FORMER HOMO

Former Homo is site for ex gay person, we are indivisuals who have left the Gay lifestlye. I was a lesbian for over 10 years I am now straight. I am not A Christian but a Buddhist. I say that becuse most people think I was a right wing christian, but I am not I am not even very religous. This is my story and I wish to share more with you.

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Location: Boston, Mass, United States

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Getting out of Homsexuality and what to expect

Getting Out:
Some things you should know about the journey out of homosexuality

Realistic Expectations

Change happens through process:
Sometimes people think that if they pray enough or wish hard enough, their homosexuality will just disappear. This is an unrealistic expectation. Changes in the area of sexual orientation happen as a result of a process which usually involves some hard personal work.

Imagine wanting a vegetable garden. You could pray for years that vegetables would grow in your backyard. When nothing happens, you might even decide to be angry at some unseen being for not hearing your prayers. However, the reality is that we must prepare the soil, plant the seeds, water and weed, and do other work. This gives the best chance that there will be an abundance of vegetables to harvest.

In the same way, individuals who want to experience changes in their sexuality must do a lot of work as part of the process. We need to prepare the space in our lives for the growth that we desire.

How long will this take?
How long the process of change from homosexuality to heterosexuality takes depends on a number of factors. These include:

The root issues that are involved. The more difficult or complex the underlying factors involved in a person's same-gender attraction, the longer the process of change may take. For example, the process may take longer for a person who has experienced severe sexual abuse in childhood than for someone who has experienced mild sexual abuse. For one man, most of the sexual abuse that happened in his childhood was worked through fairly quickly. One particular abuse incident, however, took four years to work through because of the degree of shame and destruction of personhood involved.

How much support a person has. The more helpful things a person puts in place, the better progress he or she can expect to make. For example, a woman who only attends a support group will most likely make slower progress than another woman who is also in individual counselling, involved in her community, and has friends with whom she can share what is happening in her life.

One's ability and willingness to face difficult personal issues. As the process of change involves facing difficult personal issues and the pain related to these issues, a person's ability and willingness to face these things will affect their rate of progress. Related to willingness is the question of whether a person truly wants change. Some individuals say they want to change, but are not prepared to take serious steps to accomplish this. A person who thinks, for example, that entertaining a little fantasy now and then is ok, should not be surprised when change doesn't proceed the way they hope.

It is not unusual for the process of change to take 5-10 years. This is no reason to despair. We are not talking about 5-10 years of going through hell! Many people change their identity much sooner than this. Significant relief from the intensity of homosexual feelings can also come much sooner.

Is this guaranteed to work?
As with any deep personal issues which a person may want to change, there are no guaranteed results. No one can promise you that in so-and-so many years, you will experience a complete change of sexual orientation. Many people do experience a complete change of sexual orientation. Where before they were only attracted to the same sex, they are now only attracted to the opposite sex. Other people experience significant progress toward that goal. They may now be fully attracted to the opposite sex and ready for marriage, with very little same-sex attraction remaining. For others, there may be great change in their attraction toward the opposite sex without any change in their attraction to the same sex. Others still may become able to make healthy choices in terms of their behaviour yet find that their attractions and desires remain the same.

This is part of life. If two people are dealing with the same three issues, it is normal to expect different outcomes. The issue that may be resolved quickly in one person's life may take the other person years to work through. An issue that may take 5 years for one person could take a lifetime for the other to resolve.

The Best Foundation For Embarking on a Journey of Change:
Life is bigger than sexual orientation. Do not let your desire to leave homosexuality become the primary focus of your life. Do not become obsessed with changing, as this also is unhealthy. Instead, live a balanced life. There may be times when you work very hard on changing this area of your life, and times when other things take priority.

It is important to love and accept ourselves as we are today. Hating something we do is one thing, especially if the behaviour harms us or takes us away from knowing who we really are. Hating ourselves, on the other hand, is not good. Even hating the part of ourselves that is attracted to the same sex is not good and, in fact, just causes more pain. Rather, we need to accept the part of ourselves that experiences same-gender attraction, and work toward meeting the legitimate needs and resolving the hurts which have brought about such an attraction.

You do not have to use a label such as gay or lesbian. Instead of saying "this is who I am," you can describe what you feel or experience with a simple statement such as "I am dealing with homosexual feelings," "I am attracted to other men/women," or "I experience same-gender attraction."

For many people, change happens as we effectively do two things:

We need to deal with the root issues of our homosexual attractions. These are the negative and damaging events and dynamics of childhood, such as sexual abuse, rejection, deficits in our relationship with our parents, shaming, etc. The past often continues to affect us today. While we cannot change what happened, we can change how it affects us today and how we understand what happened.

As the root issues are being resolved, we also need to undo unhealthy patterns of living and thinking and learn new ones instead. If for years we have lived in certain ways which were influenced by the hurt and pain of childhood, those ways will have become habits or patterns, automatic ways of doing things and of responding. Often, these patterns will have been reinforced by fantasy and masturbation. If they are unhealthy habits, they need to be unlearned and new ways of living and responding need to take their place.

The Process of Change:

The process of change is both different and the same for everyone. Each person has a unique personality, personal history, support system, and so on. At the same time, there are many common threads which run through most people's process of change. Childhood sexual abuse and issues with one's father or mother are two common roots which need to be worked through by many men and women. A feeling of being somehow "different" and accepting the labels that peers put on this differentness is also a common story. The same kinds of resources tend to be helpful, though they may be needed in a different order and to different degrees.

Change happens in the three areas of behaviour, fantasy, and attraction. The goal for a person who wants to change their sexual orientation is to experience a decrease in homosexual behaviour, fantasy and attraction, and a corresponding increase in heterosexual attraction.

As change is a process, it is important to realize that change in one area may happen sooner than change in another area. While we can make choices about what we do and what we think about, we have less control over feelings and attractions. For example, J. chose not to be sexually active any more, and thus his homosexual behaviour ceased, even though he still was attracted only to men and had fantasies about them. Subsequently, as he started working through various issues, he began to notice some attraction to women, even though his attraction to men had not yet changed. Much later, he began to find men less attractive than before.

Do not be discouraged when one area starts to change and another does not -- this is normal.

Things get worse before they get better. This is a reality that many of us have experienced on our journey out of homosexuality, and it is important for a person starting on the journey to be aware of it. As we begin to work through difficult issues from the past, there is often much pain to face. Things may seem worse simply because we are starting to face past issues which before we ignored or denied. If we are used to dealing with our pain by drowning it with alcohol, sex or other addictions, we can expect the temptation to drown the pain to be stronger than before we started to face it. As well, this journey of change involves talking about sexual issues, which can be arousing in and of itself. This is normal. Over time, discussion of sex will become more matter of fact.

When things first get worse instead of better, do not despair or give up. Continue to work through your issues and find freedom and resolution. Put extra support in place -- let a close friend know what you are feeling, attend a support group, talk with someone who's been there.

Sometimes it will seem like nothing is happening. In the process of change, there will be times when nothing is happening. This may be because we need a break after doing some hard personal work. This may be because there is something blocking further progress. If you feel that you are on a plateau and that you may be "stuck" at this place in the process, talk to someone about it. Often another person can be instrumental in helping us identify what is preventing further change and what can be done to overcome that block.

Resources

Here are some of the more important resources that will help you in the process of change:

Close friends whom you trust and who accept you as you are, and with whom you can talk about difficult personal issues related to your same-gender attraction. You can not do this alone. You need friends to walk with you on this journey, people who will stick by you and not betray your trust. In particular, straight same-sex friends can help you to understand that you accepted as a man or as a woman by those who have no sexual interest in you.

One does not want to share one's personal life and struggles indiscriminately. In some contexts, like family and church where one may have contact with people for years to come, one must be particularly careful not to reveal information that is so startling that the other person can never think of you as changed -- even long after this is a resolved issue and in your past. In general, however, having more people who know can be very helpful in terms of removing some of the shame that you may feel and in terms of helping you feel accepted.

Accountability. This simply means meeting with another person regularly for the purpose of being held accountable. For example, if you have resolved that you do not want to buy any pornography but still find it a temptation to do so, this person can ask you regularly whether you have bought any, encourage you to stick with your resolve and, when you do give in to temptation, help you examine why you did.

Support groups. Well-run support groups are a safe place for sharing honestly and openly, learning more about homosexuality and meeting with others who share your goal of overcoming homosexuality. There is much to learn from others who are on a similar journey to yours.

Individual counselling can be very helpful in working through some of the more difficult issues. Whereas support groups provide more general information and support, counselling is an opportunity to focus on your particular situation in detail with someone who is equipped to do so. Choose a counsellor carefully, finding out their perspective on change and homosexuality and what kind of experience they have working in this area. Do not be intimidated by counsellors who attempt to discourage you or influence your journey to a path other than the one you choose. There are many good therapists who will support and affirm your journey. Keep looking until you find one.

