"God calls us not to heterosexuality but to holiness."
Mathew Whitehead

3 Jan 2018 - 2:36 PM  UPDATED 3 Jan 2018 - 2:36 PM

A Facebook video featuring a woman claiming to have freed herself from the shackles of homosexuality has gone viral, raking up almost 1.5 million views since it was published late December.

The video, titled "Love is Love" chronicles the life of a young woman, Emily Thomes, as she went through a series of experiences, kicking off with her first relationship.

"Love is not necessarily between a man and a woman," Thomes says in the video as she describes her community finding out her first relationship was with another woman.

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"Needles were stuck into my fingers, and electricity was shoved through my body as pornographic images - the first I'd ever seen - were shown to me. They are allowed to do this to children in 41 states around [the US]."

Describing her late teens as being in "serial relationships with women," Thomes was even engaged at one stage. "When I got to nursing school," she continued, "I met the girl I ended up being engaged to. I kind of slowed down a little bit for her because she had two kids. Then, at 22, I got invited to bible study."

"I expected them to bring up my lifestyle early and use that as justification for not coming back so I agreed to go."

Thomes explains that she felt empty and lonely, so that's when everything changed. Thomes' tone then shifts quite rapidly, saying in the video, "Those who practice homosexuality... and also drunkards and a bunch of other things I would have been... would not enter the kingdom of God... it scared me really, really bad".

Describing her sexuality as "sin" and defining queerness as not the "right affections", the video shows Thomes with her now husband as she lives a changed life.

"I realised that there are people in the same place and they were saved and they were changed and that God could do that for me too and I needed that. I could hold onto my sin and reject God or I could turn to him.

"You’re not born with right affections, that’s why Jesus had to come. You feeling a desire for sin just proves you need grace, like me."

The video comes from an organisation called Anchored North, which describes itself as "next generation evangelists". The organisation uses social media and the internet to disseminate its religious doctrine.

Thomes' video is just one of many, with another video titled "Homosexuality Was My Identity" being posted three months earlier. Though the view count on the video is high, many of the comments criticising the video's content.

"If we are to take the Bible word for word then I guess when my husband dies, I then marry his brother," one commenter wrote. "And this is coming from a Christian woman who believes in God. Love who you love as long as you’re not hurting anyone."

Another added, "This little video is enough to push gay kids over the edge to suicide. If God changed her, why didn't the prayers of my daughter count?"

"My heart breaks for this girl," a third commenter wrote, "being frightened into living a life she doesn’t want to live. So very sad. I hope one day she can be true to herself again".

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