Jones and Yarhouse release Exodus longitudinal study

Today at 2:15pm in Nashville, Stan Jones and Mark Yarhouse presented the results of their study of religiously mediated change of sexual orientation. To a packed house, the researchers outlined the methods of sampling, the measures used and the results. Following the presentation, Intervarsity Press hosted a brief press conference.

Key points and findings:

The study sought to address two questions: Is change of sexual orientation, specifically homosexual orientation, possible? And, is the attempt intrinsically harmful? The authors were careful to point out that the participants were not engaged in professional therapy and so the variable of interest was participation in Exodus. Jones and Yarhouse began with 98 subjects and at time 3 assessment had 73. The retention rate of 74.5% is respectable as compared with other longitudinal studies.

Using several measures of sexual orientation (including Kinsey scale, Klein scales, Shively and Dececco and self-report of categorical change), the authors report change in several different ways. I’ll note three here. First of all, when simply asked how the participants thought of themselves, the results were as follows from Time 1 to Time 3 (over 4 years).

– 33 people reported change in the desired manner (from gay at time 1 in the heterosexual direction at time 3)

– 29 reported no change

– 8 reported change in the undesired direction

– 3 were unsure how to describe their experience of change

Jones and Yarhouse segmented a subgroup they called “Truly Gay.” This group was expected to show less change since they had more settled homosexual attractions, a gay identity and past homosexual activity. However, this group demonstrated a larger degree of change. Since multiple measures were used, it is difficult to summarize the degree of change they reported. However, I will report one example dimension here. For the entire population, a Kinsey self-rating was developed with one item used to inform the rating. For the whole population, an average rating of 5.07 was reported at Time 1 (the beginning). At time three, the average was 4.08, or almost one point decline which is a significant result. Some people reported lots of change, others not so much as noted above. On average, the changes were statistically significant. However, observers might wonder if these changes are of a sufficient practical different to warrant optimism about claims of change. My response is that even some change with little evidence of harm is of great importance to people who are seeking great congruence with their values and beliefs. The authors were quite careful to note that the changes reported were modest for most. They also noted that diminishment of homosexual attractions were more pronounced than acquisition of heterosexual attractions.

Other categories reported were:

– Success: Conversion – There were subjects who reported that they felt their change to be successful and reported substantial reduction in homosexual desire and addition of heterosexual attraction and functioning at Time 3. 15% met these criteria.

– Success: Chastity – These people experienced satisfactory reductions in homosexual desire and were living chaste lives. 23% were in this category.

– Continuing – These persons experienced only modest change in the desired direction but expressed commitment to continue. 29% were in this category.

– No-response – These people experienced no change and were conflicted about the future even though they had not given up. 15% were here.

– Failure (from their perspective): Confused – No change reported and had given up but did not label themselves gay. 4% were in this group

– Failure: Gay identity – No change, no pursuit and had come as gay. 8% were in this category.

Regarding harm, results of the Symptom Check List – 90 – Revised (SCL-90) were changed little from Time 1 to Time 3. The entire sample was in better mental health shape than outpatient averages at Time 1 and improved slightly by Time 3.

The authors are to be commended for their candor and the tentative way of describing their results. They clearly noted the limitations and the strength and made appropriate qualifications. They were careful to acknowledge the reality of harm that can occur from poor practices and made no attempt to minimize the harm that has been reported (e.g., the ex-ex-gays).

More information is available at the IVPress website, e.g., this video of Stan Jones talking about the study. Christianity Today also has an article as does Citizen Link.

  • Drowssap

    Does it mention the gender breakdown of the 98 subjects?

  • Lynn David

    Yikes… where to begin. There is a rather obvious hole in the study. That being where did the other 25 people go by Time-3 that were there at Time-1? If they were no longer available due to a lack of contact with their originating ministry, don’t you think that has meaning to the percentages and to whether that ministerial activity was without harm? Could be all 25 are dead… could be all 25 are suicides. DId Jones and Yarhouse (keep wanting to call him Yarmouth) attempt with diligence to determine their outcomes? Add that 25 into those 8% of the 73 who now identify as gay and you’re back up to 31% who identify as gay.

    Loosing touch with this study would seem to be indicative of something the bias of those conducting the study would rather not investigate. One might even suspect that Jones and Yarhouse “lost those 25 people on purpose. But I think they have more integrity than that. Though the track record of the anti-gay/ex-gay/supposed “family” groups have me wondering what to think.

    Add those 25 into the gay-identified group (or worse if they were suicides) and you’d realign those percentages to:

    __________________________________________

    – Success: Conversion — 11%

    – Success: Chastity — 17%

    – Continuing – modest change, commitment to continue. — 21%

    – No-response – no change and were conflicted — 15%

    – Failure (from their perspective): Confused — 3%

    – Failure: Gay identity – No change, gay. — 32%

    __________________________________________

    What Exodus will claim will be a theological success… “we kept so many from sinning!” They’ll claim 67% when it might really ownly be 49% or so….

    Ok… off to read the false praise on IVP/CitizenLink/Christianity Today.

  • Lynn David

    Gotta give this to the authors – from the sample first chapter

    http://www.ivpress.com/title/exc/2846-1.pdf ::

    Second, if some but not all of the 98 individuals who completed the initial assessment for this study demonstrate significant change, this study will provide no conclusive evidence about what proportion of individuals can change. Why? Because answering the question of probability of success would require a study examining a scientifically representative sample of all persons who experience homosexual attraction. We do not, however, have such a scientifically representative sample in this study. This is a ubiquitous problem in research on homosexuality—no one really has any idea of what such a representative sample would look like, and no study can really claim to have produced such a sample, for the simple reason that there is significant disagreement over how to define who “counts” as a “homosexual” and because there is so much controversy swirling around the subject that certain people will come forward or hang back from being studied for a variety of reasons.

    They do understand the limitations. I wonder what those in Exodus who would use the study should understand it. Plus the idea that the participants are always those who are “highly motivated.”

  • Lynn David

    Oh dear….

    Of the ministries contacted, a number declined to participate by referring participants to us, and this introduces further unknown variation in our sample. Of the ministries that agreed to participate, some referred all of their participants to us (as described later) while others clearly referred only a sample, again introducing unknown variation in our sample. … We believe that our sample is a fair representation of religiously motivated individuals seeking sexual orientation change, but of completely unknown representativeness of all homosexually oriented persons. Thus, we regard the sample in our study to be better than a mere convenience sample, but cannot argue for complete representativeness of the sample.

    But Warren… you’re post seemed to emphasize that percentages mean something, when they clearly now mean absolutely nothing except to argue for existance. This study is thus no more meaningful than your prior work to say, “I do exist!”

  • minty

    Success: Conversion – There were subjects who reported that they felt their change to be successful and reported substantial reduction in homosexual desire and addition of heterosexual attraction and functioning at Time 3. 15% met these criteria.

    15% is a much higher percentage than I would have expected. Based on my personal experience, I would have thought it to be more like 0.1% (lol).

    If this number can be verified, it seems like a big deal.

    But there is so much dishonesty in these ex-gay groups, that I’m very skepical. Asked specifically about conversion, they change the subject to chastity. They make offensive, blatantly dishonest analogies comparing homosexual attraction to non-consensual criminal behavior. And so on.

    So who knows.

  • Jamie Sartre

    They also noted that diminishment of homosexual attractions were more pronounced than acquisition of heterosexual attractions.

    This makes me wonder as to the exact details of how people really felt in their emotions, attractions etc. Personally in the past few years I have found that the former attractions I’ve had to guys have diminished.

    BUT let me explain, first I haven’t gone through treatment, I’ve struggled by myself pretty much (as I’ve kinda explained in other posts) and relied on my faith in God. To define those ‘attractions’ I’d say they were lusts and infatuations with other guys. To me any lust is sinful and not right to objectify another human being.

    Yet the hard part comes when, while I can see God has helped with that aspect, I really am no closer in feeling heterosexual feelings. I still have something within me that feels I want to be closer to another guy as opposed to a girl. So here again are feelings, which one may want to label as ‘attractions’. So what types of attractions were the participants in the study refering to?

    And how are we who identify as gay supposed to know which feelings are right and wrong? Considering that a very close platonic same sex relationship would be shunned by most evangelical Christians, even though it doesn’t involve sex.

  • Mary

    Jamie,

    I don’t know how long you have been working on this issue. However, it has been my experience that (and I am a woman – so it might be different for men) that my attractions diminished, I went through a long period of not being attracted to any gender, and then slowly as I learned more about my own feelings, thoughts, etc… my attractions for men began to grow. I wouldn’t say I am guy crazy like some of my friends, but I am attracted towards men now. I think it is just a matter of taking the time to transition. I doubt that anything like changing comes about instantly (we may realize some things instantly) but real change happens over time – even longer than the study mentioned here.

  • Mary

    Jaime,

    Let me clarify – When I left the gay life I was certain I was no longer gay and had attractions for men but not in the physical sense. I looked at the compliments that men brought to a relationship and the world ( things that just aren’t women – if that makes sense) anyhow – and I was attracted to that at first. Not the physicality or the “gender” per se but the things that men are in their essence. Because women and men are different. It is hard for me to define but that is where my journey started.

    Afterwards, I began to be physically attracted to men.

  • NickC

    Haven’t been following this blog, but came here today specifcally in search of infromation on this report, which has been publicized in other sources. Thanks, Warren, for the detailed summary.

    That being said–what is this study even supposed to mean?

    The authors themselves point out that:

    1) their sample does not attempt to represent a random sample of all persons with homosexual attractions

    2) their sample does not even represent a random sampling of all ex-gay minstries, since a number declined to participate

    3) the subjects they did end up with were in some cases cherry-picked by the ministries, and so do not even represent a random sampling of persons involved with the ministries that agreed to particpate.

    That leaves us with a study population of 98 individuals who aren’t representative of any group other than themselves. Given that fact, exactly what conclusions could anyone draw from the findings, other than that the researchers were able to locate 33 individuals who claim to be making satisfactory progress after three years in an ex-gay ministry?

    Now let’s look at the definition of satisfactory progress.

