Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"I used to be gay"

I was chatting on gay.com last night (like I do). I was very pleased to receive a private instant message from a man in Provo who said he was also LDS and was a current student at BYU, age 28.

I generally welcome conversations from most people who have those things in common with me (having gone to BYU myself and being of LDS-background).

Then. . . the train jumped the track.

This person, who named himself Drew, said "I'm not gay, but I used to be."

(awkward pause)

Think about that statement for a moment. . . "I used to be gay."

Is there such a thing? My initial reaction was to laugh at the statement. According to all I've read and learned in college about sexuality is that it is unchangeable; and trying to do so often results in catastrophic problems. But this guy, Drew, was positive he was no longer gay.

I asked him what a straight man would be doing browsing gay.com at 2:30 am. He replied "I'm just curious."

I said, "straight men do not entertain curiosities on websites such as gay.com at 2:30 in the morning." He simply stood by his reasons for being curious. He wanted to reminisce about past temptations, even though he was no longer tempted. I found that fascinating and said "it's interesting how we sometimes keep our past so close to our heart, even when it was once so painful. Too bad you keep your gayness so close." He was offended by my comment. I"m not surprised.

So, you can see the problem here. A gay man, goes to therapy and decides he is no longer gay and now identifies as a straight man. He then feels a curiosity about old temptations and indulges in them. Is this man REALLY straight?

I ask you. . . is there such a thing as "used to be gay." I want to know your thoughts on this.

Before reading on, take a moment to think about that and respond.

Now. . . Something went terribly wrong. Our conversation turned into a train wreck when Jeromy opened his big mouth.

I said "Drew, you go to BYU. A statement such as "I used to be gay" sounds an awful lot like the words of a man named Jeff Robinson. Do you know him?"

Oh boy. I should have just kept my mouth shut. Jeff Robinson, if you don't know, is a very well-known therapist employed by BYU who specializes in re-orientation therapy, a therapy technique denounced by the American Psychological Association, as being devastatingly harmful. Jeff Robinson seems to be the LDS church's go-to guy on homosexuals and one of the only group of therapists in the US who still practice this form of therapy.

That explained to me why my new friend Drew thinks that he "used to be gay."

Unfortunately for me, the mention of Jeff Robinson's name opened a can of worms. Drew asked me to explain how I reconciled my own homosexual feelings with my faith. But Drew wasn't ready to listen to my story. He obviously wanted to make himself feel better by bashing a real gay man on gay.com (and yes he verbally bashed me with extreme prejudice). I found the whole conversation incredibly rude and hypocritical. The worst part was when he said that he wanted to spread Christ's love to the gay community. But really, I think he just wanted to pump himself up with a twisted kind of gratification that he had made it to an exalted path, and was better than the measly, groveling homos that he used to include himself with.

Was I hurt? yes. Was I angry? yes. Did he make me question my own morals? Sadly yes, because I am humble enough to second-guess my own values in the interest of personal growth (but leaving my heart open to manipulation).

CHRIST'S LOVE, MY BIG TOE!!!! There was nothing Christ-like about Drew's condescending feelings and self-hatred. There is nothing healing about his supposed-transformation from gay to straight. This poor gay soul crawls back to gay.com to wallow in his confused and suppressed sexuality. He feigns righteousness just to mask his inner-sorrow. At least that was my impression of him. I got no confirmation of the spirit while chatting with him. I felt no righteous indignation in his criticism of my ideals. He was simply self-righteous. He called me narrow-minded. He said it was useless to even talk to me because I was a lost cause, having acceptd my sexuality. WOW!

I blocked him from contacting me both on gay.com and on MSN messenger. Interestingly he sent me an email titled "Coward!". . in which he said my whole idea of reconciling my sexuality to my faith was left without a leg to stand on. Again. . WOW! The audacity.

How dare he accuse me of hypocrisy. How dare he judge me. How dare he claim to serve Christ when he is the servant of his own selfish and corrupted gratifications.

After this conversation I felt the need to affirm what I know to be true. I am a son of God and he loves me. He knows my struggles. He knows I'm gay. My family loves me. My friends love me. The atonement of Christ will set things to right in the end. The gospel of Jesus Christ is still true.

3 comments:

ColorfulJacksons said...

"So... um... You want I should bump 'im?" You're in the right, Jeromy. He has issues and someday, it'll slap him in the face.

G1 said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I came across it because I did a google search on "I used to be gay". I'm in my thirties and I am lucky enough to work amongst liberals and have liberal friends (in the UK). I am a Christian but I think GOD LOVES GAY MEN AND WOMEN and indeed that sexual orientation doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. I am totally pro all gay rights etc etc. The fact is, I think I might be getting bored of being gay. I had a straight experience recently and it was fun and different, and she knew I identify as gay (normally) and everything was honest and stuff, and I am trying to find out whether sexual orientation changes over time etc. I am involved (still) in a few pro-gay Christian groups, and I really believe the anti-gay Christians are wrong. But it's interesting isn't it, what we think defines us at any one point in time. Will it always be the same? My (straight) best mate finds it funny (in a supportive way). I am scared of telling my gay mates! I'd love to hear stories of other people who have, through their own devices (and not out of any desire NOT to be gay / any aversion therapy or whatever) decided that they don't want to be gay any more. Right! Keep up the gay latter-day saint fight, and don't let people tread on you, Cheers G1.

Alan said...

Jeromy:

I'm enjoying your blog. I had my own run-in with Jeff Robinson, check it out: http://scrumcentral.blogspot.com/2009/02/danger-jeff-robinson.html

Back to work! Too much to do . . .