Apparently Dr. Spitzer has apologized to the gay community for lending any credence to the practice known as Reparative Therapy.
I was someone who participated in his study. I thought he genuinely wanted to find some objective truth. I thought he had found it. That said, his study wasn’t exactly one I was particularly inclined to pull out the pom-pom’s and cheer about to begin with.
Don’t worry, I was “highly motivated” to throw out my pom-pom’s twenty something years ago. It’s just a figure of speech today … mostly.
So, let me break down this post into segments.
Dr. Spitzer denounces Reparative Therapy and apologizes that his study lent any credence to the Reparative Therapy approach.
When I participated in the study I never said I was ever in Reparative Therapy. The reason I never said that is because I never was. If the study was only about that I probably wouldn’t have volunteered. I left Exodus as an employee last year but in all my time with Exodus I worked with professional counselors of all kinds (that said, they only comprised 25% to 30% of the Exodus Member Ministries at any given time). I only know of two, in 20 years, who would say they are primarily “Reparative Therapists.” Many professional counselors would all say that RT informed them but they had problems with certain aspects of it. In other words, “Reparative Therapy,” was never the cornerstone of Exodus. It was not the default approach of most of the people I knew who helped others or received help themselves.
Reparative Therapy was never our religion and Spitzer was never seen as our Savior.
I’m Still Not Gay
20 years ago I was happily exclusively gay. I was, I thought, at peace with my identity, enjoyed dating men and had the dream of finding my life partner, getting a ranch style home, twin Honda Accords, a Siberian Husky and a Pomeranian, holding hands as we sat in our rocking chairs on the porch. I am not ashamed of those previous dreams but believe I have found a more fulfilling set of life goals and pursuits.
Goals and pursuits that have proven time and again to bring contentment and joy regardless of circumstance.
Notice the first person ownership of the above. Normally when I talk about this kind of stuff, I usually get people saying that I am demeaning their life goals because I believe I have found “more fulfillment” somewhere else. To be clear, I am only talking about my life and experience.
Is my orientation changed? Let’s just say that where I was exclusively homosexual before… that’s not even a factor in how I view the complexity of my own, or anyone else’s, identity. I have dated both men and women and women are much more interesting/attractive/mysterious to me today. That said, I feel led to lead a celibate life and, most of the time, I am content with that. Even so, if I were to still be solely attracted to men, that doesn’t mean I have to identify as gay or with gay culture. I am not afraid or hate either the “gay” label or “gay culture.” Y’all do what you gotta’ do … it’s just not me.
And again, notice, Spitzer has nothing to do with my story other than I did an interview with him once. My “orientation” is so much larger than my sexuality. Reparative Therapy and its view of sexuality is not my context, Jesus is.
The dying last gasps fo the “Ex-gay Movement”
A lot of gay activists are declaring that the “ex-gay” movement will fall apart because of Spitzer’s recanting his study and apologizing to the gay community. Considering the “ex-gay movement” is a weird social construction dreamed up by activists to begin with … you all just keep yourselves busy making a living trying to figure that out, while folks like myself continue to live out our lives as we see fit.
We don’t exist to not be you regardless of how you spin it. In fact activists have very little, nothing really, to do with actually validating or invalidating our lives and experiences.
Will the ex-gay movement die? I have no idea because most of the people I know never felt comfortable describing our individual experiences as a faceless movement anyway. What I do know is that whether there is an organized movement or not, I cannot deny the beautiful things the Lord has done in my life.
And I, along with many others, won’t be quiet about it either.
So while a few gay activists are crowing and calling for the death drop on anyone seeking to live their lives congruent with their faith or moral views outside of a gay defined ideology … we will just keep doing what we have been doing: Being our true selves, loving God, serving others and simply living the life we want to lead.