Educate yourself with the many resources available. There are good books, articles, and newsletters which you can read, websites to browse, and conferences to attend. While information does not by itself produce change, it can give greater understanding and insight. We particularly recommend talking to those who have left homosexuality and reading their stories because ...

Change IS possible!

Why are people Gay?

Why are people gay or lesbian? In other words, why do some people experience same-sex attraction?

There are different ideas about why some people experience same-sex attraction:

Many same-sex-attracted people have a sense of being "different" from a very early age and consequently they believe that they were "born gay." Sometimes news magazines have even made it sound like scientists have found genetic proof. So far, there is no proof that this is really true. A person who reads what scientists themselves have written will see that the research does not lead to the conclusion that people are born gay.

In fact Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), one of the larger pro-gay organizations, explains that there is no conclusive evidence that people are born gay in its booklet "Why Ask Why? Addressing the Research on Homosexuality and Biology."


Are people born gay? Read about the three studies that have gotten the most attention -- Simon LeVay and brain structure, Bailey & Pillard and their twin study, and Hamer's genetic markers study.

Other people believe that some people are gay because they chose to be gay. For most gay people, this is not true. They did not wake up one morning and say to themselves, "Well, so far in my life I've been straight; from now on I think I am going to be gay." The direction of our attractions is not something that we can quickly change, like switching a light on and off.

Of course, whether gay or straight, we always have a choice about what we do -- whether and how we act on our feelings and desires. Just because we feel like doing something, doesn't mean we are compelled to do it. As well, those who experience same-sex attraction can choose whether or not they wish to identify themselves with a label like "gay" or "lesbian."

Others believe that some people are gay because of what happened to them during their life. They may have been hurt emotionally and it may affect the way they feel about themselves. They may have been sexually abused or had a broken relationship with one or both of their parents. (From our work with people who want to leave homosexuality, we know that many have experienced one or both of these. Of course, not everyone who has been sexually abused or who has had a bad relationship with a parent is attracted to the same sex. And not everyone who is attracted to the same sex has been sexually abused.) Over time -- and depending on the help they were given for working through difficult things that happened to them, what other negative events they experienced, the choices they made in response, and so on -- they became attracted to people of the same sex. This process is sometimes called "environmental," "developmental" or "nurture rather than nature."


Are some people gay because of what happened in their life? Read some personal stories.

Generally, it seems that there are a number of different factors which are of different degrees of importance in different people's lives. These can include:


factors that you're born with (for example, temperament or possible genetic predisposition)
whether there were other significant negative experiences in childhood (for example, sexual abuse, or rejection by peers),
whether a person's family situation was good or bad,
the amount and kind of support that was available to help the child or young person deal with what was happening,
the kind of moral training a child received,
the choices that were made in response to feelings and attractions,
how clear or confused gender roles are in a particular culture,
etc.

"Homosexuality and the Bible"

Homosexual Theology
Kerby Anderson

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The Sin of Sodom--Genesis 19
Does the Bible condemn homosexuality? For centuries the answer to that question seemed obvious, but in the last few decades pro- homosexual commentators have tried to reinterpret the relevant biblical passages. In this discussion we will take a look at their exegesis.
The first reference to homosexuality in the Bible is found in Genesis 19. In this passage, Lot entertains two angels who come to the city to investigate its sins. Before they go to bed, all the men (from every part of the city of Sodom) surround the house and order him to bring out the men so that "we may know them." Historically commentators have always assumed that the Hebrew word for "know" meant that the men of the city wanted to have sex with the visitors.

More recently, proponents of homosexuality argue that biblical commentators misunderstand the story of Sodom. They argue that the men of the city merely wanted to meet these visitors. Either they were anxious to extend Middle-eastern hospitality or they wanted to interrogate the men and make sure they weren't spies. In either case, they argue, the passage has nothing to do with homosexuality. The sin of Sodom is not homosexuality, they say, but inhospitality.

One of the keys to understanding this passage is the proper translation of the Hebrew word for "know." Pro-homosexuality commentators point out that this word can also mean "to get acquainted with" as well as mean "to have intercourse with." In fact, the word appears over 943 times in the Old Testament, and only 12 times does it mean "to have intercourse with." Therefore, they conclude that the sin of Sodom had nothing to do with homosexuality.

The problem with the argument is context. Statistics is not the same as exegesis. Word count alone should not be the sole criterion for the meaning of a word. And even if a statistical count should be used, the argument backfires. Of the 12 times the word "to know" is used in the book of Genesis, in 10 of those 12 it means "to have intercourse with."

Second, the context does not warrant the interpretation that the men only wanted to get acquainted with the strangers. Notice that Lot decides to offer his two daughters instead. In reading the passage, one can sense Lot's panic as he foolishly offers his virgin daughters to the crowd instead of the foreigners. This is not the action of a man responding to the crowd's request "to become acquainted with" the men.

Notice that Lot describes his daughters as women who "have not known" a man. Obviously this implies sexual intercourse and does not mean "to be acquainted with." It is unlikely that the first use of the word "to know" differs from the second use of the word. Both times the word "to know" should be translated "to have intercourse with." This is the only consistent translation for the passage.


Finally, Jude 7 provides a commentary on Genesis 19. The New Testament reference states that the sin of Sodom involved gross immorality and going after strange flesh. The phrase "strange flesh" could imply homosexuality or bestiality and provides further evidence that the sin of Sodom was not inhospitality but homosexuality.

Contrary to what pro-homosexual commentators say, Genesis 19 is a clear condemnation of homosexuality. Next we will look at another set of Old Testament passages dealing with the issue of homosexuality.


Mosaic Law--Leviticus 18, 20
Now we will look at the Mosaic Law. Two passages in Leviticus call homosexuality an abomination. Leviticus 18:22 says, "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a women; that is detestable." Leviticus 20:13 says, "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable." The word for "abomination" is used five times in Leviticus 18 and is a strong term of disapproval, implying that something is abhorrent to God. Biblical commentators see these verses as an expansion of the seventh commandment. Though not an exhaustive list of sexual sins, they are representative of the common sinful practices of nations surrounding Israel.
Pro-homosexual commentators have more difficulty dealing with these relatively simple passages of Scripture, but usually offer one of two responses. Some argue that these verses appear in the Holiness code of the Leviticus and only applies to the priests and ritual purity. Therefore, according to this perspective, these are religious prohibitions, not moral prohibitions. Others argue that these prohibitions were merely for the Old Testament theocracy and are not relevant today. They suggest that if Christians wanted to be consistent with the Old Testament law code in Leviticus, they should avoid eating rare steak, wearing mixed fabrics, and having marital intercourse during the menstrual period.

First, do these passages merely apply to ritual purity rather than moral purity? Part of the problem comes from making the two issues distinct. The priests were to model moral behavior within their ceremonial rituals. Moral purity and ritual purity cannot be separated, especially when discussing the issue of human sexuality. To hold to this rigid distinction would imply that such sins as adultery were not immoral (consider Lev. 18:20) or that bestiality was morally acceptable (notice Lev. 18:23). The second argument concerns the relevance of the law today. Few Christians today keep kosher kitchens or balk at wearing clothes interwoven with more than one fabric. They believe that those Old Testament laws do not pertain to them. In a similar way pro-homosexual commentators argue that the Old Testament admonitions against homosexuality are no longer relevant today. A practical problem with this argument is that more than just homosexuality would have to be deemed morally acceptable. The logical extension of this argument would also have to make bestiality and incest morally acceptable since prohibitions to these two sins surround the prohibition against homosexuality. If the Mosaic law is irrelevant to homosexuality, then it is also irrelevant to having sex with animals or having sex with children.

More to the point, to say that the Mosaic law has ended is not to say that God has no laws or moral codes for mankind. Even though the ceremonial law has passed, the moral law remains. The New Testament speaks of the "law of the Spirit" (Rom. 8:2) and the "law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2). One cannot say that something that was sin under the Law is not sin under grace. Ceremonial laws concerning diet or wearing mixed fabrics no longer apply, but moral laws (especially those rooted in God's creation order for human sexuality) continue. Moreover, these prohibitions against homosexuality can also be found in the New Testament as we will see next as we consider other passages reinterpreted by pro-homosexual commentators.


New Testament Passages
In our examination of the Old Testament teachings regarding homosexuality, we found that Genesis 19 teaches that the men of Sodom were seeking the strangers in order to have sex with them, not merely asking to meet these men or to extend Middle Eastern hospitality to them. We also discovered that certain passages in Leviticus clearly condemn homosexuality and are relevant today. These prohibitions were not just for the Old Testament theocracy, but were moral principles binding on human behavior and conduct today.
At this point we will consider some of the New Testament passages dealing with homosexuality. Three key New Testament passages concerning homosexuality are: Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and 1 Timothy 1:10. Of the three, the most significant is Romans 1 because it deals with homosexuality within the larger cultural context.


Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Here the Apostle Paul sets the Gentile world's guilt before a holy God and focuses on the arrogance and lust of the Hellenistic world. He says they have turned away from a true worship of God so that "God gave them over to shameful lusts." Rather than follow God's instruction in their lives, they "suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom. 1:18) and follow passions that dishonor God.
Another New Testament passage dealing with homosexuality is 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. " Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." Pro- homosexual commentators make use of the "abuse" argument and point out that Paul is only singling out homosexual offenders. In other words, they argue that the Apostle Paul is condemning homosexual abuse rather than responsible homosexual behavior. In essence, these commentators are suggesting that Paul is calling for temperance rather than abstinence. While this could be a reasonable interpretation for drinking wine (don't be a drunkard), it hardly applies to other sins listed in 1 Corinthians 6 or 1 Timothy 1. Is Paul calling for responsible adultery or responsible prostitution? Is there such a thing as moral theft and swindling? Obviously the argument breaks down. Scripture never condones sex outside of marriage (premarital sex, extramarital sex, homosexual sex). God created man and woman for the institution of marriage (Gen. 2:24). Homosexuality is a violation of the creation order, and God clearly condemns it as unnatural and specifically against His ordained order. As we have seen in the discussion thus far, there are passages in both the Old Testament and the New Testament which condemn homosexuality.


"God Made Me Gay," Part 1
At this point in our discussion, we need to consider the claim made by some homosexuals that, "God made me gay." Is this true? Is there a biological basis to homosexuality? For the remainder of this essay, we will consider the evidence usually cited. Simon LeVay (a neuroscientist at the Salk Institute) has argued that homosexuals and heterosexuals have notable differences in the structure of their brains. In 1991, he studied 41 cadavers and found that a specific portion of the hypothalamus (the area that governs sexual activity) was consistently smaller in homosexuals than in heterosexuals. He therefore argued that there is a distinct physiological component to sexual orientation. There are numerous problems with the study. First, there was considerable range in the size of the hypothalamic region. In a few homosexual men, this region was the same size as that of the heterosexuals, and in a few heterosexuals this region was a small as that of a homosexual.
Second is the chicken and egg problem. When there is a difference in brain structure, is the difference the result of sexual orientation or is it the cause of sexual orientation? Researchers, for example, have found that when people who become blind begin to learn Braille, the area of the brain controlling the reading finger actual grows larger. Third, Simon LeVay later had to admit that he didn't know the sexual orientation of some of the cadavers in the study. He acknowledged that he wasn't sure if the heterosexual males in the study were actually heterosexual. Since some of those he identified as "heterosexual" died of AIDS, critics raised doubts about the accuracy of his study.

In December 1991, Michael Bailey and Richard Pillard published a study of homosexuality in twins. They surveyed homosexual men about their brothers and found statistics they believed proved that sexual orientation is biological. Of the homosexuals who had identical twin brothers, 52 percent of those twins were also homosexual, 22 percent of those who had fraternal twins said that their twin was gay, and only 11 percent of those who had an adopted sibling said their adopted brothers were also homosexual. They attributed the differences in those percentages to the differences in genetic material shared.

Though this study has also been touted as proving a genetic basis to homosexuality, there are significant problems. First, the theory is not new. It was first proposed in 1952. Since that time, three other separate research studies come to very different conclusions. Therefore, the conclusions of the Bailey-Pillard study should be considered in the light of other contrary studies. Second, most published reports did not mention that only 9 percent of the non- twin brothers of homosexuals were homosexuals. Fraternal twins share no more genetic material than non-twin brothers, yet homosexuals are more than twice as likely to share their sexual orientation with a fraternal twin than with a non-twin brother. Whatever the reason, the answer cannot be genetic.

Third, why aren't nearly all identical twin brothers of homosexuals also homosexual? In other words, if biology is determinative, why are nearly half the identical twins not homosexual? Dr. Bailey admitted that there "must be something in the environment to yield the discordant twins." And that is precisely the point; there is something (perhaps everything) in the environment to explain sexual orientation. These are two studies usually cited as evidence of a biological basis for homosexuality. Next we will consider a third study often cited to prove the claim that "God made me gay."


"God Made Me Gay," Part 2
Now let's look at another study often cited as proof of this claim. This study is often called the "gay gene" study. In 1993, a team of researchers led by Dr. Dean Hamer announced "preliminary" findings from research into the connection between homosexuality and genetic inheritance. In a sample of 76 homosexual males, the researchers found a statistically higher incidence of homosexuality in their male relatives (brothers, uncles) on their mother's side of the family. This suggested a possible inherited link through the X chromosome. A follow-up study of 40 pairs of homosexual brothers found that 33 shared a variation in a small section of the X chromosome. Although this study was promoted by the press as evidence of the discovery of a gay gene, some of the same concerns raised with the previous two studies apply here. First, the findings involve a limited sample size and are therefore sketchy. Even the researchers acknowledged that these were "preliminary" findings. In addition to the sample size being small, there was no control testing done for heterosexual brothers. Another major issue raised by critics of the study concerned the lack of sufficient research done on the social histories of the families involved.
Second, similarity does not prove cause. Just because 33 pairs of homosexual brothers share a genetic variation doesn't mean that variation causes homosexuality. And what about the other 7 pairs that did not show the variation but were homosexuals?

Finally, research bias may again be an issue. Dr. Hamer and at least one of his other team members are homosexual. It appears that this was deliberately kept from the press and was only revealed later. Dr. Hamer it turns out is not merely an objective observer. He has presented himself as an expert witness on homosexuality, and he has stated that he hopes his research would give comfort to men feeling guilty about their homosexuality.

By the way, this was a problem in every one of the studies we have mentioned in our discussion. For example, Dr. Simon LeVay said that he was driven to study the potential physiological roots of homosexuality after his homosexual lover died of AIDS. He even admitted that if he failed to find a genetic cause for homosexuality that he might walk away from science altogether. Later he did just that by moving to West Hollywood to open up a small, unaccredited "study center" focusing on homosexuality.

Each of these three studies looking for a biological cause for homosexuality has its flaws. Does that mean that there is no physiological component to homosexuality? Not at all. Actually, it is probably too early to say conclusively. Scientists may indeed discover a clear biological predisposition to sexual orientation. But a predisposition is not the same as a determination. Some people may inherit a predisposition for anger, depression, or alcoholism, yet we do not condone these behaviors. And even if violence, depression, or alcoholism were proven to be inborn (determined by genetic material), would we accept them as normal and refuse to treat them? Of course not. The Bible has clear statements about such things as anger and alcoholism. Likewise, the Bible has clear statements about homosexuality.

In our discussion in this transcript, we have examined the various claims of pro-homosexual commentators and found them wanting. Contrary to their claims, the Bible does not condone homosexual behavior.


Am I Gay?

The following text is taken from the CD “The Truth Comes Out.” It is reproduced nearly word for word. Any questions about the content should be directed to Warren Throckmorton, PhD at questions@truthcomesout.com.


I think I’m attracted to others of the same sex, does that mean I’m gay?
Being attracted to someone who is your same sex is talked about frequently today. Same sex attraction refers to sexual feelings for someone of your own sex. It can also mean a desire to be physically and emotionally close to others of your own sex as much as or more so than the opposite sex. You can feel like being physically close and affectionate without ever doing anything sexual with a person. These feelings do not make you gay, lesbian or bisexual, but they may be confusing to you.

People who have same sex attraction are often referred to as homosexual. However, having same sex attractions or engaging in same sex relations does not make you a homosexual. You probably did not decide to have same sex attractions but you can decide whether to label yourself homosexual. You may find this hard to believe but the word "homosexual" is just over 100 years old. The term was first used in 1869 by a writer in Germany who was fighting against the passage of a law that would make certain sexual acts illegal. Before the term was invented, there was no concept of a group of people known as gay or lesbian or bisexual. Same sex sexual activity has occurred throughout history but the concept of a person who was homosexual from birth did not exist until the 1860s in Europe.
If you think you are attracted to others of the same sex, you may be confused or frustrated but you are certainly not alone. Surveys over the past 50 years have shown that somewhere between 10-15% of adolescents report a same sex sexual experience. Many more possibly have attractions but never act on them. A recent study found that nearly 26% of young teens were not sure if they were gay, straight or bisexual. Most people experiencing sexual attraction to those of the same sex are confused by it.

Research shows that somewhere between 3-5% of adults think of themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual. See the difference in the numbers of adolescents who have had same sex feelings and actions and the number of adults that later think of themselves as gay? While some people do feel same sex attractions and then later think of themselves as gay, a large number of young people have these feelings and later think of themselves as straight. You have the option of not considering yourself gay even though you have some attractions to the same sex. Even if these attractions seem strong now, they often change as one ages.

