Ex-gay or conversion therapy (overcome unwanted same sex attraction) stories are all pretty much the same. The common themes in these stories include:
- It’s my parents fault I’m gay – my father didn’t love me and/or my mother was overbearing.
- I was sexually abused
- I hated myself as a gay person
- I had substance abuse issues and mental health problems
- My life was completely messed up and was really disillusioned the ‘gay lifestyle’ (whatever that is)
- I had numerous meaningless sexual encounters and therefore lacked any sense of morality or self respect
- I couldn’t maintain a long term relationship/relationships
- Testimonials are often sensationalized and over dramatized. In this story below two 11-12 year old boys playing/experimenting together is called sexual abuse. Sometimes people talk about having been drug addicts but in truth they were drug users. This is obviously different but not as dramatic.
- There is no mention of falling in love with wife or husband. This is what God wanted apparently.
- The person now has a ministry that rescues or works with people struggling with ‘unwanted same sex attraction’. This creates added pressure to maintain the façade or live in denial or they will lose their identity/ministry/source of income.
It’s interesting to note that:
- Many gay and lesbian people had and still have wonderful relationships with their parents but are still gay. Many straight people also had poor relationships with their parents but are heterosexual.
- Abuse is abuse but it doesn’t make a person gay. Certainly not during experimental phases of puberty with people the same age.
- Around 40% of people have had a same sex experience but obviously not 40% of the population are gay.
- Heterosexuals also can lead self-destructive lifestyles and be promiscuous etc but if they have a conversion experience don’t feel the need to blame their tragic past on their sexual orientation. They’ve just made poor choices and demonstrated a lack of self -respect.
- When straight married people talk about their partners and how they met they usually talk about how they fell in love. And even that they are still in love. This is not a part of ex-gay stories. They love their partners like a best friend.
- Gay men and lesbians can exist in heterosexual marriages but this is not a change in orientation it is situational heterosexuality.
- Amongst gay and lesbian people is a spectrum of morality as there is amongst the straight community. Many gay and lesbian people live in long-term, committed, monogamous relationships. These ex-gay stories assume the opposite because of their own personal experience – often of many meaningless, unfulfilling sexual encounters.
- Gays and lesbians have not cornered the market on sex by any means. An alarming number of married men and women have extra-marital affairs.