Sunday, December 4, 2011

New JONAH Article: Happy 42nd:Un-Stonewalling My Dad



Happy 42nd Birthday to Me: Un-Stonewalling My Dad

Author / Contributor :: Gaetani, Paul V. -



(Posted Feb 2011)


Introduction from the Co-Directors:  The following essay was posted on an E-mail support group to others who struggle with the question whether and how to tell their parents about the SSA struggle they are encountering. In this piece, the writer speaks to his fear of telling his father and then explains his Dad's reaction to a letter he wrote, and actually read to him, in order to start explaining how his interaction (or lack thereof) with his Dad led to his SSA.  The letter is set forth below his E-mail introductory note. The healing that followed was "textbook."


Of course, every man's situation is different, every father and every son is unique.  I had a great deal of fear before I told my dad about my unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA).  It was definitely a situation where fear and anticipation of the event was far worse than actual doing it.


My dad's response could not have been more loving, he took me in his arms, and as I cried like a small boy, he told me that he loved me, that he always had, and that he would do whatever it would take to help me heal.   


Before reading the letter below to my dad, I showed it to my counselor, a Journey Into Manhood (JiM) grad himself, who also completed his own journey of healing. He offered suggestions on modifying the content, and recommended that instead of delivering the letter and letting my dad read it, that I actually read it to him. I did so.  It began a beautiful healing experience between my Dad and myself.  For what it is worth, I have pasted below the letter that I wrote and read to my dad last year, on the evening of my 42 birthday.






Dear Dad, 


You are my father, and I love and honor you.  I moved to Maryland to be closer to you. 


I know that as a child, I was often difficult to understand.  I know that as a child, I was difficult to reach. Why? Because I shut you out!  I am sorry for this, and I ask for your forgiveness.  You see, for some reason I decided when I was about 4 or 5 that you did not like me.  I then defensively decided to respond by not liking you first, and by doing so built up emotional walls to maintain a safe distance. 


Safe, because my perception that you did not like me hurt me terribly and by stonewalling you, I thought I could prevent myself from being hurt again.  I desperately needed your love and approval, but did not know how to ask for it.  As a hyper-sensitive child, I felt different from most boys.  I did not understand what this difference meant, and I did not understand how to incorporate this difference into my development as a man. 


Dad, I love you and I don't want to cause you pain or heartbreak.  Indeed, I really didn't want to tell you anything about this, but two people have influenced me to do so: (1) my counselor, who says it would be very helpful to my healing; and (2) a friend, who said that by not telling you, I would be denying you an opportunity to father me.  I have done that too often in the past.  In my search for healing, I have heard some stories of absolutely horrific fathers, and I am blessed to have a loving, Godly man, whom I can admire, love and respect as my father. 


I'm sure you know what I am going to tell you, I'm sure you knew 20 years ago when that crazy lady called the house late one night.  "I struggle with same sex attraction,"   sometimes victoriously, sometimes in miserable failure. 


Several friends warned me to be prepared for a negative or unsupportive response from you.  I told them that I had no doubt as to your response, that my father would love and support me in my search for healing in any way that he could, that my father would love and accept me.  I know I can be sure of God's love and, Dad, I know I can be sure of your love.   


Dad, I would like you to join me in talking with my counselor sometime.  He will be in Pittsburgh the week of March 15th, and I intend to see him.  I would like it very much if you could join me.  I've ordered a book that I ask you to read as well.  


Dad, I love you so much, and I am so glad you are my father.  I want to be closer to you.  I want to spend time with you.  Maybe we could work at the stables together on Sunday mornings, followed by breakfast.  


Your loving son, Paul


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Is Sexual Orientation Related to Mental Health Problems and Suicidality in Young People?

Is Sexual Orientation Related to Mental Health Problems and Suicidality in Young People?

David M. Fergusson, PhD; L. John Horwood, MSc; Annette L. Beautrais, PhD

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1999;56:876-880.

