I didn’t want God. I wanted to be straight.
Almost two years later I graduated high school and went off to college, just about an hour away from where I grew up. It was in my first year of college that I would have sex again, with two different people. Both of these guys were “in the closet”. That was the best option for me, because I was in no shape or fashion wanting to come out publicly about being gay. We had a mutual agreement to not speak to anyone else about what happened between us. Although I was becoming more accepting of my homosexual feelings, I still was not ready to ask everyone else to be accepting of them.
After my first year of college, I moved back home. I pretty much flunked out due to my excessive drinking and partying. I went out almost every night of the week, which didn’t leave much time to sober up and go to class. After living back home for about a year, I decided to move to Baton Rouge. Shortly after moving down there, actually the first day I moved down there, I met up with a guy who I had met on Facebook and we “hooked up”. Unlike the ones before, I developed really strong feelings for this guy. I liked him more than I had ever liked anyone in my life! In my naivety, I assumed that he really liked me as well since he wanted to hook up with me all the time. I conjured up all these ideas in my imagination about being in a real relationship with him and being happy, blah blah blah. He apparently did not feel the same way because the more that I would text him, the less he would text me. It would drive me absolutely insane. I mean, the biggest pet peeve of mine is being ignored! It really hurt my feelings. But just about a week later I met another guy, on Facebook yet again. Basically the first situation repeated itself with this guy too. I was so depressed. I just left work one day, got all my stuff from where I was living and moved back home to Shreveport.
Because I had tasted of sex and what I thought was “romance”, I wanted more. I spent a lot of time on gay networking sites. I connected with this one guy who was very attractive and lived two hours south of me in Alexandria. We exchanged numbers and started to text and have phone calls at night. I hadn’t even met this guy and was already very intrigued with him. One weekend I told all my friends and my mom that I was going to Natchitoches to go out with my friends (that’s where I spent my first year of college), but I was really traveling to Alexandria to spend the weekend with this guy. Within an hour of being in his house, things took a sexual turn. We went out that night to a gay bar, which happened to be my first experience in the gay nightlife scene. I absolutely loved it.
For the next few weekends I would drive down there and do the same things. The feelings I had for this guy were more powerful than any of the previous ones. I became obsessed with him. He honestly was all that I thought about from the time I woke up until the time I went to sleep. And I would get depressed when he wasn’t giving me the attention that I wanted. I would then find out that he was also fooling around with his ex-boyfriend. So that rendezvous ended within a couple of months.
You see, I wanted 24-hour attention. I wanted somebody to be enthralled with the thought of me and in love with every part of me to the point that they never wanted to stop talking to me or separate from me. I had a yearning in my soul that God had placed there for Himself, but I was perverting that desire and directing it toward people instead of my Creator.
By this time I already had a substantial love for alcohol. I use the word “love” rather than addiction, because I really did love it. Being intoxicated was when I was the most happy. And now that I had experienced the excitement of the gay night-life, I wanted more of it. I started going to the gay bar in the city where I lived. I had told a few of my girlfriends that I was gay, so they would accompany me on the nights that I would venture out to the club. Within a month I was at the gay bar 4-5 nights a week, getting extremely drunk each night and having so much fun. I was receiving so much attention from other gay guys and I thrived on that attention, it made me feel magnificent about myself… which I never had felt before. I felt like I had some sort of power in that place. I was accepted by all, esteemed by most, and finally felt like I had started living the life I deserved to live. I came out as gay to everyone that I knew, family included. Everyone was so supportive of me and encouraged the lifestyle I was living, except for my dad. But he eventually started to come to terms with it. My family knew that I hadn’t been happy, ever, and just wanted me to find happiness.
Unfortunately, I was kicked out of the gay bar after about 4 months when they found out I had been using a fake ID. I wasn’t legal age yet, 21.
I quickly met another guy on Facebook (I didn’t like being bored) who lived about an hour away. We would end up dating for a couple of months during my “suspension” from the gay bar, but the relationship would end abruptly and badly. Every time I placed my feelings into another person they would return back to me crushed and destroyed. The only way that I knew how to deal with this and feel better was to start going out again. I couldn’t go to the gay bar for another few months until I turned 21, but I frequented the other bars in town with my fake ID every weekend.
In June of 2010 I FINALLY turned 21 years old. I can’t even explain to you in words how excited I was. I actually prayed to God weeks prior to my birthday to “please not let me die before I turn 21 and go to the gay bar again!!”. I had a huge party at my house to celebrate this momentous occasion in my life, and when the clock struck midnight, I headed out on the town. Now that the law couldn’t hold me back, I was free to return back to the gay-scene that I missed oh-so much.
