Ex-Gay Revisited

Updated on August 7, 2018
profile image

Brian is a gay male who's been following gay culture for over twenty years.

Josh and Lolly Weed.  In 2012 Josh gained prominence as an example of a gay man successfully married to a woman.  In February of this year the couple announced their divorce.
Josh and Lolly Weed. In 2012 Josh gained prominence as an example of a gay man successfully married to a woman. In February of this year the couple announced their divorce. | Source

Pulse nightclub survivor, Luis Javier Ruiz, the latest ex-gay poster boy, brought new attention to the ex-gay movement. Ruiz claims homosexuals can cease being homosexual by embracing Christ. He believes his innate lust for men can be prayed away. Ruiz claims he's not undergone conversion therapy, a quack science embraced by the Christian right to undo evolution.

Exodus International, the defunct leader in ex-gay conversions, closed its doors in 2013. The cold war against ex-gay factions ended. Until 2012, the organization claimed homosexuality could be overcome by therapy and prayer. The group's president, Alan Chambers, issued an apology for the harm his organization had caused the gay community over the 37 years of its existence. The days of telling gay men and women they don't belong had ended.

As a teenager, I watched news stories about men who'd declared themselves ex-gay. Their loyal wives stood behind them, smiling as if it were true. Such denial of their natural inclinations disturbed me. I'd researched homosexuality at local libraries, reading every book under "G" for gay and "H" homosexuality in the card catalog. How some men could become straight by way of Christ was incomprehensible. My fledgling self-acceptance was shaken.

My bookish teens and early twenties gave way to a social life. I met other gay men when I first visited gay bars. We weren't on the same page either politically or intellectually. Politics was a non-starter. Discussions were about music, clothes, other people, sex. I wanted to discuss the news and gay issues. Dating wasn't easy. Gay men have a reputation of being difficult with each other. If you're not self-confident, you'd better fake it. Men dating other men could be harsh. I understood why some would try to forget the gay world.

My own experience of finding and losing love almost broke me. While I'd grown up attending church, spiritually I needed development. I didn't understand how God could work in my everyday life. My first introduction to that development was self-help books with a spiritual twist. The writings of Wayne Dyer for example.

While gay social life could be difficult, there were alternatives to bars and nightclubs. I lived in Dallas, home to one of the largest gay-affirming churches in the country, Cathedral of Hope. I attended services every Sunday and Wednesday. It was both a respite from work and the gay social scene. Sermons were inspirational and relevant. It was a weekly tent revival and affirmation of my values.

Cathedral of Hope and other gay-affirming churches offered volunteer opportunities to help the less fortunate. I considered joining a prayer group they offered. I soon felt less attached to the bar scene. I could be gay and meet other like-minded people who shared my faith in God. I felt complete and happy as a single man, overcoming the idea that I must have a boyfriend. Being free of this need was a tremendous weight lifted off of me.

Like all good things, my church attendance dwindled. I remained socially awkward and the bars and drinking came easy. I was single until almost 30 and regularly hunting for sex. That made me vulnerable. My spiritual and social weakness attracted broken individuals. Sitting in a bar by yourself, even the most broken person can approach you. One night, a young man started talking about not wanting to be gay anymore.

He boasted he'd been with women in the past, as if he were a real man. It was irritating but I felt obligated to talk to him out of politeness and shared hardship. I had no bisexual inclinations and found it difficult to find common ground. I shared my experiences in the hopes that he'd learn by example. I'd made a few friends and while life wasn't perfect, happiness was my choice. Self-help books had taught me to maintain a positive outlook. The gay population in Dallas was large enough that you could get lost. Because some gay men were unfriendly didn't mean others couldn't enjoy their lives.

The man continued talking about his unhappy existence. His experiences led him to believe that his fellow gays were snotty liars and unreliable. I'd gone out to meet someone and listening to someone's twisted life story was exhausting. I had difficulties of my own but dealt with them: balancing work, social, and family life wore on me. I didn't understand that I was being put upon. Bumps in the road like this caused me to lose faith in my own abilities to enjoy myself.

I later met other gay men with similar stories, indifferent that they'd chosen a gay bar to vomit their confessions. Common sense said that if you met someone and wanted to make a new friend or love interest, you should start by making a good first impression. These individuals seemed both clueless and completely self- absorbed. My impression of these young men, who now wanted to not be gay, was that they didn't want to help themselves. That they were only looking for affirmation of their negative outlook and could drag you down with them.

While most stories present individuals who pursue prominent ex-gay paths, such as Ruiz's, as victims, my experience hasn't lead me to that conclusion. Refusing to accept other viable options (such as gay-friendly churches) demonstrates spite and stubbornness. That's not something to be celebrated. For gay organizations, these occurrences should be viewed as an opportunity to educate the public and gays about bisexuality. A topic that's largely ignored when gay conversions show up in the news. For Christians, you need to distance yourselves from these groups and shouldn't be praising these so-called ex-gay conversions when you know they don't work.

Disparaging the memory of those who died at the Pulse Nightclub tragedy.
Disparaging the memory of those who died at the Pulse Nightclub tragedy. | Source
Both gay and Christian.
Both gay and Christian. | Source

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2018 Brian Tejada


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, soapboxie.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)