KarMel Scholarship 2008


Honorable Mention: Best Religion/Faith

ďA Journey with GodĒ

By Donnie Hyso - IN



Desciption of Submission: ďA coming out story, finding who God created me to be.Ē - Donnie


Why Karen and Melody Liked It: We loved how he shared his experience with finding God as he was coming out.  It's good to show others that you can still find God even among the views of some religious groups towards the GLBT community.



Growing up in a Pentecostal church and family my entire life, I was an active member, involved in the church choir, worship team, and a state bible quiz competitions. In middle school I carried my passion for Christ, creating a prayer group after going through so much opposition through the school administration. By age 14, I found my place, preaching on the pulpit through a youth led service. I had the reputation as a young man on fire for God, eventually earning the nick name Reverend Hyso, backed up by my huge collection of Christian t-shirts that I had accumulated from church camps. Everyone thought I had it together and that one day I was going to be a great Evangelical leader, but little did they know I was struggling deep inside with my sexuality.

I first started noticing my sexual attraction to men early on, trying hard as possible to put it all behind me, and move on. It never clicked with me; I didnít have the overall demeanor of a stereotypical gay man.Why was God letting this happing to me? Then people would ask me why I never had a girlfriend. My answer was simply because I felt like God was calling me to remain single. In reality, I couldnít explain it; I wasn't even attracted to them at all.

It rapidly became worse for me, and I finally decided I needed help. Prayer became a regular thing for me, going to bed at nights, hoping that I could wake up in the morning, and look at a woman like I could a man, questioning why God would never answer my prayers. I then turned to an ex-gay ministry, Exodus International, which strived for change through counseling, and group sessions, but quickly lost interest because of the money required. My church didnít apparently offer any help, and I could no longer tolerate my youth pastorís sermons compiled with the latest gay bashing jokes. I needed HELP not ridicule.

I decided to disappoint my church and family by attending a more liberal church in my community alone. Unfortunately I found more of the same, being told I was living a life in sin and if I didn't change I would spend an eternity in hell. At that point I gave up on the church, myself, and I almost gave up on God, by falling into a suicidal state of depression and enclarity. Sleep became very hard most nights, contemplating if death was my only escape. Subsequently I knew I couldnít give up, knowing this journey could only began between God and me.

I started researching the clobber passages churches used to condemn homosexuals, coming across material that immediately turned me away in favor for homosexuality. It persistently came up in my research, drawing me in till I actually give it a chance.It didnít happen overnight, but I began to become very open minded, soaking it up. Could this be the way God created me?I despised the LGBT Christian community my entire life until now, and gained a new respect for them, opening my eyes, ears, and heart to their message of Jesus. One of the websites I found, wouldjesusdiscriminate.com, happen to be created by a church in Indianapolis. Inside I was scared, but I knew I had to visit.

During my drive to Indianapolis, I began to feel even more panic-stricken, visioning a church draped with the rainbow flags, and full of flamboyant drama queens. When I arrived, I sat in the back by myself, scared to death, and actually amused of how conservative the church appeared. Half way in-between the service, I began observing the vast diversity of people, and the same-sex couples, arms around each other immersed in a loving excepting environment. I had never in my life felt so close to Jesus, and began to tear up, embraced in an experience unlike anything before. After the service, I met with the pastor, and I'll never forget what he told me, "Never let anyone tell you can't be gay and serve God.Ē With that experience and words, I walked out of those doors ready to be who I was created to be, a Gay Christian, luminous for new life.