I somehow let myself be lured into posting not once but twice on a blog a religious studies professor runs. Which is something I feel pretty fearful of doing generally. But this blog is one that people in my denomination read. And the author of it is someone I generally respect. So I posted bits of my thought. The post was on the Jones Yarhouse study done by Exodus regarding gays and lesbians trying to change. Here's the link if you want to read the entire long discussion. I could say a lot more on this, and it's not like coming out hasn't been hard. But, wow, do I like life more in the last year or so.
Sometimes the idea of being gay causes so much self hate and desire to die that having the option to change gives one hope to live. However for me, although counseling was helpful in my efforts to hate myself and “cut” less (self harm). Ultimately it was a way to cope with (and perhaps avoid) a truth that I then thought was too horrific for me to handle because of what I was taught in church.
Counseling generally is great. I affirm it. And maybe other people need the option of attempting to change for the same reason I did. People are complex so I don’t really want this option taken away for those who rather be dead than gay. But, accepting all of me, and “coming out” to family and friends did far more for my mental health than “trying to change”.