I am an ex-gay survivor. That means a lot to me because for over 17 years of my adult life, I trapped myself in the futile quest to become straight. I wish I were the only person who put himself through such a painful experience, but there are many of us who strove to change and finally embraced ourselves for who we were created to be. There are some today still caught in the midst of the struggle.
I set aside this page of the web site to discuss the details of how I became an ex-gay survivor and to invite others to share their stories. We are all different personalities with diverse backgrounds. What works for one will not necessary work for another.
This is what worked for me:
I use humor like a pot holder to handle issues and memories that are too hot to handle with my bare hands. Humor is also my weapon to cut down the assumptions I make and the lies I believe. The day I began to joke about my time in the ex-gay movement, was the moment I began to get victory over it.
Acceptance from Others
Since I rejected myself for so many years, I experienced healing when others accepted me unconditionally exactly as I am. In the conservative Christian circles I ran in, I had to conform to a standard of behavior or run the risk of the rejection from others. I have been kicked out of college, churches and jobs because I of my sexual identity. The most powerful acceptance came from my parents. Knowing that they embraced me in all my gay glory filled me with a confidence that carried me.
Dealing with Childhood Sexual Abuse
Once I learned that there is a difference between being gay and being abused as a child, I began to come out of the closet. For years I hated being gay because I thought it was a direct result of being a victim of childhood sexual abuse. I felt anger, shame and confusion. I sought to drive away those feelings by attacking my own sexual identity. Once I separated my gayness from the horror of abuse, I began to accept myself and find relief from the inner pain I carried.
It is not as simple as 1-2-3 easy steps to recovery from the ex-gay movement, but the three things I list above provided the cornerstone that enabled me to begin to build a new life.
What about you? Share your stories of success out of the ex-gay movement. (submit your story)