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Hello- from a newbie from New Zealand...

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  • marama17
    Greetings to you all! I, too, am new to this list, and have spent a little time trawling the archives . A little about me. I am a lesbian woman, and have been
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2002
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      Greetings to you all!
      I, too, am new to this list, and have spent a little
      time 'trawling the archives'.
      A little about me. I am a lesbian woman, and have been in a stable
      relationship going on four years.
      I was, however, married at 21 to a man I didn't love (in fact, if
      I'm really honest, whom I barely liked...). We earnestly believed
      that 'God told us to get married'. I told my husband-to-be on our
      first date (when I was a tender 18 years old) that I believed I was
      gay. Many of you will be able to relate to how terrifying that
      prospect was in the context of a fundamentalist Pentecostal church,
      and many will understand how I believed that getting into a
      relationship/marriage with a man would eventually see all those
      tendencies and fears abated. I truly and earnestly believed that if
      I sought to obey God with all my heart- 'sought first His Kingdom
      and His righteousness' and repented with my whole being
      then 'healing' and 'wholeness' would ensue.
      Needless to say, like the majority on this list, I remained the
      same, both inside and out- sex was non-existent, and I battled my
      attractions to women.
      I spent a huge amount of money I didn't have going to an Exodus-
      run 'Living Waters' course. I came out feeling a failure, and 'not
      good enough for God'.
      My husband left me, I 'came out', and ended up in a psychiatric
      hospital.
      One of the best decisions I made was to leave the church I
      belonged to. I discovered that there were nigh-on 300,000 different
      Christian denomination, sub-groups, sects, cults etc. etc.
      Interesting, I thought, that a significant proportion of these
      groups believe that they are 'the truly enlightened ones'. Which
      made me realise that God/dess was far bigger than any one of us was
      even minutely capable of comprehending!
      So I asked God/dess to reveal him/herself to me for who I am,
      where I am, without the doctrinal and cultural baggage of a
      mainstream fundamental denomination. I was also free to seek my
      own 'healing journey' for myself outside the church confines.
      The journey has been challenging and rewarding. Although I don't
      attend a church (I live in rural New Zealand- the choice is less
      than stunning!), I align myself with Quakers, and meet with Quakers
      whenever I can. Here in NZ there is a 'Gay and Lesbian friends
      (Quakers)' branch, and the Quakers always join our 'Hero' (Gay and
      Lesbian) parade and celebrations in 'celebration of diversity'.
      Well, that's the 'Readers' Digest Version' of me... Two questions:
      Are there many women on this list (I saw little evidence of woman-
      presence in my exploration of the archives)
      Is there anyone else on the list from New Zealand?
      Cheers
      Chris
      -----Original Message-----
      From: nojam75 [mailto:nojam75@...]
      Sent: Saturday, April 06, 2002 3:11 PM
      To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [ExExGayMinistry] Re: Hello and Question


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      --- In exexgayministry@y..., "LoveEloheem" <loveeloheem@y...> wrote:
      > ...
      > Anyway, I have been wondering about how many people who go through
      > "therapy" and consider themselves ex-ex gay or never even
      considered
      > themselves ex-gay. I know that this is a kinda though question.
      But
      > any help or information you can give me would be excellent.
      > ...

      Speaking for myself, I think of the 'ex-ex-gay' label as a shorthand
      method of quickly describing my experience. The more accurate
      description would probably be 'former ex-gay ministry participant'.
      But I think 'ex-ex-gay' is more fun to use.

      As for whether I was ever 'ex-gay', I don't think I ever considered
      myself 'ex-gay'. However, at the time I was in ex-gay treatment,
      about five years ago, there was still some hesitancy about using
      the 'ex-gay' label. I think it was more common to describe oneself
      as 'struggling with sexuality'.

      The 'ex-gay' label is somewhat misleading because it implies one is
      no longer homosexual when in fact nearly all 'ex-gays' admit to
      continual homosexual attractions. Personally, I like how silly
      the 'ex-ex-gay' labels sounds.

      > ...
      > Additionally, I ran across a site where the author stated that she
      > observed that only those ran away from the ex-gay "lifestyle" who
      > weren't strong in their faith, didn't do bible study etc.
      > I mean, what a comment. Quite unbelievable!
      > ...

      Lack of faith is often the ex-gay method of countering ex-ex-gay
      experiences. Ex-gays attribute their success stories to
      God/faith/reparative therapy, but they seem to be unable to take any
      responsibility for any negative experiences. When I began
      expressing
      doubts and frustration over my ex-gay progress, I was told that I
      needed to "pray for more faith" and eventually my own faith was
      attacked. It really is a cruel cycle of blaming the participant.

      Welcome to club, Julia, and thanks for sharing.

      - Norm!
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