Ex-gay activist: “In ten years they might even kill us for our activism”
David Gertner about building bridges between gays and Christians
Ex-gay activist: “In ten years they might even kill us for our activism”

David with his wife, Noemi(Photo: David Gertner)

2022. 12. 01.
"We don't have much time - if we get to the point where it is no longer possible to share that there is an opportunity to change gay identity back, then we won’t be able to even talk about the gospel" - says the 27 years old David Gertner, who left homosexuality after his conversion and today helps people who are not reconciled with their sexual identity.

From an early age, David felt that his identity was completely different from that of most boys: he was an artistic soul who was not attracted to the world of boys, but felt more home in the world of girls. Because of this, he was ostracized from the beginning and suffered a lot of atrocities, aggravated by the incomprehension of his parents. As a result of being excluded, at  high- school, he threw himself into the world of gays, which was believed to be more tolerant, which he went through his deepest- after dating, porn video chats, strip dancing, he became a drug addicted prostitute at the age of 19. He was called by God at his lowest point, in a totally burnt out state, at the age of 21 when he would have been innocently sentenced to 15 years in prison, which he was only able to escape thanks to the divine intervention - that's when he decided to dedicate his life to The Almighty. He was placed in an accepting environment and his new personality was built in his loving relationship with God during which he realized by himself that homosexuality was not his identity. He is married, today he is the father of a small child, and he is dedicated to helping homosexuals and their relatives. He performs his service as a member of the team of experts of the Faith Church.

In the last two years, you have given countless interviews in almost every possible forum. Is there anything else you didn't tell somewhere?

– I don't know, every conversation is different, because I try to show the topic from as many sides as possible. We even let people into our bedroom.

Isn't this great publicity too stressful?

– We do not experience that we struggle with more problems than an average married couple. I think this is a state of grace but we always consult with my wife about where to draw the line.

I guess the minimum is that you are both very determined about this topic.

– We agreed on this at the beginning when we started seeing each other. We weren't engaged yet and this service wasn't in sight when I sat Noemi down and told her: I don't want it, but I have it in my heart that this will be my path. You have to help a lot, it will be a lot of work, so tell me yes if you are going to do this work, because I feel that if God is calling me to do this, I have to do it. And we will be surrounded by many gay people and many sexually disturbed people in our lifetime, as we serve them. Then we knew it will be like this.

She must be a brave woman.

– She is very committed. Then we had another big conversation, right after we got married, when we saw the huge demand and the attacks that we were going against a worldwide counterforce, knowing that in ten years we might even be killed for our activism. We agreed to continue as long as God leads us to do so.

Even though you have a small child?

– Yes, because we know that the lives of all of us are in God's hands. We are not reckless because this is an aggressive area. Now we still have the freedom to share testimony, we are also trying it in Western Europe, but the situation is different there: few people are interested in the topic and the governments are not enthusiastic about this kind of movements.

Fotók: Gertner Dávid
(Photo: Dávid Gertner )

Despite of the fact that Hungary is considered as a conservative country, there aren't much more activists here either.

– It's a difficult question because apart from me, I don't really see anyone else who would stand up to the public with such a testimony. There is big caution about this in the church as well because many people fall bac, and obviously the field of this service is also new, that someone with a gay background is serving towards to gays. But the fruits justify the need for it.

What fruits are you thinking of?

– We have to deal with people as a group, our work is already interdenominational and reaches non-believers as well – even I am surprised by how open people are and how much they want a similar opportunity in life to the one I have got.

The topic is very much in the air, and there is no mention of it neither in schools nor in families.

– I do not consider it a coincidence that all doors are closed one after the other, and the church remains the only source of information on the subject of sexuality. Today there is no other handhold than the Bible.

So we have to take off the religious, prudish mask and talk because there is a huge need for it, and more and more people are experiencing sexual disorders.

How ready is the church to welcome them?

– Positive processes have started but there are still many barriers among believers which is a restraining force. However, more and more people are realizing that the LGBTQ ideology does not work and many homosexual people do not agree with it either. We are trying to form a bridge between gays and Christians but a lot of negative misconceptions have to be destroyed on both sides so that those who are open to it can get closer to God.

What do you think is the main reason behind the rise of sexual disorders?

– I see that pornography opens the door and for many men today it means release. The idea of homosexuality has not occurred to many people but it still leads them to it, which is why for example, transvestite prostitutes are more wanted than female prostitutes. Unfortunately an increasingly harsh World is coming, where it becomes completely natural for everyone to have mixed sexuality and hook up with anyone who comes their way. To see that pornographic content does not stop at homosexuality but promotes the most diverse aberrations, such as sexual relations with small children or animals.

Fotók: Gertner Dávid
Dávid Gertner. Rejection drives many gays to act provocatively about their homosexuality. (Photo: David Gertner)

Is the visual world so capable of influencing the basic sexual orientation?

– It’s very confusing, that's for sure. This viewing of pornographic content drives so wild that we know a few people, even at the church level, who- if they struggle with pornography- have not encountered such an idea before. But Hollywood movies also show that a man having intercourse with a man does not make him homosexual, but rather a fad, something extra just like it was with the ancient Romans.

