Ex-gay survivors have many reasons for wanting to change from gay to straight. Some we have never fully articulated, but recently I got to understand yet another reason why I so desperatly sought to change my sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual.
During this current trip to Europe, I had a long conversation with a conservative Methodist woman from the US (who now lives abroad). I have thought long and hard about the ecounter and after journaling about it some, I decided to write the essence of it here.
After sharng with this women in detail my ex-gay saga–the steps I took, my heart to please God, and the damage the process caused emotionally, psychologically and spiritually–the woman proceded to tell me that she felt the scripture was clear on the matter and that we should not give God a timeline of when we want him to work. She then asked,
But why did you even try to change? Perhaps it was God’s will for you to bear
the burden of your gay feelings as your daily cross. We all have burdens to bear.
ME: Do you realize what you are saying? That I would go all of my life without the prospect for a companion or lover or partner. That I would even have to be concerned about having a male roomate because I might fall in love with him. Do you understand how hard such a life would be?
SHE: God can always do a miracle!
ME: Like change me? See change is essential. If not, you will live your life shut off from intimacy. Look at the Catholic Church and what has happened with so many of the priests.
SHE: I don’t want to look at the Catholic Church.
ME: You need to. They suppressed their sexuality and it came out all twisted. I grew up Catholic and some of the most bitter men I ever met were priests.
You are a divorced heterosexual woman. You may never remarry, but you always have the hope that you will find a nice man and settle down. If not, you can always get a roomate to be a companion to you. But you will deny me that hope and insist that I live a celibate life without a partner, unless of course God does a miracle. I sought God for nearly two decades for that miracle and it nearly destroyed me.
Jesus spoke about this very thing when he condemned the Pharisees saying,
You put burdens on men’s backs that you will not bear yourselves and make them
twice the sons of hell as youselves.
I finally suggested we pray together because I found her words abusive, and we were not getting anywhere. Also, I knew I had to stop the dialogue before it got any further and ugly. I found it difficult because I felt she wasn’t hearing what I had been saying and instead she said many of the same things I told her that I had told myself for years.
We prayed, but I left haunted by the memory of years of hoping, longing, praying for change, knowing instinctively that if it did not come, (and for most I met, it never did) then I looked at the prospect of a lonely lonely life.