WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Dozens of former homosexuals and transgender individuals shared their conversions to Christianity in the U.S. capital over the weekend.
The "Freedom March" was held Saturday as a day "celebrating freedom from homosexual/transgender lifestyles by the grace and power of Jesus Christ," which attracted speakers, including Elizabeth Johnston, known as the "Activist Mommy," and Pulse gay nightclub shooting survivor Luis Javier Ruiz.
The event was co-sponsored by 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 the organization, told Church Militant that "between 50 and 100 people attended the Freedom March."
Mehl defended that ex-LGBT individuals can become Christians through baptism to "explain the struggles" experienced but "overcome with Jesus."
"Christian is the identity we seek to live out and is the most accurate way to label our community holistically. We are part of the Body of Christ," he continued.
In her speech Saturday, Johnston labeled ex-homosexuals and transgenders as "one of the most marginalized and censored groups of individuals in our culture."
She continued, "I believe those who choose to engage in homosexual sin also have the right not to engage in homosexuality, and they have the choice to seek therapy for their unnatural and unwanted desires."
Ruiz, an ex-gay man who credited his healing from the homosexual lifestyle to Christianity, told The Christian Post in an article published Sunday that he "feel[s] like God's heart right now is that He wants your heart. He wants to fall in love with you."
He insisted that after "fall[ing] in love with Christ deeply, everything is going to change. It's going to cause you to come out [of the LGBT lifestyle], and His perfect love that will cast out fear and boldness."
Ex-transgender Jeffrey McCall, who spent years as identifying as a woman named "Scarlett," also spoke Saturday to the crowd, saying he was "convicted by the Holy Spirit that there is so much more than [what] I had been a part of," in reference to his past pushing for transgender "rights."
"And so I took all my life as Scarlet and I went to a dumpster and threw it all away — the clothes, the hair, the make-up, the jewelry, the shoes, my whole identity — I threw it away to follow Jesus," he continued.
Mehl explained to Church Militant that ex-LGBT persons "desire to live a holy life set apart for God" after "Jesus came into our lives, revealed the truth of who we really are, gave us the grace, that is power, to live out that truth with Him."
"Jesus' love also compels our community to evangelize and disciple others who desire to follow Jesus and are looking for encouragement regarding the struggles they are going through which we have overcome with Jesus," noted Mehl. "Those in our community desire to share Jesus' truth and the sanctifying power of his grace to those we love in all communities, including the LGBT community."