Disgraced former televangelist Ted Haggard has acknowledged for the first time that he’s bisexual.
“I think that probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual,” the pastor told the GQ magazine for a profile that appears in the February issue.
Haggard also admitted that he used to watch gay porn and compulsively masturbate. In the interview, he seems to trace his behavior to having been sexually molested at age 7.
When asked why he would identify as bisexual at 21 but not now, Haggard replied to the writer:
“Because, Kevin, I’m 54, with children, with a belief system, and I can have enforced boundaries in my life. Just like you’re a heterosexual but you don't have sex with every woman that you're attracted to, so I can be who I am and exclusively have sex with my wife and be perfectly satisfied.”
In 2006, Haggard was shunned by New Life Church, the evangelical mega-congregation he founded in Colorado Springs, after a male prostitute revealed that he’d purchased crystal meth for Haggard and had sex with him several times.
Haggard insisted to GQ that he never had sex with escort Mike Jones.
“I bought drugs and a massage from him, and he masturbated me at the end of it. That’s it,” Haggard said.
Since his fall from power in the evangelical movement, Haggard has founded St. James Church also in Colorado Springs. His new congregation is reportedly less sin-focused than New Life.
The GQ interview hits the stands about two weeks after the TLC premiere of “Ted Haggard: Scandalous,” a one-hour special documentary in which Haggard shares how the scandal strained his relationship with New Life Church.