The following comments were made by young people directly to the author:

David, age19, said:

I think it’s important to separate talk of same sexual attraction from talk of sexual behavior. I believe strongly that you can have real intimacy with people of the same sex and not sexualize it. Over the past several years, I've actually had more intimacy with men than with women, but none of it was sexual in nature.

Sandra, 21, said:

I have had attraction to girls for a long time and I have gone back and forth calling myself a lesbian and then rejecting that label. I now don’t think of myself as a lesbian. I have learned that there are many reasons one may feel same sex attraction and I don’t believe that for me it means I am obligated to become or live as a lesbian.



Do I have to decide anything about these same sex attractions now?
No, you do not have to decide how to label your sexuality until you are ready. You may not know what to call your sexual feelings. There is no need to rush into a decision about labeling yourself. This is true all throughout your adolescent and young adult years. Some well meaning people, teachers or counselors may have told you that young people are “coming out” as gay or lesbian as young as 12 or 13. While there may be some young people who feel rushed into such labeling, it is unwise to do so. Sexual feelings develop over a long period of time. Most teens are very aware of their bodies and sexual feelings throughout this time of life. Your sexual hormones are active in you in ways they have never been before and so your sexual feelings may be quite strong but not really focused. This is normal.

Because sexual feelings are influenced so much by hormones and experiences you have, they are not necessarily enduring or accurate indicators of whom you love. As you get older, you will become better able to tell the difference between being sexually attracted to someone and being really in love with someone. Believe it or not, research shows that long-term sexual and marital adjustment is best for those who wait to have sex until they also can tell if they are in love and ready for long term commitment.

Also, because sexual feelings are changeable, they are not the best indicators of how you should organize your life. Some people suggest that you should try hanging out with others who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual, read homosexually oriented books and even try thinking of yourself as gay, lesbian or bisexual as ways to find out who you are. Some people reason that if you are comfortable with trying out being gay or lesbian, you probably are gay or lesbian. While these people may mean well, these suggestions have some problems.

The “try it out” suggestion ignores the role of social factors such as peer pressure. Being with people who have similar feelings may lead you to downplay other important factors such as your future goals, religious beliefs and personal convictions. Trying out the idea that you might be gay or lesbian can lead you to the erroneous conclusion that you must be homosexual since you have attractions to the same sex. Remember, many people have same sex attraction in adolescence and later decide they are straight.

Probably the most important reason not to “try out” being gay is to avoid temptation to engage in risky sexual behavior. I have talked to many young people who regretted getting involved in sex too soon as a way to figure out who they are. If you have strong beliefs about what is right and wrong concerning sex, it is not harmful to live according to those beliefs rather than going by your sexual feelings. The only sure way to avoid disease and heartache is to wait until you are ready to commit to your lifetime mate.

Listen to some comments from other young people:

Jason, 17, said:

I hear all the time, ‘you should just be yourself. If you have homosexual attractions, then accept your gayness and get on with it.’ I don’t buy that as a good reason to say I’m gay. What if my feelings told me to steal from you, should I be myself with you? I don’t believe that it is morally right to be gay and I also don’t think everything in life should revolve around sex.



Brian, 22, said:

I think I messed myself up by having sex with a guy in high school. I thought it would help me decide what I was but I felt awful later and more confused than ever.

Carrie, 18, said:

Its really good to know that even though I haven’t had much attraction to the opposite sex by now, the lack of it doesn’t mean I won’t feel that way sometime in the future. What I really want is to have a family and husband and I see myself in that position. I just don’t feel that jazzed about guys right now. Its makes me feel better to know that I don’t have to have the same boy craziness that my friends do in order to fall in love with a man. After all, all I need is one.



Why do I have these feelings?
There are many psychologists and scientists who have theories about why some people feel affection and sexual attraction for their own sex. However, many of the theories are contradictory and the truth is, it is very hard to be sure why any given person feels same sex attraction. There are several theories that you have probably heard about.

One popular theory is that people are born gay. The theory says there are genes that control the surfacing and direction of sexual feelings. People who consider themselves gay, lesbian or bisexual are being who they are and should not try to live in conflict with their sexual feelings, kind of like people who are left handed should not try to become right handed.
Second, a variation of the idea that people are born gay is that hormones control sexual attractions. Some people believe that these chemicals affect the brains of people while developing pre-birth. The effect is to make the brains of some people more likely to feel same sex attraction.
A third view is that sexual attractions are learned through many different kinds of experiences while one is growing up. Early sexual experiences, being abused physically or sexually or being exposed to same sex pornography at an early age are examples of some types of shaping experiences.
A fourth popular view is that family environment and experiences shape sexual attractions. For instance, some former gay and lesbians believe that their emotional needs for a loving and close same sex parent drove them to look for love in a sexual manner from other people of their same sex.
Last, many psychologists and scientists believe that some combination of these previous theories might be true for many people and not true for others.
Let me repeat. Science or psychology has not proven any of these theories completely true or completely false. No gay gene has been discovered nor are there certain kinds of families that are always responsible for same sex attractions. For different people with same sex attraction, there may be some truth in each of these theories. For instance, as you read the theories, did you feel any of them were closer to your experience? All we really can say now is that it appears that the influences leading to feelings of same sex attraction are different for different people.

Whatever the reasons that influence the feelings you have, you are so much more than your sexual feelings. These feelings are only a part of your life and you are free to limit them by your beliefs if that is what you choose to do.


Listen to some more comments from other young people:



Eric, 22, said

I think for me having same sex attraction is because a male family member sexually abused me from a very early age. Although that’s true for me, I know friends who never had that happen and they liked guys too.

Jordan, 18, said:

I always felt different from other guys. I never could get sports and didn’t really want to. I like music and dancing and indoor stuff. I asked my dad if I could take dance lessons and he said, “only queers dance.” So I thought I must be queer whatever that was. I think that my dad meant well but he made me feel inferior because I didn’t like guy stuff.

Brock, 17, said:

I have no idea why I find guys attractive. My dad and I love each other get along great and I think girls are pretty but I don’t feel what I think sexual feelings should be when I look at them. Most of the time I find guys more interesting but I don’t believe I should act on my feelings. I believe God is very clear about how sex is to be and I am willing to wait until I am attracted to the opposite sex. Maybe I will be celibate; I don’t know but I am sure about what God’s standards are.

Ann Marie, 23, said:

Girls have always attracted me but I am not a lesbian. I say that because I believe being a lesbian is not an option for a Christian. I think that many people deal with many kinds of feelings that should not be put into action. So these feelings are unpleasant but so would the feelings of remorse if I deliberately went against what I know to be true. Being true to God is more important for me than being true to my sexual feelings.

Rachel, 20, said:

I think me having attractions towards girls is because the main kindness I have known is from women. When I was a senior in high school, an older woman from my church befriended me and I got a real crush on her. Unfortunately, she struggled with lesbianism too and she seduced me. I was very confused about this but now I see that anyone can have problems and I don’t have to be what I feel. I really believe now that being attracted to women is not the best for me and I am working on establishing healthy relations with men.



Are there health risks associated with same sex attraction?
You may have heard some scary statistics about the health risks of being gay. By giving you the facts on this CD, no one is trying to scare you but rather to help you make good choices about your behavior.

The primary health risk associated with feeling attracted to the opposite sex may involve a greater risk for symptoms of depression. Studies just looking at people who have never acted on their attractions are new. We need more of these kinds of studies.

However, and this is important, the risks associated with having sex with someone of your own sex are significantly greater. In other words, if you don’t act on your feelings of same sex attraction, you can avoid almost all of the health risks associated with homosexuality. This is true of any health risks associated with any kind of sexual behavior, however, the problems you avoid may be greater when considering homosexuality.

According the Journal of Public Health, the rates of HIV/AIDS among gay males has increased 14% since 1999. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus and it is the virus that leads to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). AIDS is incurable and the drugs that are on the market to relieve its symptoms have devastating side effects. The rates of syphilis and gonorrhea have also risen significantly among gay males. Most of the transmission of these diseases can be explained by unwise sexual behavior.

Some people will tell you that you can avoid AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases by using a condom. While this may be somewhat helpful, it is not as protective for certain sexual behaviors, such as anal intercourse. Frankly, the body was not made for anal intercourse and condoms can tear leaving the persons involved open to disease from HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and anal cancer. Let me repeat, condoms are not always effective. Not all men who identify as gay engage in anal intercourse, but apparently enough of them do to cause the recent sharp rise in new cases of AIDS, syphilis and gonorrhea.

At least one study found that lesbians have health risks than non-lesbian women. Higher rates of depression, suicidal thinking, drug and alcohol use and obesity have been associated with those identifying as lesbian.