    “Success: Conversion” is defined as “substantial reduction in homosexual desire and addition of heterosexual attraction and functioning.” To me, that sounds like a weasely way of

    saying “they still have homosexual attractions, but they are not as strong (however that’s defined) and they’ve been able to feel some attraction to at least one woman an even establish a successful heterosexual relationship.”

    As I have frequently pointed out in the past, I was ex-gay for 30 years, married for 26 years, and fit the above description perfectly. I still felt like I was living a lie, and came out as openly gay five and a half years ago. So I’m not saying people can’t achieve this level of “success.” I’m just saying that to me, and to most people, that doesn’t mean the same thing as “changing from homosexual to heterosexual.”

    Yet even that limited definition applies to only 15% of the respondents (15 people?) Others report “change” as being able to remain celibate, or report no change at all.

    All the ex-gay ministries in America were apparently offered the opportunity to hand pick their most successful members for this study–and this is the best they can do?

    I do appreciate that the authors are apparently being upfront in acknowledging the shortcomings of their study and are not making grandiose claims for its meaning. But I’ll bet the same will not be the case in the way Exodus, Concerned Women, and all the rest spin this “groundbreaking study.”

    Consider just what the publisher, Intervarsity Press, says in its press release: “The findings of the study appear to contradict the commonly expressed views of the mental health establishment.” Can someone tell me exactly how that would be true?

  • Mary

    Maybe those that lost touch were gays who really were not interested in the study but did it for fun, maybe they did die of natural causes, maybe they were not high functioning individuals to begin with and changed jobs, residence, phone numbers etc… maybe they did not take the study seriously etc… why do gays always assume these people went off and committed suicide because they could not handle the conflict of their sexuality??? Why or why are gays always assuming what happened to these people and never ever giving any consideration to so many other ideas???

  • Mary

    It does show that not everyone is traumatized or negatively effected by such therapy, that some do change, that some do not, that some experience some change. So what if it is cherry picked. It demonstrates that what the gay community is saying about such therapy is wrong.

  • jayhuck

    NIckKC –

    It IS somewhat “weasily” Nick and there do seem to be alot of holes – although we may get more answers when they release additional information in October, but keep this in perspective: The authors of this study are conservative Evangelical Christians with a clear agenda. The authors chose to publish a book rather than a study in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and judging from one of the comments (I believe it was David Blakeslee – something about why should we release this to the secular world) made earlier, one has to wonder whether they ever will allow their peers to critique their study.

    I have no basis other than my own feelings to make this statement, but I doubt that their study would be able to withstand the scrutiny that real scientific studies have to endure. Science also requires any study done to be repeated, several times, by other groups, in order to be considered “acceptable”, if you will – and I doubt this will ever happen.

    I apologize for re-posting this (Thank you Timothy), but Jim Burroway does do a good job of reviewing what we know about this study over at Box Turtle – Here is the article!!!!!

  • Ann

    Mary,

    I still maintain that it is all such a personal issue with so many variables and dimensions. The people who have made a personal decision to not engage in homosexuality any longer and choose to stay anonymous will never be known and intend it that way. The numbers in any given study will bever be completely accurate. I do agree with Dr. Throckmorton when he says -“My response is that even some change with little evidence of harm is of great importance to people who are seeking great congruence with their values and beliefs.” Just try to remember that some people choose to think the worst about these kind of studies/research and others choose to think the best – depending on where they are coming from and what they want to believe from their own personal motivations.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Additional information:

    72 men; 26 women to start; average age 37.5; not sure about at Time 3 – can’t find that as yet in the book.

    The book breaks down reasons for drop outs; the retention rate is about what the ADDHealth retention rate is. Longitudinal studies do not retain all subjects. The authors deal with this fully in the book.

    The introduction of subjects with some Exodus experience should not bias the sample unduly. I am not sure how would be a fatal problem. The sample were basically newbies and were followed from the beginning or very near the beginning. Also, that the ministries selected some to refer does not mean all did. If the effort was unsuccessful or harmful, choosing participants wouldn’t matter dramatically if no one can do it.

    jamie – for the way these categories are described, see the book. It is filled with descriptions of feelings and experience.

    jayhuck – I have no doubt it will be viewed as superior to anything before it. The flaws will not be hard to find since the authors went out of their way to describe them.

    Ck – I have gotten side tracked over the summer with some church related issues but hope to complete that follow up soon. I too have lost some participants but should have about 20 reports to draw from.

  • Jamie Sartre

    Mary:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve been ‘working’ on this issue for the last few years, maybe more so after I realised that I had been in denial about being gay.

    I mean, I didn’t see myself as gay when I was 10, and into my teens. Then I realised what I was feeling towards other guys was what was labeled as a homosexual orientation. It was and has been confusing for me. As there exist certain cultural norms and longheld traditions on gender and relationships. Where you have people directly or indirectly saying that men shouldn’t show affection towards each other, that women should be all about frilly, cute “feminine things, etc. You know what I’m talking about.

    So, knowing what attractions are right and wrong can be a challenge. Especially when you see examples in the Bible like Jonathan and David. I’m not wanting to get into the “were they gay or not?” debate, I just want to say that even with the “not gay” interpretation; their intimate, yet platonic relationship would be IMHO condemned by evangelicals today.

    It would be taken as being perverse for two men to show such affection. Even though in some European countries, and still in many Middle Eastern countries, it wouldn’t be a problem. Example being some Arab men actually holding hands with friends and I’m talking about adults here, not children.

    Okay, I’m not wanting to get off topic. But when I see others who are gay that struggle through these issues. I wonder if some of these exgay ministries can do more damage with stereotypes and enforcement of cultural rather than Godly norms.

    So for now even though I don’t lust after either gender, society and its traditions don’t make it any easier in helping me understand which feelings are moral.

  • Jamie Sartre

    Warren:

    Thanks, I’ll try and get a copy of it then.

    Mary:

    You said,

    When I left the gay life I was certain I was no longer gay…

    What exactly is the “gay life”? I can’t say I ever ‘arrived’ at or was part of the ‘gay life’ (or lifestyle? whatever that means) to then be able to ‘leave’ it. No offense, I just want to understand exactly what you were leaving behind and how you knew you were no longer gay?

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Jenifer said:

    First let me start by saying I have seen no evidence to suggest that this is an “Exodus Study’.

    From the other thread which was shut down. Just in case this is not obvious by now, the study consisted exclusively of Exodus ministry members, was suggested in the first place by former Exodus president Bob Davies, with continued support by current Exodus president Alan Chambers. The book discusses other ministries briefly in one chapter for comparison, but Exodus is all over the rest of it.

    From Exodus’ 2002 form 990:

    Will publish the results of our 5 Year Tracking Study, which will give an indication of the success rate of those who endeavor change from homosexuality. Dr. Stanton Jones from Wheaton College is heading this research.

    For good or bad, it is definitely an Exodus study.

  • jayhuck

    Jamie,

    As an “ex-gay” man, I can tell you that when it comes to defining what attractions are appropriate depends on whom you talk to. I have some attractions for women but I would never call myself straight. I’m still gay – or homosexual, if you prefer that term – and I always will be no matter which gender I marry or have a relationship with.

    Warren,

    I appreciate that the authors went out of their way to identify the flaws in their own study – but I’m betting that their peers will find more. Its hard, when you are as biased as these authors are, to always see all the flaws in your own study. I think that probably holds true for both sides.

    The fact that it might be viewed as superior to anything before it really isn’t saying much – you realize that? I’m positive that the people who will view it as superior are the same Evangelical people, groups and organizations that will buy and eat up this book without any regard for critically analyzing it. And I’m positive this book will be used to suppress, as its predecessors have done, equal rights for gay people – the cycle just keeps continuing, doesn’t it?

  • Lynn David

    Baptist Press uses a nice graphic to propogate a lie. See:

    http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=26429

    Other Christian publications mentioned the meaningless of the numbers but the Baptists seem intent upon hyping them.

  • jayhuck

    My question is, if they (the authors) were really concerned about learning about potential harm from Reparative Therapy – why didn’t they interview Ex-Ex Gay people? They aren’t going to be anymore biased than those followers of Exodus? If they did interview Ex-Ex Gay people, I’d be interested to know how many – If they didn’t, well, I’ll consider this yet another flaw.

  • jag

    I have to say, even their own reported, non-peer reviewed results were terrible. So, the “best” they could say was that 15% “felt their change to be successful and reported substantial reduction in homosexual desire and addition of heterosexual attraction and functioning.”

    That is hardly “success.” To me, that’s remarkably close to something called bisexuality. They are still having same-sex desires (though reduced) and now have the addition of opposite-sexed attraction.

    Is there anyone…even “one” person who felt they had ceased to experience same-sex attractions and now are exclusively attracted to the opposite sex?

    There are many who choose to remain chaste, 23% – I’m kind of wondering how this is also considered “success.”

    I just got up, so I’m not functioning at full-throttle, but this seems just so sad. There is nothing on here that denotes any type of success, with the exception of some movement along the spectrum in finding the opposite sex attractive.

    Someone needs to just say it out loud. It just doesn’t work, regardless of attempts, for most. Maybe it’s the methods we are using, etc..but, I do have to say, it takes guts to publish results this poor.

    The percentages would seem to indicate that there was some success…but when you start to examine how they define that success (their operational definitions) you see that there is an astonishingly small amount of movement….

  • Ann

    If someone fell into the catagory of being successful in their desire to lessen their homosexual attractions and desires, would the people on this blog encourage and support them in this endeavor?

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    As long as that person was truly at peace with their decision and wasn’t suffering a great deal of undue emotional stress, then yes, I would support them!!!

  • Mary

    Ann,

    I would.

  • Mary

    Remember Ann, there are people who have sexual attractions that most people would find as horrible (pedophile, s&m, all sorts of things) and I would encourage those people try and lessen those feelings etc….

    Now I AM NOT SAYING homosexuality falls into the same category as those mentioned above. BUT to some people they REALLY REALLY don’t want to act on those feelings because of their beliefs. Sooooo….. just because the feeling is of the individual towards the indivdual …. I would still encoruage a person to move in the direction of “appropriate” sexual function for them. I WOULD NOT encourage them (homosexuals) to move in a direction different from their value system.

    I AM SAYING I WOULD encourage an individual who’s sexuality involved children, violence etc… to get help and lessen those feelings and come up with new ways of behaving/acting (regardless if their “desires” ever changed or not) and regardless of their value system because that value system involves harming innocent, unsuspecting people.

