¨It was 1983 and I was about to graduate from a Christian college. I was terrified of the future because of my big, scary, dark secret. Finally, with a mixture of fear and shame, I scheduled an appointment with the school’s director of counseling. I told him my secret: I was attracted to other guys. I also told him that more than anything, I wanted to be free from those desires and live a normal life. He assured me that such change was possible, but would probably take about a year of therapy. Since I was due to graduate, I was referred to a Christian counselor in the city where I would soon begin seminary.
The new counselor, a sincere man with an MSW degree, also affirmed that change was possible. We began a counseling relationship lasting one year. “I’ve never met a homosexually-attracted man who had a good relationship with his father,” he told me. “Hmmm,” I thought, “my Dad and I have always been pretty close.” I told him so, and the counselor began a process of deconstructing my relationship with my father. He explained that my inability to bond with my father resulted in a quest to repair that relationship through bonding with other men. He was the expert and I was desperate, so I believed him. Thus began a journey toward becoming ‘normal’ that lasted nearly twenty years.
My story is similar to many others I've heard. A childhood centered in church and family. A growing awareness that I was attracted to guys, not girls, coupled with systems of massive denial. My identity was centered in being a good boy, an obedient son, a committed Christian. 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...¨ please read Ricks story, HERE
Thanks to Ex-Gay Narratives, sidebar
Thanks to ¨Rick¨
The fear of being gay and Ugandan Despite the latest calls in Uganda for gays to be hanged, we have come through the fire and are toughe...
REAL HERO/REAL LIFE: Bishop John Shelby Spong
“I was simply interpreting a rising consciousness,” he said. “Whether it was race or women or homosexual people, the issue was always the same: fighting against anything that dehumanizes a child of God on the basis of an external characteristic.” Bishop John Shelby Spong (click on his photo)
IT GETS BETTER--Archbishop Desmond Tutu supports LGBT full acceptance and inclusion too!
¨Churches say that the expression of love in a heterosexual monogamous relationship includes the physical, the touching, embracing, kissing, the genital act - the totality of our love makes each of us grow to become increasingly godlike and compassionate. If this is so for the heterosexual, what earthly reason have we to say that it is not the case with the homosexual?¨ Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The No Anglican Covenant Coalition -- COMPREHENSIVE UNITY
A VERY UN-ANGLICAN COVENANT (click on logo)
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