Some people say that the reason gays and lesbians are subject to more depression and other mental health problems is because of the disapproval of society. While name calling and being hateful to anyone is wrong for other reasons, societal disapproval may not be the culprit for the problems homosexuals face. For instance, the rates of depression and mental health problems for homosexuals are greater than heterosexuals in the Netherlands, even though that culture is one of the most gay-friendly cultures in the world. Until we know more about the link between identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual and mental health and health problems, it seems safe to say that there are risks associated with organizing your life and sexual behavior around same sex attractions and feelings.



What can I do now?
When reading information like this, some people are relieved and simply focus on other things besides sexual matters, waiting for later to deal with it. Others still want to be more active in confronting the issue. Whatever your reaction, here are some things you can do about same sex attraction.

Continue reading more on the subject. The information here is an introduction and is up to date but you may want to explore various points further. At the end of this article, there are some additional resources for you to examine.
Talk to someone you trust and who is reasonably unbiased and objective. Truthfully it is hard to find someone who is objective on the issue of same sex attraction and homosexuality. However, look for someone who is able to handle emotional subjects without flipping out. Ideally, you should talk to your parents but if you are afraid to do this, then consider a youth leader, a teacher, or a friend’s parent. Remember there are those who will tell you that having same sex attraction automatically means you are gay, lesbian or bisexual. These are probably not objective people on this subject because they ignore the many people who have changed their sexual feelings or who prefer to live in accordance with their beliefs.
Consider attending a support group meeting. Later on the Truth Comes Out CD there are stories from people who have experienced change in their sexual feelings. Often counseling or attending a support group is a part of that change. A place on the Internet you can look for support group meeting is: http://www.exodus-international.org/ministry.shtml
Consider counseling to help you figure out more about yourself and your options. Some counselors will tell you that you have no alternative to consider yourself gay, lesbian or bisexual and others will tell you that you can change your attractions and/or live with your sexual feelings and still become more interested in the opposite sex. You should ask the counselor before you begin talking what his or her beliefs are so you know what you are getting into.
Develop other parts of your life. Sex is important but so are career and school, activities and hobbies. Do not get out of balance by letting concern over sexuality dominate every other aspect of your life.
Remember the distinction between being tempted to do something and doing it. If you are a religious person, you may feel guilt over feeling things you wouldn’t approve of if you did them. Remember even Jesus was tempted.
Listen now to some final comments made by young people:

Jessica, 22, said:

I am really glad I could talk to you about these things. I was afraid my parents would freak if I told them. It was really helpful to be able to share my thoughts and feelings without feeling judged.

Steve, 21, said:

I never thought I would see myself as a heterosexual. I really didn’t have much hope for this working out but thankfully it did. I can honestly say I am not bothered by my sexual feelings. I still sometimes think a guy is good looking or something but I don’t have any desire at all to jump into bed with him.



In conclusion:
Remember this is a very personal issue. You don’t have to tell anyone if you don’t want to. Some well meaning people say that anyone who has same sex attraction should come out and tell people about it. This must be your decision and done when you feel it is right. You may never tell anyone but your marriage partner or your best friend. You may tell only those friends who have the same issue so you can get support. However, if you feel alone, remember you are not alone in this and there are people who understand. Some contact information for those people are given here. More resources are listed in the jacket cover of the Truth Comes Out CD and on the website http://www.truthcomesout.com and http://www.drthrockmorton.com. Please visit the website www.truthcomesout.com frequently and send us an email if you need to talk or have a question we did not answer here. If you want a copy of the Truth Comes Out CD and need more information about how to get it, contact questions@truthcomesout.com.

More Resources:

Exodus Youth - http://www.exodusyouth.net

New Direction for Life - http://www.becomingreal.org

Regeneration Books - http://www.regenbooks.org/index_rc.cfm

Living Hope Discussion Group - http://forums.livehope.org/threads/

My True Freedom - http://www.mytruefreedom.net/home.htm

Free To Be Me – http://www.freetobeme.com

Find Out - http://www.findout.org

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays: http://www.pfox.org



Dr. Spitzer SUDY

Spitzer Study Just Published:
Evidence Found for Effectiveness of Reorientation Therapy
By Roy Waller and Linda A. Nicolosi

The results of a study conducted by Dr. Robert L. Spitzer have just been
published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 32, No. 5, October
2003, pp. 403-417.

Spitzer's findings challenge the widely-held assumption that a
homosexual orientation is "who one is" -- an intrinsic part of a
person's identity that can never be changed.

The study has attracted particularly attention because its author, a
prominent psychiatrist, is viewed as a historic champion of gay
activism. Spitzer played a pivotal role in 1973 in removing
homosexuality from the psychiatric manual of mental disorders.

Testing the hypothesis that a predominantly homosexual orientation will,
in some individuals, respond to therapy were some 200 respondents of
both genders (143 males, 57 females) who reported changes from
homosexual to heterosexual orientation lasting 5 years or more. The
study's structured telephone interviews assessed a number of aspects
same-sex attraction, with the year prior to the interview used as the
comparative base.

In order to be accepted into the 16-month study, the 247 original
responders had to meet two criteria. First, they had to have had a
predominantly homosexual attraction for many years, including the year
before starting therapy (at least 60 on a scale of sexual attraction,
with 0 as exclusively heterosexual and 100 exclusively homosexual).
Second, after therapy they had to have experienced a change of no less
than 10 points, lasting at least 5 years, toward the heterosexual end of
the scale of sexual attraction.

Although examples of "complete" change in orientation were not common,
the majority of participants did report change from a predominantly or
exclusively homosexual orientation before therapy to a predominantly or
exclusively heterosexual orientation in the past year as a result of
reparative therapy.

These results would seem to contradict the position statements of the
major mental health organizations in the United States, which claim
there is no scientific basis for believing psychotherapy effective in
addressing same-sex attraction. Yet Spitzer reports evidence of change
in both sexes, although female participants reported significantly more
change than did male participants.

The statistical and demographic details of the respondents include the
following:

The study did not seek a random sample of reorientation therapy clients;
the subjects chosen were volunteers.

Average ages: men, 42, women, 44.

Marital status at time of interview: 76% men were married as were 47% of
the female respondents. 21% of the males and 18% of the females were
married before beginning therapy.

95% were Caucasian and 76% were college graduates.

84% resided in the United States, the remaining 16% lived in Europe.

97% were of a Christian background, 3% were Jewish, with an overwhelming
93% of all participants stating that religion was either "extremely" or
"very" important in their lives.

19% of the participants were mental health professionals or directors of
ex-gay ministries.

41% reported that they had, at some time prior to the therapy, been
"openly gay." Over a third of the participants (males 37%, females 35%)
reported that at one time, they had had seriously contemplated suicide
due to dissatisfaction with their unwanted attractions. 78% had publicly
spoken in favor of efforts to change homosexual orientation.
Employing a 45-minute telephone interview of 114 closed end questions,
each requiring either a yes/no answer or calling for a scaled rating of
between 1 and 10, Spitzer's study focused on the following areas: sexual
attraction, sexual self-identification, severity of discomfort with
homosexual feelings, frequency of gay sexual activity, frequency of
desiring a same-sex romantic relationship, frequency of daydreaming of
or desiring homosexual activity, percentage of masturbation episodes
featuring homosexual fantasies, percentage of such episodes with
heterosexual fantasizing, and frequency of exposure to
homosexually-oriented pornographic materials.
In addition, participants were asked to react to a series of possible
reasons for desiring change from homosexual orientation to
heterosexuality as well as being asked to assess their marital
relationships.

Some of the findings of the Spitzer study, particularly regarding
motivations for change, included:

The majority of respondents (85% male, 70% female) did not find the
homosexual lifestyle to be emotionally satisfying. 79% of both genders
said homosexuality conflicted with their religious beliefs, with 67% of
men and 35% of women stated that gay life was an obstacle to their
desires either to marry or remain married.

Although all of the participants had been sexually attracted to members
of the same sex, a certain percentage (males 13%, females 4%) had never
actually experienced consensual homosexual sex. More of the male
respondents (34%) than females (2%) had engaged in homosexual sex with
more than 50 different partners during their lifetime. Further, more of
the men than women (53% to 33%) had never engaged in consensual
heterosexual sex before the therapy effort.

Dr. Spitzer said the data collected showed that, following therapy, many
of the participants experienced a marked increase in both the frequency
and satisfaction of heterosexual activity, while those in marital
relationships noted more emotional fulfillment between their spouses and
themselves.
As for completely reorienting from homosexual to heterosexual, most
respondents indicated that they still occasionally struggled with
unwanted attractions--in fact, only 11% of the men and 37% of the women
reported complete change. Nevertheless this study, Spitzer concludes,
"clearly goes beyond anecdotal information and provides evidence that
reparative therapy is sometimes successful."
Spitzer acknowledges the difficulty of assessing how many gay men and
women in the general population would actually desire reparative therapy
if they knew of its availability; many people, he notes, are evidently
content with a gay identity and have no desire to change.

