At least read it!

Now, I’m perfectly used to getting abuse. People send me emails every week telling me what a bigotted homophobic waste of space I am. At the moment I’m also getting some very amusing tweets from people who have come across my website and don’t like it.

So dislike is to be expected. But can you please actually read what I wrote before telling me it’s vile? For example, here’s a tweet from earlier this afternoon.

[blackbirdpie id=”3492707737538561″]

So – I’m a hypocrite (not sure where that came from) and I suggest that you “just change your mind and become ex-gay” (emphasis added).

Shame Craig didn’t actually read what I wrote, because in the post he linked to I said

I think the main problem with ex-gay is that it is an ontological statement. It presents, intentionally or not, the one who calls himself as ex-gay as one who’s sexual orientation has changed from gay to straight. He/she is claiming to have gone from one state of being (gay) to another (straight). And while that is the case for many who are ex-gay, for others it isn’t so clear. For some their sexual desires move more towards those of the opposite sex but not to a point where they are exclusively heterosexual in their attractions. That then raises more questions of an ontological nature – are they really “bisexual” (though one wants to ask where the bisexual/heterosexual continuum switches – 95% hetero, 96%, 98.64738%?) and not gay? Are they therefore lying?

I think “ex-gay” also presents a pastoral issue for some who undertake that journey. If the ex-gay ministries promise change to heterosexuality and that change doesn’t occur, does that mean that the ex-gay model is fallacious? While there is a pretty impressive “success rate” for those who go through ex-gay ministries, there is also an equally large number of people who drop-out or reject it. While some of that drop-out is embittered and angered other parts of it are intelligent and articulate and raise a number of important issues that need to addressed.

So this is my problem with “ex-gay”. It seems to suggest a bi-polar, ontological model of sexual attraction – gay to straight. In doing so it unfortunately sets itself up for a fall with those for whose experience that bi-polar model doesn’t seem to fit. So what is the alternative model for those of us who want to affirm the redemption of same-sex attraction and broken sexuality?

This is why post-gay is a far better description for those who have left homosexuality behind. It describes a journey away from a false identity constructed around one’s emotions and a true one constructed in following Jesus. For some of us that journey involves changes in our sexual orientation, perhaps marriage and kids. For others they see no change in their sexual attractions, but they have left behind the place of false-identity, of seeing themselves as “gay” and that as a defining a unchangeable aspect of their being.

By all means, object to what I write, but at least have the courtesy to read it in the first place. If you don’t who’s really the bigot?

2 Comments on “At least read it!

  1. Your sentiments are shared by all who are accused of preaching one thing, while actually preaching something different. Thanks for the encouragement, Peter; and the great words about "post-gay" vs. "ex-gay". I totally agree with you on this subject.

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