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October 1, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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Queer

Aversion Therapy, Conversion Therapy, Reparative Therapy, Transformative Ministries…all various approaches for the alteration of a person’s sexual orientation or more precisely, the changing of a queer person into a fully functional, happy and content heterosexual being.

Interested? I was. As a devout Christian I knew that God abhorred the perverse nature that dwelled at the core of my being. Which meant he abhorred me. I loved God…longed for some transcendent experience with Him that would give my life and this world’s existence some semblance of meaning. But, I was flawed- I was a homosexual!

I had felt crushes on guys in kindergarten, but it was not until I was 11 that I realised the energetic-electric-exciting feeling I felt towards men was what other people defined as sodomite, homosexual, effeminate, perversion. Is it a coincidence that was the year I got saved? July 7th, 1978…the day I was born again. I went to church every Sunday, morning service and evening, as well as Wednesday nights. I read the New Testament seven or eight times and the entire Bible twice. I picked up on all the “code” words…Noah’s son “knew him”…thou shalt not “lay” with a man as with a woman, sodomite, effeminate, sexually perverse, unclean…I was an abomination. But I hadn’t “lain” with anyone! And no matter how deep down I pushed those feelings; they were there- torturing me. So, I began a process at age 11 to change my desire and myself. I would become a “straight” man.

Initially I began the process on my own reading books by Tim Lahaye and Dr. James Dobson (advocates of Reparative Therapy). I memorised Scripture, prayed copiously and kept a spiritual journal…though my “thorn in the flesh” was too horrific for me to even name. In my writings, it was “my problem” or “you know God, wink”, for writing it down would make it too real…too true and worse, perhaps unchangeable. Eventually and at the age of 13, I confided in my youth minister.. He was supportive and promised to pray for me and to always be available for talks. He also recommended that I focus on creating strong relationships with other males and that I continue to pray, memorise Scripture, and be active in the church. He assured me that with time and dedication, my desires would fade and give way to a fulfilling “God-ordained” heterosexuality. Five additional years of prayer and Scripture and a dedication of my life to the ministry had not diminished my homosexuality but had seen me fall head over heels in love with my minister and also with one of my best male friends…my faith was not diminished. I chose a conservative Southern Baptist University and after a frustrating freshman year that saw my desires magnify in direct proportion to all the magnificent men around me 24-7, I sought professional help. No longer was I just reading books about overcoming homosexuality and Reparative therapy…

I joined a group: Homosexuals Anonymous. H.A. (ha, ha) was a 12-step program (with 14 steps) based on Alcoholic’s Anonymous that treated homosexuality as an addiction (being so devout, we had two extra steps!). I did wonder how one could be addicted to something they had never tried before- I was a virgin in every sense of the word, but if they could make me straight then I would give it a go. I also had an X-gay, trained counsellor named Thom…a rather gay spelling don’t you think…for a cured gay to straight guy? Now I was certain to overcome my damning corrupt nature! The group meetings always started with a resuscitation of the 14 steps. We admitted that we were powerless over our homosexuality and that our emotional lives were unmanageable, We believed the love of God, forgave us and accepted us in spite of all that we were and had done…etc. blah, blah, blah. We shared our thoughts and feelings about our sexuality in this group, our relationships with our dads and weak moments of thought or action. In private counselling, Thom spoke with me of his transformation and marriage. He would pray with me and hug me “in a non-sexual way” to demonstrate a “healthy” masculine expression of affection.

To be continued…

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