You're once....twice.... 3 times, a gay boy!
There are ex-gay people in the world who are, you know, actually formerly gay/non-straight, that aren't merely religious fronts? Do they have a decent resource/community for them that isn't at odds with the rest of the LGBTQ rights movement?
Also, what's the motivation for these folks? I understand why someone in the closet would be homophobic, but for someone who was already once out, what are they gaining? What's their goal?
I would imagine that in some communities - rural, religious, and/or rabidly conservative ones - at least your peers, family, co-workers, and pastors will be able to rationalize and accept you as ex-gay, which may be preferable to being ostracized and persecuted as still-gay.
@2, I've read some studies that indicate that sexual orientation can be a little bit fluid in a small number of women, but almost never in men. For men, if you are gay, you stay gay. You can't become ex-gay; you can only try to wedge yourself back into the closet. As for women, a small number experience a little shift in their orientation over their lives, but it isn't a lot of them, and it isn't a dramatic shift, and it isn't something they have any control over. Like moving a point or two on the Kinsey scale, but not swinging entirely from one end to the other.
So there really isn't a lot of need for resources or community for legit former-gays. The number of them is infinitesimally small. And these ex-gay assholes aren't making any attempt to reach them in any case. They are trying to shame gay people back into the closet.
A 30-something single man, who had no history of being in a relationship with a woman, and who hung out with twelve guys and one gal of dubious morals, is saving people from being gay?
I hate to break it to you Equipped To Love, but it sounds like Jesus was a Mary, not a Joseph.
@5 I love you so much! And not just because I used to live in Iowa, too
Dan seems a little bitter.
There are folks who spend a big part of their life living as heterosexual but later decide/realize/etc they are homosexual; and Dan and Homo,Inc are fine with that.
It is not far fetched to acknowledge there are folks who spend part of their live living as homosexual but later decide/realize/etc they are heterosexual.
And in the past, when conversion was not politically incorrect third-rail professional suicide, homosexuals who wanted to convert had a fairly decent success rate. (these were folks who on their own wanted to change, not folks whose parents were dragging them to a therapist to get them changed...)
Dan's sneering hatred toward folks whose experience may be different from what he idealizes as the typical/only-possible homosexual experience is unfortunate and sex-negative and a total asshole move.
Plus it reeks of insecurity.
Does anyone else notice those three testimonials are written by the same person. Phrasing, sentence structure, and words repeat all over the place. Nothing real here.
That distant swooshing sound you hear is the point flying way over your head.
Was @11 for @11?
It should be...
@7 - I don't get the impression that Dan (along with Big Homo) has sneering hatred for people who change, but rather for people who pretend to have changed, and go on speaking tours to give false hope to people who want to change (&/or more tools for people who want to browbeat their so-called loved ones into changing): "see? This shows you could do it, if you really wanted to."
@7 Dude, these people are not testifying that they suddenly realized they're actually heteros instead of gay. Go read it again! They're claiming that when they were living as gay men their lives were BAD BAD BAD, out of control, meaningless with nothing but sex, booze and drugs! And now that they've found the imaginary man in the sky - who helped them stop being gay - their lives are soooo much better, no more sex, booze and drugs 24/7. Get it? 'Cause lots of SEX IS BAD BAD BAD and will turn you into a druggie loser, and all gayz have sex all the time, so they have to stop being gay to stop having sex!
Why do evangelicals spend so much time and effort trying to stop people from having sex?
I hope they are extremely successful, because the thought of them still secretly getting the reward--and it is a reward--of getting off to gay material is nauseating, and we all know that's exactly what they're doing. Don't you fucking dream about it, you spineless coward. You lost the privilege of ethically enjoying other men, even the thought of them, when you made this choice, traitor.
But, I shouldn't bite the hand that feeds. I admit there is a distinct pleasure in the thought of them at that moment immediately after their shameful climax where they scramble to glue together an ego that their id just shattered. That's the look of someone planting a masochistic seed really deep into their own psyche, and in a few years, maybe a decade, that seed is going to blossom into the most insatiable cuckold you've ever seen. We can only wonder at the ineffable depths of self-debasing pleasure and extreme shame and humiliation they'll get out of all this. Amen.
