Wednesday, October 3, 2007

That blasted study everyone is talking about!

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.

Here's part of what I said regarding "change":
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”.

2 comments:

Liadan said...

I think for some people, coming from a fundamentalist family or background that posits gayness as a choice one makes rather than a way one is, they may need the option of trying (and most likely failing) to change, if only to prove to themselves as much as to the people around them that being gay isn't their "fault" and thus something they don't have to feel guilty and ashamed about. I know that coming from an evangelical environment, even with the non-conformist, rabble-rousing debating personality I have, I made my own "amateur" attempts to Not Be Gay before eventually figuring out that not only was nothing changing, nothing needed to because you don't have to fix what ain't broken.

Of course, the flip side of that is the people who will inevitably tell them that their failure to change (or stay happily celibate) is still their fault for not being Christian / Godly / faithful / trusting / etc. enough. Hopefully most people get past the carrot-and-stick game. Certainly some people never do.

just me - titration said...

liadan TOTALLY. Your line "if only to prove to themselves as much as to the people around them that being gay isn't their "fault" and thus something they don't have to feel guilty and ashamed about." feels exactly like me!

Thanks for your comment. :)mendacity