  • Jamie Sartre

    Ann:

    Of course I’d support them. And I think every other poster would too.

    I think the problem people are worried about here is how some organisations will twist this research and misuse it. Having had a look at that Baptist News site, it concerns me how they’ve hyped up the findings.

    And it disturbs me more how some Christians will now use the findings to “prove” that change MUST be possible for everyone and any homosexual who doesn’t is still a sinner and didn’t try hard enough.

    At least for me, in my church sexual orientation isn’t considered a sin, so that’s one less thing I have to stress about…..okay it still doesn’t make it all that easy.

  • Jamie Sartre

    From the Baptist Press site;

    Jones and Yarhouse also said skeptics should not dismiss the research simply because the researchers are Christians. Much research in the field, they noted, is conducted by researchers who are homosexuals and is nonetheless considered reputable.

    Right, because we all know how unbiased the Christians are compared to those homosexuals, with their gay agenda! 😉

    Pardon my sarcasm but this isn’t black and white. I question both sides of the issue and see that both have bias and personal agenda’s. I hate it when either side tries to subtly engender a mistrust of the other.

    Warren:

    What’s your official stance on the study? The Baptist Press site seemed to give the idea that the study receives a glowing review from you? :/

  • Ann

    Jayhuck, Mary and Jamie,

    Thank you for your responses – I appreciate them. Does anyone else have a response to my question?

  • jayhuck

    Jamie,

    I think you’re probably just going to have to accept that Evangelicals will eat up this study without question – the vast majority of them anyway, and the rest of the world, and the bulk of the scientific community, will either not know about the study, or will dismiss it due to all the problems it has.

  • jag

    Ann –

    “If someone fell into the catagory of being successful in their desire to lessen their homosexual attractions and desires, would the people on this blog encourage and support them in this endeavor?”

    If it were a friend, absolutely without a doubt. I’d likely have a lot of questions as to why they felt compelled to change (afterall, I do not know anyone in my personal circle who has done this), but I would be sure to be a support for them in any way I could be. I would also likely do what I always do…and givie them all the information I have as to what they likely face ahead. Like a friend embarking on any journey.

    I would also wonder if my life would be a stumbling block for them, and ask them about this frankly. Since I do live such an open, affectionate life with another women – I wouldn’t want to be a trigger for them to regress if we see each other socially.

    As far as a client…I would certainly support them as much as I “support” anything clients do. I am not a cheerleader, but more of a consultant, and I don’t give advice or “lead” my clients.

    I think I would do what I do with any decision clients make…I would be sure they considered all angles, and if they felt that this was what they wanted and in alignment with what they internally desire, then I’d help them navigate the difficulties that lie ahead.

  • jag

    “Jones and Yarhouse also said skeptics should not dismiss the research simply because the researchers are Christians. Much research in the field, they noted, is conducted by researchers who are homosexuals and is nonetheless considered reputable.”

    A few points. I completely agree. However, I don’t think the study is dismissed because they are “christians,” it’s dismissed due to methodology (as has been stated many times above). It’s easy to pin the lack of acceptance onto one variable, and sometimes that is the case…but not this time.

    I also don’t like the false dichotomy that this statement implies. I’m a christian AND I’m gay. It’s statements like this one above that makes the camps oppositional toward each other. It’s a devisive statement.

    I have seen many things dismissed because of the source, and well some things should be. There are many groups that have an interest in research on orientation – exodus, the human rights campaign, focus on the family, etc…but poor adherence to scientific practice is bad research across the board…no matter who does it. Jamie, you make a solid point on this quote above in your post.

    Frankly, I’m surprised Jones and Yarhouse even make such statements. Even though I certainly think their research methods, from what we know, leave much to be desired. Their outcomes leave even more.

    Warren…what were your reviews?

  • Mary

    In addition, what are the success rates for alcohol and substance abuse? (Less than 10 percent?) and of those who are considered succesful how many still desire to drink or use a drug?? And how many fall or slip and get back on the program and we still call them succesful?

    Why is it that gay people are so determined to tell other people that if you feel gay you are gay, you must be gay, you must accept being gay, find a partner and have gay love and gay sex to be happy, and change your value system – or you will live a horrible life or die by a horrible circumstance (suicide). Why cannot people do with their own bodies and thoughts what they want to do?? Transexual people do. And obviously they were not born the opposite gender. But that is okay??? Because they FEEL like they are a man/woman trapped in a woman/man body? Why can’t a human being not have gay sex, develop feelings for another person of the opposite gender and call themselves happy?? (WOW – there’s a thought!)

  • Erik

    What caught my attention was that the people self-reported a Kinsey score of 5.07 at the beginning. So right off the bad, the authors admit that there were at least some bisexuals in the group.

    At the end, the average self-reported score was 4.08. The authors call that significant – and perhaps it is. But if reparitive therapy worked, shouldn’t the score be much closer to 1? After all, these people have been in therapy for 3-4 years. If you assume even just a change of 0.5/year, you’re looking at 3.0-3.5, average self-reporting.

    I would love to know if there is anyone who went from 5 (the starting average) to 1 (or even 2) during the study.

  • jag

    Mary –

    Please excuse me, but I take great offense to this:

    “Why is it that gay people are so determined to tell other people that if you feel gay you are gay, you must be gay, you must accept being gay, find a partner and have gay love and gay sex to be happy, and change your value system – or you will live a horrible life or die by a horrible circumstance (suicide). ”

    First of all, I don’t tell other people these things – “that they must accept being gay.” Please refer to earlier posts of mine – even my above reply to Ann regarding her question. Perhaps you are generalizing because you feel hurt or offended…but please do not place these things onto me.

    Also, for the record, I do not feel “gay love,” I feel love. I don’t have “gay sex,” I have sex. Your terms are insinuating that there is some qualitative difference between gay and straight love or sex…and truthfully, there isn’t one.

    The lack of evidence this study finds for an absolute change, is not evidence that change is not possible, it’s just that this study certainly did not capture it. This study found that there was movement by a minority to also incorporate heterosexual attraction into their existing homosexual attractions…in my opinion, making them lean more toward bisexuality – which is still movement toward the heterosexual spectrum I suppose.

    Mary, I don’t think this study invalidates the work that you have done in your own life, but I think it may reflect the struggle you have likely faced. Internal attractions are difficult to deny no matter who you are.

    The study has many flaws…so I don’t assume that it means anything in the realm of scientific data…I see it as anecdotal at best.

    Please be sure to be specific when making your criticisms. Let’s not start mud-slinging at each other, but work together toward greater understanding of this complex issue.

  • Drowssap

    I don’t think we understand enough about SSA to know exactly what this study is measuring.

    However it does appear to be another example of the mind showing some degree of elasticity. No doubt that trait is widespread in humans because it is valuable for survival.

  • jayhuck

    Mary,

    You said “Why is it that gay people are so determined to tell other people that if you feel gay you are gay, you must be gay, you must accept being gay, find a partner and have gay love and gay sex to be happy, and change your value system – or you will live a horrible life or die by a horrible circumstance (suicide). ”

    First of all, why don’t you turn these questions around and ask the same things of straight people? Why is it you are so focused on gay people with these questions, but even though straight people expect others to be straight all the time, you don’t ask the same things of them?

    The fact is, Mary, that being gay is not a disease. For people who have a homosexual orientation, that is a natural and normal thing. Just as being straight is. You may choose to try and change that orientation, straight or gay, but you will be one of the few. We don’t ask people to change those things that we consider to be normal.

    Second, I’ve never heard anyone say that if you aren’t gay that your life will be horrible. Anyone who says that is speaking out of ignorance. You need to do what you feel is right Mary – but don’t expect the world to cater to those few religious people, myself included, who have chosen other paths because of religious beliefs. I’m not upset by this. I recognize that being gay or being straight is the norm, and that I have chosen a different path.

  • concerned

    Jag,

    I am in total agreement with what Mary is saying and have experienced this many times over the past 10-15 years by those who are gay and those who support those who choose to live as gays. So don’t tell me it does not happen.

    As for the study, all I can say is it is about time we get to see there is another truth that many do experience.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    What caught my attention was that the people self-reported a Kinsey score of 5.07 at the beginning. So right off the bad, the authors admit that there were at least some bisexuals in the group.

    I agree, and it’s actually even more bisexual than you think. If I read the book correctly, they used a Kinsey 1-7 instead of the actual 0-6 (due to technical reasons). So that would make the 5.07 (my reading says 5.09 actually) 4.07 on the traditional Kinsey scale, well into the bisexual range 6 being completely homosexual, and 0 being completely heterosexual). Warren, correct me if I am wrong here.

    I’ve not seen a truly gay person in the data, and as Warren said in the post, change seems rather modest. It’s unfortunate that the least important part of the study for the researchers has become the most important for Exodus, et al. One can only pray they will stick to the facts one day and leave the other stuff to the politicians.

    From reading some of the responses by the study subjects, it might be possible that much of the improvement was due to the relief from the shame of being alone with their feelings. These are religious people, and heading into Exodus likely gave them the first version of “coming out” so to speak. Many reply that they had less shame and that it helped a lot.

    I’ll agree with one thing, this is hardly the final word – more information must be gathered and, hopefully, released through more scientific channels than IVP. BTW, has anyone figured out where this was peer reviewed? I may have missed that.

  • Linden

    Lust is the only measure of real change. And of course, no Christian study would over address such a thing. I hope that John Paulk wasn’t a member of THIS study. Hey Warren, the best way to have people live according to their religious principles is to remove the related ignorant passages from the Bible. Don’t think the Bible hasn’t been edited down through the centuries.

  • jag

    Jayhuck –

    You make a very solid point. Why don’t we ask the same questions of straight people? Why do they insist that everyone be like them? I agree that if Mary asks the question, perhaps it should be examined from both directions. To be frank, I don’t know why anyone would want to convince others to be gay – this society is much easier to navigate when you are not. I am fortunate to live in a progressive area with a progressive church and the means to secure many of my rights via paperwork – but many are not so fortunate.

    Concerned –

    “So don’t tell me it does not happen.”