AOL NEWS -- Study: Gay Parents More Likely to Have Gay Kids



New York, New York

October 17, 2010


Study: Gay parents more likely to have gay kids

by Paul Kix, AOL News

Law Firm drops DOMA case in response to homofascism


·  The Wall Street Journal

Knave and Spalding

A law firm drops a politically incorrect case.

Same sex adoption is not a game


Moves by legislators and homosexual activists to endorse same sex adoption are misguided. Their intentions may be good, but they are ignoring the rights of children and important social and psychological research into the homosexual lifestyle.

New Ex-gay articles : Very interesting.



Many powerful articles about change.



Obama on World AIDS Day: HIV Infections Up Almost 50% in 'Young Black Gay Men'


In a speech on Thursday to mark World AIDS Day, President Barack Obama said “the fight is not over – not by a long shot,” and noted that HIV infections among “young, black gay men” in America were the worst, up almost 50 percent in three years.


Cancer more prevalent among homosexual men, study shows


Cancer more prevalent among homosexual men, study shows
May 10, 2011

A medical survey in California has found that homosexual men are much more likely to contract cancer as their heterosexual counterparts. The study, published in the journal Cancer, also showed that among male cancer victims, homosexual men were diagnosed 10 years earlier, on average, than heterosexuals.

"Researchers speculate the increased cancer prevalence among gay men is associated with HIV status," a CNN report noted. While that hypothesis is certainly tenable, it would be more logical to suggest generally that there is something unhealthy about the homosexual lifestyle. However, any such suggestion would meet with angry disapproval in the current political climate.

Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

Chuck Colson Column: Born Homosexual?

The Christian Post > Opinion|Thu, Jun. 02 2011 01:27 PM EDT

Born Homosexual?

By Chuck Colson | Christian Post Guest Columnist

A little boy I'll call "Stevie" was a beautiful, healthy child. But by age five, his parents suspected something was wrong. Stevie loved Barbie dolls, the color pink, and dancing around like a ballerina.

·       colson

His parents took Stevie to see Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a psychologist who specializes in gender disorders. Nicolosi listened as they described their son's fascination with feminine activities, which had begun when he was three. Nicolosi confirmed that Stevie was a "prehomosexual male." Without intervention, Nicolosi said, Stevie had a 75-percent chance of growing up homosexual, bisexual, or transgender.

In his book, A Parent's Guide to PreventingHomosexuality, Nicolosi describes what had likely led to Stevie's preoccupation with feminine things. Nicolosi explains that as infants, boys and girls alike are emotionally attached to their mothers. It's normal for girls to continue developing their feminine identity through their relationship with their mothers. But boys must dis-identify from their mothers and begin to identify with their fathers. Clearly, Stevie had not begun to do this; he continued to identify with his mother.

Dr. Nicolosi writes that at the heart of the homosexual condition is a distortion of the fundamental concept of gender. In boys, there can be a "gender wound" -- a kind of emotional injury -- in early childhood that leads the boy to see himself as "different." Nicolosi writes that this differentness "creates a feeling of inferiority and isolates him from other males."

For example, many homosexual men who come to Nicolosi for treatment remember childhoods in which they were unathletic, lonely, and fearful of boisterous games. They also feared "other boys, whom they found both intimidating and attractive." Many prehomosexual boys are bright and artistically gifted. But they feel a sense of "gender emptiness" -- which can arise from a toxic blend of a sensitive temperament and an environment in which the boy does not receive affirmation from parents and peers to develop a masculine identity.

Nicolosi explains "Such a boy will...retreat from the challenge of identifying with his dad and the masculinity he represents...Instead of incorporating a masculine sense of self, the prehomosexual boy is doing just the opposite -- rejecting his emerging maleness and thus developing a defensive position against it."

Order Online: A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality by Joseph Nicolosi

Nicolosi says that as a young adult, the boy "will fall in love with what he has lost by seeking out someone who seems to possess what is missing within himself."

