Fearfully and wonderfully made

In Connecticut, there lived a sixteen-year-old boy named Jeffrey. From a very young age, he knew he was different. He was attracted to other boys in more than a friendly manner. At the age of 10, Jeffrey finally admitted to himself that he was gay. At the tender age of 14, Jeffrey began cross-dressing and dating other boys.


Like all human beings, Jeffrey had the right to date whomever he wanted, and it seemed that he would develop into a healthy adult who accepted himself.

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But at the age of 16, undoubtedly pressured by societal and spiritual forces, he ventured into the Manifested Glory Ministries where church elders proceeded to ""cast out"" his ""homosexual demon.""


Prophetess Patricia McKinney and her husband Kelvin McKinney of Manifested Glory Ministries placed their hands on the boy during a bible study session attempting to free him from his homosexuality while church members watched the spectacle, organ music playing in the background. Meanwhile, teenage Jeffrey convulsed on the floor, near seizure, even vomiting uncontrollably at one point.


The churchgoers who performed the ""casting out"" were kind enough to videotape the twenty minute ordeal and post it on YouTube.com, although it has since been removed. However, an article by The Associated Press entitled ""Connecticut Church Creates Stir With Gay Exorcism Video"" recounts the video's details. According to the article, churchgoers yelled at the boy's limp body: ""‘Come on, you homosexual demon! You homosexual spirit, we call you out right now! Loose your grip, Lucifer!'""


Patricia McKinney justified her actions in an interview with The Associated Press saying, ""We believe a man should be with a woman and a woman should be with a man … we have nothing against homosexuals. I just don't agree with their lifestyle.""


McKinney went on further to say, ""This young man came to us. We didn't go to him … He was dressing like a woman and everything. And he didn't want to be like that.""


After his experience, Jeffrey claimed that the ""homosexual demon"" had left him and now he would go to heaven because the pearly gates would certainly be slammed in his face if he clung to this ""homosexual lifestyle.""


""The spirit of homosexuality is not in me because I choose not to live in that way,"" Jeffrey said in an interview on the ""Tyra Banks Show.""


A great deal of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals might wish at one point in their lives to push a magical heterosexuality button that erases same sex attraction so they can live their lives in a way that society deems ""natural"" and ""normal.""


If homosexuality was part of Jeffrey's life since he was so young, could it really be wrenched from him in a 20-minute period of time? If one wants to view homosexuality as a curse and an unclean spirit that can be cast out, then in the video, it would appear as though something supernatural was leaving the boy as he writhes and vomits, just like in the movie ""The Exorcist.""


Was he actually convulsing because a spirit was leaving him, or is it more likely he was having a panic attack because a room full of people were shouting at him and singling him out because of his sexuality?


Concerning his ""homosexual demon,"" Jeffrey said on the in the same interview, ""I am no longer gay but it's still a process that I have to go through to be fully delivered.""


When asked if that meant he still had same sex attraction he replied, ""I still have temptations.""


Finally, when asked if he was now attracted to women he said with the utmost uncertainty, ""Women, um, yes.""


Can ""homosexual demons"" really be cast out through divine intervention? No, because there is no such thing as a homosexual demon.


Although he endured the ""casting out"" Jeffrey still admitted to being tempted by attractive men suggesting that maybe it didn't work. Jeffrey's homosexuality was a part of him and spiritual ""casting out"" cannot remove a person from her or himself.


As an LGBT individual, one shouldn't feel a need to be ceremoniously exorcised to be ""normal.""


Furthermore, there is no such thing as the ""homosexual lifestyle."" Homosexuals eat, drink, sleep, hurt, live, love and laugh the same as heterosexual people. The only difference between homosexuals and heterosexuals is sexual preference.


Hopefully, Jeffrey and all struggling LGBT people can overcome their self-doubt and self-hatred. They should realize that no mistakes occurred when they were born to make them the way they are, and who they are is in no way bad, wrong or disgusting. They, like all of God's creatures, are fearfully and wonderfully made.


— Arianna Carter is a creative writing junior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu


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