New film tells story of X Factor contestant who left homosexuality after finding God

Matthew Grech stirred controversy when appeared as a contestant on X Factor Malta and said he had left homosexuality after finding God(Photo: TVM/X Factor Malta)

A new film premiering in February tells the real-life story of a former gay man who became straight after becoming a Christian. 

Matthew Grech shared his testimony during an appearance on X Factor Malta in 2018 in which he said he used to lead a homosexual lifestyle before he 'found God'.

In the original footage, which has since been removed from YouTube and Facebook, he added, 'For a long time I stopped following my passions to follow Jesus. There can be love between two men and two women, yes—but only friendship love. Everything else is a sin.'

His comments triggered a backlash against the show's producers and the channel it aired on in Malta, TVM, for broadcasting his views. 

The backlash prompted X Factor producers to issue a statement saying that Grech's original audition was not intended 'to cause offence'.

'Nor were the views expressed those of the producers of the programme,' they added at the time. 

Now his story is being told in the film, 'Once Gay - Matthew and Friends', produced by the Core Issues Trust and supported by Andrea Williams of Christian Concern and Dermot O'Callaghan of the Church of Ireland Synod. 

In an open letter announcing the film, the three said: 'Matthew's choice to leave the LGBT community, and the resistance he experienced when doing so, is a story shared by many in the UK.

'As the UK's LGBT strategy is increasingly centralised in Government functions, schools have little option but to knuckle down and promote the new sexual mores and values and, according to many, the Gospel is increasingly undermined by liberal activists in many churches.

'Bans on therapeutic choice (aka "conversion therapy") will simply prevent individuals from choosing to leave unwanted sexual practices and feelings.'

They added that 'Once Gay' was a response to the forthcoming movie 'Boy Erased' starring Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe about a boy who has a traumatic experience of Christian conversion therapy. 

They accuse the movie of only telling part of the story and being 'simply intent on showing homosexual orientation as fixed and unalterable'.

'It will be used to dupe the unsuspecting public that banning "conversion therapy" is logical and necessary not recognising that churches will be impacted by such a ban. This is something that churches in Malta are now discovering,' they said. 

'Once Gay' is to premiere at the Emmanuel Centre in London on February 11 followed by a screening in Belfast on February 14.

Grech will be joining the screenings, where he will perform live and lead the audience in a time of worship. 

'I am excited to share the story of what God has done in my life, in Ireland for the first time! 'ONCE GAY' is ready to be screened in Belfast,' Grech wrote on his Facebook page.