My drinking became more excessive in the weeks and months to come. I started blacking out during my time at the bars. I wouldn’t pass out, but I would lose awareness of what was going on and lose complete memory of short periods of time. I had already earned myself a promiscuous reputation, and was proud of it. But my behavior began to intensify and at a very quick rate. One night in particular, at the end of June, I remember being at the gay bar around four a.m. or so after most people had left. I saw this guy and began to talk to him, flirtatiously (as I often did). He ended up taking me home, which I don’t remember, and as we were in my bed my awareness was restored to me and I remember him looking at me and telling me he was positive. HIV positive. And I looked back at him and told him, “I don’t care.” We pursued our activities.
The next day was the closest my mind has ever wandered toward suicidal thoughts. I was gripped by the fear that I had contracted this fatal disease from him and that it would ruin every aspect of my life. I was afraid no one would want me anymore and that my days of partying would end. I was afraid of being sick. I was so afraid.
That night I went to eat with my friend Haylee who had just recently become a Christian. We started talking about God and Jesus and everything, and I remember looking at her across the table while we ate and telling her, “I know if I died right now that I’d go to hell. But I can’t give up my lifestyle and I can’t give up my friends.” I didn’t say this in anger at all. I wasn’t angry at her or about anything that she was saying to me. It was just the reality of my spiritual and mental state. I was spiritually dead.
In the months ahead my alcohol consumption basically tripled. I don’t know how my body was able to handle so much alcohol without shutting down, other than the grace of God that was already on my life. The short black-outs started to last longer, a lot longer. I would black out and have no recollection from about 12am-4am every night that I went out, which was 3-4 nights a week. I would have sex with complete strangers, wake up in hotel rooms across town with no recollection of how I got there, find myself stranded on the side of the road, etc.
My drinking was extreme. My lust was more extreme. Both of these sins were consuming me……….. and I was loving every single minute of it. It was amusing to me. I was grateful to have the “out of control” banner placed on me by my friends. It was my reputation, and I enjoyed living up to it.
In reality I just didn’t know who I was. Drinking and being out of control were things I was good at, so I strove for perfection in those activities.
The weekend before Labor Day 2010 I was out on a Saturday night as usual. This night was particularly special because I had a large group of my straight friends going with me to the gay bar that didn’t regularly go. It was always great having people I knew in my stomping grounds. I drank just as much this night as I normally did, but for some reason I wasn’t blacking out like usual. I kept drinking and kept drinking, but something was different. I was out on the floor dancing around 3 am, and a thought struck me. It was almost like a voice, speaking to me.
It was, “Matt, what are you doing?”
I didn’t understand what was going on, but I suddenly felt somewhat ashamed of myself. It was weird, to say the least. I stopped dancing and ended up leaving the bar shortly after that. Little did I know that this would be the last night that I would ever enter a gay bar.
Over the next few days I was thinking about God. This was strange, because thoughts of God rarely occurred in my mind, and when they did they were fleeting. I had never really sat down and pondered about Him. I particularly really started thinking about Him after a friend of mine sent me a P4CM (Passion For Christ Ministries) video just two days after the weird occurrence at the bar. The man in the video was basically saying that most people come to God only when they want something from Him or want something fixed. And then as soon as their problem goes away, they go away too. He was discussing the danger of this mentality in light of the fact that we don’t know when the day and time is that we will leave this earth and enter into one of two eternal places, Heaven or Hell. I had heard messages like this many times before, but this was the first time that my heart was really struck by it. I think it was the next day that I got on my floor and asked Jesus to save me….from myself.
For the first couple of weeks I would tell my Christian friends (I had two of them, who had just been saved a year before I was) that I didn’t know if being gay was right or wrong, but I wasn’t going to worry about that at the moment. I was going to seek God out, and then let Him show me what He wanted to show me. Deep inside I knew that homosexuality was wrong, but I still wasn’t to the point that I could say it out loud… especially to people who had known me very well for years. But eventually I was able to tell them that homosexuality was wrong and that I knew I had to deny those feelings and not give into them.
I never really thought, “I want God to cure me of my homosexuality”, to many people’s surprise. I mean, I knew that it was wrong and that it was sinful, but my goal was not (and is not) first and foremost to be “cured”. My goal was (and is) to know God. This was so unlike my Christian phase in High School. This was real. Intrinsically I knew that knowing God would be the solution to ALL of my problems.
It’s been about a year and a half now since the Holy Spirit began His work in me. And it’s been one heck of a ride. Leaving the lifestyle wasn’t that hard for me, as I know it can be for others. I wanted Jesus more than I wanted acceptance from those who used to be my friends. Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t just stop talking to them or block their numbers. But as they saw that I wasn’t going out anymore, they slowly stopped wanting to talk to me. And after I became more public with what God has done in my life and my view toward Him and sin now, they really haven’t wanted anything to do with me. I’ve gotten a few nasty messages and have heard a few nasty things people have said about me through the grapevine, but it doesn’t compare with the treasure that I have now in Christ. I get to know God!!! I get to seek Him out constantly! And more than that, He seeks me constantly. My whole life I looked in all the wrong places for the attention and love that I desired, but praise God that in His sovereign goodness He opened up my eyes and heart and drew me near to Himself in order that I would see how magnificent He truly is. Nothing compares with being in a real, thriving relationship with Jesus Christ. Nothing.
