|¨Throughout two decades I sought reparative therapy and other ex-gay treatments and methods¨|
Inner nudges toward ministry set me on a path that included a Christian college and seminary - places where being gay was just not an option. I couldn't imagine a life that didn't include a wife, children, and the respect of others for being a Christian role model.
Being a pastor and practicing spiritual disciplines did nothing to diminish the power of my innate sexuality. I eventually got married to a remarkable woman, hoping the Christian counselors were correct that it would be a sign of my 'healing.' No doubt a very bad decision, though I'm deeply grateful for the two wonderful children who came out of our marriage.
In 2001 the unthinkable happened. On the day after my 40th birthday, I met a man with whom I experienced an overpowering emotional connection. Until then I assumed my attraction to men was only physical and that periodic encounters with men had been a kind of addiction, but not related to who I really was. A very brief 'fling' with this man ended when he challenged me to be completely honest with myself. A gay, Jewish agnostic man demonstrated greater integrity than this married Christian pastor, and his words began what ultimately resulted in my coming out.
For over a year I committed myself once more to finding my 'true identity in Christ' as a heterosexual, or at least as a homosexually abstinent male. I cashed in everything. I told my story to my superiors in the church and surrendered my ordination credentials. No job, no income, no stability. Just incredible pressure and an understandably distraught wife. We attended a 10-day intensive counseling program in Colorado at great expense. I entered reparative therapy... again... realizing on some level that the treatment was sub-standard if not bogus, but hoping that God would honor my efforts and finally fix me.
Throughout two decades I sought reparative therapy and other ex-gay treatments and methods. Prayer, fasting, inner healing, accountability groups, medication, and 12-step groups. Even a scary exorcism attempt with lots of shouting. Since none of it made any difference, I became pretty despondent and hopeless over time. And because so much of it focused on environmental causes of homosexuality, my relationship with my parents suffered greatly
By Nov. 2002 I couldn't pretend to believe any more that the counseling was helping. I asked too many questions one day and received a lengthy tongue lashing from the counselor for my lack of faith. So I stepped back from a lifetime of effort and committed myself for the first time to pursuing the truth about myself and homosexuality...¨ please read it all, HERE
· Thanks to Beyond Ex-Gay, sidebar
· Thanks to Rick