Moving Beyond Gay

Getting back to the core subject of this blog, Disputed Mutability has an interesting post about the things that she would recommend about “ex-gay” ministries. Specifically she writes about support groups, rather than reparative therapy. In her latest offering there is this fantastic section where she, like many others (including myself), understands what the path of discipleship is really about.

Abandonment of gay identity: Okay, This is far more controversial than the others, I’m sure. But I found for myself that moving past gay identity was essential for living stably and contentedly according to my beliefs as a same-sex attracted Christian woman. So this part of the exgay teaching I found extremely helpful. I really need to say more about it, but I don’t think this post is quite the place to do it. So let me just say this: Abandoning gay identity doesn’t mean being in denial. It doesn’t mean “naming it and claiming it”, proclaiming that you’re “healed”, that you’re totally straight and happily heterosexual, while you’re still homosexually attracted. What it means is radically altering the role that the fact of your homosexual attractions plays in your thinking about your self and your life. I used to feel that my homosexual attractions were at the very core of my being, a very fundamental part of who I was, so much so that I couldn’t imagine who I would be without them, I couldn’t separate them from who I was meant to be, from my normative conception of my life. And I used to very strongly socially identify as gay, so that I saw gay people as my people, my tribe. As a result of these things, after my conversion and conviction that homosex was sin, I felt like a walking contradiction and a traitor to boot. Different people report different experiences, but I personally found it impossible to maintain a stable, contented, faithful walk with God in accordance with my beliefs without letting those identifications go to some degree. Exgay ministries helped me to begin doing that.

I believe the word you’re looking for is “post-gay“.

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2 Comments on “Moving Beyond Gay

  1. Does post-gay imply that someone had a gay identity in the past?  I personally never really subscribed to a gay identity, although I have SSA feelings.  In the past I did feel in some sense different from my male peers, but I never wanted the label “gay.”  (It also helped that I have always had some feelings for females as well.)  Never in my life have I particularly associated with the “gay” crowd.  Of late I have been more conscious in avoiding that identity and making sure my identities foremost as a Christian and to a lesser extent as a man are primary, and I do agree quite strongly with the post-gay line of thinking on theology.  There have also been some changes in my feelings, but I know that is not the primary idea of post-gay.  I have never been romantically or sexually involved with another man.
    So would post-gay be an accurate descriptor for me?  Is there a better descriptor?

  2. Hi Neo,

    I think post-gay is more about moving beyond the idea that “gay” is some how an identity that controls you or defines who you are. In that sense you don’t ever have to have been out or sexually active to be post-gay, you simply need to be a person who has realised that despite your attractions to people of the same sex, those attraction do not dictate how you should live your life.

    You’re absolutely right that post-gay has nothing to do with changing orientation. Changes in orientation *might* occur, but they are not the goal of the “post-gay life”.

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