How do you discover and embrace who you are in a fundamentalist religion?
Imagine you’re a four year old little boy, living in suburbia with your mum and two brothers. With your dad out of the picture, your mum eventually remarries. But happiness is very short-lived - your new stepfather is physically and verbally abusive, and as your family is in a fundamentalist Christian Church, there is no help, and nobody you can turn to.
To make matters worse, when you’re a teenager you realise you’re gay - something that is expressly forbidden in your Church. For years you keep this secret to yourself, convinced you are less than worthy, and consumed with shame.
Well for today’s guest, Josh Nixon, this was his experience. Growing up in the Jehova’s Witness church, he was socially isolated, living every day in fear of his stepfather, and in fear of what the Church would do if they found out he was gay.
Josh eventually had the courage to leave the church and accept and embrace who he was as a person, but not without a great deal of struggle and strength. In today’s episode, Josh provides insight into what life was like growing up in the Church, how the abuse was tolerated, and how he eventually was able to leave the church and come out to his family and friends.
Please note, this episode does discuss family violence, and thoughts of suicide. If you need support, please reach out to these support groups: