As a high school freshman Leocadio ingested two fistfuls of pills, hoping to kill himself so that he would not have to struggle with his sexual orientation. “When I survived,” said Leocadio, now 31, “I realized that God wasn’t done with me. There was so much more that God had planned for me.”
But his journey of self-acceptance was arduous. After his suicide attempt Leocadio became a devoted Christian and used his spirituality to stifle his same-sex attractions. At 26 he ended up at the Desert Stream Ministries in Anaheim, Calif., where he underwent an intensive ex-gay program to heal his “brokenness” (along with masturbators, prostitutes, and fellow gays), yearning to live a straight and “normal” life.
“I received a lot of mixed signals from the church,” he said. “Everyone gets unconditional love from God but only conditional love from the church, based on the concept of ‘wholeness.’ ”
Leocadio freed himself from Desert Stream — and its efforts to break people — in 2004. While writing about the supposed conflict between being same-sex-attracted and being Christian, he found “a genuine faith and love for God” among other gay Christians, according to The Advocate.