|¨I was a fairly sensitive, creative child with a bright outlook¨|
By Seth Guyette
¨...I am a gay man who has never identified as “ex-gay”. Regardless of the fact that I have never partaken in any sort of “reorientation” counseling (aka “conversion therapy”), “ex-gay” politics and philosophies have harmed me and the relationship with some of my family members. I am not the only one this has happened to. The following personal account is not meant to vilify any of my loved ones or negate any form of religion.
I was a fairly sensitive, creative child with a bright outlook. Although my family had its share of unusual dynamics and classic dysfunction, we always pulled through in a spirit of love, doing the best we could. My siblings and I were brought up as Baptist/Evangelical Christians within a fairly sheltered environment and we were instilled with a desire to live an honest, clean life. My brother and I were even educated in a private, Christian school and our intake of non-religious media was monitored and regulated well into my later teen years. This form of Christianity, while it has a lot of positive aspects, also relies on a very literalistic interpretation of the Bible, which condemns homosexuality as being, by nature, sinful.
The religious social circles where my family circulated always presented a negative view of homosexuals. This attitude started to generate a lot of personal anxiety around age eleven, when typical male biological changes began and I found myself experiencing strong physical and emotional attractions to other males. This directly contradicted what I was taught, causing me to fear my life and spiritual salvation. I knew that I could not risk telling anyone about it in light of the possibility of social stigma and harsh, religion-based counseling. Therefore I kept my sexuality deeply hidden. After graduating from high school life became more complicated. Everything had been structured around the false notion that I was heterosexual and it was assumed that I would start living my life in the fashion of a conservative, Christian man with an innate attraction to the opposite sex. I was constantly at war with the steady diet of dogma and anti-gay condemnation that had been drilled into my mind from a very early age.
Despite this, I had developed a small, hidden circle of gay friends with whom I felt a sense of comfort and camaraderie. My issues were later compounded when I decided that 'coming out' to my parents was the honest, logical thing to do. I had seriously considered the prospect of living a double life where I would masquerade as a heterosexual, possibly taking on a girlfriend or wife, but this form of living seemed dishonest, needlessly complicated, and unnatural (not to mention the damage that this type of deceit can do to one's spouse and family down the road). So I stopped hiding my social circle and began leaving strong indicators to help my parents understand the true nature of their son...¨ please read it all,
· Thanks to Beyond Ex-Gay, HERE
· Thanks to Seth Guyette