Switching From Gay To Straight
If you are gay or lesbian and are unhappy with your lot in life, you may be wondering if it is really possible to change your orientation from gay to straight. And live happily ever after. Well, the research overwhelmingly supports the American Psychiatric Association's position: the answer is no. You may be able to live as a straight person...anyone can play act...but you won't really be a straight person. It is just setting up yourself and your future spouse for a lot of pain and short changing. Most of the "research" that claims reparative therapy works is anecdotal, based on testimonials and is biased having been sponsored by the organizations that provide the "therapy."
So, here's the bigger question. Why do you want to switch? What is making you unhappy? The biggest factors are usually fear of rejection by family and religious beliefs. Many times these factors are closely intertwined, if your family's attitudes are shaped by those religious beliefs. Another reason may be general social acceptance. Hey, nobody wants to be excluded.
Where does that leave you if you are gay or lesbian? You can't change your orientation. You are unhappy in your situation. So, change your situation. Start with examining your attitude toward yourself. Have you bought into all the messages you have heard? Do you really believe those messages? Is it possible your family and religion are wrong about homosexuality? Is it possible society is wrong about homosexuality? YES. Of course it is. Families, societies and religions can be wrong.
Let's make an analogy. In the South, 200 years ago, slavery was considered a perfectly moral condition: if you were white. Preachers would uphold slavery from the pulpit, citing the numerous Biblical examples available. In fact, the most upstanding citizens in the community were the biggest slaveholders!
We have come 180 degrees in our thinking from that time. We know that slavery is heinous. A legitimate minister would never use the Bible to uphold slavery today. Here are a few other examples of church turn-arounds: eating meat on Friday used to be a sin, celibacy of priests was not mandated until 1139, the earth is now conceded not to be the center of the universe (funny now, but punishable by death in the 1600's).
So yes, religious beliefs are not static. They can be, and are, changed over time for various reasons that suit either church or political leadership. The takeaway is this: if you know in your heart that you are gay or lesbian, that you were created this way, that you are a good person, that you lead a good life...if you know that...then be at peace with yourself. If you cannot reconcile those thoughts, get help: not to change your sexual orientation, but rather to embrace it. Shed your self-hatred, embarrassment and pain. Accept who you are as you have been created. Go in peace.
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