@7 send me pictures of the lump in your throat you get when a man (or woman, if you're female, but let's face it, you're probably a man) walks by who's just your type, and you have to stop and silently pray for strength through this difficult period, or text your wife just to ground you in the life you've constructed.
I want to see that slight perspiration on your face when the nature of your libido comes up and catches you in the throat, and some part of you remembers what it was like when it wasn't your enemy, right before your conscious mind rejects it. That's the moment I want to see, that gulping, that sudden 'drymouth' as you have to excuse yourself from the room.
@10 I've noticed that for a long time; it is very common in Dan Savage's writing.
From the Newsweek article mentioned: "When Paulk walked into that gay bar in 2000... [he] initially claimed he just went in to use the bathroom, and didn’t know it was a gay bar. But really, he was aching just to be in a welcoming environment... 'I went to a gay bar—not looking for sex, which is what people thought—but because I was missing my community. I was looking to sit in a place with people I felt comfortable with, and that was other gay people,' Paulk says."
Paulk has since rediscovered his spine, and I forgive him for what he did, but at the time, what happened was right. It is his community now for as long as he will own it, but not for a single second should someone engaged in this sort of thing feel like they are welcome members of any gay community.
You make your bed, you lie in it. May they be recognized wherever they are.
Too dangerous for minors. Let adults do as they will.Let the pushers realize the harm they've facilitated.
It would be intellectually interesting to see what would happen if ex-gays chose to present as bi instead of straight, but I wouldn't wish it on Ms Fan.
Ok, two things.
First, as a straight man I would, in fact, like to have tons of sex with various people if there was an ethical way to do so that wouldn't rip up my life like a chainsaw.
Second, as the intended audience of this ex-gay stuff. Shut the fuck up ex-gay people. Even if your experiences of being gay were bad they aren't indicative of the gay experience.
There are lots of fussy gay people who are only with each other and don't even have the occasional monogamish once off. Hell, it happens enough with lesbians that it's a shitty stereotype and the source of at least one awful joke(What does a lesbian bring on a second date? A U-Haul). There are also lots of gay people who have TONS of sex and it works out pretty ok as far as I can tell.
@10, the tweets seemed to read off of a GOP standard buffet of the "bad" things of gay culture. Drugs? Check, Multiple sex partners? Check, Musical Theater? Check.
And what's wrong with multiple sex partners anyway? I mean fucking isn't fun until at least 4 guys are participating.
@ 7 - "It is not far fetched to acknowledge there are folks who spend part of their live living as homosexual but later decide/realize/etc they are heterosexual."
Yes, it is.
To this day, in most parts of the world, gays are still discriminated against, beaten up or killed, refused basic rights, etc. Teenagers/young adults in the process of figuring themselves out might experiment for a little while, but unless they truly have feelings of same-sex attraction, they're not going to stick to something that A) leads to so much ostracization and B) makes having an awful lot of things that they might want (children/jobs/appartments, for instance) so much more complicated. They'll drop the gay thing as easily as they got into it. They won't need the ex-gay movement to help them since they never actually were gay.
Yes, there was indeed one Rachel Dolezal who pretended to be black, so we can assume that there are some weird people who choose a life of challenges by adopting a gay identity that isn't theirs. But just as there was ONE Rachel Dolezal (and her case made international headlines, highlighting how rare it is), we can also assume that there aren't that many false gays - definitely not enough to justify such a big movement.
I think one of the reasons some folks oppose gay marriage is because it ruins their perception that homosexual “lifestyle” is essentially a choice for decadent, alcohol and drug soaked promiscuous and commitment-free night stands.
CMD @ 22 - True. It forces them to see the gays and lesbians as people who are just like them in most aspects, and they absolutely hate that!
