A former Hollywood designer who worked with celebrities and supermodels and once identified as gay has articulated why contemporary sexuality labels do not accurately describe him and detailed his own “road to Damascus.”
In interviews with media organizations this week, author Becket Cook explained that he knew he was same-sex attracted at an early age and later embraced it as his identity for years before he was faced with a come-to-God experience.
"The main thing that happened was the Holy Spirit,” Cook told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Tuesday. “My encounter with God was so road-to-Damascus. But I knew instantly that being gay was not my identity anymore, that dating guys was not a part of my future and I didn't care.”
Cook, the author of the 2019 book A Change of Affection: A Gay Man's Incredible Story of Redemption, told The Christian Broadcasting Network on Monday that he felt that he had to hide his same-sex attraction growing up. He dated girls when he was elementary school through high school. But, it was all “a facade.”
After college, Cook moved to Los Angeles to pursue a creative career in the arts and came out as gay, fully embracing homosexuality as his identity.
"After each relationship with a guy, and after it would end, I had total amnesia [about] how it all ended and I would think, 'Oh, the next guy is going to be perfect. And the next guy is going to be amazing,’” he remembered.
But within a few years, relationships would end and usually were punctuated by “cheating and infidelity.” But several years ago, Cook unexpectedly encountered the living God.
At the time, Cook thought the entire purpose of his life was fulfillment in finding true love in another “guy” and career success. He achieved success as a set and production designer, as he did covers for outlets like Vogue and worked with a lot of stars like Katy Perry, Paris Hilton and Oprah Winfrey.
“Everyone you can imagine, I worked with them,” he said.
He also started his own men’s fashion line that reached popular fashion city’s like New York and Paris. But his accomplishments did not fulfill him, he said.
"Is that all there is to life?" he recalled thinking after a celebrity-laden fashion show after-party in Paris on one occasion.
“Everyone was there from the fashion world. Kanye [West] was there that year,” he recalled. “I was kind of looking out over the crowd and it just struck me so profoundly. ‘Is that all there is to life? Just going to parties for the rest of my life. Is this what it is all about?’”
Cook said he started panicking and was “overwhelmed with a sense of emptiness.”
After getting back to Los Angeles and getting “busy with work for about six months,” he randomly encountered some Christians in a coffee shop in 2009 with their Bibles open on the tables. He said that was the first time he had seen a Bible in public in Los Angeles.
At that point in his life, Cook said he was a “practical atheist.”
He said he asked the group if they were Christians. They told him about what they believe and shared the Gospel. After Cook asked the group what their church believes about homosexuality, they told him that they believe homosexuality is a “sin.”
Cook said he appreciated their honesty and they invited him to church that following Sunday.
“When they responded that [homosexuality] is a sin, I kind of had this moment where I thought maybe there is a God, there is a slim chance that God exists,” he told CP. “At that point, I was practically an atheist. I thought the Bible was like any Greek myth.”
But Cook wondered if God exists and homosexuality is a sin, would that mean that he had built his life on a false foundation.
"I remember taking this idea that homosexuality was my identity and kicked it up out of my brain and put it on an imaginary shelf," Cook explained.
On that Sunday, he woke up and attended the church service. The pastor preached on Romans 7, a sermon that resonated with him.
Cook remembered thinking while the pastor prayed over him: “Why does this straight dude love me so much?”
“Because it seemed so loving what he was saying and praying," Cook explained.
Moments later, the Holy Spirit came in power, Cook said. Cook was overcome by His presence and began bawling.
In response to those who claim that Cook is suppressing his true self by saying he no longer identifies with homosexuality, Cook said that he lived that life for many years and did everything that came with it.
"I marched in gay pride parades. I marched in gay marriage equality parades. I was super gay. I tried that for 30 years,” Cook said. "My hope is that people will realize how much more amazing it is to deny yourself and follow Christ rather than just give in to sin now just to satisfy some immediate need."
Cook said that he is “happy to leave that dead man behind because He is worth it."
Today, Becket spends much of his time doing ministry work as he speaks about the issue of homosexuality at churches, schools and conferences across the country.
The author believes that the turmoil besetting the Western world as a result of postmodernity and not having any objective truth whatsoever is a heavy burden for any human being to bear.
"I was at that point in my life where that burden was crushing me," Cook explained.
"The plus side of this issue [of homosexuality] being so dominant in the culture is that the Church can no longer look away, and they actually have to deal with it. And pastors are getting educated on this issue and are getting way more insight on this issue than they did in the 1980s."