I was lonely and isolated as a child. My father was psychologically absent, and my older brother would taunt me for being intelligent and not very athletic. I wanted so much to be like him and his rejection was hard to take. I was so desperate for male affirmation and touch that when a school teacher showed me attention, I was easy prey. I was sexually abused by at least four others by the time I hit 18...and while I seemed happy on the outside, I was a hurting puppy on the inside. I felt dirty andunattractive...and had no self-esteem. So when I went to college, there were those who were ready to help this broken kid accept a gay identity. And I bought it hook, line and sinker...I spent nine years going from guy to guy looking for my "ideal" lover...until a Christian man helped me see that I would never be satisfied in any life outside of God's purpose for me. I got help from people who saw the hurt on the inside, not the identity on the outside. So, don't buy the lie. You don't have to be gay.
Anthony Falzarano's life is a daily rebuttal to the gay myth that homosexuals cannot change their "orientation." From a past that included male prostitution, he is now a family man who is helping to free others from homosexuality's powerful grip.
In many ways, the tragic upbringing that helped Anthony turn to homosexuality is representative of many gays and lesbians. As the seventh child of Italian immigrant parents, he spent little time with his father, who worked 10 hours a day to support his family.
While Anthony was still young, his father had a nervous breakdown and later became psychologically absent from the home.
At age 12, Anthony was molested by an older brother. Then one day while hitchhiking, he was picked up by a man who offered him money for sex. That began a pattern of prostitution that eventually took him to the highest reaches of "gay" living.
He eventually became a "kept boy" of Roy Cohn, the attorney who won fame in the early 1950s as an aide to Senator Joe McCarthy. As one of "Roy's Boys," Anthony lived a privileged life of instant sex and material riches. But "having it all" as a gay prostitute did not satisfy.
Then one night, after an anonymous sexual encounter, the man Anthony was with got out of bed horrified at what he had done. He turned to Anthony with a shame-filled voice, wishing he could undo what had happened. Saying he was a Christian who had fallen, he sparked a turning point in Anthony's life by showing him scriptural passages that proscribe sodomy.
That sparked a transformation. The young gay prostitute began to develop deep reservations about his behavior, and gave up performing sex for money. Soon his conscience began to trouble him every time he had sex with a man. "Slowly but surely I stopped the promiscuous life-style I was an addict to," he said.
Nevertheless, Anthony continued to experience bouts of homosexual temptation. Despite these urges, he and an old friend who was helping him through his ordeal, Dianne, became engaged. They were married in 1983.
Although happily married to his supportive wife, Anthony continued to "suppress" his homosexuality. Then, a year after the wedding, he received a call from a "former boyfriend" who was dying of AIDS and who urged him to get tested for the deadly virus.
"I remember hanging up the phone and kneeling down on the floor, and it hit me that I had slept with over 400 people in the 1970s. I said, 'God, I must be infected,'...So I prayed: 'God, if you can give me a negative test result, I will kill this off inside of me.'"
Anthony received his miracle. He tested negative for the virus that causes AIDS, and has done so ever since. He kept his prayerful promise. Still, occasional thoughts persisted.
He was eventually directed to a counseling group and then to an ex-gay ministry that helped him understand the root causes of his homosexuality. After a two-year period of introspection and extensive therapy to understand why he had homosexual urges, Anthony was able to walk free from the gay life-style. Now in his tenth year of marriage, he and Dianne have two children.
"Homosexuality is certainly not innate," Anthony says. "It is a learned behavior." He urges deep compassion toward homosexuals but grieves over the "gay" churches that affirm men and women in their homosexuality.
To assist men and women struggling with homosexuality,
Anthony Falzarano founded Transformation Ex-gay Ministry four years ago
in Washington, D.C. The organization is a branch of Exodus International,
the umbrella group for 110 ex-gay groups nationwide.
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