Growing up in North Carolina, Andrew said he thought seeking treatment was the answer.
A young North Carolina man hopes his story will remind people that they no longer have to decide between identifying themselves as gay or Christian. Instead, he believes they can live happily as both.
In this new interview with Moral Courage TV, the YouTube channel of the Moral Courage Project, Andrew recalled his early experiences attending an ex-gay ministry while coming to terms with his sexuality.
Andrew, who was raised as an Evangelical Christian, said he thought seeking out reparative therapy was “the right answer at the time.”
“I didn’t know anything about gay people, because it wasn’t talked about, really, in my church. It was kind of a thing that you just knew was wrong,” he said. “So my prayers did become, ‘Let me just die in my sleep’ [or] ‘Let me get hit by a train.’ I think that it’s tragic that kids have to grow up with those types of thoughts.”
Speaking to The Huffington Post, Andrew said, “I feel very much my own person and I don’t feel like I’m really defined by either of those labels, whether it’s ‘Christian’ or ‘gay.’”
He added, “I think that stories like mine need to be shared, because I don’t feel like anyone should have to wake up feeling like they’re not good enough. Because every single person in this world [can] benefit someone in some way.”
Here’s to hoping his words will resonate around the world, but especially in his home state, where LGBT rights have come under fire in recent weeks.
(Editor's note: This post was originally published on our media partner HuffPost Queer Voices.)