Forever Changed By Christ | A Share Your Story Blog

Written By: Kristopher Dulay


June 5, 2024

When June rolls around, it’s not uncommon for stores to set up rainbow flag displays while advertising this year’s new pride merchandise. The media bombards us with images and slogans like “love is love” and “live your own truth.”  

I was 13 when I realized that I had same-sex attraction. I was raised in a family that believed in God, but I grew up with a very distorted view of the Gospel. I knew what the Bible said about homosexuality, and I was terrified — I didn’t want to go to hell, but I also didn’t know how I could change the attractions and feelings I had. I tried, but nothing I did made them go away. A lot of people around me were like, ‘Well, this is just who you are.’ So, at about age 15, I walked away from God and the Church, accepting that I was going to hell.  

I threw myself fully into being gay. I found people who would accept me and spent a lot of time in social activist circles. At that time, Pride month was the only time of year that I didn’t think about my future because the whole Western world was celebrating people like me. Instead, I could dull my hopelessness in the month-long celebrations and parties. I ended up in a relationship that was disastrous, and I spent most of it trying to get out of it. After that, it was just an endless cycle of hanging out with friends, partying, and drinking. Then I’d go home, I’d go to work, and start all over again. This continued for 22 years, and it was just a life of not living. That’s when I realized that if I stopped living, I’d be okay with that.  

Then, in the spring of 2019, a friend invited me to a Palm Sunday service at Woodside. I had no intention of going — I hadn’t voluntarily been to church in a long time. But he followed up and I accepted the invitation, only because my life was empty and very hopeless. Little did I know that this invitation would introduce me to Someone who would radically change my life.  

That Palm Sunday, I walked up to Woodside Detroit, terrified that I would be struck down for even thinking I could step into a church. It was raining and I was about to turn around and go home, but one of the greeters came up to me with an umbrella and actually walked me to the door. It was just what I needed to not turn around and run away. 

In that service, I was clutching my messenger bag against my chest, trying to shield myself from whatever was happening around me. And then the worship team starts singing the song, Come to the River. It was a crack in my armor, a crack in my shield — and I felt something. Later, the pastor looked in my direction during the service and said, ‘Jesus loves you.’ And for the first time in my life, I believed it. 

Woodside’s statement of faith is quite clear about where the church stands on sexuality, but I found myself actually okay with that. It was confusing because faith was fundamentally incompatible with where my life was going. I still couldn’t change that I had these attractions, and it was bothering me that I didn’t know what to do. But the more I went to church, the more I learned about Jesus, the more I learned about the Christian community, the more I was like, ‘I really don’t want to lose this.’  

That October, I ended up at the Men’s Retreat. I’m on one of the shores of the lake, sitting in a chair, reading my Bible. By this point, it really felt like I had a choice to make, and I was just talking to God like, ‘What are you trying to tell me?’ To be honest, it was quite clear. I knew He was saying, ‘You can’t keep living your life the way you’ve been living it. It’s time to choose Me or not choose Me.’ So, I pulled out my phone, logged into all of my dating apps, and started deleting my accounts, one after another. That’s when I realized that engaging in a homosexual lifestyle never brought me joy. It brought more pain, more confusion and made me feel more isolated my entire life. That wasn’t what I wanted for myself, and it was clear that God didn’t want that for me either. 

I wasn’t “praying the gay away;” I was asking God to let me belong to Him. And I realized that maybe my one true love was actually Jesus. I saw that I could live a life of celibacy, of singleness, as long as I was living a life worthy of God. I remember going from a place of panic to a place of comfort because I’d surrendered to the truth, which is that He alone decides who we are. I don’t have to question whether or not I have salvation because I’m not heterosexual. I can say definitively that I’m saved because I’ve given my life to Jesus and whatever else comes after that, as long as it glorifies Him.  

Over the course of COVID-19, I experienced the faithfulness of God as He grew my faith and kept me close during the worst parts of the pandemic. It was during this time that I began to hear a call to vocational ministry, and I realized that the Lord was prompting me to reach people like me who were trapped in the LGBTQ lifestyle and in desperate need of the Gospel.  

Today, I’m in my second year at Grace College and Seminary, pursuing a Master of Arts in local church ministry through their Deploy program. I’m also entering my second year as a resident through the Woodside Leadership Institute with a focus on care ministries. As I continue on the path that God has placed in front of me, I’m excited to continue gaining the necessary skills to better serve Him, His Kingdom, and His people.   

God allowed me to get to know His people before asking me to follow Him, and so I feel like my ministry work in the church is that — it’s both teaching and loving people. It’s showing them what being in Christ looks like, and then trusting that God’s Spirit will convict, comfort, and help them see that they need to live for Jesus.  

I want the LGBTQ community to know that it’s possible to be in a relationship with Jesus. I want them to know that when they feel emptiness, loneliness, or hopelessness — that there is hope. The world tells us hope is in a relationship, which is a half-truth, half-lie because it is in a relationship, just not the one you think. I want to introduce people in the LGBTQ community to the Jesus that I know, which is a Jesus that leaves you forever changed.