    Where did I say this? I’m sure that some of a same-sex orientation attempt to convince some who attempt change not to…but in reverse, there are MANY who are attempting to convince those who are gay, to attempt to live straight.

    Please critique on the facts of what I’ve said.

    The “study,” shows no indication to me that any “truth that many do experience.” Is the truth bisexuality? Celibacy? I have not seen any indication through this study that anyone went from an exclusively homosexual orientation to an exclusively heterosexual one. I do see indications from this that there were some lessening of homosexual inclinations and building of heterosexual ones.

    This does not mean that change doesn’t happen…it’s just that this study did not capture it, and illustrates the difficulty in attempting such shifts.

    Despite the poor methodology, etc..I’m glad that it was published for this reason alone.

  • Lynn David

    Well… first we had the Baptisis hyping the numbers at;

    http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=26429

    And now Focus on the Family through CItizenLink is following suite by fudging the numbers [see: http://www.citizenlink.org/content/A000005482.cfm%5D:

    At the end of the three-year study, 67 percent of participants either reported a change toward heterosexual orientation or were successfully continuing work toward that goal.

    Thus combining these categories from Dr Throckmorton’s post above:

    – Success: Conversion – There were subjects who reported that they felt their change to be successful and reported substantial reduction in homosexual desire and addition of heterosexual attraction and functioning at Time 3. 15% met these criteria.

    – Success: Chastity – These people experienced satisfactory reductions in homosexual desire and were living chaste lives. 23% were in this category.

    – Continuing – These persons experienced only modest change in the desired direction but expressed commitment to continue. 29% were in this category.

    Oh dear…. is FotF stupid? Or liars? Living a chaste life by suppressing sexual desire for the same sex is not the same has changing to heterosexual orientation. And the chaste 23% and 29% who are continuing doesn’t necmean they were “successfully continuing work toward that goal.” Or will FotF say that successfully modifies continuing meaning they are trying, but not that they are actually reaching that “goal” of heterosexuality.

    But we know why they said it. It was said simply to impart the idea that a great many had the capacity to change in the eyes of their Christian readers. I guess this comes from so much eisegesis to screw their holy book into saying what they desire, so why not do it to a scientific study. Talk about creating your own reality…. sad.

  • Lynn David

    And I meant to add that the perception that a large percentage could change was further endorsed, with the implication that the 67% was a number associated with that change, by Melissa Fryrear, who said:

    “While we’ve known all along that long-term change is possible for people with unwanted same-sex attractions, it’s interesting to note how high the percentage of reported change was,” said Melissa Fryrear, director of Focus on the Family’s gender issues department.

    Emphasis all mine…..

  • Jamie Sartre

    Mary

    When you said:

    “Why is it that gay people are so determined to tell other people that if you feel gay you are gay, you must be gay, you must accept being gay, find a partner and have gay love and gay sex to be happy, and change your value system – or you will live a horrible life or die by a horrible circumstance (suicide).”

    Was that really you??

    I’m just a little surprised and concerned at that outburst. Could you please say what was said that caused you to take it so personally?

    Jayhuck and Jag gave great responses, I just wanted to add my own experience.

    When I started ‘coming out’ to friends and then to my pastor I did feel a relief and less of a burden. It was also during this time that my ‘lusts’ were becoming somewhat subdued. This was great for me as I felt more accepted and less inward focused, less self loathing etc

    So like David Roberts said, maybe some of the people in the study felt ‘successful’ when they experienced this load off their shoulders. But again, the study seems more about a mix of diverse stories of people getting treated and less of an actual rigorous scientific study where all individuals are kept track of.

    But after coming out to friends, there still remained many questions if this was normal? What God really thought about it? How would I fit into society? I’m simplifying here, as they were more complex. This brought new tension and stress. Thus it didn’t fully resolve things, so I’m worried if some of those success stories may have further questions they’re keeping quiet about and surpressing?

  • Jamie Sartre

    Mary, I have to ask, did you feel you needed to change because it conflicted with your beliefs? If you stayed homosexual in orientation would that damn you to eternal hellfire?? Sorry, maybe I’m asking something too personal, but I can’t help but think, that, that is why some gay Christians feel they need to change. That God can’t love them or save them while they have such an orientation. Twisting your question around, isn’t that what straight Christians say to gay people?

    i.e. “…find a partner and have straight love and straight sex to be happy, and change your value system – or you will live a horrible life or die by a horrible circumstance (AIDS and then the fire’s of Hell).”

    Wow, now THERE’S a thought! Change motivated by fear and hatred, now that’ll really boost my self esteem and self worth. 😉

  • jayhuck

    Warren,

    I asked the same thing of Dr. Stanton on Box Turtle, but I want to post my question here for you too – maybe you can help me get an answer:

    “My question is a fairly simple one, but with all that we know today regarding reported “change” and what Ex-Ex Gays have told us about believing they had changed and then realizing they were just suppressing a part of themselves – how do we know that when someone says they have experienced a satisfactory change in the desired direction that what they are experiencing isn’t simply a suppression – not change – of their normal homosexual desires? Is there any meaningful/objective way of measuring this, or are you simply going on what people, who are “highly motivated” (in an organization with an agenda), self report?”

  • Eddy

    Several readers took offense at Mary’s statement:

    “Why is it that gay people are so determined to tell other people that if you feel gay you are gay, you must be gay, you must accept being gay, find a partner and have gay love and gay sex to be happy, and change your value system – or you will live a horrible life or die by a horrible circumstance (suicide).”

    I’m sorry you were offended but I believe the words are true. My best friend told me that I’d go crazy within 10 years. He swore he knew someone that did. I can’t tell you how many times well-meaning gays told me ‘you can’t suppress that part of yourself for long without messing up your head.’ (or words to that effect) The questions were so persistent that I agreed to take the MMPI and to meet with a psychologist. (BTW: Mary wasn’t speaking about gay therapists and clinicians; she said ‘gay people’.)

    JAG took offense at ‘gay love’ and ‘gay sex’ not understanding that Mary was parrotting what she’d heard time and time again. When I was considering marriage to a woman some years back, my gay friends and acquaintances were quick to tell me that ‘straight sex wouldn’t satisfy my deepest desires, only gay love and gay sex could do that.’ Her statement was an honest reflection of her actual experience. Perhaps she and I should be more offended.

    The ‘horrible life’ or ‘suicide’ are actually themes we’ve heard here a number of times. Back around the time of the apology of the 3 former Exodus leaders, there was quite a bit of that.

    Ann– to your question way up there: I noticed you said ‘encouragement and support’ yet JAG was the only one to address ‘encouragement’. (I was reminded of that when I recalled all the ‘discouragement’ I got when I considered marriage.)

    Warren–consider making the recent Christianity Today article on the ex-gay movement a topic when you have more time to monitor. I know it speaks to Jayhuck’s ‘simple question’.

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    I am reprinting some of the things I said earlier regarding Mary’s statement because I don’t think you understood the point that I was trying to make – and that I believe Jag echoed to a certain extent.

    “First of all, why don’t you turn these questions around and ask the same things of straight people? Why is it you are so focused on gay people with these questions, but even though straight people expect others to be straight all the time, you don’t ask the same things of them?

    The fact is, Mary, that being gay is not a disease. For people who have a homosexual orientation, that is a natural and normal thing. Just as being straight is. You may choose to try and change that orientation, straight or gay, but you will be one of the few. We don’t ask people to change those things that we consider to be normal.”

    Here’s a question for you Eddy – if a straight person wanted to stop being straight and wanted to be gay (these probably aren’t the words that would be used, but bare with me), just how do you think HIS friends would handle it? Do you think they would be supportive, or do you think they would try to stop him? I can’t know for certain, but I don’t think that your friends were trying to be mean, and I’m sure they were speaking out of ignorance, but I wouldn’t expect any difference if the situation were flipped and something like what I wrote above happened. Its not about gay people, its about being human.

    I hate to repeat myself again, but the normal sexual orientations for this world are heterosexual and homosexual – know, if some religious people want to change, suppress, alter, or diminish this orientation, that is their God given right – but let’s not expect the world to cater to our religious beliefs. Its not nice that your friends acted that way – I experienced some of the same stuff when I made my decision to walk down this road and it wasn’t pleasant – but it was understandable.

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    I am reprinting some of the things I said earlier regarding Mary’s statement because I don’t think you understood the point that I was trying to make – and that I believe Jag echoed to a certain extent.

    “First of all, why don’t you turn these questions around and ask the same things of straight people? Why is it you are so focused on gay people with these questions, but even though straight people expect others to be straight all the time, you don’t ask the same things of them?

    The fact is, Mary, that being gay is not a disease. For people who have a homosexual orientation, that is a natural and normal thing. Just as being straight is. You may choose to try and change that orientation, straight or gay, but you will be one of the few. We don’t ask people to change those things that we consider to be normal.”

    Here’s a question for you Eddy – if a straight person wanted to stop being straight and wanted to be gay (these probably aren’t the words that would be used, but bare with me), just how do you think HIS friends would handle it? Do you think they would be supportive, or do you think they would try to stop him? I can’t know for certain, but I don’t think that your friends were trying to be mean, and I’m sure they were speaking out of ignorance, but I wouldn’t expect any difference if the situation were flipped and something like what I wrote above happened. Its not about gay people, its about being human.

    I hate to repeat myself again, but the normal sexual orientations for this world are heterosexual and homosexual – now, if some religious people want to change, suppress, alter, or diminish this orientation, that is their God given right – but let’s not expect the world to cater to our religious beliefs. Its not nice that your friends acted that way – I experienced some of the same stuff when I made my decision to walk down this road and it wasn’t pleasant – BUT, it was understandable.

  • concerned

    homosexual orientation may be normal for you, but it is not for everyone that experiences it. The science just does not support that.

  • jayhuck

    Concerned,

    On the contrary – Science DOES support that it is normal – It has been saying and supporting that for over 30 years now.

    Does that mean that people who are straight or gay and have a problem with this orientation within their value system shouldn’t be allowed to seek help – NO!

    You have to remember that the vast majority of people who have a problem with a homosexual orientation are religious and, as irony would have it, are in a minority.

    Just because some people find it isn’t normal for them, doesn’t mean that the world and science don’t say that it is normal. Some people choose to believe in Creationism – and that is their right – that doesn’t make that idea the norm for science or for the world.