Did gay porn turn you into a homosexual?

– No, but my story is also typical in many ways. From an early age, I felt that I didn't fit in with boys, I was especially interested in girly things. The boys always excluded me, humiliated me, hurt me because of this.

I must have been in elementary school when I admitted to my older sister that I was interested in sex between boys - she was very frightened by it and my parents came with the typical psychologist's text that it was a natural age-related curiosity that I would soon outgrow.

Did porn just reinforce that?

– I suffered a lot of trauma and when I saw a homosexual porn, that men are in such a close, intimate relationship with each other, while I received nothing else from the boys, only punches and my father was not a huggable type, at first it came naturally to me, no in the sexual sense that I want this. I opened the door because of the lack of love in me, which could have been filled in a healthy way, not sexually.

What do you mean by this?

– Despite all their best efforts, my parents raised us in a religious fear and because of this I always felt that I would only receive acceptance and love from them if I was good and behaved as a Christian. My gay identity shocked them, they didn't really know what to do with the situation.

This much anguish and rejection drives many into the provocative acceptance of homosexuality into a"gay pride".

If you had received unconditional love from them, would your fate have turned out differently?

– Maybe, because then maybe I would have been able to get in touch with God earlier. It's also possible that I would have just had an abstinent but unresolved life and maybe the drug would have taken over even more than otherwise. There are many examples of this, many choose abstinence despite the fact that their family and friends are accepting of them. An example of this is a forty years old man I know who has never been with anyone, and never will be, because he is unable to identify with his own sexuality. And meanwhile he is completely consumed by this mental struggle.

Fotók: Gertner Dávid
Photo: David Gertner

Well, that's not freedom.

– No, as it is not enough to physically separate yourself from someone. The fact that I was able to come out of homosexuality in a very spectacular way - in which I felt at home anyway - was a hundred percent spiritual process, the result of the very meticulous work of the Holy Spirit in my life. I converted not because I wanted to be heterosexual but because God really spoke to me when I was involved in an embezzlement case and the expected 15 years in prison made me realize that there was no more.

What does Christian male identity mean to you today?

– Obviously, masculine formalities are not the primary thing, although after my conversion I tried to learn things that I could identify with, and that helped me master the male role. That's how I became an electrician, because I was attracted to the construction industry and within that, manual creative work. But actually, I have my masculinity in my Christian identity, the meaning that I have learned to control my thoughts and emotions through the word of God. Because the point is not what a person feels or thinks, but what he identifies himself with.

This was also the reason why I decided to get married and have children because one feels inadequate anyway. But if the Lord says you are fit and ready, then I accept it.

This role disorder affects many people, you don't necessarily have to be homosexual. It is enough if there is no positive model.

– The pattern is given by God. I had experienced the Lord's unconditional lov, and I trusted that if he created me, he would show me how to become self-identified. If a person completely empty himself of his previous life - I remember, I wasn't even sure what my favorite color was anymore - then God begins to speak to him very strongly, comes into his life, doesn't spare his time at all, and begins to shape him in details- as he was originally created. He built me up in very small steps, always just as much as my personality could handle and accept. I felt that man is a vessel and that the hand of the Lord gently molds it. Always with only as many movements as necessary, and it is important that as a good ceramicist, he does this with wet hands - gently by the Holy Spirit. Not harshly. Someday I will be ready too.

And that does not include homosexuality?

– I'm sure that sexual problems are only the surface. Their root is actually an identity disorder, mainly arising from rejection, the causes of which can even go back to the times before conception. This can result in sexual disorders but also in many other ways, such as addictions, which can only be resolved when God restores a person's identity - this is not possible from the psyche, it requires a change of heart.
LGBTQ ideology, on the other hand, wants to make you believe that if you can live out your sexuality, your perversions, then all your mental problems will be fixed.

Even psychologists are now started adopting this view…

– Of course, since they cannot solve these problems. In the course of our service, we also meet countless people whose least problem is that they have sexual disorders: they use drugs, they have to take medication, they suffer from panic attacks, they are anxious and they turn to me because no one can help them.

There are also believers among them, if I understand correctly.

– Of course, in addition, in order for them to see their problems, they should first accept that they are different. However, the church's position is that this is fake, it doesn't exist, get married quickly and everything will be fine - that's why fathers with three children need to be dragged back into their marriages and that's why Christian gay communities are spreading. I didn't get married either until I cleared things up. But how sexuality towards a woman is fulfilled in the life of such a person is another question.

I guess you also need to find the right spouse for that.

– This only works out with faith: if I had paid attention to my emotions and thoughts, I would not have dared to start dating, because I was very afraid of it. It was the same with the wedding night: I was so worried that I did not know how to act. Suddenly, I didn't even understand why God led me into this. My fears were resolved by Noemi's reaction, who said: she knows that our marriage is from God and if necessary, she will fight for it for the rest of our  lives.

Rabbi Slomo Koves said in one of his presentations that when a person gets married and has children, only then can the deepest treasures of his personality come to the surface.

– My marriage and my family made me who I am. This was equivalent to going out on the water, I had no idea how it would be but God said it had to happen now. And I know that if He said so, then I am capable.

(Translated by Anett Harmath)

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