My experience with ex-gays, ex-gay ministry, and vicariously, with reparative therapy, changed me because it was a learning experience. I’ve always been honest about the fact that change is a relative term with decidedly religious overtones. Furthermore, while I hesitate to say that changing orientation is not possible for some, I am willing to say that I believe it to be highly improbable.
While I described some bizarre practices in Part II, there were some positives derived from the ex-gay therapy experience. Our couples sessions were always quite helpful to us. We learned many great strategies for communicating, and we grew more able to understand and articulate our individual issues. In fact, I’d say that Tdub’s ability to make the straightforward confession of having sought out a same sex relationship (thus ending our marriage), was made possible by growth achieved in therapy. Pre-therapy Tdub was not a forthcoming sort of person with information of that nature and magnitude.
Would I recommend reparative therapy to others? Probably not. I’m not so keen on the methods of the only reparative therapist I’ve known, and I wouldn’t want to take the risk of anyone else going through those sorts of methods. Dr. Throckmorton says he’s not a reparative therapist, but I’d certainly recommend him to someone who felt they must try to change their same sex attractions. However, I don’t believe all gay people need therapy or need to change their attractions any more than straight folks do. Personally, I think it would be just fine if every one of us were issued a few certificates for some free therapy at birth, to be cashed in at some later date.
The most significant lessons I’ve learned from being involved in the world of ex-gay have been from folks I’ve encountered and even grown close to because of my personal blog. Most importantly, I’ve learned that there’s nothing black and white about same sex attraction. Through my blog, I’ve met Christians who are gay and “married” (my friend Brady did have a ceremony here in Texas), gay and celibate, gay and monogamous, and most recently, a Christian who is transgender. All of these folks have come to their place in their faith journey through much prayer, seeking, and study. They are trusting in Christ and figuring things out as they go along, just like me. We have much more IN common than NOT.
And that’s the most important thing I’ve learned.
My journey in, through, and out the other side of ex-gay world has been at times horrific, painful, and agonizing. I use those terms with great humility knowing that I’m not the one who has, in actuality, suffered and paid the greatest price of all. I’m only here to tell my part because of Tdub. My prayers and hopes are that his journey eventually leads him to peace, joy, and contentment with who he is and how God made him. I remain thankful for grace, for peace that passes understanding, and for being trusted by God to live in, and tell of, this story.