@8: It's not only possible. it's likely. People considered mentally healthy have delusionally (or at least unrealistically biased) optimistic worldviews (see this NIH overview of optimism and how it intersects concepts of mental health for an example - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4115405/ ); causation could run either direction or be bidirectional, but given cases like those you cite, individual well-being may indeed be improved by delusional beliefs for some people, and perhaps everyone.
It doens't necessarily follow that we should encourage this - optimism is also associated with individualism and higher incidence of narcissistic traits. While it may help a given individual, it may also harm others, ironically contributing to the sub-optimal social conditions for many people that necessitate delusional optimism as a coping mechanism in the first place. For example, widespread, delusional optimism about the ability of technological advances and market capitalist economics to solve global warming has driven us to a crisis point, preventing people from accepting the necessity of radical changes in our socioeconomic structure to mitigate disaster. Personally, as someone who actually wants to solve solvable problems to make our societies better for us, I'm a fan of encouraging people to accept material reality, even when it sucks, so that our choices as individuals and societies are based on material reality and thus have the greatest chance of resulting in desired outcomes.
Browsing those narratives, it's more about the Christian idea of a good family life. That's impossible (at least conservative christians) if you are gay. So they're going to include stuff about too many dicks or alcoholism to show how when you move away from conservative Christian family life you step into all the dangers of sin- all those pitfalls just waiting for you when you stray off the path. But that's not the focus - a large portion of them are ex-lesbians and if you read their stories, they mostly do not focus on too much pussy. The idea is that a man needs to be in a good family or else he'll fuck himself to death and a woman needs to have children or else she'll be depressed, and the best way for them to keep each other from falling into those pitfalls of sin is to be married in a conservative Christian lifestyle. It's actually not that different from the way they present non-Christian non-family single life. I went to a conservative Christian cookout once and everyone there was sharing stories of how shitty and sinful and dangerous their lives were before they came to god and started to live a more wholesome Christian type life. They had loads of stories about straight promiscuity, disease, debt, loneliness, alcoholism, drug use, abuse. I came away from it thinking that if the only reason to become a Christian is to improve a shit life, and since my life isn't shit, there's nothing in that religion for me. Not that I was looking for a religion- just seemed a strange way to try to promote one.
When gay people had to be closeted in their daily lives I think the centrality of gay bars could be a problem for some people. If the only place you feel like you be yourself is a bar then you might end up drinking more than you want to.
But, today, look at Meetup or Facebook. You can participate in LGBTQ+ family events, yoga, running, camping, seminars, book clubs, art shows, pride picnics, etc. There's a wide range of options for people who want to meet other queer people and don't want to go to bars.
@Reverse, Some people who are lesbian, not bi but lesbian, might be a little fluid, but I doubt that's a common thing. I think it's more likely that a conservative Christian woman who chooses to leave the lesbian "lifestyle" to be a a good Christian wife to a man finds it easier to be passive and accept sex with a man than a gay man in the reverse situation as he'd have to maintain a boner, etc. Likewise, I do think there are generally differences in sex drives between men and women (outliers in all genders of course) or at least differences in the way sexuality manifests that could make it easier for a woman brainwashed by religion to give up her sexuality or accept her role as a straight wife or a celibate straight woman (Church lady type). I don't think any of this means lesbians are actually more likely to stop being lesbians than gay men can stop being gay- it's a matter of behavior, not identity. Kind of like if a person stops drinking they are still an alcoholic.
@Shadow- hey aside from the obvious thing that straight is the default so it's less likely for someone to default to gay and then realize they are straight, I agree that it probably does happen - and in some cases I agree it might not even be a matter of being bi and then settling in a straight relationship (which happens a lot) but rather sometimes it might really be a phase in youth. Especially now when among teens it is a little trendy to be gay/trans, etc. I'm all for youthful exploration and sexual exploration and if someone realizes later, nah that was fun but this identity is rigid for me or not my true self and they later realize they are happier as a straight person or that this is more truthful to them, then that's great, and I doubt Dan would be so bitter about that. And if they wanted to form a community to discuss that, great- though I think the community that they'd join would just be the community of the majority of people on the planet, but everyone is likely to find comfort in finding people who share their specific experiences so good for them. But that's not what this is, and I think you know that. This is conservative Christian religious indoctrination- making judgements about certain lifestyles and shaming people for them, praising them for finding the "better" path- and their "better" is narrowly defined along fundamentalist lines. That's not cool, and it's been used to oppress and harm people for centuries, and specifically in the West among gay men (women too but especially men) to the point that people have been denied health care, castrated, fired from jobs, beaten to death, imprisoned etc- surely you know the history about why Dan might be bitter and don't need it explained to you?
