An “Ex-Gay” Story Told by the New York Times

Posted: July 6, 2011 by Alan Shlemon in Etcetera
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The New York Times Magazine has an interesting article about the author’s “ex-gay friend.” I wouldn’t say the article is positive, but the fact that it doesn’t drop a bunch of ad hominems is a good start.

  1. Doesn’t “ex-gay” prove that there is no “gay gene”? My genes determined that I am Caucasian with cold, steel-gray eyes. I can’t change those facts.

    • Alan Shlemon says:

      I think it is evidence against the “gay gene” theory. I address this point you bring up in my article here:

    • Sam Harper says:

      Not necessarily. Not everybody can be placed neatly in a gay or straight category. There’s a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum are people who are absolutely straight and couldn’t choose to be gay even if they had a strong motive. At the other end of the spectrum are people who are absolutely gay and couldn’t choose to be straight even if they had a strong motive. Between these two extremes are people who are bi-sexual. Some of those bi-sexual people are closer to being gay than to being straight, and some are closer to being straight than to being gay. A person who is “ex-gay” may just be a bi-sexual person who has changed his leaning the same way a person might change his taste in music or food. If you read the article Alan linked to, it’s interesting how the author speculates about what might be going on in the mind of somebody who appears to change their orientation. People are not always totally honest with themselves, and there is such a thing as denial. People who claim to be “ex-gay” often re-lapse. They think of being gay as an addiction. So an “ex-gay” person still has gay feelings sometimes that they attempt to repress or deny. They’re only “ex-gay” in the sense that they no longer practice a homosexual lifestyle and choose, instead, to live a straight lifestyle. But that is perfectly compatible with being bi-sexual.

      • Is this “spectrum” documented anywhere? People may have tendencies, but that does not mean that it’s genetic. If there is a “gay gene”, a person won’t be able to change.

        The rest of your comments appear to be assertions that someone who changes to being straight is being untrue to himself, but that appears to be simply a series of talking points from the homosexual advocates. Unless, of course, you can offer substantiation.

      • Sam Harper says:

        This spectrum is not documented anywhere that I know of. I became aware of this spectrum just by living, knowing people, and reading about people. I became aware of this spectrum the same way people usually become aware there there are gay people, straight people, and bi-sexual people. You learn it just by living in the world and discovering it.

        I’m not arguing that the tendencies people have proves that it’s genetic. What I arguing is that the fact that people appear to change their sexual orientation does not prove that it’s not genetic. That’s why I answered your original question with “Not necessarily.”

        My comments may be consistent with the talking points of homosexual advocates, but that hardly counts against them. Some of their talking points may be true. But as far as why I think they’re probably true, it’s because of the testimonies I’ve read from people who claim to have changed their sexual orientation. A lot of those people say that the feelings never completely go away. They still creep up now and again, and they have to work to suppress them. They explicitly call homosexuality an “addiction.” You can break the addiction, but you still have cravings every now and then. Some people are better at it than others and no longer have the craving. But they could pick it back up if they wanted to. Most people who are straight and who have always been straight couldn’t pick it up even if they had a great deal of motivation to.

      • John Barron says:

        While I can appreciate this reasoning, it basically renders the position unfalsifiable. The homosexual who turns straight wasnt really all the way gay, just kind of bisexual, and vice versa. Every anecdotal piece of evidence is just more confirmation of this “spectrum” which is in-born. There is nothing to falsify the claim.

      • Sam Harper says:

        John, if my arguments are sound, all that follows is that “ex gays” do not falsify the claim that people are born gay. It doesn’t follow that the claim is unfalsifiable. There may be some other argument or evidence that would falsify the claim.

  2. Oh, THAT’s where I read about it! By the way, a friend of mine featured a link to that article on her Website.

  3. Schwan says:

    I found the linked article interesting. It was quite obvious that the author, who identifies himself as a homosexual, has absolutely no idea what to do with someone like his friend, Michael. He talks about how much they hate “labels,” yet he throws them around all over the place: “Is he really gay and now he’s in denial? Or has he always been straight and used to be in denial?” I suspect he can’t figure it out because he’s not allowed to admit that it’s possible to have homosexual desires, and then not have those desires anymore (and vice versa). He equates sexuality with identity. To him it’s not something you do, it’s who you are intrinsically – and you can’t change it anymore than you can change your skin or eye color. That is the biggest obstacle to reaching those entrenched in the homosexual lifestyle, because they take any criticism of homosexuality as an attack on their very identity. The trick is convincing them that this is not the case, and that takes a great deal of patience and sensitivity.

    This is what Michael Glatze, the subject of this story, had to say about the idea of being born gay:

    “The pressure to succumb to homosexual desires is also immense. And this goes for anybody – homosexual desire is something that anybody can succumb to, just as it is something that anybody can turn away from. (It is one of the Big Lies of our culture that people are somehow born gay and that it is a fixed identity until that person’s death. Never believe this lie; countless individuals leave homosexual desire, leave the addiction of homosexual sin and have happy, normal, heterosexual lives. Never believe the lie.)”

  4. If you go to Theopologetics dot blogspot dot com, podcast episodes 48 and 49 are about homosexuality, people leaving the lifestyle (remarks from former homosexual and activist Michael Glatze refute the preconceptions that people who leave the lifestyle are unhappy fakers), the Bible’s view of homosexuality and more.