My name is Cleiton Souza and I am 24 years old. For a long time, I lived a double life – one pleased my parents and the other became my reality.
From a very young age, I began questioning my sexuality, which confused everybody, including myself. I liked women, but I was also attracted to men. Over time I learned how to distinguish my preferences, and became aware of what I wanted. My same-sex relationships began to get serious, often with older men, who gave me everything I wanted. I had absolutely no needs. However, these relationships were frustrating because I liked the person, but we couldn’t make it public; I was afraid to tell my parents and, in most cases, they were married.
I felt good in their company, but when I’d get home I felt dirty, filthy. However, I could not stop. After so many disappointments, my love life gradually went downhill and I became depressed. To try to wipe away the tears, I started going to gay clubs, and meeting new people. Soon, I was drinking, smoking and being more promiscuous. There were men that transformed into women at these clubs and I thought this was inspiring, but I didn’t have the courage to do the same, yet.
I began having feelings for someone that did this and, after being in a relationship for a couple of months, we decided to make our same-sex relationship public. My parents were going through some tough times when this happened. They were constantly arguing and, because of that hellish situation, I decided to leave home and went to live with that man.
At first it was a bed of roses, but we started arguing a lot and, eventually, decided to break up. I found myself alone, in complete solitude. Nothing made sense to me, the suffering was notorious in my face, and to fill the void, I changed drastically.
I assumed a new identity. I went from Cleiton Souza to Lauanny Souza, and became a woman. I became the laughing stock among my friends and family, a victim of abuse and ridicule. But I didn’t care, the more the pointed me out, the more I dressed inappropriately and went out with “friends”.
I already knew about the work of the Universal Church because, at one point in time, I had been a firm member. Unfortunately, I allowed myself to be carried away by the devil’s tricks and fell away from the presence of God. There were so many doubts surrounding me; in addition, I began having bad eyes with the things of God and the pastors. After all the glamorous evening parties, promiscuity, money, drugs, alcohol, etc. I was unhappy. My life was a front. During two long years I suffered serious problems with insomnia and heard voices. One particular night, I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to listen to the radio. The pastor called those who had fallen away to come back to Church, and that’s when I made my decision.
I remember it was during an Israel Challenge, and I participated by asking to be born again, to be a child of God, because this was the only way for the extraordinary to happen in my life. And that is exactly what happened. I surrendered my life on the Altar of God.
Today I am happy. I have peace, joy, sleep soundly; I am completely transformed. My parents forgave me and now I live with them, our home is a blessing. I was born again; I have a new focus and objectives. Today, the will to live fulfills the several suicide attempts.
Someone believed in me, and now I am strong, I am part of the Universal’s Youth Group, and am willing to help others who currently live as I lived, knowing that the only way to change is to be born again.
Jesus transformed my being, He changed my life.
I am a true miracle.