@Ken and John H-
I'm a little confused. Do you mean that some straight people might be helped by reading this nonsense? Like it could reaffirm their lifestyle choices? I don't see how it could help gay people. Or do you mean it might help "ex-gay" people whose lives were out of control and then the religious view gave them the restrictions they needed to get themselves in order (even though it involves giving up their sexuality?)
Wait, only gay people have depression and anxiety? Shit! We're all gay!!!
EL @ 25
I think the salvation narrative is common with other religions as well. A regimented religious lifestyle may appeal for some who need clear parameters of do and don’t, a strict routine, and belonging to an approving community.
Sadly, religions often prey on people with troubled history.
Not to discount the struggles that lesbians go through, but generally speaking religions and many societies are often more tolerant/less hostile to them as opposed to gay men.
Even the bible portion supposedly forbidding homosexuality- very short, inconclusive, and also includes agricultural and other suggested “regulations”- mentions only man/man relationships.
Lastly, what was this Christian cooking all about and what dishes did you make there?
Nope, it really was you who missed the point.
The point is not that some gay people can change their minds and be straight (or vice versa), the point is that these "ex-gay" movements exist solely to bolster frightened straights that gays are choosing to be gay and they could be straight if they wanted to.
This has NOTHING to do with whether gays can change or not. Nothing. It is entirely about keeping alive the hatred and fear from bigoted straight people.
Now do you get it? Your blathering @7 was entirely irrelevant to this.
@10 Actually, the testimonials can all sound the same and not be fake, because they're coming from people who are saying what they've been taught and are expected to say. Evangelical Christianity teaches you the acceptable answers to any given question, and then you'll learn to format your story the way other people do so you fit it and conform to the expected narrative.
I grew up in conservative Christianity, and I think part of the reason there's so much homophobia is related to misogyny. As a rule, it's a world very concerned with gender roles. LGBT people mess that all up, and if a man can be happy without a (properly submissive) woman, and a woman can be happy without a (benevolently paternalistic) man, that opens a dangerous can of worms.
I blame it on the apostle Paul. Most of the verses used to support misogyny are from him, not Jesus, a fact which is mostly ignored in evangelical circles.
lol CMD the Christian cook out was just a bbq in the park so it was the usual fare- burgers and hot dogs. I can't remember what dish I brought but probably nothing more interesting than potato salad! I was friends with a person in that church and she invited me along. I knew she was religious, but not that she was THAT kind of religious. They were all creepily nice Nice NICE people- I'm sure they were decent people who love their families, etc- but then they sat around and talked about how God saved them from their crappy lives, and I just could not see the appeal to anyone who did not have a crappy life.
If all religions have a salvation narrative, I don't know it, but there's a lot of religions in the world. I think that's sort of a Christian-Islam thing isn't it? Hindus aren't big on converting people in the first place. It's something you are born into and it's more about doing ones duty and then if you take it farther, it's more about deepening ones understanding of life, mortality, etc with an eye towards a favorable rebirth though that's not the focus. I'd say in daily practice people tend to see it more like praying for a good thing to happen- or to prevent bad things- you keep away the evil eye and do puja on auspicious dates, fast for the long life of your husband, give a tribute so something goes your way, etc. There's not an idea that I know of that a Hindu life will keep you out of pitfalls of sin. So the regimented aspect, the community, absolutely that's there, but this isn't part of a salvation narrative- it's not the once I was lost but now I'm found stuff. In fact it's usually not individual or personal at all until one is quite old- it's more about duty or roles or hierarchy in family/society than about salavation- that's just not a concept that I know too much about. INterestingly, Buddhism in practice outside of the west is similar to Hinduism, but Westerners usually focus on the personal enlightenment aspect (generally only monks bother with such things in the larger Buddhist world) so I hadn't thought of the salvation aspect before- like it's people from a Christian culture (focus on salvation) taking the familiar narrative and applying it to Buddhism, interesting.
