Brian Mahieu powerfully shares his “ex-gay” experiences in a recent letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
I submitted to every tool in the “transformational ministry” arsenal: religious conversion, renunciation of homosexuality and all my social contacts, extensive daily prayer, fasting (up to five days at a time), weekly exorcisms some lasting many hours each, “spiritual warfare including: inner healing, deliverance ministry and the breaking of generational curses (supposedly going back hundreds or thousands of years), 12-step type programs, aversion therapy.
Nothing helped. My excruciating journey culminated with christian psychotherapy that prescribed massive doses of four different medications designed to eliminate my sex drive and enable me to live in the state of suicidal depression brought on my nearly two decades of trying to accomplish the impossible.
Trying to change one’s sexual orientation is akin to growing a new arm or changing the color of one’s skin. After nineteen years of doing everything offered by the Transformational Ministry movement to be “cured” of homosexuality my sexual orientation had not changed in the least.
Mr. Mahieu goes onto share about his tragic 15 year marriage and then beautifully makes a case against “ex-gay” experiences to parents considering reaparative therapy for their queer/questioning children.
The vast numbers of people affected by these sort of “ex-gay” experiences are not fully understood, but in a New York Times article yesterday Katy Butler writes about the plight of women who have been in what she calls Brokeback Marriages.
On June 1, 2000, Mrs. Remmele, then 31, discovered her husband’s profile on the Web site gay.com. The couple stayed up all that night weeping and talking. Soon afterward, 10 days before she gave birth to her second child, Mrs. Remmele’s husband went off to spend a couple of nights with his new boyfriend. “I tried to talk him out of it, and he left anyway,” Mrs. Remmele said. “I was devastated.” Three months later the couple divorced.
Mrs. Remmele — now married to a farmer who raises cattle, corn and soybeans — is one of an estimated 1.7 million to 3.4 million American women who once were or are now married to men who have sex with men.
The estimate derives from “The Social Organization of Sexuality,” a 1990 study, that found that 3.9 percent of American men who had ever been married had had sex with men in the previous five years. The lead author, Edward O. Laumann, a sociologist at the University of Chicago, estimated that 2 to 4 percent of ever-married American women had knowingly or unknowingly been in what are now called mixed-orientation marriages.
These powerful narratives need to come out more and more so that no one will ignorantly enter into an “ex-gay” experience or into a marriage that in most cases is bound to end in tragedy.