  • Jamie Sartre

    “Concerned”:

    Instead of one liners could you give more indepth answers, please? What science are you talking about?

    What are you going to say to an intersexual who doesn’t identify in the simplistic sense of male/female? Would you tell them that they’re not normal? I’m highlighting this again as it shows that reality isn’t so simple. You can’t have a ‘one size fits all’ solution, where everyone must subscribe to your set of beliefs.

    How is it that not everything God created in the universe, fits into a male/female dichotomy? That Jesus explained how marriage would not be the same anymore in heaven, and we’d be like the angels? (I know some of you might have different beliefs on that last point).

    Again I ask, do some of you feel compelled to change no matter what because of what you think God thinks of you? I’m curious as even I’m struggling with various questions and it’s hard finding the right people to have this sort of discussion with.

  • jag

    Concerned –

    “homosexual orientation may be normal for you, but it is not for everyone that experiences it. The science just does not support that.”

    It certainly does not support that it is abnormal either, and aligns far more with homosexuality being a normal phenomenon in nature than an abnormal event.

    The only claim about naturalness that is consistent with the facts is the following: “homosexual behavior is as natural as heterosexual behavior. It is found in virtually all animal groups, in virtually all geographic areas and time periods, and in a variety of forms – as are heterosexuality, divorce, monogamy, etc…”

    Weinrich, J.D. (1982) “Is homosexuality biologically natural?” in Paul, Weinrich, Gonsiorek, and Hotvedt (eds) “Homosexuality: Social, Psychological, and Biological Issues.”

    I can provide many other references if you like. Regarding homosexuality in people, species, time periods, etc…

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck,

    I was ONLY addressing the fact that I believed Mary’s statement stood true as it was written since I’d experienced the same things. I provided the reasons I felt that way. You’re closing comment: “I experienced some of the same stuff when I made my decision to walk down this road and it wasn’t pleasant – BUT, it was understandable” supports this.

    The straight guy wanting to go gay scenario you presented has no bearing on the truthfulness or validity of Mary’s statement or of mine. Neither does it suggest that Mary or I didn’t understand your points or JAG’s; we’re merely presenting what’s real and true from the side we know.

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    I agree with you – but there are many things wrapped up in a statement like – Gay people will try to convince you of such and such. First, its wrong to make a blanket statement like that – I’m sure Mary didn’t MEAN to suggest that all gay people did this, but she didn’t quantify it. It may be true of some gay people – I know its also true of some straight people – Personally, I had as many problems with my straight friends as I did my gay friends. I just wanted to make sure we were addressing actions only, that we weren’t saying ALL gay people do this, that we didn’t label this a gay person’s problem, and that we weren’t making any other assumptions simply because some gay people have done this to some ex-gay people – that’s all. – Perhaps its just ME making the assumptions, but sometimes statements like those require some clarification – I appreciate yours Eddy

  • http://gollyg.blogspot.com Dr Zen

    You guys do know that most of the rest of us read this sort of thing and think “what is wrong with you?” If your god made you gay, he made you gay. Trying to de-gay yourself is like dyeing your hair as you age. You might achieve cosmetic success; you might fool yourself and others; but your hair is still grey underneath.

    I feel desperately sorry for Christian gays who feel obliged to try to become straight. How sad to have to deny such an integral part of your being. How sad to be so deeply motivated by hatred.

  • jayhuck

    Dr. Zen –

    With all due respect, this subject is a great deal more complex than you seem to be making it. The reasons that some of us choose to live lives as celibate homosexuals, or otherwise – are many and varied. The purpose of this blog – from my viewpoint at least – is to bring together the Ex-Gay viewpoint and the Gay viewpoint so that we can understand each other and learn to live in peace – AND, hopefully, along the way, learn not to try and force our particular religious beliefs onto others through legislation. While we have a LONG way to go, I think some significant progress has been made by people on this blog.

    I also want to make sure you understand that not everyone on here is trying to “de-gay” themselves.

  • jag

    Dr. Zen –

    You stated “I feel desperately sorry for Christian gays who feel obliged to try to become straight. How sad to have to deny such an integral part of your being.”

    First of all, I’m not trying to “de-gay” myself…I’m a christian woman married to another woman, and I’ve never felt conflicted about my orientation – wanted or attempted to change it in any way. Saying this, I don’t feel “sorry” for individuals who are making choices to attempt to alter their orientation, but I do feel for them in a different way than you describe. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to have the level of internal conflict with oneself that some have vocalized…and I cannot judge how they proceed to tackle it.

    My concern has always been that individuals who choose the path of attempting to alter their orientation have all the facts. I get angry when individuals get the message that “everyone can change,” and that it is as easy as giving your life to God or that it is the only way to be consistent with christianity. I also get angry when gay individuals don’t think that individuals should have a choice as to how people live their lives and what they pursue.

    Please understand Dr. Zen, that my attitude of freedom of choice spans across the board in sexuality. In issues equally complex like transgenderism…people have the right to choose to live consistent with their internal compass. In sexuality, people have the right to be in same-sex relationships or to pursue other types of relationships that feel more consistent with who they are.

    Sexuality is an individual and intensely personal sphere. It is my hope that oneday we begin to tear down the walls of resentment and judgment across the board to be a world where people can just be themselves…however they define that to be. That we make everyone an equal citizen with equal rights, and that we legislate that perspective of welcoming.

    I don’t believe anyone should tell me how I should define my life, who I should love, etc. How dare I tell anyone else those very things?

    Maybe we should support each other on our own personal paths…

    I encourage you Dr. Zen, to stick around on the forum…read the diversity you find here…and yes, we snipe at each other from time to time – but overall, there is a spirit of understanding. I hope you’ll join in it.

  • jag

    Eddy –

    “The straight guy wanting to go gay scenario you presented has no bearing on the truthfulness or validity of Mary’s statement or of mine. ”

    No, it doesn’t. What it does do is highlight the importance of seeing things from another perspective. While the criticisms or difficulties faced in your decision to alter your orientation are certainly valid. I think Jayhuck is trying to emphasize that, should the shoe be on the other foot, the journey would be difficult as well. We might equate this to the “coming out” process for many people who are gay or lesbian…telling their many straight friends, family and religious affiliations that they intend to live more consistently with who they are – and the terrible backlash they face.

    As I have vocalized time and again, I think the gay community and the ex-gay community have more commonalities than differences. We both face enormous struggles to attempt to live authentically, we regularly encounter the criticisms of the larger community, and often face abandonment and difficulty within our own close circles.

  • Eddy

    JAG–

    I’m not sure that Mary or I need lessons in seeing things from another perspective but I do appreciate the efforts. It puzzles me though that, if Jayhuck actually had a true sense of our perspective, why would he even suggest the ‘straight man wanting to go gay’ scenario? 1) Very few people ANYWHERE would fall into this category 2) Those that did certainly wouldn’t be seeking the help of an ‘ex-GAY’ ministry or group 3) The ‘straight man wanting to go gay’ scenario is fraught with labelling issues. (By definition, some would say that the very consideration of ‘going gay’ indicates that some level of homosexual or bisexual orientation HAD to already be present–even if the orientee had no prior awareness of it.)

    I’m guessing I’d need a more realistic scenario to discuss to show me my viewpoint blindness.

    I can tell you that, when I was involved with Exodus, we weren’t thrilled by reports of clients ‘going hetero’. I had several clients who were willing to ‘try sex’ with a woman and I also had several who did ‘try it’. This was seriously troubling. It indicated that these clients had brought other non-biblical values with them; they failed to realize that much of heterosexual sex is regarded as sinful as well. (Beyond sex outside of marriage, the notion of USING someone to establish or prove a change was–and is–abhorrent.)

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    I’m confused – Could you please elaborate on what you mean in that first paragraph?

  • jayhuck

    “(Beyond sex outside of marriage, the notion of USING someone to establish or prove a change was–and is–abhorrent.)”

    I couldn’t agree with you more in this statement Eddy. Not to mention such acts don’t really prove anything anyway.

  • jag

    Eddy –

    Thanks for your response…but I think we may have crossed wires and saw things a bit differently:

    “why would he even suggest the ’straight man wanting to go gay’ scenario? 1) Very few people ANYWHERE would fall into this category ven if the orientee had no prior awareness of it….”

    My thoughts, Eddy, were that almost “everyone is straight until they’re not.” Almost every gay or lesbian person has a period of “coming out.” We might say this is as one’s break from heterosexual guises, etc….but as you know, it isn’t a big stretch to have a married man with two kids and a wife “coming out” and from that point forward, being with other men. How are they supported in being more authentic to themselves? I’m not sure.

    Maybe that’s the realistic scenario you state you need to “show my my viewpoint blindness.”

    You and I definitely agree on one thing though…”the notion of using someone to establish or prove a change was – and is – abhorrent.”

    Reread my post (48964). I’m not sure why you took it so personally. Hopefully you are now able to read it with different eyes. I was simply highlighting the similarities both groups face.

  • Mary

    Thank you Eddy. I have often been floored by the suggestion that lusting after a man or having sex with him is what proves change. The biblical view of sexuality and the sense of relationship between a man and a woman goes so much farther than just sex ( as gays have been saying about themselves for years – its much more than just sex).

    And yes, I remember well the narrow perspective I used to keep when I was gay. I find alot of it from gays today. I was so caught up in proving my point to others and maintaining my own perspective about being gay, where gay came from, what gay meant, etc… that I lost sight of other peoples lives and perspectives. Guess what – not everyone is the same or needs to see things the same way as I do to live full thinking lives.

  • jag

    Mary –

    I completely agree with this:

    “I have often been floored by the suggestion that lusting after a man or having sex with him is what proves change.”

    However…I think completely extracting sex out of your life makes me equally skeptical. Some may find a fulfilling life in the preferred direction, having moved their orientation to a more bisexual realm and finding an opposite-sexed partner they are attracted to on a spiritual and physical level. However… If the only options for *some* are a life of celibacy (but want), or a life with someone of the opposite gender who they do not have their primary attractions to…that seems a bit lacking in optimally expressing themselves in their humanity, don’t you think? It isn’t a voluntary vow of chastity that would be taken by a nun…it is the perceived inability to conform with God’s will and subsequent “banishment” into only one of two options.

