A dialogue with former homosexuals
Denying or Suppressing It
Pretending there was nothing amiss in our lives was like ignoring a growing tumor. Refusing to deal with our homosexual problems ensured that they would continue to thrive and multiply. We could resist for a time. We could look the other way. But that only gave our problems time to fester and grow worse. We could abstain from homosexual behavior, but that didn't resolve the feeling. Avoiding the problem could never fix the problem.
We certainly never consciously chose to be sexually attracted to men. Neither could we simply choose to change and be attracted to women instead. At best, willpower could only help us resist the urge to indulge whatever sexual desire we felt in the moment. It could not bring long-term healing. Rather than work on our will, or our mental control, we found it much more effective to work on our heart, or our emotional and spiritual desire.
Trying to Pray It Away
Almost all of us at one time hoped and prayed that God would suddenly change us that if only we had enough faith, we would wake up one day and find our homosexual desires miraculously gone. Yes, there are those who testify of such miraculous, sudden recovery, but it certainly doesn't seem to be the norm -- and certainly not without a lot of hard, personal and spiritual work leading up to that "overnight" recovery. In fact, many of us came to see that we had been praying the wrong prayer for many years! Rather than asking God to change us, we needed him to show us the steps he wanted us to take toward change -- and then trust him enough to take the very steps we feared most. We needed to be humble enough to learn the lessons that the struggle was designed to teach us -- and then move on.
As Ben writes:
"Like so many others, I once begged God to change me with a single touch, the way he healed the blind man. I prayed and read scriptures hoping that would change me, but all the while I remained locked in isolation and shame. Ultimately, I learned that trying to heal my emotional wounds through spirituality alone was like putting a cast on my arm when I had the flu. I was treating the wrong problem. I was emotionally broken and weak, but in many ways spiritually strong. Trying to strengthen myself spiritually, alone in my room in prayer, wasn't going to heal the isolation I felt in the world of men. I started to change when I saw the Lord as a guide who would lead me through a healing journey if I did it his way, not mine."
For most of us, praying and building a renewed spiritual life would become the fuel that powered our journey out of homosexuality and the map that guided our way -- it was seldom our journey in itself.
At one time, many of us were convinced that indulging our desires for homosexual expression was the only way to satisfy them and get relief from constant yearning for male attention and affection. And in fact it did bring relief -- momentarily. But those of us who did indulge those desires often found that, when the fleeting embrace or erotic experience was over, we felt more lonely and desperate than before. The "hole" inside our souls that we were constantly trying to fill was deeper and emptier than ever, and we were desperate for more. It became easy for us to fall into addiction and dependency. Even those of us who found a romantic partner who seemed like he would always be there for us often found we could never get enough of him to fill the emptiness inside ourselves. The true need buried deep inside was a little boy's need for love and acceptance from his father and from the other boys and to fully and proudly embrace his masculinity. Sex with another man only alienated us from ever really finding the real solution to our needs.