Diary of an Ex-Gay Man, Part 2
By Jake Taylor
© 2003-2004 All Rights Reserved.
Continued from Part 1
I told my best buddy!
Okay - MAJOR development for me today.
I just told my best (everstraight) buddy in the whole world about my same-sex attractions (SSA), and my therapy.
I went out with him tonight for a drink, something to eat, etc., listen to a band in a pub, and just have a chat. Before I had to drop him back off home, I decided that I wanted to tell him about my SSA, therapy, etc. It must have taken me well over an hour before I finally got to telling him.
I first explained to him that I'd been undergoing a very controversial form of therapy for something. I then explained in a vague fashion what it did to me, and how it had benefited me, and how lucky I was for it to work for me so well.
I kept saying to him "its very important that you understand that it's no longer an issue for me" which perplexed him more and more, since I was withholding what the therapy was actually for. Eventually I told him in a way that he could work it out himself. I said "The therapy I've been telling you about is used to treat something we call S.S.A." He tried guessing what it meant, and after several rather amusing guesses, I gave him an even bigger hint: "The idea is to replace the SSA with what we call OSA. The 'O' stands for opposite"
He then guessed that OSA stood for Opposite Sex -something- and I told him he was on the right track. This may sound all very contrived and ridiculous, but this guy is a great friend and I just couldn't tell him outright. I then told him "The OSA stands for Opposite Sex Attraction." He then leaned back, rubbed his eyes as if in deep thought, and then it suddenly dawned on him what SSA stood for.
After a nervous chuckle from him, I asked him "Heh, so you've worked it out then?" "Yes" he replied, with a rather strained voice. He then went on to say "I think I understand now," after which his listed a few things which he had thought might mean I was gay. I confirmed that each of the things he mentioned was, indeed, a symptom of my past SSA (which recently had changed).
Whew! I had finally told him! Now, of course, I was worried about his reaction. I mean, will he want to speak to me again? Will he act strangely around me? I trust this guy very much, and I didn't think he would stop speaking to me. So, what was his reaction?
He seemed to be alright about it. In fact, he seemed a little bemused by the whole thing. Before I dropped him off back at his house, he told me to call him on Sunday if I fancied going anywhere, and since I got back home we've exchanged a couple of amusing text messages with him. He reckons that I need to find a girl with big t*ts. If only it were that simple! But what matters is that he's okay with it.
So: Mission accomplished, and it seems to have gone well.
The most important factor, however, is that I told him for the right reasons. I didn't do it to draw him closer to me, or to try and get him to "love" me or "care" for me. I don't need that. The reason I did it (and I believe this agrees with what I've read by Reparative Therapists) is to just be more honest, authentic, and comfortable with my friend. After all, he's my best friend and he's stuck by me before. He should still accept me when he learns more about me.
So, right now I feel great. It's a huge relief to actually be open and honest to him for the first time. Now I can ask him all those silly and awkward questions about what it's like to be straight without him wondering what the hell I'm asking for!
This must be what it feels like to come out of the closet. Well... not really. I told another friend of mine yesterday, you see. This means that both of my everstraight best buddies know about my past SSA problems, and my current Reparative Therapy.
This friend seemed to take it even better than my other friend. I wasn't surprised though, as he knows some gay-homosexuals at College, and he is good friends with at least one in his class. So if he is comfortable at being around guys like that, well, I see no reason why he would suddenly reject as an ex-gay.
He's been perfectly okay about it. In fact, he found it quite interesting that such therapies even exist. I thought he may have heard something about it in the news recently, but no, he hadn't.
We then had a bit of a laugh about how his gay-homosexual friends at College would react to hearing of such a thing. They'd go APE! So, anyways, we had a laugh and now he knows all about it.
This is fantastic. Now I can be completely open and honest with them. I can ask them all sorts of stupid questions about heterosexuality without them wondering why on earth I'm asking such things. Actually, that's one of the things I explained to my friend last night, "Remember when I asked you if it was normal to look at some lasses’ chests before looking at their faces?" "Yeah.." he replied. "Well, this is why! Because this heterosexuality lark is all new to me." "Ahhh, I see."
That's true, actually. Eventually you start looking at girls in entirely new ways. The thing about the breasts, though: its quite weird because even when I was first gaining some attractions to women, the breasts were not attractive. That particular appeal is a fairly recent thing. I'm not sure why, but for me it just didn't happen at first, and it's still not a very strong attraction. Although it my recent progress is anything to go by, perhaps that will change.
I don't think I'll be "coming out" to anyone else for a long while. Enough people know already!
One of my oldest friends is getting married soon. I'm very pleased for him and I think the girl he's marrying is very nice and well-suited to him. I'm sure they'll be very happy.
Now here comes the self-analysis. Until fairly recently, I hated the very idea of weddings and marriage. In fact, it would really annoy me when my male buddies would look for girls. It would make me feel left out. I would prefer them to not look for girls, and just forget about it. I certainly didn't like going to other people's weddings, regarding them as somehow stupid and annoying. I would very much resent it when male friends started paying all their attention to a girl or group of girls. I'd actually feel hurt.
But there's a common thread running through all of that: self-pity. Yes - it is - it's self-pity.
For example, when I was among a bunch of male friends, and they start talking about girls and start looking for girls, I would feel left out. I wanted them to stop doing that. In effect, what did I really want? I wanted them to stop paying attention to girls and keep paying attention to me. Is that not so? It's not just a feeling of being left-out, but also a feeling of jealousy. "Stop talking about girls and start paying attention to poor little me who feels so left-out and inferior."
In effect, if I had my own way I would keep them away from girls, marriage, etc, so I can have them all to myself. Is that not an entirely selfish and infantile way of thinking? Firmly rooted in the self-pity of wanting them to pay attention to poor little me? I think it is.