    I’m not sure how that is recommended with any real ethic….and it seems to be taking advantage of people who want to live in God’s good graces. There are many women who want to have a family, who want to have a spouse and children, who are denied that if they cannot change (despite their best efforts and prayer) by the recommendations that they must abstain from relationships with someone of the same gender in order to be consistent with what God would expect (or at least the God interpreted by one particular perspective).

    In seeing the struggles of so many, I thank God often in my prayers that this has never been an issue for me. I’ve always inherently felt that God has blessed me by bringing me to the person I was meant to be with, by providing the opportunity to be married in a church by our minister, and of finding that church.

    Mankind’s interpretation of the Bible has changed throughout history (see early remarks on slavery, etc.), but God has always remained the same. I hope we can move beyond this sooner than later…allowing individuals to simply live life as they see fit – gay, ex-gay, bisexual, straight, etc…

  • jayhuck

    Mary,

    You said: “I find alot of it from gays today. I was so caught up in proving my point to others and maintaining my own perspective about being gay, where gay came from, what gay meant, etc… ”

    I can sympathize with this feeling, but this is not a problem that belongs to gay people – it belongs to humanity. If you think only gay people have problems with being caught up in themselves and losing sight of the cares of others, you are incredibly wrong. You seem to want to slap certain problems that YOU had onto gay people as a whole, when the problem itself is so much bigger than just the gay community – That problem you mentioned is easily found in many straight people as well.

  • Eddy

    Hey Jag–

    Thanks for your comments. I was actually responding more to Jayhuck’s comments but put your name in, as well, since you were backing up his p.o.v.. My point was simply that I feel that Mary and I have not only been exposed to the other point of view…we actually lived in it for a time. At the time, it struck me that the people who were accusing of us of being blind to the other point of view weren’t trying to understand our point of view at all. Sorry if it came off wrong.

    Jayhuck–the paragraph you questioned actually contains six statements. I don’t have time to guess which part(s) confuse you. Please elaborate on what confuses you and I’ll try to make it more plain.

    I do recall that I was a bit taken aback when you addressed the ‘straight guy goes gay’ scenario specifically to me… since I couldn’t find a tie in to any of my previous comments. That must have affected me more than I thought because I thought you were asking what would Exodus do with a ‘straight guy wanting to go gay’. My bad. (I’m hoping that’s where the confusion from my comments came in….)

    I’ve also got to concede that my communication abilities have been a bit erratic the past two weeks due to my preoccupation with mom’s situation and her passing.(You all did enjoy the 3 ‘Eddy free’ days while I was in Pa. for the funeral, didn’t you?) Yesterday, I had to disable ProFlowers ‘reminders’; today, I had to deal with ‘estate issues’. I’m sure it’s impacting both my comprehension and my delivery to some extent. Do call me on it if I totally miss the point or if I get unjustifiably snarky.

  • Mary

    Jayhuck,

    I did not say that ONLY gay people. I did say gay people and I did say that I was one of those with the same narrow thoughts that many gay people exhibit. I have as yet to run into one actively gay person who has not held very narrow views on sexuality. The gene idea is getting rather old, worn, and not proven in my world.

    When I was gay, I talked to gay people who had left behind ever trying to change. By their word, I believed all of them. I believed all the things they said and thought they were true. Now, being a straight woman or ex gay – I see differently. Had I never changed, I would never have known others like myself and would continue to believe that small segment of those who left trying to change – instead of those (small segment) who continued. Of course, being gay I would rarely have had the chance to get to know anyone who stayed with the transition because we would have been so hostile to eachother believing all the lies everyone tells. EVERYONE.

    Having been on both sides of this issue – I know the difference today. Some change, some don’t. some therapists are good, some are not. And there is ALOT of in between.

  • Mary

    “…that seems a bit lacking in optimally expressing themselves in their humanity, don’t you think…”

    It’s not up to me to determine what is optimal for another person. It’s their choice to define for themselves. It looks different on different people.

  • Jamie Sartre

    I still don’t know where I stand with all of this, sure change would be nice, but as long as I don’t know what damage I might suffer from so called “treatments” do I want to take the risk?

    I might as well say it here, I came out to my parents two days ago. It feels weird, in a good way I guess. I feel so happy and free! That’s also due to the fact they accepted me and they wished I had told them earlier so I didn’t have to have felt alone for so many years. Okay I’m being a little cautious cause this is just too good to be true, but now I can really say I can talk to mum and dad about anything! 😀

    They had called a retired psychologist we know that same day so he could talk to me about my ‘depression’ (this is before I came out). Hmm now the appointment is still set for Friday. Maybe I should mention Warren’s work on this?

    The psychologist has done research and taught at universities down here in Australia. His speciality was issues relating to children, child rearing, discipline etc. He brought a lot of changes back in the late 1950’s and 1960’s in the way the Education Department viewed discipline and “problem” students. Some of his work would still be considered progressive and liberal by some conservative groups in society.

    Hmm I wonder though what he’ll think about homosexual issues. I know that he thinks gay/transgender issues come under the deviant aspect of sexuality. But I haven’t ever heard him talk about that specifically. Any tips on what I should ask?

  • Ann

    I still don’t know where I stand with all of this, sure change would be nice, but as long as I don’t know what damage I might suffer from so called “treatments” do I want to take the risk?

    Jamie,

    Have you identified why change would be nice?

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    The straight guy going gay scenario that you seem to have a problem with is what is confusing me. I really don’t understand what you are trying to say about it.

    I’ve also had some issues to deal with this week that have had to take priority, so it may be me that isn’t putting in the time to try and understand what it is you are saying – if so, I am sorry.

  • jayhuck

    Jaime,

    Congrats on coming out to your parents. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for you, but it sounds like it went well.

    The only advice I can give you is to stay away from those people who differ with a majority of the psychological community regarding gay issues, like the one you mentioned above who believes gay people are deviant – provided he still holds that view. Personally, I would also stay away from psychologists who have a strong religious bias as well. Just considering where you are – I would try to talk to someone a little more neutral, and maybe a little more in line with how a majority of the scientific community views homosexuality. I’m positive the American Psychological Association’s web site could help you out. The have a Locate a Therapist page (http://locator.apa.org/) I wish I could be more help, but I can’t. I wish you the best of luck though.

  • Jamie Sartre

    Ann:

    It would be nice because the general consensus in Christianity is that it’s sinful to be gay. And I don’t like the prospect of being alone for the rest of my life.

    Most people get married and there’s few who would want to stay in a purely platonic relationaship.

    Unfortunately I feel like it’s too late for me. Like I said in another post I can’t look at sex the same way anymore. I feel it’s easier to look at it as something perverse, I’m talking about any sexual relationship not just homosexual.

    Maybe it would’ve been easier if I was asexual, with no desire for sex. Actually would anyone care to give an opinion on what they would think of two gay asexuals living together? Is that immoral, considering they aren’t breaking any commandment by not having sex?

    Hmm maybe God chose to make us non sexual in the New Earth because some of us are too “damaged”? Yet that doesn’t make sense considering He makes us into renewed beings who are back to ‘normal’. I wish there were some straight answers, I feel like I’m in ‘no mans land’ with my feelings.

    Yeah I think that sums up why I want to be like the majority of people. I no longer want to feel different, I no longer want to feel that because of being “damaged goods” I might not be eligible for salvation.

    I might have a short term peace now, but there’s just so much uncertainty. :/

  • Mary

    Jaime,

    Why don’t you consult with Warren as well. And try a few people out. Remember you do not have to stay with one person. And read. Read for yourself and discover yourself. And if you question anything that someone tells you in therapy – get a second or third opinion quickly! Talk to everyone, do not limit yourself to one side or the other, one group or the other. There is no harm in taking the journey. It’s called life and we all make mistakes – you are always allowed to change your mind if you decide on something today and it does not fit with you tomorrow.

  • Mary

    Ask him what his view is on homosexuality. If he calls you a deviant then get up and walk away. If he assumes you want to change – then walk away. If he assumes ANYTHING – then get rid of him. No credentials or experience is worth paying someone to tell you what you are to do with your body. That is for you to decide. You pay them for assistance in self discovery, coping skills, transitioning into new aspects of yourself, help uncovering aspects of self that may be hidden to you (we all have a blind spot) but in no way should he make an assumption about you and your sexuality and how you feel about it.

  • jag

    Jamie –

    “Yeah I think that sums up why I want to be like the majority of people. I no longer want to feel different, I no longer want to feel that because of being “damaged goods” I might not be eligible for salvation.”

    Jamie, I am so sorry that you feel this way, but like mary, I encourage you to read the variety of perspectives on the post and hang in there.

    There are those on this post who have identified themselves as christian and ex-gay, a christian gay and married (myself), and those on the path to becoming ex-gay.

    You have choices out there to do whatever you wish with your life.

    Best of luck. To be frank, unlike Mary, I wouldn’t recommend Warren would necessarily be the guy to go to. You may want to find someone a bit more neutral….but hey, it’s your choice.

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    See your post 48311. See 4th paragraph and the question you directed to me wondering what the response would be to a straight man wanting to go gay. If this, plus my other comments, doesn’t clear up your confusion…let’s let it go.

  • Mary

    Before discussing the definition os sexual orientation – as we can see it means different things to different people – can we please agree to at least begin reading the book??

  • Ann

    Jamie,

    Thank you for your reply – it touched me deeply.

    What I want to say now is that how some Christians, or any other religion, view this subject should have NO impact on your personal decision – it is your life, not their’s. We are all God’s children – He has no step children – whatever religion we choose or don’t choose is up to us and cannot negate who we are or where we came from. You are not damaged goods – the bad feelings you have are like ivy that has grown on a beautiful tree – you are still underneath these feelings and it is NEVER too late to have the kind of happiness and contentment you deserve. Please know there are very good therapists who can help you begin a journey to where you want to go, even if you are unsure where that is right now. I do recommend you interview with them first and then make a choice based on your own comfort level and motivations about how this person can help you. Just the fact that you responded to a simple question the way you did indicates to me that you have a lot of important things to say and deserve a very attentive audience. Please keep writing –

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Jamie,

    Please check out the site http://www.gaychristian.net

    I think that you may find some comfort in what they have to say. And be aware that this is a site for gay christians of all beliefs, those who seek to live in a committed partnership as well as those who seek to live a life of celibacy. But all of their conversation, debate, and encouragement comes from a Christ-centered perspective.

