By Susie Magill, as told by Yvette Schneider
Emotional dependency led Yvette Schneider to spend most of her life trapped in a homosexual lifestyle…until her encounter with Christ. Part one of a two-part series on homosexuality in sports.
I grew up in a family where there wasn’t any hope that life was good. There was no confidence that our lives had meaning, or that there was purpose for our being here on earth.
I was very distant from my parents. My dad spent all of his time sitting in a chair reading the newspaper, and my mom screamed and yelled constantly about anything and everything. I was terrified of her, but at the same time, I wanted love and affirmation from her. I did great in sports and even competed in nationals for swimming, but nothing I did seemed to make my mom like me.
I felt so unlovable. When I was at home, I spent most of my time alone in my room. I thought surely there had to be more to life than this.
I started to have same-sex attractions when I was 11 or 12 years old.I would have crushes on women or girls that would turn into obsessions. During high school, I had a best girlfriend, and for the first time in my life I felt loved and appreciated for who I was. It was great. Suddenly my life
was completely transformed. Finally, it had meaning.
So I didn’t care when my mom sat me down and told me that she and my dad were getting a divorce. But I did care when my mom sat me down and asked me if my friend and I were having a homosexual relationship. I was devastated. How could my mom think that of me? But I had to admit to myself that deep down inside I wished we were having a homosexual relationship because then she would never leave me, and I would always feel the way I did then.
After high school, I attended the University of California at Irvine. I excelled academically, was president of my sorority pledge class and editor-in-chief of the yearbook my freshman year, yet I still felt empty and unfulfilled. My dissatisfaction with life was starting to get to me. I needed a
change, so I applied for the University of California’s Education Abroad Program at the University of Delhi in India so I could study Hinduism and Buddhism for a year. I thought that maybe I could find some meaning to life.
During my time in India I befriended my Hindi teacher. After several months the relationship became physical at her initiation. The next day I was horrified by what I had done. This couldn’t be who I was. I spent the day walking through the foothills of the Himalayas. From where I was, I could see the majestic snow-covered peaks up above and a tiny ribbon of water below that was the Jammu River. I felt so small and insignificant in comparison. But at the same time, I was consumed with inner turmoil. I didn’t want to identify myself as a lesbian. But I was feeling loved and appreciated by this woman, and I couldn’t walk away from that. Somehow I had to reconcile the fact that I thought homosexuality was wrong with the fact that I was getting my emotional needs met through a homosexual relationship.
I finally decided that the only reason I thought homosexuality was wrong was because that was what my oppressive, controlling Judeo-Christian culture had taught me. So I determined that once I got back to California, I would fight the oppressor. And in my mind, the oppressor was society.
When I returned, I met another girl and soon began an emotionally dependent relationship with her. My mom kicked me out of the house due to my lesbian lifestyle, so I moved in with my girlfriend. But it wasn’t long before we became jealous, obsessive and possessive. My girlfriend became violent with me, but I couldn’t leave. She was beautiful and popular, and I wasn’t. Because my mother was inaccessible, I was attracted to women who were emotionally unavailable. I needed to obsess over someone who was mysterious.
As my relationship grew worse, I became more militant in my gay activism. I fought with the Christians who would carry their 1 Corinthians 6:9 signs saying how homosexuals would not inherit the Kingdom of God. And every time I argued with them, I tried to get at least one of
them to yell at me. When I did, I knew that I had won.
After college, I got a job with a law firm in downtown Los Angeles and worked with a young man named Jeff who was a notorious Christian. Jeff talked about God constantly and would even go as far as telling me what God was doing in his life. Sometimes I found it interesting. I never knew the Bible said practical things about how to live life. But, of course, I never shared any of those thoughts with Jeff.
Jeff could back up what he believed by quoting the Bible. I couldn’t back up what I believed at all. I would go home at night and look over my books on Eastern Mysticism, but I couldn’t give one practical answer for daily living, and Jeff could.
I tried to find another job so I could get away from Jeff and even reported him for proselytizing in hopes of getting him fired, but nothing worked. One morning Jeff came to work and put a cup down on my desk. I couldn’t believe it. He had bought me a cappuccino. Most people wouldn’t get off the freeway in L.A. in the middle of rush hour traffic for a friend, let alone an enemy. I almost started crying out of frustration. There is no defense for genuine love and kindness with no strings
Meanwhile, I was seeing a clairvoyant healer once a week. At the same time, I started experiencing dizziness several times a day. My palms were always burning. I had difficulty breathing and swallowing. One day at work, I started to feel dizzy, shaky and panicky in the middle of a big meeting. Afterward, I told Jeff what had happened. He asked if he could pray for me. I was so sick and scared that I let him. I felt better immediately. But, of course, it wasn’t long before the symptoms returned.
One Saturday morning I woke up and saw a vision of eagles and hawks swooping down at me. I felt like I was going crazy. As I was lying there I said, “God, You have to help me. I have no idea who You are. I’ve been trying to figure it out for years, but I feel like I’m farther away than ever. If
I’m ever going to know who You are, You’re going to have to reveal Yourself to me.” Just then, across the room, I saw Jesus standing there with His arms outstretched. Then He was gone.
I wasn’t surprised that I had seen something. I had been seeing things for months. But why Jesus? Why didn’t God come to me in a form I could relate to, like something Eastern or Native American?
There was no way I was going to tell Jeff that I had seen Jesus. All he would do was invite me to church again. I started to believe that Jesus might be the hope I was looking for, but I didn’t want to go to church. I thought I would be rejected. I didn’t want to put myself in that situation. But I thought about what Jeff had said. “You can’t be a Christian on your own. The enemy will easily
pick you off if you’re separated from the flock.”
So after working with Jeff eight hours a day, five days a week for two years, and hearing him talk
about God every day, I finally went to church. When I stepped inside I could feel the presence of God so strongly that I couldn’t even stand up during worship. I just sat there with my head in my hands.
After church, the girl sitting next to me asked if I wanted to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I did, and a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I experienced joy and peace for the first time in my life. But most of all I experienced the thrill of hope—the assurance that life did
have meaning and purpose.
It took me three years to even begin to feel that I had made any progress at all out of the world of same-sex attractions. It was an addiction I had to overcome. But through self-discipline, spending time in God’s Word, prayer and developing healthy same-sex friendships, those same-sex
attractions started falling away. And now I have a great husband and two wonderful daughters.
Since the major root of lesbianism is broken relationships with parents and peers of the same sex, we as Christians have a responsibility to step out of our comfort zones and to establish healthy friendships with those involved in homosexual lifestyles. As someone who was difficult
to reach out to and share the Gospel with, I beg you not to grow weary in doing good and reaching out to the people around you. In due time, you will reap, and the people you reach
will be eternally grateful.
Pull quotes: “Somehow I had to reconcile the fact that I thought homosexuality was wrong with the fact that I was getting my emotional needs met through a homosexual relationship.”
“‘ God, You have to help me. I have no idea who You are…If I’m ever going to know who You are, You’re going to have to reveal Yourself to me.’ Just then, across the room, I saw Jesus standing there with His arms outstretched. Then He was gone.”
Schneider retired from Family Research Counsel in 2001 and is currently a stay-at-home mom for her two girls. With the help of her husband, she leads Living in Victory Ministries to reach those dealing with homosexuality. Schneider continues to share her story of redemption with many churches, high schools, colleges and FCA/AIA conferences. You can reach Schneider at firstname.lastname@example.org or purchase her book Bridging the Gap at www.regenbooks.org. For speaking engagements visit www.exodus-international.org.