My thoughts and musings on living a straight, Christian life while dealing with same sex attraction (SSA). Respectful comments are welcomed.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Prepare to get ticked off if you stand for gay rights

I know that this post will make a lot of people mad, but that is up to them. As I have read a lot of blogs, and can see people being seduced by "being true to who they are" and wanting gay rights, etc. I can see the fallacies and lies that are so seductive. I have often wished for the words to help someone see what I see, and save them worlds of pain and discomfort in coming to that same understanding. I simply don't have the words.

Then, I read this article that I found linked in another blog. He is a Christian gay who has lived the gay lifestyle for 20+ years and rejected it. He is very intellectual and argues his point well. He has some great analogies, and while lengthy, it's worth reading. In his article, he exposes the gay rights movement as a neatly packaged front to be sold to the conservative world (the front section of a bookstore with "respectable" titles, hiding the HUGE porn section behind), lulling those coming out of the closet into a false sense of security, while hiding the real view of gay life as being rampantly promiscuous. Here is an excerpt from his article:

A popular definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing, while expecting a different result. That was me, the whole time I was laboring to become a happy homosexual. I was a lunatic. Several times I turned for advice to gay men who seemed better adjusted to their lot in life than I was. First, I wanted confirmation that my perceptions were accurate, that life as a male homosexual really was as awful as it seemed to be. And then I wanted to know what I was supposed to do about it. When was it going to get better? What could I do to make it better? I got two sorts of reactions to these questions, both of which left me feeling hurt and confused. The first sort of reaction was denial, often bitter denial, of what I was suggesting. I was told that there was something wrong with me, that most gay men were having a wonderful time, that I was generalizing on the basis of my own experience (whose experience was I supposed to generalize from?), and that I should shut up and stop bothering others with my "internalized homophobia."

I began seeing a counselor when I was a graduate student. Matt (not his real name) was a happily married man with college-age children. All he knew about homosexuality he learned from the other members of his profession, who assured him that homosexuality was not a mental illness and that there were no good reasons that homosexuals could not lead happy, productive lives. When I first unloaded my tale of woe, Matt told me I had never really come out of the closet. (I still have no idea what he meant, but suspect it is like the "once saved, always saved" Baptist who responds to the lapsed by telling him that he was never really saved in the first place.) I needed to go back, he told me, try again, and continue to look for the positive experiences he was sure were available for me, on the basis of no other evidence than the rulings of the American Psychiatric Association. He had almost no personal experience of homosexuals, but his peers assured him that the book section at Lobo's offered a true picture of homosexual life. I knew Matt was clueless, but I still wanted to believe he was right.

Matt and I developed a therapeutic relationship. During the year we spent together, he learned far more from me than I did from him. I tried to take his advice. I was sharing a house that year with another grad student who was in the process of coming out and experiencing his own disillusionment. Because I had been his only gay friend, and had encouraged him to come out, his bitterness came to be directed at me, and our relationship suffered for it. Meanwhile, I developed a close friendship with a member of the faculty who was openly gay. When I first informed Matt, he was ecstatic. He thought I was finally come out properly. The faculty member was just the sort of friend I needed. But the faculty member, as it turned out, despite his immaculate professional facade, was a deeply disturbed man who put all of his friends through emotional hell, which I of course shared with a shocked and silenced Matt. (I tried to date but, as usual, experienced the same pattern that characterized all my homosexual relationships. The friendship lasted as long as the sexual heat. Once that cooled, my partner's interest in me as a person dissipated with it.) It was not a good year. At the end of it, I remember Matt staring at me, with glazed eyes and a shell-shocked look on his face, and admitting, "You know, being gay is a lot harder than I realized."

Not everyone I spoke to over the years rejected what I had to say out of hand. I once corresponded with an English ex-Dominican. I was ecstatic to learn that he was gay, and was eventually kicked out of his order for refusing to remain in the closet. He included an e-mail address in one of his books, and I wrote him, wanting to know if his experience of life as a homosexual was significantly different from mine. I presumed it must be, since he had written a couple of books, passionately defending the right of homosexuals to a place in the Church. His response to me was one of the last nails in the coffin of my life as a gay man. To my astonishment, he admitted that his experiences were not unlike mine. All he could suggest was that I keep trying, and eventually everything would work out. In other words, this brilliant man, whose books had meant so much to me, had nothing to suggest except that I keep doing the same thing, while expecting a different result. There was only one reasonable conclusion. I would be nuts if I took his advice. It took me twenty years, but I finally reached the conclusion that I did not want to be insane.

So where am I now? I am attending a militantly orthodox parish in Houston that is one of God's most spectacular gifts to me. My best friend Mark (not his real name) is, like me, a refugee from the homosexual insane asylum. He is also a devout believer, though a Presbyterian (no one is perfect). From Mark I have learned that two men can love each other profoundly while remaining clothed the entire time.

We are told that the Church opposes same-sex love. Not true. The Church opposes homogenital sex, which in my experience is not about love, but about obsession, addiction, and compensation for a compromised masculinity.

I am not proud of the life I have lived. In fact, I am profoundly ashamed of it. But if reading this prevents one naïve, gullible man from making the same mistakes, then perhaps...I can at least hope for a reprieve from some of the many centuries in Purgatory I have coming to me.


Well said!

12 Comments:

Blogger Samantha said...

I read this article awhile ago--pretty strong stuff. Thanks for posting it here.

11:23 AM

 
Blogger -L- said...

What a catchy title. It's always best to be adversarial up front. ;-) I think there are gay rights activists and then there are gay rights activists.