I found a reference in Aardweg's book concerning what some homosexuals think of marriage:
Some homosexuals "view marriage and the male-female relationship without understanding, with envy and sometimes even hatred, because the 'role' of manliness or womanliness itself annoys them; this is, in short, the view of an outsider who feels inferior" — Battle For Normality - page 67 paragraph 2
And as for wanting attention among a group of people:
"They want to be the most adored, the most loved boy of the group... They seldom feel on an equal footing with others" — Battle For Normality - page 67 paragraph 3
Are these not the feelings I've described above?
Anyway, with this realization, I've managed to keep my infantile self-pity and "inner child" under control. Instead of resenting my friend's marriage, I can be genuinely pleased for him. In fact, the feelings of being left-out, jealousy, and hatred, have been replaced with another feeling: that of thinking how wonderful it would be if one day I, too, could find a nice girl and get married.
For me, that's quite a remarkable milestone to have reached!
For those of you who know a little about Reparative Therapy, you'll know that one of the most common things among SSA guys is something called Defensive Detachment.
I thought I had gotten over mine. Indeed, I have managed to conquer and break through most of it. However, a couple of days ago I met two guys whom I used to know when I was a teenager. One guy I used to have a crush on, and the other is a guy I used to feel helplessly inferior to.
Anyway, I met both of these guys when they approached me just to say hello, and ask how I've been, etc. It was a short but pleasant conversation, we had a laugh, and it was good.
But afterwards, it hit me: Whoa! Suddenly I had strong feelings of hurt, offense, and most of all, rejection. These feelings hit me like a ton of bricks, and I continued to feel that way for the next day-or-so. Along with these feelings I would feel anxious, with an upset stomach, and tenseness in my arms and legs.
Why I felt this way isn't a mystery. I've been through it already with my therapist. To explain it, I'll have to tell you a bit of background first.
You see, when I was a teenager I matured very quickly. For this reason I didn't want to hang around with kids my own age. Instead, I wanted to hang around with the older kids. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried, I always seemed to be rejected by them. This feeling of rejection was exacerbated by the fact I had a crush on one of those guys.
After that experience, I developed a very bad defensive-detachment. Very bad. Rejecting (and at times, being nasty) to others before they could reject me.
So it seems that when I met those two guys a couple of day ago, all of that started flooding back. I expected rejection. I expected them to make me feel inferior all over again. Of course, they didn't do anything to make me feel rejected or inferior. In fact, they were very nice. The problem was with me -- I was expecting rejection and I made myself feel it. The upset stomach and tense ligaments are all symptoms of anxiety - as if something bad is going to happen ("fight or flight").
So anyway, I was left with a choice: either conquer this feeling, or develop defensive-detachment all over again and be defensive and nasty to those guys the next time I see them (and, in turn, rebuild one of the cornerstones of my SSA).
I decided to conquer the feeling. I'm now looking at it realistically. For example, exactly what could they have done which would not make me feel inferior and rejected? If I had my own way, would I have them sit me down, put their arm around me, and pay all their attention to me?
Would I have them say, "oh, yes, Jake, we accept you totally and think you're great!" or have them say "oh we really like you, please be our friend"? Basically, I would have them put me as the centre of attention.
That's a very self-centered and infantile want, is it not? "Pay all your attention to me!" is the real desire at the root of all this. Originally that's what it was all about, anyway. I was a lonely teenager who wanted attention and affection, and when I didn't get what I wanted, my inner child basically turned around and said, in protest, "it's not fair! You won't give me what I want - I hate you! You make me feel hurt, and I don't want anything to do with you anymore!" And ever since then I've been defensive, and at times, nasty and anti-social.
So next time I see them, instead of silently protesting that they aren't paying all their attention to me, I'll try to look at things realistically and be on equal terms with them. I should try and consider how I can be nice to them, and see what responsibilities I have in the social setting, instead of expecting others to pay attention to 'poor little me.'
It will be interesting to see how well I manage to conquer this.
Well it's been a little while since I told my two everstraight buddies about my SSA and therapy.
And they have continued to take it well. I did think that one of them had stopped talking to me; however, I was just being paranoid. You see, I had sent him a couple of text messages and rang him a few times, all without reply. It turns out, though, that he's only got 3 pence worth of credit on his phone and when I rang him he was in the cinema! So anyways, he managed to call me today just to apologize for not getting back to me sooner.
Apart from my own paranoia, it seems my buddies have taken this very well.
This brings me to something quite bizarre that happened to me on Saturday. I was at the house of my mentor, and there was a few people around for a social get-together, with mixed ages, etc. This included that guy I talked about whom I was in "awe" of when my masculinity was at a low ebb.
Well, everyone was sitting in the living room talking about various things, and for some reason the subject of homosexuality came up - but the subject was talked about for what must have been a good 15 minutes (but it felt like an hour!). But they weren't talking about it in general, they were discussing things like: "Is it genetic?" "Can it be changed?" "Do some people change?" etc, etc. I couldn't believe it. I was sitting there completely gob-smacked. What was even more remarkable was how their views seemed to corroborate with my own (about it being primarily environmental and changeable).
I started to go all red in the face and my heart started beating really fast. I knew I should keep quiet, because if I had started to participate in the conversation I knew I'd end up "coming out" to everyone. So I kept my mouth shut!
So that was quite amazing. The other thing that was good is how the guy I was in "awe" of was really friendly to me, talked to me for a while, and even invited me to go out for a drink sometime with him and a bunch of his buddies.
That was quite a night! I was scared to death, of course, but it felt pretty good.
Why does he like me?
Recently I've been putting in a lot of effort to get to know different guys and make some new friends. I've been particularly trying to befriend guys who make me feel inferior in some way (e.g. they're "all man" and I'm nothing in comparison).
Anyway, I've been having some success with this. However, something strange has happened that I did not expect. One of these (straight) guys has started being friendly to me, and actively trying to get to know me! I mean, this guy is quite attractive, and was the last person I ever thought that I could get to know well. I never thought he would want to know me!
So it's like this: every time I see him he's really friendly towards me (eh?), calls me by my nickname (wuh?), and talks of inviting me out on social occasions (wtf?). This is all great, and I should be pleased, but I can't help thinking "why the hell does he want to show an interest in me?"