Is reorientation therapy harmful? For the participants in our study,
Spitzer notes, there was no evidence of harm. "To the contrary," he
says, "they reported that it was helpful in a variety of ways beyond
changing sexual orientation itself." And because his study found
considerable benefit and no harm, Spitzer said, the American Psychiatric
Association should stop applying a double standard in its discouragement
of reorientation therapy, while actively encouraging gay-affirmative
therapy to confirm and solidify a gay identity.

Furthermore, Spitzer wrote in his conclusion, "the mental health
professionals should stop moving in the direction of banning therapy
that has, as a goal, a change in sexual orientation. Many patients,
provided with informed consent about the possibility that they will be
disappointed if the therapy does not succeed, can make a rational choice
to work toward developing their heterosexual potential and minimizing
their unwanted homosexual attractions."

Is reorientation therapy chosen only by clients who are driven by
guilt--that is, what's popularly known as "homophobia"? To the contrary,
Spitzer concludes. In fact, "the ability to make such a choice should be
considered fundamental to client autonomy and self-determination."

Copyright © NARTH. All Rights Reserved. Read more at www.narth.com

_________________

Some Clarifications about the Psychological Association's Resolution on Reparative Therapy
The American Psychological Association's (APA) recent statement on reparative therapy has been the subject of much controversy. Some commentators consider it a serious rebuke. Others say it should not be taken so seriously.

Brent Scharman, Ph.D., president of the Utah Psychological Association, spoke to two of the American Psychological Association's leaders while at the State Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., in March of this year.

Reading those leaders' comments, we note that--in spite of some public impressions to the contrary--reparative therapy is still considered to be a valid therapeutic option.

Dr. Scharman reports in The Utah Psychologist (Winter 1998, p. 11):

"Dr. Martin Seligman, this year's APA president, said that he felt the media had misunderstood the intent of the statement. He felt a client had a right to request the type of therapy that he or she wants and receive it. He said his reading of the literature, as stated in his book, What You Can Change And What You Can't, was that those who have had fewer homosexual experiences, or who have bisexual feelings, would be most likely to successfully change and those who have had more long term, ingrained homosexual feelings and activity, would be less likely to change.

"Dr. Ray Fowler, APA Chief Executive Officer, said he had received many telephone calls and letters on this topic. He seemed to feel that people need to re-read the statement, and that individual choice, whatever it is, must be respected. If an individual is comfortable with his or her homosexuality, it is not the role of the therapist to convince the client otherwise. If one's feelings are ego-dystonic and there is a desire to talk about changing, that is an acceptable choice and a psychologist may participate if he or she desires.

"Both authorities made positive comments about client self-determination (i.e., the right of a consumer to determine the goal and content of psychotherapy). Their statements were clear, precise, rational and reasonable. Clients have a right to make choices for their own lives, including the choice about what to request from therapy. Therapists, of course, have an obligation to inform clients about their own professional perspectives, and the therapy should be based on understanding all sides of an issue."

Copyright © NARTH. All Rights Reserved.

______________________________________________________

Former APA President Rebukes Psychology For Suppressing Reorientation Therapy



At the 2001 Annual Conference of the American Psychological Association (APA), past presidents of the APA offered their recommendations for change in the profession. One, Dr. Robert Perloff, denounced APA policy against reparative therapy. According to the official APA Monitor on Psychology (December 2001), Dr. Perloff, 1985 APA President, said of sexual reorientation therapy: "It is considered unethical...That's all wrong. First, the data are not fully in yet. Second, if the client wants a change, listen to the client. Third, you're barring research."



Dr. Perloff, now with the University of Pittsburgh, charged that the APA is "too politically correct, too bureaucratic, too obeisant to special interests." The APA’s Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Issues has consistently lobbied against the right of homosexuals and lesbians to receive treatment for unwanted same sex attractions, or to even study the viability of sexual reorientation therapy.



Dr. Robert Perloff is the 2000 recipient of the American Psychological Foundation's Gold

Medal Award for Life Achievement in Psychology in the Public Interest.

_______________



I think that it's horrible that there are actually groups out there that protest change. This is just another obstacle that people, like myself, that are trying to change have to overcome. I can see if someone is completely happy with their gay lifestyle and show no interest whatsoever on changing that they simply not try to change. It absolutely pisses me off that they are also brainwashing people that want to change into believing that they can't. It's absolutely absurd and selfish!



I can't even search the web for info about change without being bombarded from websites of anti-ex-gay activists saying bad things about trying to change. Although now, It goes in one ear and out the other with a roll of my eyes, I remember a point in time where I was torn apart because one gay therapist said that change is ridiculous and anyone disagreeing is only "fake" and lying to themselves, and an ex-gay therapist saying "don't give up". It is because of this that I think it is sooo hard to initiate change. These people should just mind there own damn business and allow people to seek happiness. I think they do it because they are unhappy with their own lives and don't want anyone with their same condition to succeed in ACTUALLY finding REAL happiness. I'm sorry for whoever this might offend, but I just had to vent. I'm tired of it already.

-Mike

















Ex-Gay picket APA

Ex-Gays Picket American Psychiatric Association

On the opening day of the American Psychiatric Association's annual conference held in Washington D.C. on May 16th, a group of ex-gays staged a demonstration demanding the right to sexual reorientation therapy.
The group's actions were prompted by the A.P.A.'s recent resolution discouraging reorientation therapy.

Led by Anthony Falzarano of Transformation Christian Ministries (TCM), the group of about 20 protesters met the A.P.A. conference participants in front of the hotel as they stepped out of their buses.

"Thousands of psychiatrists from around the world attend this meeting," said Mr. Falzarano, "yet we met with outright hostility from only five or six." TCM protesters said they distributed about 800 NARTH brochures to the psychiatrists as they arrived. A few tore up the brochures and made disparaging comments, he said, but others had sympathetic words for TCM's efforts.

"Some people said, 'Yes, I do believe homosexuality is a disorder and it should still be in the psychiatric manual,'" Mr. Falzarano said. "Others said, 'I know there's no 'gay gene,' and I believe the APA decision to remove homosexuality was political."

TCM protesters carried placards saying, "Homosexuals Can Change--We Did--Ask Us," and "Don't Affirm Me into a Lifestyle that was Killing Me Physically and Spiritually." Other placards read, "The APA Has Betrayed America with Politically Correct Science," and "APA--How Do You Explain 20,000 Former Homosexuals?"

News media covering the protest included Family News in Focus, The Washington Times, the Human Rights Campaign (a gay group monitoring the action), conservative columnist Mike McManus, and a religious radio station. CBS television also interviewed Mr. Falzarano on the 4:30 news. He was originally scheduled to debate an APA representative, but that person declined to debate Mr. Falzarano directly, and instead spoke to the interviewer separately.

Mr. Falzarano conducted other interviews with radio stations in Baltimore and Chicago, and with the Washington Times Weekly Magazine. "But most of the liberal media pulled the plug on us," he said.

"During the picketing," said Mr. Falzarano, "I noticed Dr. Robert Spitzer on the sidelines. He played an important role in the 1973 removal of homosexuality from the diagnostic manual, and I thought he seemed genuinely moved by the picketing, so I walked up to him and told him, 'Dr. Spitzer, you need to hear the other side.'

"The following day he came to our press conference," Mr. Falzarano said, "and told us he would work on putting together a forum presenting both views on sexual-orientation change for next year's American Psychiatric Association meeting. I think Dr. Spitzer is beginning to see the very real options that are out there."

At the time of this writing, a panel was forming on the possibility of sexual-orientation change, with two panelists speaking from the perspective that change is possible, and others opposing. Invited participants from the perspective that change is possible are Warren Throckmorton, Ph.D. of Grove City College (author of "Attempts to Modify Sexual Orientation: A Review of Outcome Literature and Ethical Issues," in the October 1998 issue of the Journal of Mental Health Counseling); and Wheaton College professor G.E. Zuriff, Ph.D., author of "Psychology's Sexual Dis-Orientation," published in the April 1997 issue of The World and I. (Both articles have been reprinted in previous NARTH Bulletins.)




Robert Knight of Family Research Council at the podium.

Rev. Earle Fox, Director of Transformation Christian Ministries at the podium.


Mrs. Marjorie Hopper, Director of Women's Ministries at Transformation Christian Ministries speaks at the press conference.


Lambda Report Editor Peter LaBarbera speaks at the press conference held during the A.P.A. meeting. A placard behind him says, "The APA Has Betrayed America With Politically Correct Science."


Anthony Falzarano speaks to a conference participant as protesters carry signs saying, "How Dare You Tell Us We Can't Change!"


More demonstrators outside the A.P.A. convention hotel. Sign: "Maybe The APA Can't Heal A Homosexual But God Can!"


Sign: "APA - How Do You Explain 20,000 Former Homosexuals!"


