Elizabeth Woning “came out” in her early twenties and attended seminary as an open lesbian. She was an activist, lobbying within her denomination for same sex marriage and ordination of LGBT-identified individuals.

Now, she’s part of a group of individuals who left homosexuality or transgenderism, the Changed Movement. They’re going to Washington, D.C., to tell their stories and to lobby against marriage redefinition, a proposed “Transgender Bill of Rights,” and therapy bans that prevent help for unwanted homosexuality and sexual identity confusion.

Woning told the Daily Citizen that the Changed Movement will first meet with Christian and conservative groups – like Liberty Counsel, Family Policy Alliance, Family Research Council and the Heritage Foundation – to discuss threats to those who provide help for unwanted sexual attractions, identities and behaviors.

Then they’ll talk with legislators and their staffs, sharing how childhood experiences shaped their sexuality, leading them to embrace lesbian, gay or transgender identities. After sharing their own testimonies of experiencing a relationship with Jesus Christ and walking away from sexual brokenness, they will ask legislators to protect the freedom of individuals who choose this path.

The group has created a new booklet to hand legislators, Self-discovery: How childhood shaped our sexual identity. It explains how many in the movement “experienced shifts in our sexual feelings and gender identity as we have addressed perceptions and wounds from our childhood.”

Woning wants people to continue to have the freedom to explore those childhood issues with therapists, pastors and counselors, and live according to their biblical values:

And that’s a pretty significant concern for us right now, that LGBT identifying people continue to get the right to leave LGBTQ to follow their faith and get support doing that.

I mean, the bottom line is that it’s becoming illegal across the west, across the world to leave LGBTQ behind and get help doing it.

I think my biggest concern, honestly, for our organization and just for our moment is that people continue to have the choice to follow their convictions.

Woning shares her story at the Changed website and in the book, Changed: #OnceGay Stories, along with dozens of others (including this writer) who left homosexuality or sexual identity confusion.

She writes about how early childhood experiences shaped her sexual thoughts, feelings and identity:

Throughout most of my life I never belonged. I always felt excluded, and I questioned my sexuality and my gender. I hated the idea of being feminine because it was so foreign. I didn’t feel like a girl, but I also didn’t identify as a boy.

Though she dated men and was briefly married, she embraced a lesbian identity and relationships:

I felt lesbianism explained my childhood and young adult experiences. I thought I was finally being authentic and true to myself. As a dyke I felt powerful and asserted myself in stereotypically masculine ways. I adopted men’s attire and a crewcut.

She was serving “as a youth pastor in a small rural community, where an encounter with Jesus radically shifted my perspective.

“The love of God drew me into a revelation that transformed my life.”

Woning explained that she came to realize her revisionist theology was wrong, and she resolved to follow the biblical sexual ethic:

Up to that point, I believed I was born gay and that God had created me that way. As I further studied Christian doctrine, eventually I no longer believed I was born a lesbian. My experience of God’s love, the Christian community around me, and my desire to pursue a life of prayer had a dramatic influence on my life.

She came to see that her childhood experiences affected her sexual development, and she “pursued pastoral care and counseling that addressed childhood hurts and perceptions.”

“Above all,” Woning writes, “I acknowledged I had rejected myself as a woman.”

Although she wasn’t looking to change her sexuality, Woning found that happening anyway and became attracted to a man. She’s been married for 15 years now.

It’s because of her own transformation that Woning wants to see continued freedom for others. She said the Changed Movement is deeply concerned about state and federal legislative efforts to ban therapeutic help for those with unwanted homosexuality or sexual identity confusion.

Woning said the Changed Movement was particularly alarmed by the June executive order from the president, “A Proclamation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, And Intersex Pride Month, 2022.” The order targeted so-called “conversion therapy,” directing the Federal Trade Commission to consider whether helping people leave homosexuality and sexual identity confusion is “an unfair or deceptive practice” deserving of “consumer warnings or notices.”

Conversion therapy,” of course, doesn’t exist. It’s not a type of therapy that anyone practices, buts is a meaningless term created by those who oppose anyone ever leaving homosexuality or transgenderism.

But the executive order threatens churches, pastors and counselors who help people with unwanted homosexual and transgender attractions, identities, and behaviors. Cities and states that ban help for those living LGBT identities also stifle religious freedom, free speech and clients’ self determination and autonomy.

These bans on help threaten people like Woning and the ministry she co-founded, Equipped to Love, which helps individuals with sexual brokenness.

Woning told us many LGBT-identified individuals at first find relief and community, but then grow dissatisfied:

And so for many of us, if you read our stories … why would I turn to my faith is the basic question. And many of us turn to our faith because we found life in the LGBT world to be really empty, that it didn’t satisfy. We continued to not feel like we were satisfied deeply. Internally.

And we turned to Christ. Most of us who successfully leave LGBT don’t do it in the name of religion. You do it out of your experience of the love of God. The experience that you’re deeply known, deeply valued, you’re cherished by a force that’s more powerful than you, that loves you, that’s benevolent.

Woning and the Changed Movement want others to have the freedom they had to experience the love of God, walk away from homosexuality or sexual identity confusion, and find healing and wholeness in Christ.

Related articles and resources:

Equipped to Love

Changed Movement

Daily Citizen

Focus on the Family:

Transgender Resources


Photo from Elizabeth Woning and the Changed Movement in D.C.