I just can't comprehend it. The other day when he said hello to me he patted his hand on my shoulder, and I was just thinking "what the hell are you doing??" and I must have had a puzzled look on my face. It's not that I didn't understand *what* he was doing, I just cannot understand *why* he would want to do that to *me*! I felt like asking "Er, why are you doing this? You're supposed to be ignoring me! That's the way it works - you're breaking the rules!"
I'm definitely not used to have anyone take an interest in me, especially another member of my peer group. The problem is that when he tries to start a conversation with me, I just don't know what to say. I'm too busy thinking "why the hell is he even talking to me?; what does he want?"
Don't misunderstand, it's not like I actually suspect he has ulterior motives. It's nothing like that. I just cannot understand why this is happening, and I'm totally confounded as to what to do next! I just don't know how to make friends with straight men... what do I do next? What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to not do? It's all a mystery to me. I fear that if I don't do things right I may lose this opportunity.
Is this to do with trust? Am I having difficulty trusting him, and opening myself up to allow him to be my friend? Is this because I've been hurt by other guys before?
To be honest I'm feeling so mixed up with all sorts of emotions that I have no idea what to do. I've asked my ex-gay support group what they think, so hopefully I'll piece it together.
My ex-gay support group gave me some really good things to think about concerning what I said in my previous entry.
Said one (in part), "he likes you coz he sees a man that is real, authentic and oozes masculinity" and "yes I do believe that it does come down to trust". I had forgotten about this. I suppose when that guy looks at me, he doesn't see my insecurities or anything, but only what I look like on the outside. Which, I suppose, is quite masculine. Sometimes I can even look like a bit of a thug.
He continues, "I know for me when men started paying attention to me and wanting to be my friend for no other reason than just because they liked being around me and not for sex, it really freaked me out to start with." So it's good to know that I'm not the only person to have felt this way!
What another guy also said helped a lot: "Just be yourself... they just want to get to know you. Maybe you seem real, seem friendly (since you have been trying to cultivate friendships---that seems kind of natural). Practice just being you. You asked for it by reaching beyond your normal boundaries...and NOW by gosh some of these guys LIKE YOU...oh my!!"
That made me chuckle a bit because he hit the nail right on the head! He added, "remember that you are just as good a man in everything as those guys you are meeting. You have nothing to prove to yourself or to these lads."
I knew my ex-gay group would help me a lot, and they have (once again!).
So, I've been trying to take their advice, and I think I've started to see things more realistically. I haven't been feeling so desperate to win attention and feel devastated if I don't get the attention from other guys I need. And keeping in mind that I'm not so hopelessly inferior to them is making things less frightening and helping me see that I'm not so different from those guys after all.
In other news, about that strange bloke, Dr Phil, an American tv "doctor." From the few minutes I've endured of watching his god-awful show, I could tell that he was a bit of an idiot who over-simplified things, taking the easiest and most popular route. So it's not a surprise to learn that he can't tell his arse from his elbows when it comes to the origins of homosexuality.
Today I'd like to talk about the idea that homosexuality is a choice. There seems to be much confusion about this issue. Firstly, you have the persons who say homosexuality is a choice, but they mean the lifestyle, and not the feelings. Secondly, you have the persons who say homosexuality is a choice, but they mean that the lifestyle and feelings are both choices.
This stirs up much confusion and misunderstandings. For example, some ex-gays who have an exclusively religious approach to change, claim they are no longer gay but are now straight. Of course, what they really mean to say is that they no longer lead a gay lifestyle - they still have the feelings, but just ignore them.
Hence, if a person who claimed to be "straight" suddenly gives into his gay impulses, it looks like the whole ex-gay movement is a sham. But, as I said, this person’s feelings never changed in the first place. He was never really "straight."
So I'd like to try and clear up a few things. Firstly, and most importantly, I'd like to consider for a moment whether the feelings are a matter of choice.
I don't believe developing gay feelings is a choice. I never wanted to develop such feelings. After all, who would? As Jason Cianciotto, a gay rights activist says, "That anybody would choose to be gay in light of all the evidence showing how difficult it is to be gay... is preposterous." I agree. Starting to feel that way is hardly a matter of choice. It just happens, and at the time you don't know why.
What is a choice, however, is whether one wants to act upon such feelings, and whether one wants to treat such feelings in psychotherapy. They are the choices one has.
Part of the confusion in this matter is caused by the use of labels. When someone says "gay" or "homosexuality," there is uncertainty of exactly what they mean. Do they mean feelings or lifestyle? That's why it is better to use the phrase same-sex attractions (SSA). There is no confusion when one uses that.
Nobody chooses to have same-sex attractions. However, you can choose whether to act upon your same-sex attractions, or to treat it with Reparative and Gender-Affirmation therapies in order to develop heterosexual attractions.
There you go. Now that cannot be misunderstood, can it?
Basics of footy
Today a buddy of mine finally agreed to show me the basics of football (i.e. soccer) and have a kick-about with me in the park, just showing me the basics.
I'd like to say that I felt a huge surge of masculine identity and confidence, but I didn't. I didn't expect to, though. Kicking a ball about quietly with one friend whom you know very well is hardly challenging, is it? This is not the challenging part. The part that will really bring out all of the morbid fears, and rewards for conquering those fears, will be when I play in a 5-a-side game or whatever.
I can't wait to have the same confidence as the other guys I've been observing over the years. If only I could be as rowdy as them; to be as tough as them; to be as accepted as they are; how good that would be.
The more I think about it, and the more I look back on my life while growing up, the more and more I can see just how much I actually missed out on in regards to masculine-identification. There were just so many things I never did, so many things I was never told, and so many things that a father should do with his son that he never did with me.
I've missed out on so much. So, being confident enough to hang out with guys who play sports is a great step in the right direction. Instead of looking on such guys with morbid fear (and feeling hopelessly "different", i.e. inferior), I can approach such situations with confidence, and hope that in turn I can make genuine friends and receive male affirmation that I've been denied until now.