Sign: "I Used To Be Gay...And Now I Am Happy!"


Sign: "Don't Affirm Me Into A Lifestyle That Was Killing Me Physically & Spiritually!"






Copyright © NARTH. All Rights Reserved.

Updated: 30 September 2002

"The Fading Gay Gene"

The Fading "Gay Gene"
The Boston Globe published an article on February 7, 1999 which was reprinted by permission in the April 1999 NARTH Bulletin. It is an important article because it contributes to the growing body of evidence that homosexuality is not simply "genetic."
Serious scientists have long known that a simply "genetic" cause for homosexuality was highly unlikely, but the mass media conveyed the misimpression of genetic causation to the general public. In the Globe article, prominent researchers admit the distinct limitations of the "born that way" theory.
"Gay gene" researcher Dean Hamer comments, "It is the same for every human behavior--environment matters for extroversion, smoking cigarettes, just about anything you can name."
Interestingly, Dr. Hamer--himself a gay man--adds that science remains "just as clueless" as ever about the environmental influences on homosexuality. Dr. Hamer's statement is consistent with a position taken by most gay advocates, who flatly deny the existence of evidence that points to certain family and social influences on homosexuality. (Gay advocates almost invariably either say "I was born that way," or "How I became gay doesn't matter.") Only prominent gay writer Andrew Sullivan has publicly given credence to the Freudian model of homosexual development.
Said the Globe:
"The research project in 1993 that indicated many gay men shared a common genetic marker in the X chromosome was hailed as a momentous scientific discovery.
"The idea of a 'gay gene' offered an ironclad defense of homosexuality; if it was genetically predetermined, then being gay could not be cast as 'deviant' behavior, something 'correctable.'
"Six years later, however, the gene still has not been found, and interest in--and enthusiasm for--the 'gay gene' research has waned among activists and scientists alike. And there is a growing consensus that sexual orientation is much more complicated than a matter of genes.
"Dr. Richard Pillard, a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine who was involved in a study of twins and sexual orientation, has done research showing that sexuality is greatly influenced by environment, and that the role of genetics is, in the end, limited."
The Globe article goes on to quote Ruth Hubbard, a board member of The Council for Responsible Genetics, and the author of Exploding the Gene Myth, who says that searching for a gay gene "is not even a worthwhile pursuit...Let me be very clear: I don't think there is any single gene that governs any complex human behavior. There are genetic components in everything we do, and it is foolish to say genes are not involved, but I don't think they are decisive."
In the Globe story, a gay advocate speaks of the "immense malleability of human sexuality." Interestingly, this observation seems to have been lost on the American Psychological and Psychiatric Associations--which both claim that there is no evidence that homosexuals can change.

