Compiled by Thomas Coy from www.syrogers.com, Sy Roger’s address at the 2006 Exodus Freedom Conference in Marion, Indiana, and Sy Rogers’ 2003 interview with Julius Ahsam. Quotations are Sy Roger’s own words.
Married to Karen in 1982, one daughter.
General Information as of 2010:
Sy Rogers is a gifted international communicator, award-winning talk show host, recording artist and pastor. Sy has served for over two decades in ministry as a pastoral care specialist regarding sexuality and related concerns. He has been featured in numerous media interviews & articles, and was selected as one of ’50 Up & Coming Evangelical Leaders Under 40’ by Christianity Today Magazine. Married since 1982, Sy and his family have lived abroad for more than a decade in Singapore and New Zealand.
Sy Rogers’ childhood was a story of tragedy, injustice, and rejection. Not only were his mother and father separated from each other, the young Sy was separated from his father also. His mother was an alcoholic and her boyfriend sexually abused Sy. When his mother was killed in a drunk driving accident Sy was sent to the Midwest and raised by women. As Sy tells it, “Being detached from my father the only people raising me were women, the affect I picked up in conservative Midwestern culture caused me to become sharply aware in childhood that I didn’t measure up to the standard. … I grew up in a culture where I was further punished for not measuring up. Most of my classmates did not mistreat me, but there was that dedicated handful who made my life difficult and convinced me that I was gay. … So you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand how I ended up in the only place that afforded me acceptance – homosexuality.”
“And having been molested and having been exploited, having experimented, I wound up there and lived everything from the promiscuous gay lifestyle while in the Navy in Honolulu in the seventies to later becoming involved in a gay church where I was the best man at one of Hawaii’s first gay weddings in the late 1970s. So then I decided that while in college back in the American Midwest that maybe the way to have a happier life was to have a sex change.”
“Well my gay friends in Hawaii who had gotten married to each other, I wrote them an anniversary card, and they wrote me a letter saying, ‘don’t let everybody else tell you what to believe about heaven, hell, and homosexuality. Do your own research into the Bible and if you do you will discover what we have: the teachings of the gay church sounded really great, but as we read God’s word objectively He leads us in truth, and we felt convicted and convinced that the teaching from the gay church is an error … We’ve left our gay marriage and our lifestyle and we are now born again and praying for you.’ Ya, well that wasn’t my reaction. I thought they were stark raving mad. I knew born gay, can’t change, shouldn’t need to, gay is good, and so I was offended with their new found faith and I decided my way of being born again was through a sex change.”
“I attempted to have a sex change, and I lived as a woman for eighteen months in preparation for an operation that never happened, because God intervened in my life and opened my eyes to his reality. I wasn’t looking for Him, but I am so thankful that while you can seek and find, how much nicer he goes looking for lambs who don’t know enough that they are lost. So He intervened in my life and opened my eyes and I said to my gay friends, ‘I can’t touch God in a tangible way, but I feel Him tangibly affect me, that when I feel dirty, He makes me feel clean. And when other people look at me with contempt and make me feel unlovely and unwanted, He makes me feel valued and understood. And so whenever I am afraid He gives me peace, and, frankly, I need Him more than I need you now that I am tapped into that.’”
“So I began my journey with the Lord, and I always say I just wished that he’d waved his magic wand. ‘One, two, three, go be free! Go be straight, date, and mate; bing! But it didn’t happen, but what He did begin to do was to give me grace to crucify flesh, and He began to take me on a path that I would have never imagined. … My wonderful wife Karen of almost twenty-five years … didn’t marry me because she thought that her love could fix my homosexuality. She knew better. But she did say that I grew into a man who earned trust that she could respect.”
“I had been walking with the Lord for ten years when the Lord finally put his finger on the issue of my unresolved childhood sexual abuse, which was very shaming for me to have to face and address. I’m thankful God gave me ten years to grow toward a place of emotional health and strength where he could afford to touch that without it undoing me. … People would say things to me like you just need to shut up and move on, and get over it, buck up and be strong, you need to walk away and forgive and let it go. And I knew all of that in my head, but that’s not where the problem was. Now that I was finally facing it I needed to know before I let it go, does this matter to anybody, because it surely has mattered to me. And in that moment the Lord appeared in the therapist’s office as a father figure in my mind. I had this vision and in that vision He showed Himself to me as a father who said those profound words as He wept, and I began to weep, because I had never had anybody cry over what had happened to me. And as I cried, he didn’t take away my history, He shared it with me, and made me feel valued and loved. He said your daddy sees it and your daddy is sorry. It didn’t change what happened, but it made me feel like that what happened mattered, and that made me feel valued and understood; the working definition of love.”
Factors of Homosexual Causation:
As a child Sy Rogers was sexually abused by his alcoholic mother’s boyfriend. That was the dominant male attention he got. He was separated from his real father and then his mother was killed in a drunk driving accident. From then on he was raised by women. Sy recalls that at that time in his childhood his “brain was like wet concrete that needed a masculine impartation.” He never got it and he never fit into the peer group environments he was placed in. A dedicated handful of boys in the schools he attended made his life difficult and convinced him that he was gay.
Motivation for Change:
This quote is from the Julius Ahsam interview. “I didn’t leave the gay life because I was unhappy with it. I didn’t leave it because someone argued theology with me. The reason I left it was because my eyes were opened to God and I had an experience with Him. It changed everything. When I say changed everything, it didn’t automatically change my humanity, but when the Lord came into my life He awakened me to His reality, and that my life mattered to Him, and that I would also give an account to Him. And so with that awakened need for God in my life I began to walk with Him, and He began to bring cleansing to my defilement and healing to my brokenness.”
Sy Roger’s revealed more of his initial motivation at the 2006 Exodus Freedom Conference. “Men either beat me up or they went to bed with me or they, you know, abandoned me. I didn’t know how to connect. So here I came to the Lord Jesus very very motivated. And that wasn’t the question! Recognizing His reality and walking in a fear of God, I wish I could say that I loved God, but I didn’t love Him. I became aware of his reality in such a tangible way that I feared his disapproval now that He is real and I will answer to Him.”
Personal Change Process:
Sy wished that God would have waived a magic wand over him. “Go be straight and mate. Bing! But it didn’t happen, but what He did begin to do was to give me grace to crucify flesh. And He began to take me on a path that I would have never imagined.” … “the blood of Jesus doesn’t do a lobotomy to erase your memory; you have to learn to reckon with it. His word gives us wonderful principles as to how. A lot of people think it’s just memorizing the word. It’s not true. You’ve got to put the word to work because if you don’t replace bad patterns with new ones, the bad pattern remains intact. It’s nice to know that all that good neuroscience is rooted in an ancient scripture like in Ephesians chapter 4. Don’t just stop a bad habit, put off the old pattern by building a newer stronger pattern in its place. Don’t just curse them in traffic, bless them. And so I had to learn to begin getting clean in my inner world and managing that, and also navigating in an outer world that could provocate me even when I start out all warm and fuzzy with Jesus. … I learned a very important key that you learn to run to God, for only He can make you clean. Don’t run from Him. You’re not bad and He’s not mad. Run to Him and He will wash away that dirt.”
When Sy Rogers started going to a Christian church the people in the church were offended by him, or “at least that was my perception.” In this new environment of rejection Sy felt that God was telling him, “You expect them to understand, you have got to understand that they don’t. But you walk with Me and live your life in front of them, and then they’ll see you are genuine as is my work in you. Then trust will be earned. Then hearts will be opened. Then connections that you need will occur. But until that day happens who will you follow and who will you serve? Are you going to run back to the old life because it is hard right now? OK! So I went to church and what God said came true. ” “God’s people began to love me, and I began to learn that I could get love without having to be sexual to get it, and I began to grow, and as you grow things change, and today I enjoy being a husband.”