But anyway, that's a long way off. It's all done in small steps. I'm just learning how to kick the ball and not look like a complete prat when I run (which apparently I did, so says my friend).
There is one small bit of progress that I have made today: I stopped feeling sick and nervous after a little while when playing footy today. I wasn't left shaking and trembling from the experience - which I usually am when talking about football.
It's all in small steps...
Anyways, some good news on the SSA front. Firstly, my efforts to make more genuine male friends seems to be going very well. That guy whom I mentioned in an earlier post (who I was "in awe" of) has gotten to know be a bit better, and I him. And what I've found out is rather remarkable.
I can see now that this "mysterious male" really is hardly any different from myself. It turns out that many of the things I've been into, or still are into, he is also. So instead of me feeling like my life and personality are hopelessly immature and inferior to those of real men, I've been shown that in fact - no - I am not inferior at all; I really am just a typical young man like he is.
I don't have the skill in the English language to convey just how much this meant to me. Other guys who are undergoing therapy could understand. Imagine a guy who you regard as the most manly and mysterious man you know befriending you, making an effort to get to know you, and then you discover that you're really not all that much different from him! It's strange. It's not so much a case of gaining much male affirmation, but rather a case of having your eyes opened and realizing just how daft your previous inferiority complex was.
I'm now coming to the conclusion that family dynamics hasn't played as much of a significant role in my SSA as I had thought formerly. Now I'm making more male friends, identifying more as a male, and solving my other problems, I can see that my family only set me up for SSA, rather than caused it. It was other factors (primarily peer relationships) that triggered my SSA.
In yet other news, I've hitting more milestones in my change efforts. I've had a few "firsts". Like, one was the first time I was looking at and talking to a girl I'd just met from the perspective of wondering if she'd like to go out with me. I even surprised myself a little.
Defensive detachment... again
I still have this problem of feeling utterly rejected by other men at the slightest little thing. Like yesterday I was in a situation where I spoke to a few guys I knew. That was all positive and there were no issues there, but with some guys (especially older ones) I felt like I had to get every single word I say correct (I cannot allow myself to stumble in speech and make mistakes), and if they don't show enough interest in me, I would feel utterly devastated.
There have been times when I've felt like I'm in a pit of despair and utterly stupid and worthless after having tried talking to some guys - despite nothing really having gone wrong.
Anways, so after that yesterday I decided to read up a bit on defensive detachment in Dr. Nicolosi's book. One of things I read was this: "the homosexual's hurtful relationship with father [or another significant male figure] results in defensive detachment, which is carried over to relationships with other men."
I've read that before, obviously, but it made me ask myself the following question: 'what similarities are there between my feelings of rejection by my father, and my feelings of rejection by my male acquaintances?' After thinking about it for a few minutes I suddenly realized there are two surprisingly obvious similarities.
Firstly, whenever I have to go up to my dad and talk to him about some matter, I'm always a little anxious about getting every word I say right. He stands there, staring at me, just waiting for me to stumble in my words so he can jump in and criticize me - or give me a look as if to say "well, come on then! hurry up! get on with it!" and make me feel stupid. Because he does that, it actually causes me to stumble with my words because I become so self-conscious of what I'm saying and how I say it. This has been a major problem for me in talking to my dad over the years. You must get what you're saying perfectly right or he jumps on you and gives you a nasty look as if to say, "you're just wasting my time."
Secondly, when talking to my dad, he has the very irritating habit of just walking out of the room while you're talking - even in the middle of a sentence. I can't tell you how difficult it was as a child trying to get attention from that bastard, when he just gives you a critical look for not speaking quickly enough, and then just walks away because he's simply not interested in whatever you're saying. It was quite hurtful as well. Can you imagine what it's like going up to your dad with a problem, while he's watching TV, and then instead of him talking back to you, he just gets up and walks out of the room (while you're still speaking), goes into another room and switches the TV on in there instead?
I suppose I'm carrying those experiences around with me when I try to speak to other guys (particularly those a little older than me). I'm shaking inside and I expect them to reject me. I'm still trying not to stumble in my words - practicing what I'm going to say, and then being so anxious that I do get things wrong when speaking. I feel as though they're looking at me and waiting for me to choke. If I don't receive some sort of affirmation or assurance, I feel utterly devastated afterwards - even if things didn't go too badly. I'm constantly thinking that guys won't like me or I'm not good enough to hold their interest. Of course, those experiences with my dad aren't the whole story. It wouldn't have mattered so much if other guys whom I had tried to get to know didn't do the exact same things to me - reject me, ignore me, and make me feel inferior.
I suppose, then, my dad had simply prepared me for developing defensive detachment, but it was my peers and other men that laid the cornerstone.
I guess what I'm currently doing (having an older guy mentor me, and making new friends among my male peers) is slowly undermining that cornerstone in my SSA.
The way we were
Not much happening on the SSA/Therapy front today, I'm afraid, as I've spent most of the day in bed with my cold. So, as a cop-out I'm digging up an old entry from my previous diary that I used to keep when I was in the full-fledged gay life (it's quite explicit and very depressing, though; in fact I've had to censor a few bits):
Okay a few days ago I hooked up with a guy on the internet and went on a "meet" (i.e. for sex). I hadn't done that for ages. The last time I did that I hated it - the guy made me do things that I didn't want to do. Like anal (which I do NOT like), ******* (uuuggggghhhhhhhh), and he **************** (yuk!). Anyways, what I'd done was put a personal ad on the net. I got like a million guys replying. But I was exceptionally horny and I arranged to meet one of them. So I met the guy, who was old enough to be my dad, and after the initial pretense of a conversation, we got down to it. God, how much I hate myself when I'm writing this. I sound so disgusting and driven by animal instincts. Anyways, I digress. So we had sex. Thankfully he didn't make me do anything I didn't want to do (although I didn't want his tongue in my mouth, but there you go). While I was having sex with him I felt something unexpected (emotionally). I wasn't really turned on. I mean, I had an erection, etc, but I didn't feel like I was enjoying myself. I wasn't having fun. It felt like nothing. It was almost like I'd been given one of those injections you get at the dentists - where half your face goes numb. Well that's how I felt emotionally. Like I was in a void. Like in limbo. I've got his huge **** in my hand, he's feeling me up, and inside I feel like I'm not there - I'm somewhere else a million miles away in limbo.