Early intervention, in which the boy's father learns how to be both strong and caring, will interrupt an unhealthy mother-son bond.

"The most important message we can offer," Nicolosi says, "is that there is no such thing as a 'gay child' or a 'gay teen.' We are all designed to be heterosexual. Confusion about gender is primarily a psychological condition, and to some extent, it can be modified."

That is exactly the opposite message we hear from gay activists who claim that people are "born gay" and that confused teens ought to be encouraged to embrace homosexuality. And heaven help any-one who would suggest otherwise.

I hope you will stay tuned for the rest of this series based on Dr. Nicolosi's book, A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality. You will learn more about what parents can do to lessen the chances their children will grow up homosexual.

Va. man charged with harassing teen while dressed as woman



Va. man charged with harassing teen while dressed as woman

A Herndon man was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor after he tried to persuade a 16-year-old boy to get into his car Sunday night while dressed in women's clothing, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.

The boy was listening to music while sitting on a bench outside an extended-stay hotel on E. Severn Way in Sterling when he was approached by Jose H. Mejia-Ulloa, 41, around 8:30 p.m. according to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.

Mejia-Ulloa, dressed as a woman, made "inappropriate comments" to the teen and urged him into the car, according to Kraig Troxell, spokesman for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.

The confrontation ended when the teen's mother came outside and spoke to Mejia-Ulloa, who drove away, Troxell said.

The boy's mother then called police, describing Mejia-Ulloa a female driving a red Honda Civic, according to authorities.

A sheriff's deputy who responded to the call saw the Civic pull into a nearby parking lot and confronted Mejia-Ulloa, Troxell said.

Troxell declined to provide additional details of the deputy's conversation with Mejia-Ulloa, who was arrested and held at the Adult Detention Center on a $5,000 bond. He was expected to be released Monday, Troxell said.

Texas Court Affirms Sex Cannot Be Changed



Texas court affirms sex cannot be changed


  • Wed Jun 01, 2011 08:35 EST

WHARTON, Texas, June 1, 2011 ( - Relying on a previous ruling that sex is determined at birth and not changed by later surgical procedures, a Texas court declared Thursday that the "marriage" of a man who led another man to believe he is a woman is null and void.

The summary judgment order came in the estate proceedings of Capt. Thomas Araguz, a Wharton volunteer firefighter who tragically died battling a fire two months after separating from the person he married when he discovered that person was actually a male posing as a female. Justin Purdue, who legally changed his name to "Nikki" in 1996, went to highly convincing lengths, including surgery, to make himself appear to be a female.

"A person's sex is a biological fact, not a state of mind, and altering one's outer appearance doesn't change that," said Austin R. Nimocks, Senior Legal Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, who provided funding for the case. "The court was right to uphold marriage by affirming the reality that a person's sex cannot be changed."

In its order, the 329th District Court of Wharton County declared that Araguz "was not married on July 4, 2010, the date of his death, and it is further declared that any purported marriage between the Decedent and Nikki Araguz prior to Decedent's death was void as a matter of law." The court's ruling was based, in part, on a previous Texas appellate court ruling which found that a person's sex is defined at birth and is not changed by surgical procedures. In addition, the Texas Constitution and Family Code both only recognize marriage between a man and a woman.

"The district court adopted the position which was wisely written and handed down by the Texas Court of Appeals," said lead counsel Chad Ellis. "In answering the question, 'can a physician change the gender of a person with a scalpel, drugs and counseling, or is a person's gender immutably fixed by our Creator at birth?' the appeals court determined that gender is fixed, saying, 'There are some things we cannot will into being. They just are.'"

Purdue, who started taking hormones at the age of 18 to appear more like a female, successfully kept his identity as a male hidden from Araguz even after they obtained a marriage license in August 2008. When Purdue had surgery to remove his genitalia a few weeks later, he kept the procedure clandestine.