And I've seen other Christians that promote the positive aspects of their religion- community, service, support for neighbors, social justice- the appeal is that the religion could give you a community in which you could bring meaning to your life or find other people to make a better place, etc. That seems like a much more broadly appealing narrative for a religion that wants to convert people than one that says "hey your life is shit and most of the things you do are shameful, but if you join us you'll be fine" because that's only going to attract people who have shit lives or feel shame in the first place. For the rest of us, what a drag- who would want to be around that?
EL- I was referring to monotheism as represented by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Admittedly not that familiar with Hindu and Buddhism.
Are Jews interested in salvation? It seems much more like a thing you are born into with little focus on afterlife, but admittedly I don't know much about it. To me, it seems like a thing particular to certain monotheist fundamentalist traditions, not an aspect of religion in general. But it might just be that I'm more familiar with fundamentalist Muslims and Christians than any other. Certainly there are far right Hindu groups that do terrible things, but it's not about salvation.
@34 Yeah I'm only an armchair psychologist (which means I play one on the internet ha ha) but my guess would be that in those cases, that behavior results from the shame around the sexuality- easier to indulge those desires while drunk. People are often reckless sexually when they are likewise repressed- they can't acknowledge their identity and then act openly in a responsible way. It's like how teens often won't have conversations about condoms or birth control- they are too embarrassed, but they are still having sex. So in that context, sure I guess a community that helps you deny your identity altogether could help you stop doing the things you need to do (drink, drugs, unsafe practices) in order to indulge your desires. Seems less healthy than dealing with those core problems in the first place but like you said, it's about self-delusion and might theoretically be more healthy than being reckless right? But I'd think that what happens is these are quick fixes and that the person returns after a short time to having gay sex (since it's nearly impossible for most of us just to turn off our sexuality) only now they've entangled others- wives, husbands, children- and no doubt there's a far share of these exgay people who are self-delusional also about the extent to which they cheat. Also I think the potential fall would be much worse- if it was hard to be openly gay before, it's going to be hard to the point of catastrophe to come out after renouncing that "lifestyle" and living as a straight person in a straight family and having your entire identity hang upon that religious identity. It seems a total mind fuck.
Who knows though- surely that's been the norm for lots of cultures historically right? That the gay people just get straight married? In some ways I think it might've been easier way back for some gay people back when there was traditional family and marriage in society. You just had close friends of the same gender who you know doubt secretly had sex with and people didn't comment on it and there was no expectation to live your identity, straight or gay, in the first place as marriage roles were never really about individuals anyway.
EL @ 36
“Are Jews interested in salvation? It seems much more like a thing you are born into with little focus on afterlife”
While the concept of heaven and hell is technically non-existent in Judaism, all other monotheistic “rewards” and “punishments” are applied in the religious communities.
They may include being expelled from a community or totally shunned if you quit practicing, having to marry the person you are told to marry, and so on.
In Israel there is also an ongoing decades-long political abuse as the religious political parties, always the tipping point as to which major party can form a coalition, managed to get free housing and life-long stipends for men who study the torah. Most of them are also exempted from the mandatory military service.
And BTW, this situation as well as few other long-term abuses in that part of the world, could not have been maintained if it wasn’t for the ongoing, readily available, unchallenged US military and political “aid.”
Well CMD you certainly don't have to convince me that US support/defense for a violent human-rights violating theocracy is reprehensible! I was thinking more in terms of the religious aspects though not the political. Any religion can become a political weapon. I didn't know the concept of heaven and hell were nonexistent. I wonder where Christians got the idea then?
