New Book Release: 8/09/12
‘The Right to Decide’ gives voice to the universal right to self-emancipation. In these pages you read why some people who are sexually attracted to members of the same-sex experience these emotions as unwanted. They have found the freedom to self-identify as they choose, a fundamental human right. Moreover, they have found freedom from socially constructed labels such as bi-sexual, gay or lesbian that would place them in an identity box. In these pages are the voices of human beings telling their heart wrenching stories of the arduous journey of becoming their very own person.
Rev Mario Bergner, Redeemed Lives Ministry
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Joe's story: Joe: Not ‘born gay,’ but sexually ‘bent’ in childhood
“If I am not happy with my sexuality, I should have the right at least to explore the possibility of change”
I am 49 years old. I grew up in a Christian home, and became a committed Christian when I was thirteen. I rebelled for several years in my late 20’s and early 30’s, but came back to the Lord after almost killing myself. Those years are a period I am not proud of. I did a lot of stupid things and hurt a lot of people along the way.
Right now, I am a work in progress, still struggling with same-sex attraction. I don’t think I am intrinsically ‘gay’, but I have had a very strong fixation on beautiful male bodies – the “Male Model Type” or the “Rugged, Craggy Type” – since I was young, growing out of issues of my own low body-image and self esteem, and this has led my thought-life down some strange paths. I have always been small and very thin, I have a physical deformity which although not obvious when clothed, is apparent when I take my shirt off. So my body is not very attractive. I admire beautiful male bodies, because I wish I looked like that!
I was sickly as a child, and kind of dominated by my mother. She still tries to dominate me, whenever we meet – I’m still her “little boy”. My father was a good man, and a keen Christian, but had to work long hours (he owned his own business) and was deeply involved in church activities, away every night, so I guess I never really connected with him. Also I was bullied a lot by my younger brother, who was a lot bigger and stronger than me. This all combined to make me really doubt my masculinity, hence my fascination with “masculine” men. One of the areas of temptation I struggle with is the Internet, and the many kinds of images that can be found on it. That is why I do not have a computer of my own – I use the library, or occasionally internet cafes. I always want people around, to dissuade me from looking at anything unedifying. I even had all internet access blocked from my mobile phone.
I have only twice engaged in homosexual activity (oral sex), many years ago. I still have fantasies of being intimate with a muscular young man, but I’ve never since acted on those fantasies, although I have come close to it.
If you want to label me, I guess the most accurate tag would be “bisexual”, since I am also strongly attracted to women; but maybe slightly scared of intimacy with them. I have never had any sort of real relationship with a woman, although there have been a few women I have met, where there was some sort of ‘chemistry’. Nobody in my family knows about my struggles. I have told a few people in my own church, and maybe half a dozen friends from a couple of other churches.
I want to deal with this issue for several reasons. Firstly, I don’t believe God made me this way – I was not “born gay”. I was born heterosexual, but my sexuality got a bit bent as a result of my experiences in childhood, and the resulting issues of self image and self worth. If those underlying issues are dealt with, I think much of my longing would go away. I long for a relationship with a woman, whom I can love and who can love me.
Secondly, I believe that a gay (or bisexual) ‘lifestyle’ would be incompatible with my Christian faith. I believe that God instigated marriage between a man and a woman, and sex in any other context is not right, no matter how good it feels. No amount of arguments from gay rights activists will change my mind. I also feel that if I am not happy with my sexuality, I should have the right at least to explore the possibility of change. I know I am treading on controversial territory here, but I should have a right to explore possibilities and make my own choices. I have engaged in group therapy in the past, which helped me a great deal, while it lasted. Unfortunately, it folded because the numbers in the group dwindled until the group dynamic didn’t work properly. I am involved now with a support group, and I find it helpful and liberating to talk openly with people who also struggle in this area. I am also about to start having some counselling. I have a long way to go yet, but it is wonderful that God loves me, with all my flaws and struggles, and that He is always with me and will never leave me.
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