When Araguz finally learned last year that Purdue was a male, he separated from Purdue but died in the line of duty two months later while heroically battling a fire. Araguz's mother, Simona Longoria, the official administrator of her son's estate, filed suit through the firm Ellis & Irwin, LLP to have the marriage declared void in the case, In the Estate of Thomas Trevino Araguz. Ellis and attorneys Leland Irwin and Justin Hodge are three of more than 2,000 attorneys in the ADF alliance.

USDA diversity training

An advocate for America's fighting men and women finds it disturbing that U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) activists want to impose homosexual indoctrination training government-wide, including in the military.

Ex-gay article

Child Molestation and the Homosexual Movement

Steve Baldwin’s “Child Molestation and the Homosexual Movement” (Regent Law Review, Vol. 14, 2001-2002 Number 2 ):



Book Review: Sex and Reason


Part Two. A Theory of Sexuality






Sex and Reason






Gay Lobby and Schools

Genderless classrooms—coming to a school near you?


Honor and Protect the God-Given Distinctions Between Genders









CitizenLink® Report


Resisting Efforts to Blur Male and Female.
Should boys and girls be taught there is absolutely no difference between them? On this week's CitizenLink Report, Stuart Shepard and Glenn Stanton discuss where that line of cultural thinking leads. Watch >





Dear Friend,

Have you heard about the recent report from Sweden about the staff of a preschool no longer using pronouns like "he" or "she" when referring to students? It's another example of what happens when marriage is redefined to include same-sex couples.

The preschool's approach to gender is a reflection of Sweden's national school curriculum that includes the mission of breaking down gender roles. For example, when playing "house," teachers suggest students role play with two or three taking the role of "mom."

These attempts at social engineering—impacting kids directly—aren't just happening overseas. An Oakland elementary school recently spent two days on "Gender Spectrum Diversity Training." Their reading list for second and third graders includes My Princess Boy and 10,000 Dresses, in which boy characters wear tiaras and magical dresses.

Bearing the Image of God
As Christians, we have a great deal of compassion for those struggling with gender confusion; they should be treated with respect, dignity and love. At the same time, however, we stand against the idea that gender is meaningless and that men and women are really no different from each other.

The book of Genesis tells us that God created humans in His image as male and female. Part of our role here at Focus on the Family is to help individuals and families honor and protect the God-given distinctions between male and female, and to help our kids grow into healthy men and women.

A few years ago, we crafted this guiding principle for our ministry's work:


We believe that God created humans in His image, intentionally male and female, each bringing unique and complementary qualities to sexuality and relationships. Sexuality is a glorious gift from God to be offered back to Him either in marriage for procreation, union and mutual delight or in celibacy for undivided devotion to Christ. Christians are called to proclaim the truth and beauty of God's design and the redemption of sexual brokenness in our lives and culture through Jesus Christ.


Will you continue to join with us in prayer for the family—and that our culture will understand the importance and beauty of God's design for human sexuality?

For faith and family,
Signed: Tom Minnery
Tom Minnery
Senior Vice President, Government & Public Policy

P.S. If you're interested in additional information about God's design for gender and the need to help our kids grow into healthy men and women, I recommend a new book by one of my colleagues, Glenn Stanton, titled Secure Daughters, Confident Sons.






Visit today!




















ABC and the ex-gay community

Are the Boy Scouts right about not allowing homosexual scoutmasters?

LISTEN: Ex-"Gay" Stephen Black Discusses the "Gutless Gospel"

LISTEN: AFTAH Interview Stephen Black – Part Two – Criticizes 'Gutless,' Pro-'Gay' Gospel

"Does this mean you're not going to be gay anymore?"


 Stephen Black, who left the homosexual lifestyle and has now been married 25 years, says Gospel truth must be preached to "gays," in the love and humility of Jesus Christ.