So once we'd finished, we exchanged the usual 'might see you again' (yeah, right) banter. And I went home. Still feeling exactly as I did before. Not happy, not sad, not horny, not tired. Just nothing. Perhaps feeling a bit sick from what I had done. I thought I may have felt that way because he was a lot older than me, but I'd always liked older men.
The next day (!) I hooked up with another guy. This time he was my age, and a very nice person. I could easily be friends with him, since he was so genuine. And he seemed to laugh at my jokes and enjoy my company. However, the same thing happened. I was having what should have been the best sex of my life, but I felt nothing inside. Limbo again. I was back in the void. I think the best part of meeting him was talking to him.
I'm now arranging to meet other men later in the week . But I don't want to. I don't enjoy it. I HATE it. Yet something is driving me to it. I'm like a puppet on strings. What I feel or want doesn't matter. I'm being forced by my own desires to meet people and taste their juices. I can't control myself. I hate myself. I wish I were never born. I'm turning into a pervert who lives, breathes, and sleeps for his next fix, like a drug addict. Except I'm addicted to GAY.================================
My oh my, what a happy and fulfilling life the gay life is(!). Being my "true self" and being "who I really am" brought out the best in me, did it not? (I'm being entirely sarcastic)
Yikes. The gay lifestyle - what a pointless waste.
It's that time of the month again. Firstly, here are last month’s goals, and how well/badly I did concerning them:
Goal #1: Get confident enough to play football (soccer) with the guys.
I've done quite well in this. I now have the confidence to play a little, and I no longer feel like crying like a little girl whenever the subject comes up. Nor am I afraid of the ball. Hopefully this will eventually lead to me not feeling uncompromisingly different (i.e. inferior) to other guys when they talk about the subject. I'll be able to feel more like one of the guys (greater masculine self-identification).
Goal #2: Read the book Growth Into Manhood by Alan Medinger again
Okay, I confess I didn't do this. However, I did re-read all the parts I felt were relevant to my current situation.
Goal #3: Start going to a therapist again
I can't find a male therapist anywhere in my area! It's unbelievable. I don't want to go to a woman, since the whole reason for going is to get assistance in conquering my fears of male things - I just don't think I can go to a female therapist and ask her to make me feel more masculine!
Okely-dokey, now let's set some goals for this month:
#1 Complete workbook Recovery of Your Inner Child
I bought this book after several recommendations were made to me. I'm hoping it will help me identify when my inner child starts whining about something ("poor me" etc). If you've read books by Aardweg, you'll know what I'm talking about.
#2 Increase efforts to make non-sexual friendships with everstraight guys
This has so far helped me enormously. My feelings of inferiority to other males (i.e. they are not as masculine as I am) has decreased noticeably. Along with those feelings, the attractions diminished as well. However, I wish to step up the efforts to do this. I don't want to experience any reversal.
#3 Get to know my mentor more
My mentor is really good to me, and I enjoy his company. It's very... ummm... reparative, I suppose. I'm starting to think of him as a real father-figure. I don't mean in a showy, affectionate way, but rather in a calm quiet inner sense of knowing that he's always there for me, won't let me down, won't ignore me, and won't be critical of me. He's undoing a lot of damage done by significant male figures in my life. I very much enjoy the times we talk.
So that's my goals ...
Now here's a surprise
After a mere 30 years-or-so, gay groups finally admitted that they've been lying through their teeth. Here's the press release:
Homosexual Advocacy Groups Admit 10% Fallacy
By Ed Vitagliano July 30, 2003
(AgapePress) - For decades homosexual pressure groups have claimed that, since 10% of the population is homosexual, public officials should give credence to their political demands. Now it seems that when they absolutely have to tell the truth, activists admit the 10% figure is a myth.
The startling admission was made by a coalition of 31 homosexual advocacy groups, including the Human Rights Campaign, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. In their brief filed in a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, Lawrence v. Texas, which dealt with that state's sodomy statute, the coalition said that only "2.8% of the male, and 1.4% of the female, population identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual."
"That 2.1% figure [of the total population] even includes bisexuals, which makes the percentage of people claiming to be exclusively homosexual even lower," said American Family Association president Tim Wildmon.
The origin of the 10% myth is not difficult to uncover. In 1948, sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, a professor at Indiana University, began publishing his material about human sexuality in the U.S., work which would lead to the sexual revolution. Kinsey was the first to say that 10% of the U.S. population was homosexual.
However, in her groundbreaking 1998 book, Kinsey: Crimes & Consequences, Dr. Judith Reisman demolished Kinsey's research as being based on inept science and purposeful deception. Still, homosexuals continued to use the 10% figure in published materials and press interviews to bolster their demands.
So it only takes over 30 years of research directly contradicting the myth to overturn it. Geez, these people aren't stupid or anything, are they? Of course, it'll probably be another 30 years before the 10% figure drops out of the public mind.
It makes you wonder how many other things the anti-exgay groups lie about, doesn't it? Lies about genetics and homosexuality being unchangeable come to mind...
You know, perhaps it's that strange feeling of euphoria you get when you first recover from a cold, and your mental faculties return to normal, or maybe it really is something new. An increasing sense of clarity. One realizes just how much same-sex attractions have dominated your thinking, emotional make-up, likes, dislikes, and attitudes when you finally recover from it. It really has. Perhaps it is just me, or the way I feel right now, but when I look back and contemplate it carefully, I can see that it dominated my mind. I do not simply mean the constant search for love and affection, or the stresses, but how it would always be something held in thought. The attractions. The desires. It is one of the constant features of daily life.
