A Lesbian's Deliverance
June 23, 2007
- After 29 years as a gay activist, former lesbian magazine
publisher Charlene Cothran stunned the homosexual community when she
announced she had become a Christian.
She has renounced her homosexuality, and
changed the format of her magazine to spread the Gospel to the gay
As a gay rights activist, Cothran was never
afraid to fight for what she believed in. For 30 years, she was as
vocal and in your face as they come.
Watch Charlene Israel's report and Pat Robertson's
comments by clicking on the play button to the right.
She organized and marched with other lesbians
in gay rights parades. And as editor-in-chief of
, a national gay and lesbian publication, she wasn't about to change
-- until something happened at a gay pride celebration that she
"In 2003, I was in Chicago at a gay pride
event, in the middle of this beautiful park," Cothran recalled. "I
took a panoramic view, and as far as I could see there were men with
men and women with women, all just partying and having a good time.
But a shame fell on me, I felt so out of place. I knew something in
my spirit spoke that, 'this is that road that leads to destruction,
and you're on it.'"
It took several years to come to terms with
this vision, and during that time Cothran continued to publish her
gay and lesbian magazine. But she couldn't escape the message she'd
heard that day in 2003.
She said, "I kept myself busy with marches
and activism and public appearances. But in the still of the night
when everything is over, there was still that little voice, "You're
not right with God."
Cothran says she longed for peace, but even
in the midst of a long-term relationship, she felt intense
loneliness. She'd grown up in a Christian home, and had come into
the lesbian lifestyle at 19, after several bad relationships with
"I didn't want anything to do with men
anymore," she said. "I was away at college and that was a whole new
world, and in that world there were many, many women who were
attracted to me, and, of course, I was attracted to them. And these
women were nurturing, wanted to get to know me intellectually --
they were organizers whom I found a lot of comfort in. It felt good,
it felt right."
But it didn't feel right anymore. Then in
June 2006, local Pastor Vanessia Livingston of Miracle Deliverance
Church called Cothran, regarding an article in one her publications.
She didn't know anything about Cothran's life and proceeded to talk
to her about God.
Livingston asked Cothran, "What are you going
to do about your life?" Then she told her, "'You need to get your
life together.' Cothran said, 'I'm in the life.' I said, 'Yes, I
know, that's why I'm talking to you, but you don't have to stay in
the life. You can be delivered today, right now, right where you
They talked for awhile and Cothran remembers
her words: "I can tell that you want to come back to God, but you
feel unworthy, you feel that God can't use you because you've been
marching and publishing and you've been such a proud lesbian all
these years, but that's not true. He's waiting."
That day changed everything for Charlene
Cothran, as she finally asked Jesus Christ to come into her heart
and forgive her.
It was a personal transformation that she
immediately wanted to share with her gay and lesbian followers. She
wrote a front page article in her magazine called, "Redeemed!
Ten Ways to Get Out of the Gay Life, if You Want Out."
"When the Lord saved me, I knew everything
would change," she said. "All of the ads, the editorials, the
mission of the magazine had changed. We're going to be calling
people out of homosexuality."
Most of the response from the gay and lesbian
community has been fierce and negative. But she says she knows that
many of them are just as conflicted as she was.
Cothran said, "In order to fill up this empty
space, they pretend to put on this wonderful face, 'how gay and
happy I am,' when in fact -- there's a lot of loneliness in the gay
community that's not talked about, and it's real."
But there has been positive feedback as well.
Cothran says she gets lots of e-mails from people who say they
struggle with homosexuality and want out.
CBN News asked Cothran, "I know people
probably ask you, do you still have feelings for women, and are you
dating a man?"
Cothran replied, "I'm living a celibate life.
I'm so focused on the spirit right now, that I have no urges for
anyone -- man or woman."
With a new outlook about herself and life,
Cothran is still on the frontlines of the gay rights battle, only
now she sees it as a spiritual fight to lead others to the freedom
"Our mission now," she said, "is to educate
and to turn people away from the homosexual lifestyle simply by
presenting the truth. We simply want people to question what they've
learned through the pages of
Venus magazine over
the past 13 years."
Prior to Cothran's conversion, Venus
circulated about 35,000 copies per issue which ran four times a
year. But after the issue featuring her testimony, the gay political
machine pressured advertisers to drop the magazine. And gay pride
events and college campuses no longer subscribe.
But in her own words, Cothran has no regrets
about her change.
She said, "There is a joy and a peace that
you can't find in a club, I don't care how good the music is. You
can't find it in the middle of a gay pride parade, I don't care if
you have the biggest, prettiest float. I have a joy and a peace that
I wouldn't trade for anything."