Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Manchester cathedral Church Speech

Patrick Ettenes

When I was a child I had a good upbringing, needless to say. I came from a good family, whom still to this day are all I have.

But living on an island like Barbados that is very religious but feltvery homophobic to me and being a child that couldn't accept the fact I was a boy until about 5 or 6 years old you could only imagine the ridicule that my family had to go through.

Not being one to boast but my family were the first people to own a security company on the island at the time which was run by the butchest man that I know, my dear and loving father.

So you could only imagine having a gay child was difficult, myparents were told that I was gay before, I could even spell it.

As time went on, the trauma of living on that island and what took place, made me not believe in God. I didn't understand how a happy kid could be tortured so much by people who prayed.

I do remember the first time I prayed, it was the day I was diagnosed with HIV, I sat in the waiting room before the results came, and I asked The Lord not to take away the virus but to give me strength. My mother always said to me, to give thanks before you go to bed, because there is more to life than just you.

I have seen my fair share of anomalies and a few things that I cannot explain, and for those that say prayer doesn't work, let me explain this.

I'm still here standing in front of you today, because I pray.

I prayed to God that day for the strength. He gave me heart, and he gave me talent, that my pain and suffering would not go unheard and that my experiences would be heard by others. God made me realise that everything I pray for does come true but perhaps not in the way I could imagine.

I asked recently to survive. I've been through a lot last year, and a lot of people didn't think I would have made it. One day while trying to convince someone else that it was worth their while staying alive, I walked back to the hostel where I was staying, and cheekily asked The Lord, what he would do to thank me for helping this kid who I had just talked out of committing suicide and I as I walked into the premises I was told on arrival that I had been given a flat of my own.

So you see, no matter what back ground you are from, or what faith you follow, if any, he or she or the universe has the answers to it all!

If you believe there's something there, you will survive whatever life throws at you.

Now I’m going to say a prayer to get a job so we’ll see what happens and then I hope I can really make a difference.

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