Greg Quinlan is out and proud. Out of the gay lifestyle and proud of it, that is. This is the story of his escape.
Gregs mom was a born-again Christian who married an atheist with an attitude. Thats where the trouble began. "My dad identified with Archie Bunker in every way," Greg explained. "The only difference was Archie had some mixed-up belief in God and wasnt violent. My dad was violent. And in an abusive situation usually one kid is the abused one, and I was it."
Mom still took the kids to churchGreg, his brother and two sisters. "I knew the Scripture and liked going to church," he said. But at age 10, a neighbor boy introduced Greg to sex. His double life had begun. "But I kept going to church and playing the Christian role," he said.
"Growing up as a teen, I was interested in sex with other men only because of that introduction," he added. "Ive known thousands of homosexuals and Ive never met someone who was not introduced to sex at an early age, generally with the same sex."
At age 23 Greg made his sexual behavior public, "blowing the doors off the closet," as he describes it. He had many sexual encounters, visited gay bathhouses all across the state, was a regular patron of porn shops and lived the party life within gay social circles.
"Im HIV-negative but its just a miracle Im not infected," he admitted.
As a registered nurse, Greg began taking care of AIDS patients when the crisis hit the Dayton-area in the mid 80s. He took these men to the doctor and cared for them at home. "Then this guy I was dating invited me to dinner in Columbus in 1986, the Human Rights Campaign Fund (HRCF) reception," he recalled. "Thats how I was introduced to gay policies, at age 28."
Two years later he started an HRCF branch in Dayton. "HRCF is the largest gay and lesbian political organization in the country, chiefly responsible for securing AIDS research money from the federal government," Greg said. "I raised several thousand dollars out of Dayton and really got involved because of the AIDS project. But in all my work with HRCF, I was trying to justify being in the lifestyle, because I was miserable."
Having grown up in church and still possessing a good knowledge of the Bible, Greg was often asked by friends to do their eulogies. So he ended up speaking at funerals and reading Scriptures. "There was the Lords hook," Greg commented. "Like it says in Scripture, Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it", he offered, quoting from Proverbs 22:6.
So the Lord was beginning to draw Greg to himself. But it took an event of worldwide importance to really shake him out of his sinful stupor.
"It was 1989 and I was watching the wall in Berlin fall on television," he remembered. "One of the Scriptures I learned in church was Matthew 24:14, And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. It was like somebody pressed a button on the recorder in the back of my mind, this verse just kept sounding off in my head.
"I thought at the time, Communism has fallen, thats over a billion people (with access to the Gospel), the Lord is coming back. This was another way the Lord got to me."
At the time Greg was a Medicare review nurse and traveled all over the state. "I knew where all the bathhouses were. I knew the location of every porn shop in the state. I was still pretty active but the Lord was working on me."
Greg started listening to Christian radio and watching Christian TV shows. "I had this hunger and craving," he recalled. "I missed the hymns, the music and the worship. Even while I was in the gay lifestyle I made a point of going to church on Easter Sunday. I still had that hunger to be satisfied, to worship the Lord. It was still there after all those years."
He was watching the 700 Club and TBN several months before his conversion. One show featured a number of former homosexuals who had left the gay lifestyle. "I watched intently, partly making fun, partly wishing it was time," Greg said. "I thought, Can it happen to me? I was really miserable."
Friends and acquaintances began asking Greg to start an Ohio Log Cabin society, the name for the gay and lesbian coalition in the Republican Party. He never did. It was Thanksgiving weekend, 1993 and he decided to call TBN.
"You know I had been on TV, radio and in newspapers (as a homosexual activist)," Greg said. "I was not ashamed of being a homosexual and talking about the AIDS crisis. Id go to Washington D.C. two to three times a year to lobby Capitol Hill. But I had a lot of trouble telling this guy what my problem was. I was suddenly ashamed of being gay. I wasnt happy about it."
Greg fought through his angst and finally revealed his problem. He said a prayer over the phone and accepted Jesus Christ as his savior that very night. "There were no bells or whistles but I slept that night," he said. "There was peace."
Gregs decision resulted in a sudden and abrupt turn in his life. He got into church immediately, changed his telephone number, stopped hanging out at gay bars and discontinued his volunteer nursing with the Dayton Area AIDS Task Force. "I stopped cold turkey doing anything in the gay lifestyle," he said.
But stopping the wrong behavior was merely the first step. One Sunday a guest preacher at church had a special message for Greg. Her sermon had convicted him sharply and he had gone forward to the altar where he was crying uncontrollably.
"She told me, Son, theres a call on your life," he related. "She told me some things only God could tell her, that what the devil had trained me to do God was going to use for his glory." Shortly after this event the director of Ohio Christian Coalition called Greg looking for help. He worked there four years and a year ago last March left to start the Pro-Family Network.
PFNs goal is to place a pro-family lobbyist in every state capitol, someone to address conservative Christian issues, such as an Ohio bill to establish a commission on Youth and Suicide, that is beyond the scope of organizations like Right to Life. They have accomplished that goal in nine states so far.
"As a grass roots lobbyist I went to Capitol Hill for the lunatic left," Greg said. "HRCF trained me how to do it and a year later I was using my training for the other side. The Lord turned it all around."
Citizen Magazine, August, 1998, Vol. 12, No. 8, published by Focus on the Family. Copyright 1998. Focus on the Family. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Used by Permission.