The Animal Homsexuality Myth

The Animal Homosexuality Myth
by Luiz Sérgio Solimeo
The following article is adapted from the author's recently published book, Defending a Higher Law: Why We Must Resist Same Sex "Marriage" and the Homosexual Movement.
In its effort to present homosexuality as normal, the homosexual movement[1] turned to science in an attempt to prove three major premises:
Homosexuality is genetic or innate;
Homosexuality is irreversible;
Since animals engage in same-sex sexual behavior, homosexuality is natural.Keenly aware of its inability to prove the first two premises,[2] the homosexual movement pins its hopes on the third, animal homosexuality.[3]
Animals Do It, So It's Natural, Right?
The reasoning behind the animal homosexuality theory can be summed up as follows:
- Homosexual behavior is observable in animals.- Animal behavior is determined by their instincts.- Nature requires animals to follow their instincts.- Therefore, homosexuality is in accordance with animal nature.- Since man is also animal, homosexuality must also be in accordance with human nature.This line of reasoning is unsustainable. If seemingly "homosexual" acts among animals are in accordance with animal nature, then parental killing of offspring and intra-species devouring are also in accordance with animal nature. Bringing man into the equation complicates things further. Are we to conclude that filicide and cannibalism are according to human nature?
In opposition to this line of reasoning, this article sustains that:
There is no "homosexual instinct" in animals,
It is poor science to "read" human motivations and sentiments into animal behavior, and
Irrational animal behavior is not a yardstick to determine what is morally acceptable behavior for rational man.
There Is No "Homosexual Instinct" In Animals
Anyone engaged in the most elementary animal observation is forced to conclude that animal "homosexuality," "filicide" and "cannibalism" are exceptions to normal animal behavior. Consequently, they cannot be called animal instincts. These observable exceptions to normal animal behavior result from factors beyond their instincts.
-- Clashing Stimuli and Confused Animal Instincts
To explain this abnormal behavior, the first observation must be the fact that animal instincts are not bound by the absolute determinism of the physical laws governing the mineral world. In varying degrees, all living beings can adapt to circumstances. They respond to internal or external stimuli.
Second, animal cognition is purely sensorial, limited to sound, odor, touch, taste and image. Thus, animals lack the precision and clarity of human intellectual perception. Therefore, animals frequently confuse one sensation with another or one object with another.
Third, an animal's instincts direct it towards its end and are in accordance with its nature. However, the spontaneous thrust of the instinctive impulse can suffer modifications as it runs its course. Other sensorial images, perceptions or memories can act as new stimuli affecting the animal's behavior. Moreover, the conflict between two or more instincts can sometimes modify the original impulse.
In man, when two instinctive reactions clash, the intellect determines the best course to follow, and the will then holds one instinct in check while encouraging the other. With animals that lack intellect and will, when two instinctive impulses clash, the one most favored by circumstances prevails.[4]
At times, these internal or external stimuli affecting an animal's instinctive impulses result in cases of animal "filicide," "cannibalism" and "homosexuality."
-- Animal "Filicide" and "Cannibalism"
Sarah Hartwell explains that tomcats kill their kittens after receiving "mixed signals" from their instincts:
Most female cats can switch between "play mode" and "hunt mode" in order not to harm their offspring. In tomcats this switching off of "hunt mode" may be incomplete and, when they become highly aroused through play, the "hunting" instinct comes into force and they may kill the kittens. The hunting instinct is so strong, and so hard to switch off when prey is present, that dismemberment and even eating of the kitten may ensue.... Compare the size, sound and activity of kittens with the size, sound and activity of prey. They are both small, have high-pitched voices and move with fast, erratic movements. All of these trigger hunting behavior. In the tomcat, maternal behavior cannot always override hunting behavior and he treats the kittens in exactly the same way he would treat small prey. His instincts are confused.[5]Regarding animal cannibalism, the Iran Nature and Wildlife Magazine notes:
Cannibalism is most common among lower vertebrates and invertebrates, often due to a predatory animal mistaking one of its own kind for prey. But it also occurs among birds and mammals, especially when food is scarce.[6]
-- Animals Lack the Means to Express Their Affective States
To stimuli and clashing instincts, however, we must add another factor: In expressing its affective states, an animal is radically inferior to man.
Since animals lack reason, their means of expressing their affective states (fear, pleasure, pain, desire, etc.) are limited. Animals lack the rich resources at man's disposal to express his sentiments. Man can adapt his way of talking, writing, gazing, gesturing in untold ways. Animals cannot. Consequently, animals often express their affective states ambiguously. They "borrow," so to speak, the manifestations of the instinct of reproduction to manifest the instincts of dominance, aggressiveness, fear, gregariousness and so on.
-- Explaining Seemingly "Homosexual" Animal Behavior
Bonobos are a typical example of this "borrowing." These primates from the chimpanzee family engage in seemingly sexual behavior to express acceptance and other affective states. Thus, Frans B. M. de Waal, who spent hundreds of hours observing and filming bonobos, says:
There are two reasons to believe sexual activity is the bonobo's answer to avoiding conflict.
First, anything, not just food, that arouses the interest of more than one bonobo at a time tends to result in sexual contact. If two bonobos approach a cardboard box thrown into their enclosure, they will briefly mount each other before playing with the box. Such situations lead to squabbles in most other species. But bonobos are quite tolerant, perhaps because they use sex to divert attention and to diffuse tension.
Second, bonobo sex often occurs in aggressive contexts totally unrelated to food. A jealous male might chase another away from a female, after which the two males reunite and engage in scrotal rubbing. Or after a female hits a juvenile, the latter's mother may lunge at the aggressor, an action that is immediately followed by genital rubbing between the two adults.[7]
Like bonobos, other animals will mount another of the same sex and engage in seemingly "homosexual" behavior, although their motivation may differ. Dogs, for example, usually do so to express dominance. Cesar Ades, ethologist and professor of psychology at the University of Sгo Paulo, Brazil, explains, "When two males mate, what is present is a demonstration of power, not sex."[8]
Jacque Lynn Schultz, ASPCA Animal Sciences Director of Special Projects, explains further:
Usually, an un-neutered male dog will mount another male dog as a display of social dominance--in other words, as a way of letting the other dog know who's boss. While not as frequent, a female dog may mount for the same reason.[9]
Dogs will also mount one another because of the vehemence of their purely chemical reaction to the smell of an estrus female:
Not surprisingly, the smell of a female dog in heat can instigate a frenzy of mounting behaviors. Even other females who are not in heat will mount those who are. Males will mount males who have just been with estrus females if they still bear their scent.... And males who catch wind of the estrus odor may mount the first thing (or unlucky person) they come into contact with.[10]
Other animals engage in seemingly "homosexual" behavior because they fail to identify the other sex properly. The lower the species in the animal kingdom, the more tenuous and difficult to detect are the differences between sexes, leading to more frequent confusion.
-- "Homosexual" Animals Do Not Exist
In 1996, homosexual scientist Simon LeVay admitted that the evidence pointed to isolated acts, not to homosexuality:
Although homosexual behavior is very common in the animal world, it seems to be very uncommon that individual animals have a long-lasting predisposition to engage in such behavior to the exclusion of heterosexual activities. Thus, a homosexual orientation, if one can speak of such thing in animals, seems to be a rarity.[11]
Despite the "homosexual" appearances of some animal behavior, this behavior does not stem from a "homosexual" instinct that is part of animal nature. Dr. Antonio Pardo, Professor of Bioethics at the University of Navarre, Spain, explains:
Properly speaking, homosexuality does not exist among animals.... For reasons of survival, the reproductive instinct among animals is always directed towards an individual of the opposite sex. Therefore, an animal can never be homosexual as such. Nevertheless, the interaction of other instincts (particularly dominance) can result in behavior that appears to be homosexual. Such behavior cannot be equated with an animal homosexuality. All it means is that animal sexual behavior encompasses aspects beyond that of reproduction.[12]
It Is Unscientific To "Read" Human MotivationAnd Sentiment Into Animal Behavior
Like many animal rights activists, homosexual activists often "read" human motivation and sentiment into animal behavior. While this anthropopathic approach enjoys full citizenship in the realms of art, literature, and mythology it makes for poor science. Dr. Charles Socarides of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) observes:
The term homosexuality should be limited to the human species, for in animals the investigator can ascertain only motor behavior. As soon as he interprets the animal's motivation he is applying human psychodynamics--a risky, if not foolhardy scientific approach.[13]
Ethologist Cesar Ades explains the difference between human and animal sexual relations:
Human beings have sex one way, while animals have it another. Human sex is a question of preference where one chooses the most attractive person to have pleasure. This is not true with animals. For them, it is a question of mating and reproduction. There is no physical or psychological pleasure....The smell is decisive: when a female is in heat, she emits a scent, known as pheromone. This scent attracts the attention of the male, and makes him want to mate. This is sexual intercourse between animals. It is the law of nature.[14]
Even biologist Bruce Bagemihl, whose book Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity was cited by the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association in their amici curiae brief in Lawrence v. Texas and is touted as proof that homosexuality is natural among animals, is careful to include a caveat:
Any account of homosexuality and transgender animals is also necessarily an account of human interpretations of these phenomena....We are in the dark about the internal experience of the animal participants: as a result, the biases and limitations of the human observer--in both the gathering and interpretation of data--come to the forefront in this situation.....With people we can often speak directly to individuals (or read written accounts)....With animals in contrast, we can often directly observe their sexual (and allied) behaviors, but can only infer or interpret their meanings and motivations."[15]Dr. Bagemihl's interpretation, however, throughout his 750-page book unabashedly favors the animal homosexuality theory. Its pages are filled with descriptions of animal acts that would have a homosexual connotation in human beings. Dr. Bagemihl does not prove, however, that these acts have the same meaning for animals. He simply gives them a homosexual interpretation. Not surprisingly, his book was published by Stonewall Inn Editions, "an imprint of St. Martin's Press devoted to gay and lesbian interest books."
Irrational Animal Behavior Is No Blueprint For Rational Man
Some researchers studying animal "homosexual" behavior extrapolate from the realm of science into that of philosophy and morality. These scholars reason from the premise that if animals do it, it is according to their nature and thus is good for them. If it is natural and good for animals, they continue, it is also natural and morally good for man. However, the definition of man's nature belongs not to the realm of zoology or biology, but philosophy, and the determination of what is morally good for man pertains to ethics.
Dr. Marlene Zuk, professor of biology at the University of California at Riverside, for example, states:
Sexuality is a lot broader term than people want to think. You have this idea that the animal kingdom is strict, old-fashioned Roman Catholic, that they have sex to procreate. ... Sexual expression means more than making babies. Why are we surprised? People are animals.[16]Simon LeVay entertains the hope that the understanding of animal "homosexuality" will help change societal mores and religious beliefs about homosexuality. He states:
It seems possible that the study of sexual behavior in animals, especially in non-human primates, will contribute to the liberalization of religious attitudes toward homosexual activity and other forms of nonprocreative sex. Specifically, these studies challenge one particular sense of the dogma that homosexual behavior is "against nature": the notion that it is unique to those creatures who, by tasting the fruit of the tree of knowledge, have alone become morally culpable.[17]Other researchers feel compelled to point out the impropriety of transposing animal behavior to man. Although very favorable to the homosexual interpretation of animal behavior, Paul L. Vasey, of the University of Lethbridge in Canada, nevertheless cautions:
For some people, what animals do is a yardstick of what is and isn't natural. They make a leap from saying if it's natural, it's morally and ethically desirable. Infanticide is widespread in the animal kingdom. To jump from that to say it is desirable makes no sense. We shouldn't be using animals to craft moral and social policies for the kinds of human societies we want to live in. Animals don't take care of the elderly. I don't particularly think that should be a platform for closing down nursing homes.[18]The animal kingdom is no place for man to seek a blueprint for human morality. That blueprint, as bioethicist Bruto Maria Bruti notes, must be sought in man himself:
It is a frequent error for people to contrast human and animal behaviors, as if the two were homogenous. .... The laws ruling human behavior are of a different nature and they should be sought where God inscribed them, namely, in human nature.[19]The fact that man has a body and sensitive life in common with animals does not mean he is strictly an animal. Nor does it mean that he is a half-animal. Man's rationality pervades the wholeness of his nature so that his sensations, instincts and impulses are not purely animal but have that seal of rationality which characterizes them as human.
Thus, man is characterized not by what he has in common with animals, but by what differentiates him from them. This differentiation is fundamental, not accidental. Man is a rational animal. Man's rationality is what makes human nature unique and fundamentally distinct from animal nature.[20]
To consider man strictly as an animal is to deny his rationality and, therefore, his free will. Likewise, to consider animals as if they were human is to attribute to them a non-existent rationality.
From Science To Mythology
Dr. Bagemihl's Biological Exuberance research displays his fundamental dissatisfaction with science and enthusiasm for aboriginal mythology:
Western science has a lot to learn from aboriginal cultures about systems of gender and sexuality...[21]
To Western science, homosexuality (both animal and human) is an anomaly, an unexpected behavior that above all requires some sort of "explanation" or "cause" or "rationale." In contrast, to many indigenous cultures around the world, homosexuality and transgender are a routine and expected occurrence in both the human and animal worlds...[22]
Most Native American tribes formally recognize--and honor--human homosexuality and transgender in the role of the 'two-spirit' person (sometimes formerly known as berdache). The 'two-spirit' is a sacred man or woman who mixes gender categories by wearing clothes of opposite or both sexes .... And often engaging in same -sex relations. ... In many Native American cultures, certain animals are also symbolically associated with two-spiritedness, often in the form of creation myths and origin legends relating to the first or "supernatural" two-spirit(s)....A Zuni creation story relates how the first two spirits--creatures that were neither male nor female, yet both at the same time--were the twelve offspring of a mythical brother-sister pair. Some of these creatures were human, but one was a bat and another an old buck Deer.[23]Dr. Bagemihl applies this androgynous myth, so widespread in today's homosexual movement, to the animal kingdom with the help of Indian and aboriginal mythology. He invites the West to embrace "a new paradigm:"[24]
Ultimately, the synthesis of scientific views represented by Biological Exuberance brings us full circle--back to the way of looking at the world that is in accordance with some of the most ancient indigenous conceptions of animal (and human) sexual and gender variability. This perspective dissolves binary oppositions....Biological Exuberance is...a worldview that is at once primordial and futuristic, in which gender is kaleidoscopic, sexualities are multiple, and the categories of male and female are fluid and transmutable.[25]
Conclusion
In summary, the homosexual movement's attempt to establish that homosexuality is in accordance with human nature, by proving its animal homosexuality theory, is based more on mythological beliefs and erroneous philosophical tenets than on science.
Luiz Sérgio Solimeo joined the Brazilian Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) in 1959. As a researcher and writer, he specializes in philosophical and theological topics and has several published works. Mr. Solimeo has been in the United States assisting the American TFP since 1999.