The journey in Tryphena’s life as a former lesbian

THE raid on Swatch watch stores around the country by the authorities has created a lot of awareness about the LGBTQAI+ community and the worldwide movement associated with it.

Rev Tryphena Law Pek Leng, who is better known as Pastor Tryphena, said that the rise in this phenomenon is due to the “traditional family values, once built on good biblical principles in the West, have come under attack and certain communities are redefining the marriage institution.”

She opined that this is a crisis that is now subtly affecting our younger generation and Malaysians need to be aware of it.

“We need to know how to engage with the young people,” she told FocusM.

According to a Gallup poll released in December 2021, 20% of Gen Z in America has shockingly identified themselves as LGBTQ. With society at large becoming more permissive, sources warned that that the number is expected to rise further.

The former lesbian, who was approached by FocusM, was willing to bare it all by sharing her personal experience living a double life both as a church pastor and a ‘closet’ lesbian for about 10 years.

A video of her personal struggles posted on her organisation’s website has been viewed by over 55,000 people.

The Executive Director of PLUC, a Petaling Jaya-based Christian organisation dealing with people who are searching for their own identity explained yesterday (May 25) that her goal over the past 20 years since she joined PLUC in 2003 has always been “to journey with those in pain instead of being an activist.”

Ever since childhood, she had felt she needed to be the “man” to protect her friends. Because she was the firstborn and her parents wanted a boy badly, in her early years, they dressed her up as a cowboy, and instead of toy guns, paper dolls became her favourite pastime as a child.

When she was six, two things happened in her life that affected her. She had an early sexual awakening and her father was heavily involved in gambling and he lost everything including his small selling egg business.

“While playing with a neighbour’s child, she suddenly kissed me on the lips and touched the parts of my body that distorted my sexual experience,” she said.

“When I became an adult, I was becoming addicted to pornography. I again went through the same sex violation and from being a victim, I ended up being a perpetrator and violated my ‘straight’ girlfriends. In the end, I made them to be my sex partners.”

Because of the quarrels between her parents, Tryphena became the surrogate husband to her mother. “She would confide with me a lot of things instead of my Pa,” she recalled.

Reflecting back to her younger days, she added: “Pa was never a bad guy at all, but he never grew up to be a man because his own father had passed on when he was still very young. When I was 13, there was a heated argument between Ma and Pa, and Pa chased us all out of the home. I made a vow that someday I would be a better man than Pa.”

Revealing the secrets of her relationship with a female sex partner of hers, Tryphena continued: “One night, she gave me a call and told me that we had to break up our relationship of three years, and that really broke my heart.

“The night of our breakup was like the longest night of my life. I looked around my house, filled with memories of love. She was the first lady I found fulfilment in,” she said.

She quitted her job as a pastor within 24 hours. “I left church totally, feeling the pain for causing hurts to the people I loved and respected,” she admitted.

Finding that she could not take it anymore, in 2001, when she was 33, she had wanted to end her life. “The breakup was so devastating till I was at the verge of being suicidal. My partner then was in a relationship with another man,” she said.

“But it was during these moments that I experienced God’s miracle in my life. This was how my life was transformed to serve the people who experience similar struggles in life.”

Today, she has helped many from the LGBT community to discover their God-given identity and “cross over” to a new life.

Her community is now known as ‘Rainbow Crosser’, which is a community of former strugglers who wanted their rights to live according to their God-given identity.

There is a reason for the community to call themselves by this name. “In the past, we called ourselves ‘ex-gays’ but some ex-gay leaders fell and returned to their old ways,” she explained.

“When they came back to the straight path, they coined themselves as the ‘ex-ex-gays’. The community realised that they had to look for a new word, and in 2018, the Christian former LGBT members who gathered in Taipei decided to use the term Rainbow Crosser.”

On her twentieth anniversary with PLUC, the organisation has put together a book which is available on request by writing to her at [email protected]. – May 26, 2023

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