From the Sunday Guardian in Trinidad and Tobago:
Reverend Michelle Smith’s story is unusual. Maybe a little shocking. She says that she used to be a lesbian. And now, she’s not. “I used to be one of those who said that the Bible was ambiguous, because I wanted to justify my lifestyle,” she argued. “But God did something to me and I can’t deny it.” God or no God, Smith’s experience certainly doesn’t fit the status quo for either side of the fence. In fact she has received serious criticism from the Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Bisexual community (GLTB), and she’s been largely ignored by T&T’s versions of the mega-church. Most GLTB believe that if you’re gay, you’re born gay, and no amount of licks, shock treatment or holy water can change that.
Smith certainly never tried to change during the 26 years she spent as a lesbian. She dressed like a man, worked her way up to being a top dog in Jamaica’s drug industry and by all accounts was the life of the gay party. “I loved being a lesbian. I thought I was going to die a lesbian,” Smith said honestly. “I never had a problem getting women. I had penis envy; if anybody called me a woman, I would be so upset.” A photo of her former incarnation shows her with a butch haircut, grim expression and male clothing. A very different person to the gorgeous-haired, grey-suited, make-up wearing woman she is now. Most women learn to cultivate outward femininity during puberty; Smith is now learning to do it at age 41. But it wasn’t her desire to change her gayness that drove her to Christ, she added. It was the fact that no matter how many women she wooed and won, no matter how much money she made, it was never enough to fulfil her.
“I came to Christ at a point in my life where I felt so much emptiness. You keep hoping for a relationship where someone will love you unconditionally, and you’re not getting it.” And while searching for something to fill that void, she pursued Christianity, with no intention of giving up her lifestyle. Once she began a relationship with Jesus, Smith said, her lesbianism became an issue: not for people in the church, but an issue between her and her God. “He was telling me, ‘All or nothing,’” Smith said of her conversion. “I didn’t have anything to lose.” It’s been six years since the Jamaican left the life of a lesbian behind. It’s ironic that becoming a Christian and leaving the gay life has brought her more isolation, a harder life materially.
Click here to read the entire article or click picture for larger view.