What about the concept that it's your leading of a Jewish life that keeps you from falling into sin? Or that people who are not Jewish are lost, miserable, dangerous, etc? Does that exist as it does in Christianity? That's the part that seems so weird to me in terms of Christianity and Islam because those are the two religions that focus the most on conversion. So you'd think they'd have better messaging- like join our religion because we're wonderful people who are doing cool shit, not "our religion is full of people who'd otherwise have really shit lives" ha ha. But it seems to work so it must be a good strategy for some people- especially people with shit lives.
I think it would be fun to hear what messaging Jews would offer if they were into conversion. Hare Krishnas are the only Hindus I know that are interested in conversion, and yes I think they do have a salvation narrative. No accident that they were mostly created in the West- I think personal salvation is a feature of Western culture moreso than of religion in the first place.
Emma @ 38 - Who else but the people with shitty lives and desperate for a solution would fall for their nonsensical, self-contradicting myths? Who else than the truly fucked up would give them money and power?
Respectfully, the issue with the ex-gay movement is a failure to recognize bisexuality. Yes, absolutely, this is a disgusting, ugly and false narrative being pushed by these moral idiots. But "gays" can get "fixed" if they are bisexual. And, as a bisexual, I'm acutely aware how easy it is to pose as "straight," when I'm not. I'm not saying, Mr. Savage, change your take. I'm saying: open it a little because there is a bigger story to be told.
EL @ 38
According to Jewish belief once you’re dead you’re really dead, although there is also this biblical vision of all previously dead folks coming back to life once the messiah is coming so answers may vary.
You’re right that being Jewish is first and foremost being born to a Jewish family. Obviously the Jewish psyche was very much shaped over the many years of being a vulnerable minority in different parts of the world. That created a commitment to keep the flame alive.
If you convert nowadays and take the orthodox path it takes about a year or so of extensive studying. Strict Jewish teaching does not always recognize a “lighter,” reform conversion. The state of Israel may not do so either for the same political reasons I mentioned earlier.
When you look at the advancement of Christianity and Islam it is obvious that those religions grew as a result of powerful, rightful armies who concurred other nations and showed them the light one way or another. Christianity had an extra gimmick in its arsenal, “converting” dead local folk heroes to Christian saints, early versions of “marketing” and “branding.”
Jews are not known for such atrocities, though admittedly we weren’t in a position to concur anyone for couple thousands of years. It should be noted though that upon concurring the city known nowadays as Nablus in the went bank, King David and his army forced circumcised hundreds of adult men. Their foreskins were tied to a string, which was wrapped around his neck as he danced in the Jerusalem victory march.
Those were the days. Shabbat Shalom to you too.
Mr Ricardo - The only male example I can recall was fictional, a case of falling in love romantically rather young, the partner dying, and later realizing the attraction wasn't physical.
These people and the people who buy into this nonsense are kooks.
BBM @ 43
Is this a Susan Hutchison avatar?
@41 Cyrene in 117.
@44 - No, but I wish I had thought of that.
Ex-Gay groups always have the best man on man orgies.
The cruelty and false choices these organizations offer shouldn't be downplayed, I have known men who were bisexual and later settled on straight with a twist, and I believe men's sexual interests can occasionally be as fluid as women's. I feel sorrowful that some of these men are being used against the sexual freedom's they once enjoyed, and those who still enjoy them. As for the substance abuses and promiscuity, clearly they were coping mechanisms.
Would it be mean of me to point and laugh at the dickheads who think they're not gay anymore? Yes it would. Fuck it, I'm a mean person. Points and laughs at the dickheads who think they're not gay anymore
Surely we can ruin their social media outreach by making sure that every time we post a picture of ourselves doing gay things and being happy on social media (e.g. hanging out with your significant other, playing with your kids, etc), we tag/hashtag @oncegay and @equipped2love? Then anyone searching their feeds will get far more pictures of happy gay couples than pathetic "ex-gays" with fake bios?
@42 - Forster's "Maurice" --- at university, Maurice has an affair with a fellow student who later realizes (decides?) that he's into women and gets married.
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