Blog of a Recent LIA Survivor

J recently spent time as a particpant at the Love in Action program and has begun to write about his experiences. In his most recent entry he considers the state of people when they enter LIA and the misconceptions that are perpetuated.

I think it’s fair to say that I was damaged going into LIA, and came out even more so. I was the prey of a predatorial group, seeking weak, wounded individuals who are deeply in need of having a void filled. EVERY person in LIA that I can remember had just recently hit their rock bottom before deciding to attend the program. God, I feel like a fool. So naive and childish. What can I do though. It’s in the past, and I have my future ahead of me. Would suing LIA put an end to this, or at least bring about awareness? I wish I knew that they didn’t promise “curing” of homosexuality before I went and thrust myself into debt.

March 16, 2006 post from Chronicles of an ex-Ex-Gay

There is a power in sharing our stories and I hope we can learn more of J’s experience and others like J who have submitted to ex-gay treatment.

This post has 1 Comment

  1. Jeff Harwood on March 20, 2006 at 7:27 pm Reply

    I can fully sense, comprehend and empathasize with J’s frustration and disillusionment. I too went into LIA expecting to be cured–expecting to come out completely heterosexual. Imagine my disappointment when I learned during orientation that there was no promise of a cure. The disappointment that I felt learning that I would never be anything more than ex-gay was bitter. While some of us in that orientation class were disappointed, others were angry–even livid.

    Yet we hung on to hope of “ex-gay”–a kind of second-class heterosexuality. For myself I saw no other options. I had no concept of a healthy homosexuality. I had no concept of a homosexual community. I never heard that there were homosexual men or women who were living happy, healthy lives in monogamous (read not-open) partnerships. This combined with my own fears of my sexuality and my own religious strigency left me with only one door, ex-gay.

    At the start, we were promised that although we would never be heterosexual, our desires for men would diminish over time. (It should be noted that desire notates sexual desire. I don’t remember any teaching or mention of relational desire in the program. Correct me if I’m wrong.) Yet during my time in the program, even this promise was subject to revision. It was eventually revised to cover only a select few. And even this was to be a crap shoot. You might experience the diminishment…you might not.

    The point of this long entry is that there is no promise of success in LIA. What promises there are are based on an ever-shifting target.

    Last word (for this posting): Has there been a change for me in my sexuality? Yes, but in no means tied to LIA. My change has come as I have learned to understand my own sexual and relational nature. As I have come to accept my homosexuality, I have found (or am finding) a balance between my relational desires and my sexual desires. Now that all the shame and guilt of wanting a man has eroded, I am free to acknowledge that I want to be in relationship with a man. The entire focus in homosexuality of the ex-gay movement is on sex. Once that paranoia was been removed, I was free to feel and to express my relational side and to incorporate it into my personhood.

    J, hang in there. If you need to talk (or just to hang out with someone who has been there), look me up. I’m pretty easy to find.

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