    I think you will find them welcoming whether you seek celibacy, seek a committed relationship, or seek to change your orientation. They also have a rather large staff who can help you if you have any specific questions.

  • http://gollyg.blogspot.com Dr Zen

    JAG says “It is my hope that oneday we begin to tear down the walls of resentment and judgment across the board to be a world where people can just be themselves…”

    Well, mine too, of course. But people are definitely running uphill if they don’t begin by accepting themselves as they are. And I’m not at all sure you are helping by facilitating their not accepting it.

    Jayhuck, I have little tolerance at all the wish to be “a celibate homosexual” or “ex-gay”. It begins from the notion that being gay is wrong. I don’t accept that, and I deprecate the underlying ethos that supports the idea. If your god created you, he created you as you are; if he loves you, he loves you as you are. I find the notion that your god of love wants you to hate yourself troubling, to say the least.

  • Mary

    Jaime,

    I want you to notice that you have been directed – moved in a direction to 1) seek out a gay christian site 2) to stay away from Warren and 3) to seek Warren’s advice etc…Remember this is YOUR decision – your life.

  • Jamie Sartre

    Thanks everyone for your replies. I went to see the aforementioned doctor today.

    Hmm the gay christian site seems nice, it’s good to get a variety of views on this issue. But right now I don’t feel like I have much of a choice, sure it’s my life and all but choices have consequences. It’s either choose to change and be normal or choose to be gay and go to hell. Yeah it’s “my” decision, but there’s ultimately only one positive outcome. To change and feel God’s love or to remain a deviant and face His wrath. And who am I to argue, who am I to reason with God?? I know it’s not too late to be happy. Because who am I to feel happy right now when I’m not normal, shouldn’t I struggle until I become normal? Only then it seems can it be ok to be happy and at peace.

    The doctor listened and was nice. He didn’t suggest anything just listened to my life story, wrote notes, explained some of his research, experience etc. Ultimately he said I need to come to a decision of where I stand on this as otherwise we’ll be getting nowhere in proper treatment.

    He gave me a write up he did on homosexuality. And explained something about remapping ones cognitive function to have legitimate attractions. Eg, someone who is a molester, thief, into bestiality etc needs to overcome those attractions and become normal.

    I’ll post a bit of the page he gave me:

    ‘Managing One’s State of Perceived Gayness’

    1) The perception that you are gay is a psychological phenomenon. There is no genetic or biological evidence for any such condition.

    2) “Gayness” is a choice not a genetic orientation.

    3) It can’t be a choice and an orientation as some would suggest.

    4) Choices are heavily influenced by early fantasies and sexual encounters. If these happen to be of a homosexual kind during childhood and if for some reason the child is “put off” females for a number of reasons then this form of sexual behaviour becomes rather cogent.

    5) Once a pattern of homosexual activities develops this tends to reinforce the initial homosexual patterning and may tend to develop into a preference because it avoids all the necessary interchange and interaction with females which some males find difficult to handle. To them their homosexuality is an easy “no nonsense” route to sexual eroticism.

    6) The language system employed by the gay lobby group enmeshes or entombs the listener in its net and the person feels it is impossible to escape so phrases like, “I’m gay” are intended to declare an irreversible state. Once such attitudinal states are continually thought about and verbalised then they entrench the perception.

    There’s more but the final conclusion is that being gay is wrong on three counts, 1. It’s against the design of nature, 2. it has “terminal genetic status”, ie. we would all die out if everyone was gay, and 3. the lethal consequences of this behaviour (AIDS). And because it destroys the basic meaning of family.

    I mentioned to him about intersexuals, transgender etc but he said that intersexuals have physical or/and genetic problems. Whereas homosexuals aren’t really like that, it’s a perception that needs to be changed.

    I don’t know what to think anymore, the safest thing seems to try and have no feelings at all. To feel nothing. But it’s just not my nature to do that, I end up with emotions bursting out and it brings pain. I’m a wreck, I can see that God has helped me with lust, but that hasn’t brought me any closer to being attracted to women. I wish I could get on with my life, I wish this mess would end. I wish I had answers, I can’t understand why God isn’t giving me a clearer picture. Have I not prayed enough, am I really such a freak that there is no other answer than to seek change and then God can heal me? I never asked for this, but then again we’re all sinners, so it must be my fault. But what’s my goal?? If on the New Earth we’re not married or heterosexuals as such, that isn’t a clear goal, its vague and confusing.

    But God can’t be to blame, even if something seems illogical we can’t argue with him can we, so I don’t seem to have any other options. I just don’t understand, He made us to fellowship with Him, why can’t we reason, i dunno maybe this shows that I am crazy, that I am a freak for not accepting the truth that I need change and questioning it.

  • Lynn David

    Jamie…. I’m moved to point out some things from this “guy’s” literature which you reproduced. Specifically this:

    1) The perception that you are gay is a psychological phenomenon.

    2) “Gayness” is a choice not a genetic orientation.

    4) Choices are heavily influenced by early fantasies and sexual encounters.

    He is saying that you made a choice (likely long before any sexual encounters, if any), reinforced that choice with fantasy, and you now think you are gay because of that prior choice and that perception is the psychological problem. Actually he’s using circular logic which is no logic whatsoever.

    So he is saying you made yourself mentally ill by a choice. Did you? I would think the answer is no, that you do not remember making such a choice. So from his literature, this guy makes no sense, and sounds very much the charlatan. If you must continue, I would find someone else, someone like Dr. Throckmorton.

    As for the god thing, I cannot advise you. If I did I think most people here and maybe Dr Throckmorton would bite my atheistic head off.

  • Jamie Sartre

    I feel like an idiot. I just realised how naive my parents were. I don’t mean for that to be an offense to them, but they truly don’t understand much about homosexuality.

    I just found out that dad thought that what I meant by ‘gay feelings’ was that he thought I wasn’t attracted to women but that I also wasn’t particularly attracted to men, only in a platonic way. So in some ways he thought I was ‘asexual’?

    He even said that homosexuality is a whole other discussion. As that is a perversion and abomination to God. I stopped talking to him and went to my room. I told him to leave me alone and stop asking questions. He had said he loves me unconditionally and would give his life for me if it would change things. But I don’t know what to trust anymore.

    But now I realise both my parents naivety. They never thought I was homosexual by their understanding of the definition. I thought mum and dad understood that by attraction to other guys it didn’t mean just in a platonic way. I mean why else would I be so stressed out about it if that was it.

    I’m crying and shaking as I write this, I don’t know who to trust anymore. My faith in God and these discussions here are the last thing that’s keeping me from losing my grip on sanity. I don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like such a fool. I should have never told my parents. I thought that by being open I’d be able to find more answers. All I have is more sorrow, unanswered questions and pain. What is the point to all this. Why does God want me to go through this? What awful sin did I do that he wants to punish me in this way? This is not the God I know and trust, maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t believe Jesus would be so cruel after all that he went through.

    I wish He’d heal me. I can’t stand this confusion and mess. I’m afraid of talking to anyone else.

  • Jamie Sartre

    Sorry Lynn David, I just saw your post.

    No I can’t say I ever made a choice, it was an attraction that started before I even began to think in a sexual way. Initially I guess it would seem inoccent, as people might not think much of same-sex crushes experienced by little kids.

    But once you get to puberty and get certain urges, they somehow think it’s a choice. Yet that’s what I’ve struggled with. How in the world could it be a choice??? Even after praying so much and feeling closer to God, I didn’t feel any more heterosexual than before. I mean I don’t even feel homosexual as such. I just have always been me. Yet my identity, what I am, etc also encompasses being attracted to other men. So that is labeled homosexual. And for some reason people still think it’s a choice.

    But the doctor told me of other research (also mentioned on that paper) of finding 3% of inmates at a particular prison in Australia, in the 1960’s were there because they were homosexual. There was also another 3% who were imprisoned for the crime of bestiality.

    So the doctor reasoned that if later on homosexuality was decriminalised and they were given rights then the ones into bestiality should’ve been treated the same to be fair. Basically that homosexuality is just as deviant and perverse as any other sex crime.

    For me I don’t know how to answer to that. I don’t know what to feel. Society says I’m a freak who needs to change. I feel normal in a sense but who am I to disagree? Don’t other sexual deviants feel “normal” yet what they do isn’t right. So where does that leave me?

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Jamie,

    Relax, you don’t have to figure all this out at the moment. I do think this doctor is a good example of the problem, not the solution. He didn’t give you many facts from what I see, but you have a lot of other resources and your faith. Perhaps you should avoid anyone who gives you absolutes at the moment. Certainly steer clear of anyone who discusses their own private research as though they are above the majority of the scientific community.

    I do agree though, you will have to sort this out for yourself eventually, but not necessarily today. You will find good, solid Christians on all sides of the issue at GayChristian.net. Why not just post honestly there and listen to individual experiences. No one will try to convert you to this or that view, I promise.

  • Concerned

    Lynn,

    I would have to disagree. What this Dr. is describing is exactly the experience I have had. How can you be so quick to discredit him? I am not saying his answer is the only one that will be helpful for Jamie, but it definitely has validity. Just because you are unable to accept this to be true for some it is wrong for you to so easily disqualify it.

    His logic make perfect sense in light of the idea that we are responsible for the choices we make. It is wrong to give over all of our free will to our genetic makeup. How much of who we are do we say is predestined?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Jamie – I am glad you are talking here. Lots of folks here will support you. Keep talking and recognize that you are in a process of understanding yourself. There are lots of ways people have come to peace about their attractions and with time and patience with yourself, you can find a way as well.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    His logic make perfect sense in light of the idea that we are responsible for the choices we make.

    I’m not sure how what I said counters the idea that anyone is responsible for their choices in life. But what this doctor has given Jamie is not factual, but does heavily reflect his own opinion and values. This is part of the problem, and not a proper role for a doctor or therapist.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Jamie – I too take issue with what your doctor told you. These are not concepts that are supported by much research and I urge you seek another opinion. You can write me off the blog as well for options. There are a couple of psychologists I know in AU that might be more suitable.