Here is Part Two of our pre-recorded interview with Stephen Black [click HERE to listen] of First Stone Ministries, based in Oklahoma City. This interview with Black (, who once considered himself "gay," aired July 9, 2011. Stephen and AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera discuss the ideal of speaking the truth about homosexual sin, in the love of Christ. They criticize the soft, defensive message of "emergent" Christians like Andy Marin (author of "Love Is and Orientation") – as a false form of love bereft of biblical truth. (Marin is reluctant to call homosexual practice sinful and has launched an "I'm Sorry" campaign whereby evangelicals apologize to homosexuals (and others) for the alleged "homophobic" shortcomings of the Church; see the video of pro-same-sex-"marriage" evangelical Peggy Campolo currently at the top of Marin's blog HERE [dated July 14th].) Black and LaBarbera agree with ex-"gay" Andy Comiskey that the "emergent"-type approach like Marin's is a "gutless gospel."  Yet they also agree that harsh or insensitive Christians can preach a lot of truths about homosexuality. but without the love and humility demanded of those advancing the Gospel (Black says some have been "cruel and mean" toward homosexuals). Stephen gives a short version of his personal testimony, but in Part One of this interview he lays out his life story (including being molested as a boy) and exodus from homosexuality; click HERE for Part One.  You can visit the archive page containing all the AFTAH Hour interviews HERE.

P.S. LaBarbera has extended an open invitation to Andy Marin to appear on the AFTAH radio show, or speak/debate at at a neutral forum on the proper attitude of Bible-believing Christians toward people practicing homosexuality. We hope he accepts; you can contact Marin at

HOW TO LISTEN:  Left click once on the link below to play. Please note: This is an mp3 file, supported in most operating systems by Windows Media Player, Quick Time and/or I-Tunes.  Do not use Real Player.  It is not supported and there may be difficulty when listening with it.  (Please be patient, depending upon the speed of your internet connection it may take a moment or two to load.)  OR right click the link then "save target as" to download the whole show.

7-9-11, Stephen Black, Part Two



LISTEN: AFTAH Interview with Former Homosexual Stephen Black – Part One


This is the first of a two-part interview with Stephen Black [clik HERE to listen], executive director of First Stone Ministries, and a man who left homosexuality behind. This show aired May 28, 2011, and was taped on May 25, the 25th anniversary of Black's marriage to wife Robin. Stephen tells of his exposure to pornography at a very young age, and an incident that led to taunts of being "queer." Then, at age nine, Stephen was molested by an adult man who was visiting the family. Later, he engaged in sex "games" with another boy. Black writes in his bio:

"The reason the Lord has reminded me of the things I went through was to demonstrate that, though many people claim they are born gay, it is childhood influences and not genetics that incline one to homosexuality. Many say that they have had desires for the same sex as long as they can remember. I was a very little boy when all this started in my life. I was opened up to sexual perversion and demonic influences at a very young age . Yet, I had never really thought about all these episodes until the Lord reminded me of them after coming out of homosexuality."

HOW TO LISTEN:  Left click once on the link below to play. Please note: This is an mp3 file, supported in most operating systems by Windows Media Player, Quick Time and/or I-Tunes.  Do not use Real Player.  It is not supported and there may be difficulty when listening with it.  (Please be patient, depending upon the speed of your internet connection it may take a moment or two to load.)  OR right click the link then "save target as" to download the whole show.

5-28-11, Stephen Black


New website

No one is born 'gay'

No person is born gay!


Sexual orientation consists of three parts, sexual behavior, sexual attraction, and sexual identity.


As Julie Harren, Ph.D., LMFT so cleverly stated[i]:


Genes + Brain Wiring + Prenatal Hormonal Environment = Temperament
Parents + Peers + Experiences = Environment
Temperament + Environment = Homosexual Orientation


American Psychological Association says:

“There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”[ii] 


The American College of Pediatricians

“The etiology of homosexual attraction is determined by a combination of familial, environmental, and social influences. For some individuals the inheritance of predisposing personality traits may also play a role.”[iii]


The American Psychiatric Association states:

“Some people believe that sexual orientation is innate and fixed; however, sexual orientation develops across a person’s lifetime. Individuals maybe become aware at different points in their lives that they are heterosexual, gay, lesbian, or bisexual.” “What causes Homosexuality/Heterosexuality/Bisexuality?
No one knows what causes heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality….Currently there is a renewed interest in searching for biological etiologies for homosexuality. However, to date there are no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for homosexuality.”[iv]


All these statements from the above organizations are backed up with peer reviewed scientific research. For example, there are five identical twin scientific studies that show us that genetic factors are minor; non-genetic factors are major.[v]


Now the public can understand what caused sexual orientation which consists of sexual behavior, sexual attraction, and sexual identity. No one is born gay!



