• Nigeria's first openly gay minister, Jide Macaulay. (Facebook)
The openly gay minister shared about how his faith and church help him to overcome the pain and rejection he feels from homophobic family members.
By
Stephanie Marie Anderson

12 Jul 2016 - 12:57 PM  UPDATED 12 Jul 2016 - 12:08 PM

Jide Macaulay is an openly gay minister who founded the House of Rainbow, Nigeria's first and only gay church, in 2006. 

The church was forced to close temporarily between 2008 and 2011 after continued attacks from the local media, and after receiving death threats due to his sexuality, Macaulay fled to London, where he holds sermons for the House of Rainbow's congregation via YouTube.

"Religion is a backbone to life in Nigeria, so we all want to go to church," he told The Guardian in 2011. "But we don't want to lie to God about who we are."

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In a new Facebook post, Macaulay opens up about the toll that the homophobia he's experienced has taken on his mental health.

He shares that he was forced "to block another family member", saying that "to be rejected by family hurts".

"Since I came out as gay, I have thought several times of taking my own life," he says, explaining that "the rejection cuts deep into my heart and soul".

Macaulay says that despite these feelings of despair, he says that "knowing Christ and believing in an awesome God has been a better option," than taking his own life, adding that he's met many other gay christians through the church.

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"Above all I have encountered God with unimaginable love," he says, calling it a "humbling experience" to be able to preach to queer congregation goers that "God loves [them] just the way [they] are".

"GAY means God Adores You, God Accepts You, God Affirms You," he writes, apologising to anyone who may find the post "uncomfortable" to read.

"I needed to share. God bless you," he finishes.

Read the full post here.

 

For those struggling with similar issues and in need of crisis support, contact Lifeline Australia, 13 11 14.