Spilling My Guts

Last week Susan Campbell from the Hartford Courant interviewed me for her regular column . In response to the Ted Haggard story she wanted to know about my own involvement in the ex-gay movement and in the conservative Evangelical church.

In telling my story I shared with her something that I nearly had forgotten. I was 17, had just become a Christian and my libido was on HIGH ALERT. She writes about what happened and the results of my actions and then my words.

He’d been caught in an intimate act with another young man at a band weekend in upstate New York. As he confessed what had happened to the angry organizers, he saw their faces soften when he said he was a Christian and didn’t want to be a homosexual.

I learned such a critical lesson that night spilling my guts in front of those angry men. I learned that straight men will show me tolerance and even compassion as long as I admitted I struggled with my same-sex attractions.

Throughout my career as an ex-gay, whenever I messed up, (and Lord knows I messed up a lot), I turned to a straight man–the hall director at my Christian university, my pastor, my accountability partner, an ex-gay program leader (okay not exactly a straight man)–and confessed my sins. I groveled, I cried, and humiliated myself in their presence. As a reward, they did not eject me from the school, the church, or the program, well most of the time.

Sometimes I did things so outrageous they had no choice but to eject me. Perhaps that was my way of ejecting myself.

Susan Campbell’s piece is entitled Saved By Therapy Or Faith?

This post has 4 Comments

  1. Anna HP on February 14, 2007 at 5:55 am Reply

    Very interesting article. I find it I must always bite my tounge when I read your entries about christianity vs homosexuality, not to offend anyone but today I can’t. Then question is ment for anyone who reads this. I am not saying this is wrong, I don’t have the right to do so, but I don’t understand how you can devote yourself to a religion that doesn’t approve of who you are. How can you allow someone else to tell you that the way you live your life is sinfull or whatever? I know there are no simple answers to my questions.

  2. Brady on February 14, 2007 at 5:23 pm Reply

    Peterson-
    This entry reminded me of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the only defense to get out of being discharged if a gay soldier is caught red handed–The soldier has to say and try to prove that this was a lapse in judgement, rather than a problem with sexual orientation. Strange, isn’t it, that our military would implicitly ask someone to lie to keep his or her job protecting our country?

  3. Willie Hewes on February 15, 2007 at 8:52 am Reply

    Yes, roll over, there’s a good boy. *smirk*

    I think what you describe can well be used to support the argument that anti-gay sentiment in the church is down to homophobia in its leaders, rather than anything in the teachings. As long as you cry, repent and struggle, you’re not a threat. But when you stand up, accept yourself and actually show you have some balls about it, they get scared. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate is the power of the dark side. Yep.

  4. Daniel C on February 15, 2007 at 1:09 pm Reply

    Embrace the hate!
    It is a good thing to hate the unjust.
    It is a good thing to hate the famine, peoples suffering.
    Cause that gives you the strength and the solidarity to help your fellow men. It also get you the strength to stand up for yourself. Do not be so focused in good or bad emotions.
    It is not about that. From a Donny Darko fans, you cant split emotions in good or bad, like there were only two sides.
    Be a rebel, also against those axioms that actually might not be so cozy as we think.

Leave a Comment