When that starts to decrease, and it is less dominating, you start to see the world around you in a different light. You are no longer looking at it from the same perspective. Those thoughts (and worries) do not concern you any more. You start noticing other things, and you can see the big picture: how really trivial and insignificant all the struggling has been in the grand scheme of things, and how many other important parts of life there truly are.
A few months ago when I started this diary, I described SSA as a dank prison, which kept me in captivity for many years. Now I can appreciate just how much that statement was true. It did not just manipulate and restrain my life, my emotions, and my desires, but also my whole way of looking at the world around me. What I have been under is not merely a form of psychotherapy. It's a liberation. Liberation from the old pattern of thinking. Liberation from a prison so insidious that when you are incarcerated in it, you don't realize you're being restrained.
Until, that is, when the day finally arrives to be set free.
One of the characteristic things of SSA partly caused by a lack of gender-identification is experiencing feelings of devastation and complete rejection when excluded and/or ignored by other men.
Today, and the last couple of days, have been particularly bad in this regard. Tonight a guy sneered at me for no real reason. I said goodbye to another guy who simply ignored me. Today in a "team building exercise" as part of my training at work, we had to line up in order of height (for a stupid reason I won't go into). And, of course, I was the shortest male in my team. Well, that was just great.
I've tried befriending some of my male colleagues, but it's like trying to converse with a brick wall - especially with those of my age group. The girls of my age, on the other hand, are easy to talk to (at least to me). Which, I suppose, is quite good because some of them are quite attractive. On the other hand, that is not what I need right now. I need to identify with other men, especially of my peer group, as the last thing I need is to be so under-confident around other guys that I simply stick to a group of girls!
For example, yesterday during a coffee break, after I sat down at a table, I observed that over the course of a few minutes, with everyone moving around and changing seats, I ended up sitting at a table of *all* girls/women - with me being the only guy there. I glanced across the room and saw a table full of guys having a lively conversation. Why wasn't I at that table instead? I don't want to be sitting at a table full of females! As much as I want to be among the guys, I just don't seem to have developed the necessary attitudes and skills to become a member of that elusive group.
And when, like tonight, you get a guy sneer at you and ignore you, well then, that just completes the picture, doesn't it!!?!? Not only are you feeling excluded from the 'gang' of guys, that no guy seems interested in you, and that no guy seems to want to talk to you, but you've also been ignored and sneered at by them! So, the result of that is that I feel like crap. The rejection, the disinterest, and the not being good enough.
At one time, this would have made me want to spontaneously act out sexually or look at porn, or whatever. It would have triggered strong homosexual feelings mixed with deep feelings of inferiority, frustration and, to some extent, depression.
Instead, however, I just have the feelings of inferiority, frustration and depression without any sexual feelings at all. The insight has removed the deceptive sexual aspect completely - but the problems remain.
Many men who look into Reparative Therapy / Gender Affirmation therapy come up with all sorts of reasons (i.e. excuses) as to why it doesn't apply to them.
I've talked with a few of these self-proclaimed special cases. You see, the common symptom picture doesn't fit them absolutely perfectly, and some things don't really seem to apply (at least from what they've read), therefore it obviously doesn't apply to them, and their homosexuality must therefore be genetic.
Oh, how flawed and simplistic their thinking is! It usually happens like this: They hear of the SSA therapies, so they read a little about it (rarely a book). Nine times out of ten they're already convinced that they were born that way, so their investigation of therapy starts off as a search to see why it doesn't apply to them, so they can reinforce their own 'born-gay' assumption (based on such hard scientific evidence as "always feeling this way as far as I can remember").
Of course, the inevitable happens, and - oh shock horror! - the typical rough symptom picture outlined by doctors such as Nicolosi doesn't apply. Hence, they're vindicated. "This doesn't apply to me, I was born this way. Oh goody I can continue being special and tragic, I'll always feel this way!"
Now they can continue to "accept who I really am" and not worry about any possibility of any unwelcome change.
Their understanding of therapy is, of course, rudimentary and backwards. For a start, they assume that one must fit the typical symptom picture. But really, who does? While I have many of the common elements of it, I certainly don't have all of it. And what's more, it is never as it is exactly described in therapy books. It's not supposed to. Such things are a guide, that's all, it's not a rule book. It's really a guide for professional therapists to learn from, and gradually map out the most likely contributing factors to your own personal SSA development. It's not a exact mold to fit you in.
Secondly, they come up with little flawed 'logical' arguments as to why such-and-such of the typical symptom picture doesn't apply to them. A common one is "I have the exact same relationship with my father as my brother has, and he is straight." Therefore, they conclude, the father-element of the typical symptom picture can not apply to them, and it must be something from the magical gay genie that made them gay.
Of course, who said that a relationship with father is even part of their personal ssa development? There is no rule saying it has to be. I know some guys where it is not! Besides, I also have the exact same relationship with my dad as my heterosexual brother does. Does that mean my SSA was genetically caused? No!
Let's take this bizarre logic and apply it to something else, like depression. Let's imagine there is a guy with serious depression. He's had it for years. As long as he can recall. He reads a psychological book on the typical common causes and development of serious depression. It lists common family dynamics, common life-events, and other such things. But, of course, our man does not fit the typical picture. So, what does he do? He concludes that since he doesn't fit the typical pattern, his depression must be caused by the depression gene, and he will always be that way!
Is that logical?
Is it the simple-mindedness of someone who doesn't even want to change anyway?
You bet. That’s their choice, but they shouldn’t deny it to others.
Father and son
Tonight I was at a small social event, with a few families my family knows, and some others. I think attending family events is one of the best things you can possibly do when recovering from SSA. It gives you so many opportunities to see how you react to situations, what your figurative "inner (complaining) child" pipes up about, and gauge how you're improving in various areas of maturity. I highly recommend to other men and women in recovery to attend as many social occasions as possible. It has helped me gain many self-insights.
