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2282Re: Willing Ex-Gay Participation

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  • nojam75
    May 9, 2002
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      --- In exexgayministry@y..., calldon2k <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > --- In exexgayministry@y..., "Michael Airhart" <mairhart@i...>
      > > But some of it is simply a denial of personal responsibility.
      > > ex-ex-gays won't admit that they joined ex-gay ministries of
      > own
      > > free will, and whatever happened there was partly a matter of
      > personal
      > > choice. In most cases, no one made them spend years in poorly
      > designed
      > > ministries. It was their choice.

      I have to agree with Michael. In my case, I fully admit that I
      willingly chose to participate in ex-gay programs. The Christian
      community I was involved with did encourage me to deal with my same-
      sex desires, but they were not familiar with ex-gay programs.
      Certainly, my Christian friends pressured me to uphold my
      fundamentalist Christian values and abstain from sex outside of a
      heterosexual marriage. But I can't say they pressured me to convert
      to heterosexuality. In fact, they fully acknowledged the notion
      that I may be homosexual for the rest of my life. So I really
      pressured myself to seek ex-gay treatment and I take responsibility
      for that.

      CallDon has a valid point that Christian culture can exert powerful
      pressure on gays to seek ex-gay treatment. But in my experience, I
      can't say Christian culture necessarily force gays into ex-gay
      programs. There are extreme examples of families forcing their kids
      into ex-gay programs. However, the ex-gay programs I dealt with are
      aware such extremes and are careful to emphasize that ex-gay
      participants must be self-motivated. Christian culture and
      Christian families can knowingly and unknowningly force gays into ex-
      gay programs, but only when a gay Christian *allows* Christian
      culture/family to exert such pressure. The gay Christian who
      passively allows such pressures is choosing to accept such pressure
      as valid. The alternative for the adult, homosexual Christian is to
      reject such pressures and deal with the consequences (minors are in
      a much more difficult situation and may not have such freedom).
      Also, gay Christian fundamentalists are in a more challengingly
      situation because fundamentalism tends to discourage alternative
      thinking and questioning.

      So, I don't consider myself and most other ex-ex-gays as innocent
      victims of ex-gay programs. I think most of us, for a variety of
      reasons, chose to pursue ex-gay treatment. But this acknowledgement
      does not mean ex-gay programs are off-the-hook when it comes to the
      effects of their programs. In the same way they publicize their
      handful of success stories, they need to acknowledge the devastating
      effects of their programs.

      - Norm! (nojam75@...)
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