[i] Homosexuality 101: What Every Therapist, Parent, And Homosexual Should Know

[ii];What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?

[iii]; On the Promotion of Homosexuality in the Schools

[iv]; What causes Homosexuality/Heterosexuality/Bisexuality?

[v] Santtila et al., 2008; Buhrich, Bailey & Martin, 1991; Bailey, Dunne & Martin, 2000; Hershberger, 1997; Bearman & Bruckner, 2002.


Book Review -- Bias Incident: The World's Most Politically Incorrect Novel

Bias Incident: The World's Most Politically Incorrect Novel.  It deals with a college student who gets in trouble for writing the world's most politically incorrect college essay.  His topic:  can a person with homosexual tendencies have a happy life if he gets married and has a family?

It tackles the issue in a fairly off-beat manner: by asserting that stoicism is a great virtue, that the human being is very resilient and adaptable  and by showing that psychology has shown that human beings are pretty bad at predicting how events in their lives will affect their happiness.  Since this is the case, it is hard to predict a person's happiness in that situation (despite the fondness for gay rights people for saying that such a situation would almost invariably lead to misery, depression and suicide) and that some people can be very happy if they overcome their desires that conflict with their religious beliefs (even assuming those desires are left intact).

Find out more at


Homosexuality: A Catholic’s Journey

When I decided to become a Catholic, the first thing I had to do was phone my girlfriend and tell her that we could no longer be together.