I'm glad to see you are indeed still alive.

3:22 PM

 
Blogger Scot said...

Near nothing ruins credibility with your opponent quicker than making false claims about their lives, the things they know directly. I’d think a practicing LDS gay man would know that better than most.

It strikes me as odd that people with all the self-described personal and sexual problems as the guy you’re quoting are taken as credible authorities on gay people or the nebulous “gay lifestyle”. I mean, the guy clearly says the sex he wanted “in [his] experience [was] not about love, but about obsession, addiction, and compensation for a compromised masculinity.” Also, he admittedly repeatedly dated only people looking for sex (he wasn’t forced to pick them), and he says he was having sex with those *multiple* people while merely dating. Then he blams his poor choices on being atracted to men (while women do it responcibly all the time).

Don’t you see anything wrong with this picture? Clearly, to me, the man had personal problems and shouldn’t have been having the sort of relationships he was choosing; he should not be living as “gay” if that’s what it meant to him.

Anyway, you don’t want to have an intimate relationship with a man, and think it’d be all about obsession, addiction and so on for you and that, to you, being gay means you couldn’t give the effort to create something lasting, fine. By all measures you shouldn’t do it then, and, if you marry and make children with a woman, I’d *strongly* encourage you to keep to a heterosexual life. But you cannot think you represent every gay man, right? I’ve been in a happy monogamous relationship for well over a decade, and we’ve never been with anyone else. I dare say our family is far more happy and peaceful than most, and I’m blessed to know many gay couples like us.

For you to insult, or hope to legally hobble the families of those who do make it over the social hurdles into happy, dedicated, productive lives helps no one, and convinces many gays there’s no point in attempting civil relations, particularly if you were actually aiming to “tick off” others.

Scot

9:07 PM

 
Blogger LDSwithSSA said...

not aiming to, just not avoiding it either. I also think that the long term relationship you have found is a rare exception.

11:55 PM

 
Blogger Scot said...

That’s just it, though, isn’t it? I and most the gays I’m friends with didn’t just *find* a long term relationship, we worked to build it; we settled for nothing less (even that term I’d find lacking, as I want only one relationship ever, not merely a “long term” relationship).

We weren’t having sex with people we merely dated, as this guy was; we weren’t abusing it like some quick fix. To me it takes a significant blindness to his personal responsibility for this man to blame his self-described lifestyle on being attracted to men (as I said, women do it responsibly all the time, and so do many gay men), and it takes a good deal of callousness for him to try to bring down other gays, and legally hurt their families for his personal mistakes.

Not that I’m sure he doesn’t have excuses that are reasonable. Not everyone has the same factors behind them, and, you may be right, that most gays tend to have a harder time at the necessary commitments. I, fortunately, was more anti-gay than my parents and peers when I came out, and when I did, they still expected me to be sexually chaste, and to build a strong family. I could bring my partner home, without discomfort. I’ve known others not near as lucky, and many do treat sex as a drug, a substitute for love. They do this because sex is quick, easy, can be done secretly, and can be done with shame; enduring relationships are not that way. Such gays, understandably, have a very hard time, but they shouldn’t reflect that onto the rest of us.

Simply, if you can’t do it, and being gay means “rampant promiscuity” to you, I would stand with you in your resistance to being “seduced” and lulled “into a false sense of security” about coming out and following your atraction. You shouldn’t, in that case, have a sense of security about being gay, because it could be deadly dangerous for you, and neither of us wants another self-destructive gay man in the world, damaging their lives and the lives of those they love.

Lastly, I apologize if my last comment (and maybe this one?) was a bit heated (and long). It’s just infuriating being told I shouldn’t have the life I love, the source of near all my happiness, as I’m *must* not be happy with it because some other guy couldn’t get his life in order:-).

9:41 AM

 
Blogger Unusual Dude said...

Excellent article. Just ran across your blog today, great to see another mind thinking alike.

4:17 PM

 
Blogger David said...

Long-term, healthy realtionships of any orientation seem to me to be a rare exception in today's society.

1:29 PM

 
Blogger Chris said...

I also think that the long term relationship you have found is a rare exception.

In a country where half of all marriages end in divorce, it's not just long-term gay relationships that are exceptional.

1:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to chime in and say that while at the moment I'm not pursuing any relationships (be they hetero or homo), I ardently desire that those homosexuals who would like to have committed, loving relationships might do so under law.

I'll admit - I have frequently been disenchanted with the gay community. I have met more hedonistic individuals than I can count. But is this a fair characterization of the entire community? We, who are here discussing this, is this how we act? When I felt to condemn the entire gay community, I was reminded by a dear friend that straight people aren't perfect either! What is the divorce rate in America? These are straight people! Think how many people you know have cheated on spouses or significant others. Are gay people the exclusive repository of despicable sinners in the world? Surely not.

I can understand where this man was coming from. I have often felt and seen things the same way. BUT, it's not all gay people, and there are those who want loving, committed relationships. There are people who pursue something more than just shallow attractions.

While I don't know if I'll ever follow in such people's steps, I applaud those who find love and make it last, whereever they find it.

-R.C.

5:46 PM

 
Blogger Chris said...

Hey, just started up my own blog

marriedwithssa.blogspot.com

Would appreciate any feedback.

Chris

11:19 AM

 
Blogger Dan said...

Thank you for providing that insight and laying things out so clearly to be understood.

5:56 PM

 
Blogger Samantha said...

Would you mind emailing me? I have something to send you in conjunction with the new Northern Lights Blog, but no address for you.

one_bewitched@yahoo.com

Thanks,
Samantha

9:39 PM

 

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