What was particularly good about tonight, however, was something else. You see, I was sitting opposite a male friend of mine who is about 25 years older than me, and he has a seven-year old son. His son is so cute, and he's a right little tinker, always getting up to mischief. I couldn't help but observe how he and his father interacted. That kid has such a good father. He gave him attention, physical affection, talked to him, etc. He kept him under control in a firm, but kind manner. He was really interested in his son. He cuddled him. It was absolutely wonderful to behold. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it. A normal, healthy, and loving father-son relationship. It was like peering into another world.
Of course, he probably received more affection and attention from his father in that one night than I've got from my father in the past 20+ years. Though I don't want to delve into a self-pity pot because of it. I just want to keep in mind this wonderful thought of how that father and son interacted. It was so nice, it really was.
That's how a father is supposed to treat his son. It warmed my heart, it really has. That little boy doesn't realize how lucky he is.
I also noticed how his mother didn't smother him in any way. Whereas, on the other hand, my mother constantly asked me stupid questions about what I was eating and then belittled and made fun of me for wanting to drink a beer (implying that I'm not mature enough to drink - "You, have a beer! Ha!"). Stupid f***ing bitch.
Anyways, I digress... father and son. Yes, it was really nice. I wish I'd had that.
I just can't get it into my head. I just can't understand it. It just won't sink in. If you've been following my dairy, you'll be aware that another guy, a very masculine guy I was in "awe" of, has befriended me and actively pursued a friendship with me. And it continues. The thing is, this is really starting to puzzle me. Today I went to the gym with him, and as always I'm worrying about how well it went, if I talked too much or too little, and hoping that I gave a good impression. I felt like I'd failed in all respects. Yet, he still accepts me for who I am. He still wants to spend time with me. And he still enjoyed my company. There was no rejection. No ignoring me. No making me feel left-out or that I don't measure up. It was just a zero-pressure, all-things-are-cool, typical night at the gym.
That may sound entirely reasonable (perhaps unremarkable) to you, but from my perspective this is extremely puzzling. Here I have a thoroughly heterosexual and masculine young man who accepts and affirms me as a male. Someone whom I felt inferior to accepting me as an equal. But, how can I be equal to him? How could I possibly be good enough to match up to his level of masculinity, maturity, and confidence? What on earth could he see in pitiful little me?
(I know I'm over-reacting, and that my reaction to this situation is entirely neurotic, but that's just typical of SSA)
This cornerstone of SSA - inferiority to other males - is a problem. You have all of this admiration of other men's masculinity (the other guy is "all man" compared to oneself) covered up in a cocoon of sexual feelings. The 'better' the other man is than oneself, the more masculine, the cuter, the fitter, the taller (or whatever), the more attractive he is. He has something I do not.
The conclusion I finally came to after mulling all of this over my mind all evening is that he could only have accepted and affirmed me for one reason: because he considers me his equal. Yet, this person is a young man. So, logically, that must mean I'm a young man too - just like he is. This simple fact is difficult to take to heart.
So, this guy is telling me "you are a young man just like I am."
Interesting. It reminds me of what ex-gay Alan Medinger said about only other men being able to 'tell' you that you're a man.
So, that means I'm a guy just like my friend is? Cool.
Took a risk...
Earlier in the week I went to the gym with that buddy of mine who I was originally "in awe" of, until I got to know him better. I've been to the gym with him many times, so that wasn't particularly remarkable.
What was exceptional in this case, however, was that I sort-of told him about my SSA problems - but in a strange way. You see, I told him about all of my masculine inferiorities and many of the things that have and continue to contribute to my SSA. The only thing I didn't tell him about was the SSA itself. I also asked him a series of stupid questions about heterosexuality and heterosexual feelings.
My excuse was that "it sounds strange, but I only started noticing girls six months ago" I said. To my surprise, he said that he only started noticing girls when he was about age 20! (Note that this guy is entirely heterosexual and is also married.)
It was amazing - I'd really managed to hit lucky with this one. He was so understanding. Also, he offered me advice on things that I'd been puzzling over for quite some time. He told me that I should really concentrate on hanging out with the guys more, and not worrying about girls until I feel that I'm ready. After that I opened up to him entirely about how much I needed to associate with other guys - and how I had recently got a mentor to act as a substitute father.
We sat talking for ages. He said that if I ever needed to talk or ask any more questions, he's always happy to speak to me. I felt as though I'd suddenly gained a caring older brother! It sounds a bit corny, and a bit stupid, but I felt as though we bonded. (I know, get the sick-bags out.)
But anyways, it was fantastic. I'm glad I took the chance and risked confiding in him. I know that not everyone would have reacted like he did, so I'm especially pleased that I have got to know this guy. I look forward to continuing my friendship with him.
New stuff on NARTH
I'm going to see my mentor tonight, and I'm really looking forward to it. Before I go to see my mentor, I thought I'd write a new entry about the "gay animals" mythology and those who are gullible enough to blindly accept it.
A TV program on Channel 4 here in the UK ran an "investigation" into gay animals. In the show, they said that colonies of sea birds (like penguins and puffins) that consist entirely of female birds, while the males go away for food, are actually lesbian communes!
So, the next time I visit a sea-bird colony when on holiday up in Scotland (or wherever) and I see a group of nesting Puffins, I should say to myself "oh, what a large lesbian commune!" Yeah, right.
Also, they showed footage of two female dolphins. One "sniffed" the others’ reproductive parts. This is generally thought to be either communication, or an attempt to find out the other's current reproductive state. But this "documentary" suggested that it might be "something more!" Oh, yeah, okay, whatever. So the next time I see a dog sniffing the butt of another dog, I'll just have to remember that they're really being bi-curious (!).
Another thing I utterly scoffed at in this documentary: one woman who studied "gay sheep" was asked approximately how many sheep are gay. She hesitated for a moment and said "ten percent" !!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ok yeah, right. It's obvious she said this because the gay rights activists have for decades said 10% of humans are gay - which, of course, is wrong.
Having said that, there is some film footage of male animals trying to hump other males (sometimes with an erect penis). However, to say that the animal is gay is quite a leap of the imagination. In the 70's, experiments with rats and hormone injections showed that injecting various amounts of hormones into rats made them "hump" others of the same sex. Did this make them "gay"? Or did it simply confuse their animal instinct?
