I’ve been waiting for years to be able to tell my story. I never felt comfortable because I didn’t have the anonymity before, now I do. I came to IHOPU as someone who was fully out as gay in my home town, to my family (much to their dismay), but I was still wrestling with trying to “be normal”. I came to IHOPU knowing that there was basically a “no gay” policy. After a time I told someone I trusted, or thought I could, that the girl that was hanging around us was in fact, my girlfriend. She told a staff member, they then used my recent medical diagnosis (because I missed class) as a ruse to get me into a meeting where they then ambushed me. There were four separate people in that room, and me, a terrified 20 year old. Its a long story, but I was forced to out myself to four other leaders, and go to therapy. Which I can really only describe as conversion therapy. I was told my attraction to women was because I had an unhealthy attraction to my adoptive mother (I’m adopted). I was forced to pray to my biological mom and forgive her for putting me up for adoption. Let me be VERY clear; I never had issues or traumas like that related to my adoption UNTIL that moment. IHOPU destroyed me. More than I was when I got there, which I didn’t think was possible. I went there to be healed, to discover, to show people that being gay and learning about Jesus can live in harmony. To others with my experience, I see you, I believe you. I love you.

- Former FMA Student2016-2017