PART 1: PYSCHOLOGY OR GENETICS When I decided to become a Catholic, the first thing I had to do was phone my girlfriend and tell her that we could no longer be together. We had been partners for a number of years, and had even started discussing "formalizing" our union, so it was tremendously difficult to explain to her why the faith that I had chosen prohibited our relationship. It was even more difficult because I had, at the time, only a passing understanding of the Church's teachings on sexuality. I knew nothing about natural law, had no concept of sexual complementarity, and had only the vaguest possible notions about the import of the sacrament of matrimony. All that I really knew was that I had, three months earlier, made a deal with God: I told him that I wanted to know him, and that I wanted to follow him, and that if he told me to join a faith that prohibited homosexuality, then I would give it up for his sake. And now, finally, after three months of discernment, I had been forced to accept that he was telling me to join the Church. I can't say for certain when I first became involved in a homosexual relationship — it was certainly at a very young age, and I know that I already felt that I had been attracted to women for some time. My story is sufficiently undistinguished that I could probably copy it verbatim from half of the autobiographical books ever written by homosexual writers: I started to have homosexual feelings around puberty, and during high school I met another young woman who had similar feelings. A relationship developed between us — and yet I still didn't want to admit that I was gay. I attempted to date boys, with results that ranged from unsuccessful to positively disastrous, and then eventually I "realized" that I was just going to have to accept it: I was a lesbian. The first thing that must be understood, is that for all of the misrepresentations and faulty logic employed by gay activist groups, their primary claim — that homosexuality is not a choice — really does reflect the experience of persons with same-sex attractions. While, as the Catechism frankly states, "Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained," we do know that there are numerous psychological and possibly biological factors involved that cause a person to feel that they are really, fundamentally and immutably homosexual. This is not simply an excuse used by the gay community in order to give their movement more legitimacy and to generate sympathy for their cause — rather, it is a reflection of their own feelings that this is something that is a part of them, which has always been a part of them, and for which they are in no way responsible. Essentially, homosexuality seems to be in the same sort of category as something like chronic depression or poor self-image: There may be both physical and psychological components contributing to these disorders, they often arise very early in life, and they are usually the result of factors in early childhood over which the person involved had little, if any, control. This is not to say that they aren't responsible for any homosexual activities (although, to quote the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, "circumstances may exist, or may have existed in the past, which would reduce or remove the culpability of the individual in a given instance"), but rather that they are not usually at fault for their homosexual orientation — just as a person suffering from depression is not to be blamed for feeling depressed, but may still be probably morally culpable if he commits suicide. There also does not appear to be one single factor that is constant in all cases (as in Freud's theory that all homosexual males had overbearing mothers and passive fathers), although there are numerous factors that are present in many cases. In other words, there seem to be a lot of psychological pressures that push someone in the direction of homosexual attraction, but there isn't one thing that we can point to as the cause of homosexuality. It is important, however, to understand what some of the most common factors are, because many of them can cause serious complications when trying to dialogue with or convert persons with same-sex attractions. To begin with, it is important to understand that there are substantial differences in the psychological causes of same-sex attractions in men and in women. For one thing, women who experience same-sex attractions are more likely to identify themselves as bisexual, to change their own definition of their sexual identity periodically, or to have had intensive, long-term relationships with members of the opposite sex. This suggests, though it doesn't necessarily prove, that same-sex attractions in women may tend to be the result of less fundamental wounds, or that it may result from personality developments that occur later in life than those that typically lead to homosexual feelings in men. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the research that has been done surrounding homosexuality deals with men, often under the assumption that the basic causes are more or less the same. Considering the intimate relationships between sexual identity and gender, and also the differences reported by clinical psychologists working with lesbian patients, this doesn't really seem to hold true. Taking this into account, we can know for certain that same-sex attractions, in both men and women, are the result of psychological wounds that directly affect sexual identity. In the case of men, these wounds are often the result of distorted paternal relationships. Those working in therapy to help men with same-sex attractions achieve a heterosexual orientation say that one of the most common factors is a father figure who is weak, distant or disapproving.
