Last week I had a great long talk with Cindy Rodríguez from the Denver Post. She had recently done a piece about Mike Haley of Focus on the Family (and a former Love in Action staff worker). Her follow-up piece is entitled “Reparative Therapy” Represses.
We talked for nearly two hours on the phone, which brought up lots of memories of my “ex-gay” years–so much longing for a different life, striving to be all that I believed God meant me to be, doing whatever it takes to “get right with God”. Then to consider all the people hurt in the wake, it shook me inside. It took a few days to feel stable inside again.
I know it is important to tell our stories. Important for us and for others to hear, but I also know the process drains us. I encourage lots of folks to get out there and share their experiences, but I warn them that it comes at a cost, great reward too, but a cost.
In her piece Rodríguez writes about one of my exorcism experiences (when I was commanded to vomit my demons of homosexual into a bucket.) and my time in Love in Action.
…Toscano learned how to speak in a more affirmative manner, with the last syllable intoning down instead of up. He learned how to walk and shake hands in a “manly” way. And there was lots of praying.
He graduated from the program but after six months, the real him came out. It took years for him to realize he needed to stop hurting himself by trying to change: “It’s extremely dangerous when we try to become something other than ourselves,” he said.
It’s a lesson that applies to all people who are marginalized in our society, but with all the pressures to conform it’s understandable why some would rather remake themselves.
She then goes on to discuss John Paulk and a recent conversation she had with him.
She also provides a Spanish language version Terapia reparativa reprime (sombrero tip to Christine), which works out very well as I have joined together with a Spanish speaking lesbian Quaker about doing a blog in Spanish about our experiences struggling with our same-sex desires and our faith. I’ll let you know when it is ready to roll.