Fred L. Hammond

Danbury, Connecticut

Fred HammondI am a founder of Interfaith AIDS Ministry in Danbury, Connecticut. I have served as the Executive Director for the last 7.5 years. I received my masters in Counselor Education in 1983. In 1995, I was awarded the Danbury Jaycee’s prestigious Distinguished Service Award for my work with people living with HIV/AIDS.

I knew I was gay as a young boy. I grew up in rural New York State where being gay was the worst thing possible. I became a Christian in high school and began praying for God to deliver me from this curse. I knew that being Gay was an abomination according to Church teachings and I wanted more than anything to be found acceptable in God’s sight. No matter how hard I prayed, the urges, the desires remained. I became angered whenever anyone accused me of being gay even though I did not act on the desires I felt. I was filled with self-loathing. Fear of eternal damnation for simply being gay even without acting on the desires continued to haunt me into my adult life. I eventually began to pray for God’s affirmation of who I am gay or straight. I needed to know God’s love for me was personal and that his love was real. As I prayed this prayer, the answer began to sink in that I was created Gay by God. That he gave me specific gifts that only a Gay man could possess. It has been a long road to get to this point in my life. It has not been easy.

I am hoping that joining my voice in this event will help not only other gay men and women but straight men and women to seeing that God created a diverse world to show the wonders of his love to all of us.