    While I think gay is a social construct, (as is straight and bisexual), being same-sex attracted is how you feel and is not a social construct. He appears to be treating attractions as the same as the kind of life you live, e.g., if you are attracted to the same sex, you will get AIDS.

    There are multiple influences on sexuality and to say we know what does or doesn’t cause it is not based in research but theory and philosophy. By giving you a paper, telling you what homosexuality is for you is contrary to the sexual identity therapy framework and not recommended.

    Are there other counselors that might be acceptable to your church or simply other counselors that you could see that could give you another view?

  • Ann

    Jamie,

    Again, I was so moved and touched deeply by your notes above – you have so many important things to say and you deserve to be heard and understood. I know you are hurting right now but I also want you to know you are not alone – just because the answers are not coing to you right now doesn’t mean they won’t. Have you ever thought this might be a time of preparing you for the blessings yet to come – peace of mind, contentment, resolve, etc.? Only a person with great substance can have the kind of deep feelings you are experiencing. I applaud you for your courage in this time of confusion – you have bared your heart and that can only open it up more for what God is preparing for you. David is right – you don’t have to have all the answers right now – they will come in perfect timing and when you are prepared to understand and see them clearly. Please be patient with yourself and the process you are going through. Take it 15 minutes at a time if you have to and that way you can try to put the feelings into perspective so they are not so overwhelming. Mary gave you some very good advice too – you can ALWAYS change your mind about things as you evolve. Please don’t feel like you have to make any decisions about the rest of your life right now – you can do that as your life unfolds. My unsolicited advice to you is to find someone, like Dr. Throckmorton, who understands this subject and has helped many others come into harmony with their feelings. There is a plethora of material you can read as well but if you have an unbiased person who has only your well being at heart then that will help you reason all this out so you can see the beautiful tree again after the ivy that has grown on it has been cut away. Please be kind and loving to yourself – it is all going to be ok.

  • Eddy

    Jamie–

    I’m just a fellow sojourner but I do believe you’d benefit from a bit more sampling–on both sides. I believe that Timothy and I provided you with some leads on how you could connect with local groups or churches to explore what you believe.

    Just remember, though, that in the end. It should be YOUR choice that you feel you came to between you and God. It’s not a public opinion poll…we all know quite well how the majority can be wrong. I really do believe it comes down to YOUR honest choice before God.

    So, you take what you learn and experience. You reflect on it. You pray on it. You ask God to direct you as you sample…to give you discernment and wisdom. And, while you’re doing all that, you try to see yourself as He sees you…a sincere seeker who desires to please Him. The other stuff, the sexual feelings and all, that’s just small potatoes. God’s more interested in the direction of your heart towards Him. (That’s one of the few things I believe ALL of us who blog here agree on.)

    Take a deep breath, realize He loves you…that He’s known you longer than you’ve known Him…and yet He loves you. Don’t ask why…the point is simply that He DOES. For a few weeks at least, stay out of Corinthians or Leviticus….give yourself an overdose of The Gospel of John and the Psalms.

    Don’t hesitate to confide your struggles and doubts in prayer. God can take it. I’ve sure handed Him a boatload over the years–and yet–He survived!

    Almost forgot, Warren mentioned some contact info he could provide you off the blog. Do you know how to contact him privately? One way is to go down the sidebar on the right, at the top of the last grouping is a link to DrThrockmorton.com. There you’ll find tabs across the page…the last one is “Contact”. It’ll bring up a blank e-mail addressed to Warren.

    And, of course, we’ll all be here. Usually hanging out in “Most Recently Commented”. Don’t hesitate to call on us for a little support and advice. You’re already ‘part of the gang’.

  • jayhuck

    Jaime,

    I agree with Eddy and everyone else. I’m sorry to hear about your struggles but wish you the best – Everyone on here has given you great advice.

    And what Eddy said is correct – it is YOUR choice. Give yourself time for discernment (as he suggested) and remember: there are many happy individuals of faith who have chosen the Ex-Gay path just as their are many happy people of faith who have chosen to live as “practicing” gay men and women. No single way is right for everyone. God bless

  • Lynn David

    Concerned wrote:

    I would have to disagree. What this Dr. is describing is exactly the experience I have had. How can you be so quick to discredit him?

    Because every gay man I know did not make a choice as concerns his feeling in that respect. If you did, you’re one of the few. And see what I wrote to Jamie below…

    Concerned further wrote:

    His logic make perfect sense in light of the idea that we are responsible for the choices we make. It is wrong to give over all of our free will to our genetic makeup. How much of who we are do we say is predestined?

    Hey, if you chose your feelings fine, you evidently made a wrong choice. Fortysome years ago, I made the wrong choice also. I chose to go against my feelings and attempt “heterosexuality.” It doesn’t work. Though it did work with a lesbian for about two months, but that was more like “queer heterosexuality.”

    _________________________________

    Jamie Sartre wrote:

    So the doctor reasoned that …. homosexuality is just as deviant and perverse as any other sex crime.

    I don’t know what to feel. Society says I’m a freak who needs to change. I feel normal in a sense but who am I to disagree? Don’t other sexual deviants feel “normal” yet what they do isn’t right. So where does that leave me?

    Well, you can go with your society of the freak or you can go with another society which doesn’t say you’re a freak, but just one of the guys. It’s all up to you. But find someone other than this nutjob who calls himself a psychologist, because he is about as much a homophobic bigot as Paul Cameron. Anybody who is one step away from thinking you should be incarcerated is not worthy of you. You’re better than that. Take your time look into other ex-gay ministries/therapies and see if they fit how you feel.

    Jamie Sartre further wrote:

    I feel like such a fool. I should have never told my parents. I thought that by being open I’d be able to find more answers. All I have is more sorrow, unanswered questions and pain.

    You’re not the first, you won’t be the last. Calm down and take stock, of yourself, your family, your friends, your possible paths, which are many. It’s your life, you are in control. Study up on Dr Throckmorton’s site here, gaychristian.net, http://www.exgaywatch.com/wp/, exodus.to, and others. See http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com for a gay-centered view of the worst of research by the anti-gay crowd (like you psychologist).

    Sit down and read, learn, with that knowledge will come a calmer confidence for the path you should take.

  • Ann

    Eddy,

    Thank you for what you just wrote Jamie – what you said is in my heart as well and yet you said it so much better than I ever could – thank you again!

  • Concerned

    Jamie,

    I to would agree with Eddy and Jayhuck, give it time and always trust in God to help you along your journey. Your path will be revealed to you if you find the courage to surrender your will to his.

  • jag

    Jamie –

    You stated:

    ““So the doctor reasoned that …. homosexuality is just as deviant and perverse as any other sex crime.”

    I hope everyone on this blog finds this “psychologist” as reprehensible as I do. We have all discussed approaching clients from a neutral perspective…is this it?

    I really hope that no matter where you stand on whether homosexuality is a sin or not, we can agree on this as non-neutral therapy. Jamie is clearly struggling here…

    Jamie, I don’t know where you found this guy…but I’d look for someone who is neutral, open, and willing to support you in the either direction your journey leads you. I agree with the majority of Lynn David’s post #50221. Read it again…and know that you deserve to be treated better than this – as a client, and as a person.

  • jayhuck

    Jag,

    Again – I have to say – AMEN!!!!

  • Jamie Sartre

    Hi everyone, it’s been a crazy past week. So many different emotions and not knowing what to think.

    I thank everyone for taking the time to reply, and thanks to Warren too, I would very much like to know any professionals here in Australia you’d recommend (you can send emails to the address I enter with comments, as it is real).

    I’m feeling at peace now, I ended up opening up more to mum and dad. Dad said to me, not to be afraid to talk as they wouldn’t judge and just want to be there for me. He apologised if he had said things that sent me into a panic. I cleared up certain things on where I stand on the issue. And how it’s treated by some Christians. And how it made me worried and feel worthless at times.

    Dad was horrified to know the way gay people have been portrayed and treated by some hardline Christians. He told me that of course he didn’t agree with what these people were doing. It was a long discussion. But it was good to see that my parents are the same people I’ve come to know. That they’re balanced, understanding and caring and don’t view reality as black and white.

    Right now I’m still a little under pressure because I have a few projects to finish this week for the end of semester. At least I can concentrate a little better now, and the irony is that one of my assignments is about “Identity”. =)

    Thanks for listening and please keep me in your prayers. The resources here and on the other sites have been an answer to prayer for me.

  • Eddy

    Jamie–

    I’d also like to encourage you not to write your parents off. Yes, they do sound naive…and your dad did express his bible viewpoint…but, it seems he also made a point of telling you that he loves you unconditionally. I also lamented the fact that my parents didn’t know much…until I realized that I didn’t know much either and I’m the one who had the feelings. Wouldn’t it be possible to help them help you?

    You’ve already opened the discussion with them, perhaps you could let them know that you’re confused…that while a large part of the church believes as your dad expressed; another large (and growing) part believes that’s a misinterpretation. Find some parent contacts or literature on both sides of the issues and ask them to read them. If they’re computer savvy, you might even direct them to this site. I know you might feel embarrassed that they would stumble on to things you’ve confided here but I’m willing to wager, that like us, they’d see your sincere heart above all else. If that’s too risky, consider printing off topics or comments that you think might help them.

    You’ve got feelings that you didn’t ask for. Now, you’re trying to understand them and how to reconcile them and your faith. That’s where you are today and there’s nothing remotely abominable about it. (Just as you need to remind yourself of this truth, you might also have to remind your parents.)

    There’s a verse that says “we are living epistles, read of all men”. All of us are. And just as Paul’s epistles were different from John’s or Timothy’s, your own living epistle is going to be unique. I believe it’s quite likely that your parent’s faith is going to be broadened and strengthened by your journey.

    I do have to remind you that this is MY opinion. I don’t KNOW your parents. But, please give it some thought and prayerful consideration. At the best, your folks are going to learn deeper lessons in unconditional love; at the worst, you’d learn that they never knew what it meant.

  • Ann

    I hope everyone on this blog finds this “psychologist” as reprehensible as I do. We have all discussed approaching clients from a neutral perspective…is this it?

    Jag,

    Count me in – I completely agree!