Home Forums Ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapy survivor stories Yet Another Bundeena/Moombara Wreck!

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  • Sue G
    Post count: 14

    I first became a Christian when I was 17, through several school friends who persuaded me to go to Teen Ranch at Cobbitty, NSW, for a school camp. At the time I was actually “interested in boys”, although I continued to have crushes on other girls and school teachers. I believed it was “a phase”!
    In 1973, when I started at Sydney University, I became a “Pentecostal”, attended Life Centre and Calvary Chapel in Sydney and went to several Christian camps at “Kihilla” in the Blue Mountains. Believing myself to be suffering from “evil lesbian tendencies”, I sought healing from the ministers at all three places, who prayed over me, laid hands on, and exorcised me from my “demons of homosexuality”.
    Later that year, I was introduced to the Bundeena/ Moombara Christian Community by several fellow students who invited me to attend a University “Christian camp” at Bundeena House. I was greatly troubled by a crush I had on a fellow female student at the time, so I sought counselling from one of the Bundeena “counsellors”. After the camp, I continued to attend the Community services and to seek counselling and prayer for my “affliction”. I became a member and was involved in it for 14 years, marrying a man in 1978 who was also a member and who became a director. I was, supposedly, “cured” but this made it almost impossible to leave! I continued to beat myself up over the years, including 8 years of marriage, for my “lesbian tendencies”, and for several very short affairs with women.
    Several months into my marriage, I sought help for my lack of sexual satisfaction and actual pain, and was referred to a gynaecologist. I was actually subjected to surgery to “correct” my overly-tight hymen! Needless to say, it didn’t work. Four years later, after I had had a brief affair with a woman, my husband and I were advised by the Community elders to seek marriage guidance counselling through what would later become “Relationships Australia”. In yet another attempt to “cure” me, I agreed to undergo medical hypnosis by the head counsellor, David Jansen. It was considered to be a “cutting edge” technique at the time (1981). The procedure took several hours and cost several hundred dollars, a massive amount for me at the time. It involved putting me under by progressive muscle relaxation and imagery, then giving me suggestions of enjoying sex with my husband. To top it off, I was shown several soft-porn films of heterosexual couples having sex and a rather amusing one which was comprised a lot of cartoon penises and scrota around the screen. I had another very brief affair with a woman I worked with soon after this, so again, it didn’t work!
    It was another four years after this that I fell in love with a woman in the Community and we finally left to start a new life in the City. I continued to feel terribly guilty and sinful for leaving my marriage and taking up with a woman. Fortunately, my partner and I attended a progressive Anglican Church in Newtown, and through the ministry there received supportive counselling which greatly alleviated my guilt and fear. I have lived as a lesbian ever since 1986.
    Throughout my life since, I was unaware of the impact of the many years of “gay conversion therapy” on my psyche. I have suffered from anxiety and intermittent depression for much of my adult life. This year, 2018, I read Anthony Venn-Brown’s book, “A Life of Unlearning”, and became aware for the first time of the damage “gay conversion therapy” has done to me. I was involved in the same Christian Community as him, although they were not quite as hard on lesbians as on gay men. I realised that it was 40 years since I married in 1978, and I felt furious at the waste of years of my youth spent feeling ashamed of my “lesbian tendencies”, wracked with guilt, and for feeling compelled to live a lie, trying to be heterosexual and a Christian. I am now a committed atheist.

    Post count: 21

    Hi Sue G. Like you I was married to a man for a very long time; not totally a wasted time as I wasn’t aware that I wasn’t straight, and I have four awesome kids, but there were difficulties with intimacy. Now I’m married to a woman – much much better. I feel like we’re a fit.
    Unlike you there was no ‘conversion therapy’, for which I can be grateful. I feel for people who’ve endured that, and admire you for where you are now.

    Sue G
    Post count: 14

    Thanks for your reply, RainbowChild. It’s great to be able to live and love “in the light”!

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