ORLANDO, Fla. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A survivor of the 2016 gay nightclub shooting in Orlando is sharing his conversion to Christianity from the homosexual lifestyle.
Luis Javier Ruiz shared on Facebook Friday that he "should have been number 50!" in reference to the fact that 49 people lost their lives on June 12, 2016, at a club known as the Pulse. He was injured along with 52 others.
"Going through old pictures of the night of Pulse a memory [that occurred to me] w[as] my struggles of perversion, heavy drinking to drown out everything and having promiscuous sex that led to HIV[;] my struggles were real! said Ruiz. "The enemy had its grip, and now God has taken me from that moment and has given me Christ Jesus [and] I'v[e] grown to know his love in a deeper level."
He also said he will speaking at Saturday's Freedom March, a day "celebrating freedom from homosexual/transgender lifestyles by the grace and power of Jesus Christ" in Washington D.C. Other speakers include Elizabeth Johnston, known as the "Activist Mommy."
The event organizers are partnering with Voice of the Voiceless whose mission is to "defend the rights of former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction and their families."
Daren Mehl, president of Voice of the Voiceless, insisted the day is an "opportunity for those of us who have a new life with Jesus to come together in fellowship and praise Him for the love and grace available to everyone who seeks it [and] to testify publicly of the life-changing grace available to leave the LGBT identity for something greater."
Ruiz continued on Facebook, "now I have the chance to live in relationship and not religion[,] not just loving [C]hrist but being in love with [C]hrist and sharing His love[.] I know who I am and I am not defined [by] who the enemy says I use[d] to be but who [C]hrist Jesus says I am."
It remains unclear if he found Christ via reparative therapy, which aims to help those with same-sex attraction to eliminate or reduce homosexual desires. It is banned in 12 states, including Hawaii, New Jersey, California, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Oregon, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington and Maryland, along with Washington D.C.
The late Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a Catholic pioneer in reparative therapy showed that it helped reduce stress and improve emotional and physical well-being.
"Homosexuality is not about sex," Nicolosi emphasized. "It is about a person's sense of himself, about his relationships, how he forms and establishes relationships, his self-identity, his self-image, personal shame, his ability to sustain intimacy."
Church Militant reached out to Ruiz for comments, but as of press time, we received no response.