A man who survived the 2016 shooting at an Orlando nightclub says he is no longer gay.
Luis Javier Ruiz said in an interview recently with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s “GPS: God. People. Stories” that he repented and was changed after the shooting.
Ruiz said he was raised in the church before churches knew how to minister to homosexuals. Instead, he kept his secret until finally coming out to his family at the end of high school.
He says his family was listening to the radio where someone was saying homosexuals were “an abomination” and were “going to hell.”
"It was bad," Ruiz said. "And we got into an argument about it ... and I just ended it with 'Mom, you know what? Your son is gay. How about that?"
Ruiz graduated from high school and joined the armed forces where he served for 15 years. He did not reveal his sexuality to the military. After his service, he moved to Florida and became involved with a church. However, he also became part of the Orlando LGBT community.
On June 11, 2016, his birthday, he went with friends to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Early June 12, the shooting started.
The shooter, Omar Mateen, killed 49 people that night. Mateen was shot and killed by police.
"While this is all going on, I'm thinking 'I'm about to die, I'm about to go to Hell. Like, why did I even come [to Pulse],'" Ruiz said of that night.
Ruiz says he was depressed after the shooting and became even more depressed after he learned he was HIV-positive.
He says, however, God spoke to him and he prayed to God.
“I even said: 'I'm gay, God. This is how you're taking me. Take me as I am. I don't know if you're supposed to take this away from me or not. I've tried this many times,’” he said.
"I gave Him my gayness. I gave him my pornography addictions, everything," he said.
He said the Holy Spirit asked him, "How about you give me you?”
"It's not a gay to straight thing. Just give [Him] your heart," Ruiz said.
"God had something else for me. And I'm thankful because now I'm able to share my story of hope, my story to the world, to let them know that there is God who changes [people] and who transforms."
Publication Date: July 19, 2018
Photo Courtesy: Facebook