I still struggle with homosexual temptations and have to fight the sinful urges on a daily basis. But it’s SO immensely worth the fight! Because of the working of the Holy Spirit in my heart, I am able to see clearly that the homosexual feelings I have are a perversion of the gift of sex that God gave mankind. I am able to see and believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that me idolizing my sex drive over the God I was created to worship caused so much destruction in my life (I did get tested for HIV by the way, twice. Both times were negative, praise God!). I know that the things that happened in my childhood were outside of my control, but because of my own brokenness and depravity I still chose to make myself and my desires more important than Jesus Christ.
(On that note, I need to say that I do not hold any kind of resentment or unforgiveness in my heart toward anyone from my childhood that may have played a part in the development of my homosexual feelings. We are ALL sinners in need of grace and forgivness. And ALL of us sin in ways that affect other people. Forgiveness is so, so important!)
I am also quite aware that I bewilder people. They don’t understand why I would neglect what feels so natural to me because a 2,000 year old book says that’s it’s wrong. Firstly, I don’t do it simply because a book says it’s wrong… I deny my sinful desires because God tells me it’s wrong. God commands me to repent of my sin not because He’s an evil dictator, but because He’s a loving Father who knows that my sin will destroy me in multiple ways. Mentally, emotionally, physically, and ultimately eternally. If you don’t think homosexuality hurts anybody, just check out the statistics. Check out the number of murders among the gay community. Check out the addiction rate among homosexuals. Check out the average lifespan of a male homosexual. Seriously, just google it. You can see for yourself.
A question I often face is “how do you know the Bible is true?“ About a year ago I would normally go into an apologetic spill about the evidences of the Bible’s authenticity and about the amount of manuscripts we have of the New Testament as opposed to other famous works of antiquity that are not even slightly questioned. But it is really much simpler than that. The Holy Spirit of God witnesses to the children of God that they are His and He speaks to them and gives them assurance of things that are true, just and right. The Holy Spirit also witnesses to the spirits of the those who believe in Christ that the Scriptures are true. Jesus started so many statements in His earthly ministry with the phrase, “It is written..” If we believe in Jesus, we must believe what He believed. And He believed the Scriptures were true. Therefore so do I.
It is burdensome to follow Jesus and His will? Not at all. It brings me more joy than I can express in human language. But it is difficult at times? Yes. But the joy is not lost amidst the difficulty. Sanctification isn’t always pleasant, in fact, it rarely is. What the Holy Spirit begins in us at the moment of conversion is a process that will continue on for our entire life in this world, if we are truly His. God doesn’t just save someone and leave them alone. He works in them continually in order to purify them from the filth of this world and make them holy, both for their joy and His glory.
“for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure”- Philippians 2:13.
I can, in truth, firmly say that the longer I keep turning away from my homosexual desires, the less in strength they become. My homosexual feelings have definitely diminished since the night God started drawing me to Himself in September of 2010. Are they completely gone? No, they are not. Will they ever be completely gone? I do not know. But I do know this, I trust my God. I trust that everything He is doing is for my good (Romans 8:28). And I know this as well, no matter what thorns I may suffer in my flesh in this life, they are nothing to be compared with the unceasing joy and pleasure that will flow in and through me in when I step into glory with Jesus Christ.
I do not want to in any way insinuate that I have it altogether and have completely overcome my struggle with sin, because I have not. A true Christian is in battle against sin every day of their entire life. The main thing that I struggle with the most still is pornography, but even that is changing. I don’t get the same satisfaction that I used to from it. My stomach actually turns at the site of homosexual “relations.” But I also know that if I continue to watch it and harden my heart toward the Holy Spirit’s conviction, I will start to see things again through the eyes of my sinful flesh rather than through the eyes of the Spirit. And that I do not want. But I am not afraid. I trust my Savior to finish what He began in me, as He has promised.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”- Philippians 1:6.
To whoever is reading this, if you get anything from anything that I’ve said, please get this: We were created by a good God who is full of mercy and compassion. The problem is, we are evil. And because of our sinfulness, we see God as someone who wants to dictate any and all things we do. But in reality, He is our designer and He knows what will bring us most fulfillment. His commands are there to lead you into the most joy possible. I know that your flesh and Satan are telling you differently right now. They are telling you that you are who you are and God created you gay and wants you to be gay. But I assure you, He did not. God wants you to be holy. God wants you to see your state of sinfulness, grab hold the Cross of His Son, and turn away from your sin. Please open your eyes to see the truth and stop numbing yourself with lies. No matter what you’ve done or where you’re at in your life, you can be assured that if you trust your life in Jesus and turn away from your sin, then all of the wrath God has for your rebellion has been exacted upon the head of His Son.
God is with one hand extending His offer to you through His Son Jesus Christ, and with the other hand is holding back His wrath. But please know, one day both hands will drop. Justice will take place.
““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”- John 3:16-21