Conversion therapy — the practice of using psychological and spiritual methods to change one’s sexual identity — is a hot-button agenda item for LGBTQ advocates around the world. But many see that change from LGBTQ to heterosexual is possible, and is needed in order to lead a truly Christian life.
Val Kalende, a well-known gay rights activist in Uganda, publicly renounced her former homosexuality last week — and says she now considers it a sin. “We have only one life,” she explained on Facebook. “The greatest tragedy is to waste it by living contrary to God’s design and will. This was the most powerful awareness leading to my conversion.”
“I joined lesbianism right after Makerere University,” said Kalende (pictured at the top of this article) in remarks shown on Uganda’s Christian-themed Salt TV, according to a translation of her words as reported by LifeSiteNews. “I’m born of Christian parents. All of them cut their ties with me for being gay. I became an orphan … I became rebellious.”
Kalende also said Satan lured her into homosexuality. “We always wondered why the world forced us to become girls who do not love men … Right now, I have no peace of mind. I sometimes break down and cry wondering why [I] am like this. I’m now back home and have been saved.”
A self-professed “preacher’s kid” and journalist who left her career at the Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor in 2007 to focus on LGBT activism, according to a 2015 Daily Xtra piece, Kalende previously worked with LGBT organizations that included Freedom and Roam Uganda, and Sexual Minorities Uganda, as LifeSiteNews reported. She left Uganda for Canada as a refugee in 2015, after that country’s 2014 passage of legislation that criminalized homosexual behavior.
We have only one life. The greatest tragedy is to waste it by living contrary to God’s design and will. This was the most powerful awareness leading to my conversion.
Last Tuesday, however, the Ugandan publication Edge reported that Kalende is now a woman with a changed life who is even getting married, announcing the news on Salt TV as well.
Breaking: Val Kalende Uganda's leading Lesbian finds salvation and denounces homosexuality. https://t.co/NTccY6Lsa7
— Martin Ssempa (@martinssempa) July 30, 2018
“Not sure how to do this or if I have to. It’s draining. But I know people have questions and they mean well,” Kalende elaborated on Facebook, according to Uganda’s Daily Monitor. “I’d be glad to respond to questions concerning what I have learned about the sin of same-sex attraction and the mystery that surrounds the homosexual lifestyle, especially for Christians, parents and people with family members or friends who struggle with same-sex attractions.”
She continued, “I understand my introverted nature makes it uncomfortable for people to reach out to me, but I am pretty much an open person when it comes to issues I am passionate about. I am not an authority on sexuality let alone what qualifies for sinful nature, but I sure have an awareness that could help folks out there. Feel free to message me privately or leave your questions below this post.”
Kalende declined to be interviewed on her latest decision to quit the LGBTQ community.
“I am not doing media interviews. My testimony in the church was enough, I wanted it in the church because the church raised me,” she said.
She also said she wants to take a break to spend time at home, noting, “My desire is to take [a] long-deserved rest and spend time with my family.”
Of course proponents of the LGBTQ agenda — along with detractors of Christian faith — began to rationalize and explain away Kalende’s personal revelations.
“Did she get ‘saved’ to be with her family again or because she genuinely underwent some sort of conversion?” wondered a writer for the Friendly Atheist. “I can’t say for sure, but those words certainly suggest a life that was lonely and depressing. We shouldn’t rule out the possibility that she made this announcement due to social pressure rather than a sincere change of heart.”
The local LGBT+ community is shocked and concerned about Val Kalende's well-being. https://t.co/kV9HgicEkV
— Gay Community News (@GCNmag) August 4, 2018
Sexual Minorities Uganda executive director Frank Mugisha said he respected Kalende’s personal decision, but was concerned it would “psychologically affect many members who may feel threatened,” according to the Daily Monitor.
Many, however, reached out through Facebook to support Kalende.
“I like the awareness that suddenly happens when God visits a person, the illumination, the revelation, and the understanding,” one commented. “It can’t be compared to anything in the world.”
Another said, “May you live to give this young generation this much-needed light to light up their paths to their future. God bless you.”