As a result of this, many (not all) men with same-sex attractions feel that they are inadequate or disappointing in the eyes of their fathers. In order to escape from this, they try to find other male figures (usually lovers) who will accept and affirm them. This has two important consequences: First, it reveals that homosexual men are often committed to the homosexual community for reasons that go beyond mere sexual fulfillment. (This is also why so many gay activists become insulted when their sexuality is treated merely as a sexual perversion — their experience of homosexuality is one of personal acceptance, not merely one of sexual pleasure.) Secondly, it suggests that many homosexual men will tend to reject Catholicism, or indeed any major monotheism, because they will subconsciously equate God the Father with their own father, and therefore they perceive him as an unappealing, judgmental figure who expects more of them than they are capable of giving, and who rejects them without understanding — or as a distant, unapproachable person who has little to no interest in them or their affairs. Another common factor is a failure to form proper associations, especially in childhood, with members of the same sex. Complementarity is central to sexual attraction — we are designed to seek out those who are different from ourselves. When a young boy or girl is unable to identify themselves properly with members of their own sex, especially if they do find it easier to identify with the opposite sex, the sense of mystery and desirability that usually leads us to seek out members of the opposite sex can be misdirected, leading to same-sex attraction. A child in this position usually feels fairly lonely and isolated, and is also more likely to suffer paternal rejection (see above), especially if they are a boy who is too "sissy." Their desire for acceptance, love and inclusion among members of their own sex leads to sexual desires, which are then cemented when, at last, they find that there are other people who are of their sex and who will accept them: namely the gay community. Again, you have a massive, and very real, psychological need being fulfilled by the gay community, and so, again, you have the perception of homosexuality as being something that goes beyond the confines of mere sex. This is not only a community that accepts them as persons with same-sex attractions, it is also the first community where they feel that they really fit in at all. The fact that many (again, not all) persons with same-sex attractions have experienced this sort of isolation points out the importance of being compassionate and understanding when dealing with persons with same-sex attractions in the Church and in the community. The Church must, first and foremost, be a place where they feel that they are loved and accepted. If they do not feel this way, not only will they not come, they will also not be open to the Church's teachings on homosexuality. Rather, they will feel that they are insensitive and simplistic dogmas handed down by a group of homophobes who don't understand or care about them. A third factor that may come into play is a history of pain associated with heterosexual relationships. This is less common among men (though it is sometimes a factor), and more common among women — especially amongst lesbians who were previously married or in a long-term relationship with a man. The homosexual community usually tries to laugh off the idea that homosexuality can be caused by bad experiences with the opposite sex, but, at least within the lesbian community, there does seem to be a fairly high incidence of women who were deeply emotionally (and sometimes physically) wounded by a man in whom they placed a great deal of trust. Retaining their desire for an intimate relationship, they therefore seek out another woman who will be more nurturing and maternal, easier to understand, easier to get along with, and generally less dominating. As a result of this, women with same-sex attractions tend to seek relationships that are more exclusive, more committed and less centered around sex. In many cases, they are an attempt to achieve the intimacy and love of a marriage while reducing the emotional risks involved. This explanation may seem a little unlikely, particularly since many self-identified lesbians are highly masculinized, apparently invincible and frighteningly outspoken. It can be difficult to associate the wounded, vulnerable woman I described above with the short-haired, irate feminists that scream "pro-choice"
slogans at Christians who protest abortion. What we must keep in mind is that the anger that fuels this sort of feminism must, necessarily, be derived from fear — no one can hate an abstraction like "patriarchy" so much that it turns them into an abuse-hurling lunatic unless their hatred is fueled by a genuine and deep-seated terror of real men. In some cases, this is the result of a particular trauma — spousal abuse, sexual molestations, etc. In others, it has less clear and less spectacular origins — and the fear may not be extended to men in general, but only to men with whom one tries to have relationships. In my own case, I know that from a fairly early age I was emotionally reserved, and that by the time I reached high school this had developed into a positive terror of being emotionally vulnerable.
As a feminist, I cemented this with the ideological conviction that dependence, vulnerability and emotionalism were all just forms of weakness that men, in their desire for superiority, had labeled "feminine." I enjoyed male company — I actually vastly preferred it to female company, because men are much more likely to accept emotional reservation in their friends.
Romantic relationships were, however, an entirely different story. Men like to be friends with women who are intelligent, independent and emotionally undemanding, but they expect more emotional involvement from a woman whom they're dating. For the most part, they are more willing to let down their guard and be emotional under these circumstances, and, for obvious reasons, they expect that their own emotional vulnerability will meet with corresponding trust and openness from their partner. This, for me, was completely terrifying. Men were my intellectual competition. They had the natural emotional strength that I desired and wanted to imitate. The idea of being vulnerable around them seemed not only impossible, but even demeaning.
This meant, of course, that my relationships with men were entirely doomed to failure. So what made relationships with women different? For one thing, women weren't a threat. I wanted romantic relationships, of course, but I didn't want them to compromise my independence or my control. I always perceived my relationships with men as a power struggle. The complementarity inherent in such a relationship demands mutual self-giving, and that self-giving seemed to compromise my sense of self. With another woman I could always easily perceive myself as stronger, more intelligent and less dependent, and so there was no need for a struggle. I could have my romance, and still keep my distance. In my own case, I was blessed with a very rapid healing process. Once I had given up my homosexual practices, and embraced Mary as an ideal of femininity (more on this next week), I very quickly ceased to find other women attractive. Within a few short years, I have been blessed with a husband whom I love tremendously, and with two wonderful children on whom to practice those maternal virtues that I once eschewed. Of course, there are many people whose wounds run deeper than mine did, and it is to these that we are called reach out — with charity, with compassion and the Good News of a God who offers healing and forgiveness. Next Week:
Evangelizing Homosexuals