I was invited to GFC RVA by my partner. It has been a great experience getting to know other men that have been in my shoes and, others, that are now starting their own journey.
I have been a Christian since I was 12. Without knowing what the term “double life” meant back then, I started to live it. I married young and as a virgin, I never did drugs and had my first beer when I was 30. The model child eventually became the model husband and father. However, later in my adult years, I began to struggle to balance my love towards God, my desire to be holy, and my incredible curiosity of my sexuality. I never had same sex attractions as an adolescent or young adult. However, I always longed for meaningful relationships with men.
At the age of 24, I married my sweetheart which I had been dating for five years. We were married for 23 years and we had three beautiful daughters that are my pride and joy. During my marriage, I went through a period of loneliness and depression. During this time, the best way for me to cope with these feelings was to go online and satisfy my sexual curiosities. I remember asking myself one day “what have I never seen before?” and a minute later I was in a gay chat room talking to several men. Needless to say, it was the most exhilarating experience I’ve ever had in my life. What did this mean? Am I gay?
It took me one year to build the courage to meet a man in person and several years later, my wife discovered that I was having an affair with a gay man. I decided to break it off and start individual and marriage counseling. I read all the books I could about the subject, completed many counseling sessions and shared my story with others hoping that one morning these feelings of same sex attraction would have disappeared. I never asked to be gay and I did not want to have these feelings. I would lay in bed and ask God “if I have served you since I was a child, why did you allow this to happen to me?"
After 10 years of juggling my marriage, my faith and my attraction towards men, my wife and I decided to get a divorce. We sat down with our three daughters and shared the sad announcement and the shocking news that their dad was gay. It took them time to wrap their heads around the idea that I was gay and that, the life they had enjoyed all of their lives, was coming to an end. With the help of friends, our church and counselors, we survived what many thought was “the worst thing that can happen to a marriage with kids.”
Four years ago I “came out” as a gay man. I remember sharing on my Facebook page the following post: “Who is Freddie? A loving father, a loyal friend, a good son and amazing brother. A hard worker, homosexual man and follower of Jesus. I am not just one of these things but much more…” Today I enjoy an amazing relationship with my girls, the love of a wonderful partner and the excitement of writing a new chapter in my book with my move to Richmond, VA. I don’t parade my sexuality and I don’t hide under a rock either. I am an open book and I wanted to share my experience with you.
Describe your first meeting at GFC Richmond:
I participated of an informal dinner and planning meeting. I felt welcomed by all of the members of the group and immediately felt encouraged to volunteer to work with GFC RVA.
Describe your biggest challenge as a gay father:
My biggest challenge was during the first year of coming out. Helping my daughters cope with the news of the divorce, my same sex attraction and what “life” would look like.
Why should new members join GFC RVA?
It is a safe place to talk to other men that have shared similar experiences.