On my recent trip to Malta, I met Paolo (not his real name), who when he was 18 (three years ago) stumbled into the ex-gay movement. His story helps illustrate how the US-based ex-gay theories and practices sneak in under the radar in Europe.
When I came out to my mum about my sexuality I must admit she was not expecting this, however she was understanding and told me not to rush into things as this might just be one of the phases which adolescences may go through, and if I were gay she would have no problem with it, as nowadays its normal, however in order for me to find out if this were just a phase or not she soon referred me to a psychologist in Malta where I live.
Seems reasonable enough except that this particular “therapist” quickly took Paolo on a down path in an attempt to de-gay him.
She paused and said, ‘you gay?, not once did it cross my mind that you could be gay, however not to worry’ she added, and she soon reached out for a book which was created by a pastor, whereby she told me to read these prayers, in order for the Holy Spirit to come into me and to basically deliver me from evil, and this was to be discussed in further detail upon my second visit. At that point in time being at such a vulnerable stage I just followed her orders, without any question.
Paolo returned two more times, but he finally stood up to the abusive and inaccurate teaching,
Upon my third visit as she went on about the whole possessed issue and religious acceptance, that for me was the final straw, and I said, ‘I am sorry but who are you to say that god doesn’t accept me?, God accepts and forgives everyone and being gay is not considered as a forbidden sin, and as far as I am concerned I have never stolen, murdered or committed any mortal sin, and I have faith in God and surely I am not possessed and God loves me as I am. After all I am one of his creations!’ and that brought about the end of my third and final visit.
In his narrative over at Beyond Ex-Gay Paolo outlines his reasons for sharing his story. You can read his complete narrative here.
Thank you Paolo for sharing your story!