Ex-gay (overcome unwanted same sex attraction) stories are all prettty much the same. In the video below is someone who proclaims they are 'ex-gay', that is, changed from gay to now being a heterosexual, married person. The common themes in these stories include:
- It's my parents fault I'm gay - my father didn't love me and/or my mother was overbearing.
- I was sexually abused
- I hated myself as a gay person
- I had substance abuse issues and mental health problems
- My life was completely messed up and was really dillusioned the 'gay lifestyle' (whatever that is)
- I had numerous meaningless sexual encounters and therefore lacked any sense of morality or self respect
- I couldn't maintain a long term relationship/relationships
- Testimonials are often sensationalized and over dramatized. In this story below two 11-12 year old boys playing/experimenting together is called sexual abuse. Sometimes people talk about having been drug addicts but in truth they were drug users.This is obviously different but not as dramaitc.
- There is no mention of falling in love with wife or husband. This is what God wanted apparently.
- The person now has a ministry that rescues or works with people struggling with 'unwanted same sex attraction'. This creates added pressure to maintain the façade or live in denial or they will lose their identity/ministry/source of income.
Interesting to note that:
- Many gay and lesbian people had and still have wonderful relationships with their parents but are still gay. Many straight people also had poor relationships with their parents but are heterosexual.
- Abuse is abuse but it doesn't make a person gay. Certainly not during experimental phases of puberty with people the same age.
- Around 40% of people have had a same sex experience but obviously not 40% of the population are gay.
- Heterosexuals also can lead self-destructive lifestyles and be promiscuous etc but if they have a conversion experience don't feel the need to blame their tragic past on their sexual orientation.
- When straight married people talk about their partners and how they met they usually talk about how they fell in love. And even that they are still in love. This is not a part of ex-gay stories. They love their partners like a best friend.
- Gay men and lesbians can exist in heterosexual marriages but this is not a change in orientation it is situational heterosexuality.
- Amongst gay and lesbian people is a spectrum of morality as there is amongst the straight community. Many gay and lesbian people live in long-term, committed, monogamous relationships. These ex-gay stories assume the opposite because of their own personal experience - often of many meaningless, unfufilling sexual encounters.
- Gays and lesbians have not cornered the market on sex by any means. An alarming number of married men and women have extra-marital affairs.
If you feel that you are tormented by uwanted same-sex attraction then the answer lies in loving and accepting your true self not rejecting or self loathing. The term 'unwanted same-sex attraction' adds to the denial. It is not an attraction it is an orientation. It is far deeper than just an attraction or behaviour and is a part of your brain wiring, thought processes, hormones and behaviour. People nedd to examine the 'unwanted' part of the statement not the orientation itself.
Before you invest the time, money, emotional energy and possibly years of your life trying to go from gay to straight, ask the ex-gay leaders what guarantee they can give you that it will work. If they are honest with you, the best they will be able to offer you as a degree of ‘heterosexual functionality’, but the gay never actually goes away. Then ask yourself what would be the best way to spend your time, money and emotional energy…..rejecting yourself or accepting yourself.
After 22 years of trying to change including ex-gay programs, exorcisms and 16 years of marriage, I came to the realisation that loving myself was far healthier than hating and rejecting my true self. Like 1,000’s of others today, I finally discovered that I can live a wonderfully fulfilling, moral life as an openly gay man and still have my faith.