Mike Perez

Seattle, Washington

Mike PerezI was born Mexican-American on July 4th, 1946 but wished for many years to be white or at least Portuguese. My family, a lukewarm Roman Catholic except on Easter, thought I was the smart one that hopefully would be the first to make it to college. Privately they worried that I was a sissy, went to church on Sunday while they slept late, and enjoyed more ‘girl things’ than either of my sisters. When my wife-to-be and I got pregnant, I thought I was saved and could live a normal life pleasing to God and the world. Although I never stopped loving my wife and was truly loyal to her, I never stopped fantasizing about other men. My wife grew tired of not having a full-time husband and wanted a divorce after 11 years of marriage, leaving me lost to my inherent desires.

I gave in, drooled over men, then into earthly desires but finding them empty without love, commitment, and God. Finally, one day at work, a co-worker witnessed to me, upon which I knew I had to return to Jesus even if it meant I would have to hide my feelings as a gay man forever. But I was wrong: Jesus still loved me and wanted me! And he hasn’t failed me yet, I am still friendly with my ex-wife & son, I have two master’s degrees, a 25-year career, a small apartment in a large home I rent out, a close extended family, three affirming churches, and my God.

So now I am attending a series of activities in Lynchburg on behalf of my Christian brothers & sisters. I know what words can do! And I am scared for both my worldly and eternal life. I know because I have had educators tell me I couldn’t go to college because my people didn’t do well, that hurt. I was told I was unclean because I was gay so I went out & became what everyone said I was: unclean, immoral, and ungodly. All because of words. I thought God didn’t love me as I am. But I was wrong because I cry in church because now I know he does. You see, I can believe in his Words, "For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life…"

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