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?