Today we met Denard, a deeply religious young man, in Apopka, Fl. As with many in the deep south, his life has always been centered around the church. He loved singing in the choir, and was the center of so many of the church’s plays; even playing Jesus in some of the stories. No one could ever doubt Denard’s love for his lord, or the church. As he says so often… Yes God!!!
But his world came crashing down around him when he could no longer hide who he was and he decided to come out to those around him. Not only was he rejected by members of his family, but also the church itself. As he tells it, he threw himself on the alter in front of the church and begged them, and God, to help him no longer be gay. Shortly after, he found himself sleeping behind a dumpster trying to survived, homeless on the streets of Orlando.
When he asked his Bishop for help, she told him it was God’s way of punishing him because he was gay; he was homeless because he way gay.
It’s a shame how any community could turn their back on one of their children because of his romantic preference, but thankfully Denard is fighting through it and standing strong. We can’t wait to share with you his story. Yes God!!!