Tell us about your early life as a JW:
Well, I remember from a very young age actually, always questioning whether or not it was the truth. I do remember believing it without a doubt when I was about 4-8, and then I realized how “happy” everyone else seemed without “the truth”…
How would you describe your family life while you were a JW?
My family was very abusive ever since I came out to my dad that I was bi at the age of 14. They were always hitting me, beating me up, scaring me, constantly destroying my trust in them, and always calling me names like “disgusting faggot” etc.
How would you describe your level of devotion to the organization prior to waking?
According to my dad I’ve always been “too liberal” which is, I guess, his way of saying I’ve never really been too hardcore in the cult. Prior to waking, I did have a fair few doubts about it, and I was always tempted to visit an ex-JW site, but never did for fear that my parents would find out.
If baptized, why did you decide to take that step? If not, why not?
I always made it very clear to my parents that I’d never get baptized until “I’m ready for it.” That was basically my way of saying I’d never get baptized. I couldn’t handle a responsibility like that.
If born-in, what kind of Jehovah’s Witnesses were / are your family?
My family are very devout Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’m not too sure about my sister, but she’s been pulled out of school now, most likely for brainwashing. My entire family tree on my dad’s side is JW’s and on my mum’s side it’s only her and her mum.
Are there any particular experiences or circumstances while you were a believer that come to mind now that you’re awake?
Well, I used to be really anti-gay. I’m assuming this is because I knew I was but I always hated myself for it, thanks to the beliefs I had.
Was your waking up journey sudden or gradual? Describe it for us.
I think it was sudden. It all really happened as soon as I came out to my parents and they just turned on me.
Did you ever have so-called “doubts”? If so, what were they?
A few, but the biggest one would have to be about Birthdays and Christmas and all that. I mean, we were practically the only people who didn’t do it. My parents would always justify it and I’d believe them, but thinking about it, I didn’t want to believe them. I just wanted to celebrate like everyone else.
Did you share your so-called “doubts” with anyone, and if so, how did it turn out?
I told one uber-jw friend of mine, whilst I was still in. Of course, he tells on me to the elders. So they had to sit down and talk to me, an 8 year old child.
Are you currently being shunned / ostracized by any Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Yes by the entire congregation and my entire family. Some even call me a child molester, just for being gay.
What has changed in your life since waking up?
A lot. It feels so good to never have to worry about going to that cult another day in my life.
What does the future hold for you now that you’re awake?
I do hope to get over my anxiety and paranoia around.. everything really, and then I believe i’d have a really bright future.
What would you like to say to doubting or questioning JWs who might be reading this?
Get out if you can.