My name is Matthew Leach and I’m from Denton, Texas. I went to school at the University of Texas in Austin. When I was a sophomore at college I was in a fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon, TKE, and I ended up going to South Padre Island for my first big spring break trip with my fraternity. And as one does–or expected to do in South Padre Island–I got really, really drunk one night and ended up telling my friends that I was going back or going to some street in Austin, which obviously I wasn’t doing in South Padre. And they ended up just letting me walk off, which kind of sucks. I ended up getting arrested for public intoxication because I was stumbling down the street, and ended up spending the night in a drunk tank with a bunch of other drunk college kids. It was really rough the next day, having to pay a really high fee. It was the first time I got into trouble like that. I felt really bad about my life, it was a wake-up call almost. As I’m walking out, a van stops by and asks if I want a ride and of course I want a ride because I don’t know where I’m going. They ended up being a group from UT Austin called The Wesley, it’s a Methodist youth group, and they go to South Padre to give free rides to drunk college students in an effort to evangelize more or less through actions. And they ended up praying for me in the van because I told them how I was feeling, and they got me free pancakes which was awesome. So I ended up going back to UT Austin and joining this group. About three months into it, I ended up coming out more or less to my discipleship group, which is a group of six or seven guys that meet once a week to really share their struggles and how it relates to their faith. And I just told them flat out that I’ve been struggling with this since I can remember, my homosexuality, and I feel like it’s come to the point where I need help fixing it or not being gay. They were all really understanding. What was interesting, though, was that two guys within the group had experienced similar struggles with it. What ended up happening after that was we would all become each other’s accountability partners, helping each other move past it or just become straight. The way we would do that was one of my accountability partners, I would have him receive url links every time I saw porn online. So he would receive the link to see what I was doing online if it was bad. So it was that kind of stuff that helped us move away from any kind of sinful activity, like watching porn. I ended up going home for Christmas, probably like six months later. My mom could tell that something was wrong. I just wasn’t myself. One night we were sitting in the living room, and she just asked me what was going on with my life. She knew that I had come out as gay so it was easy to have this conversation with her. Essentially I just told her that I really, really wanted that intimate relationship with God and I wanted to pursue that faith. My mom essentially was like, “Stop. Don’t struggle with something you can’t control. I’ve known you were this way since you were a little kid. There was no place and time that affected you to become gay. You were born that way. God made you this way.” It was life changing, it was just like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was just relieved that I could finally have some peace of mind and know that if I can still pursue that faith, and have that relationship with God while still being gay. I think my mom just reaffirmed that. That was the point where I finally accepted my homosexuality, and it was great.