A few years ago there was a bit of an uproar about toxic chemicals being released into the Thames river in England. This, apparently, caused some fish to grow the sex organs of both genders. This is obviously a deformation caused by pollution, but would the gay rights activist people tout them as "transgender" animals?
If this kind of cross-gender deformation can occur easily in animals, could this not explain much of the perceived "gay" behavior? Are the animals that will only hump members of their own sex not simply confused in their instincts?
One of the more famous and persuasive arguments for gay animals is the story of a research team in the jungle finding two female primates rubbing each other's private parts. The thing is, monkeys and all related creatures have often been observed taking part in all sorts of sexual activities. For example, with the Bonobo chimps, "anything, not just food, that arouses the interest of more than one bonobo at a time tends to result in sexual contact. If two bonobos approach a cardboard box thrown into their enclosure, they will briefly mount each other before playing with the box. Such situations lead to squabbles in most other species." I've also read an account where a female ape had sex with her son.
The argument is given that if animals are seen to practice homosexuality, then it must be natural for humans to do the same (because we are animals too).
The blackbirds in my garden often kick a weak chick out of it's nest. Does that mean I can kill a weak child? My family's cat has actually killed other cats in the neighborhood for food, dominance, and territory. Does that mean I can kill my human neighbors for food, dominance and territory?
After all, if animals do these things (and I too am a member of the animal kingdom), then that means that for me it is also okay, normal, natural, healthy, and beneficial. Right?
I came across an old article about chat rooms on the NARTH website. Boy, did that bring back memories. The article is incredible -- it's almost like it was written by me! Everything the guy describes is exactly how I felt in the past (the only exception being that I was not in therapy at the time).
He 'hits the nail on the head' with so many things. For example, talking about entering gay chat rooms, "I really do it more for the rush, to indulge the possibility of meeting someone" and how it is comforting "that someone wants to do something with me... just waiting for someone to strike up a conversation and pay me a little attention" (emphasis in original).
Then, of course, he describes the inevitable outcome when you mix loneliness and horniness in a gay chat room, "there's a hungry desperation that'll make me settle for almost any guy. The longing is more than the natural craving felt by regular guys - there's a near unstoppable obsession that goes along with it." I used to feel this way often. Sometimes it was as if I was a puppet on strings.
Then of course, after having met someone for sex you experience "self-esteem issues that would make Charlie Brown seem confident" and "a feeling that I've done something that has somehow robbed me of my masculinity and my claim to being a man." Of course, if you do it often enough, the feeling is buried deeper and deeper as you come to rely more and more on your next sexual encounter.
He ends the article by commenting, "For a day or two afterward, the thought of entering a chat room is absolutely repugnant. But... the desire to 'chat' [eventually] returns".
I remember being stuck in that cycle. The only way to break out of it was to cut off my Internet connection for a short time. After all, logging on at home is much easier (and more of a temptation) than having to get dressed, get money, and travel to a bar or whatever.
I was thinking about what I was looking for when I used to use gay chat rooms. I'm not talking about sexual activities, but the deeply-held emotional needs that I was unknowingly needing to fulfill.
I needed a genuine friendship, an ideal same-sex friend, but instead got a stranger (or perhaps a creepy stalker). I needed affirmation from another male, but instead got a person who needs assurance himself. I was looking for a comrade to have a laugh with, but instead we would get down to sex business. I wanted to feel masculinity, but instead destroyed any sense I had of being a man. I needed to fulfill many legitimate emotional needs, but instead I tried -- and failed -- to satisfy those needs with a sexual act.
Gay online dating and chat rooms are self-deceptions. They cannot, never will, and never have, satisfied anyone's loneliness, found someone a true friend, nor made them feel more of a man. It's emotional junk-food; pleasurable at the time, but nutritionally worthless, unhealthy, and perhaps deadly over time.
Just don't go there.
I thought today I'd talk about something you may not have expected: how utterly ordinary and unremarkable heterosexuality has become.
I'm not complaining about it, it's just that being attracted to girls has become so utterly normal and a routine part of everyday life, that it has lost the initial "wow, this is strange" factor.
Like, today at work I sat next to this really nice girl who's the same age as me. She's very nice, both physically and in her personality (at least, from what I know of her so far). My heart-rate actually increased when talking to her. Yet this wasn't a surprise. I kinda expect that sort of reaction these days. It happens all the time now.
Like last night I was at the gym with my buddy (you may remember him, the guy I was "in awe" of before I knew him). I spotted this girl who was wearing very short shorts and who had great legs. I spotted her before my friend did, and I think you could almost call it a sort of shared delight in a pervy way! We certainly both felt delight after spotting her, I can tell you.
Also today I was bored at work and decided to draw an outline of the girl from the movie The Girl Next Door over a picture of her in the newspaper. Perhaps it was just my imagination running away with me, but I actually started getting a little aroused, just from drawing over the outline of her body. Perhaps it was just that particular picture, but she is very, very hot.
So, all of this stuff is now ordinary and routine to me. Sure, it was amazing at first, but now it's just a part of everyday life.
It's kinda difficult to imagine what it was like not feeling this way.
After the huge amount of effort I've put into my therapy, I'm not too surprised that I've had these results. I mean, no pain, no gain. More effort = more results. Is that not so?
And what of my attraction to guys? Well, judging from the blokes that the girls in the office gush over, I mustn't be very gay anymore because I consider those guys to be entirely unremarkable (or complete and utter freaks).
I started seeing a therapist again yesterday. I did this because I feel a bit "stuck" in my progress in some areas, particularly in breaking out of my remaining timidity and fear of certain males.
I was slightly dubious about going to this therapist because she is a woman. I would have preferred talking to another man. However, I do remember reading that talking to a male therapist is most beneficial when beginning therapy, and a female one can be helpful in the latter stages. Since I've already made much progress and developed much heterosexuality, I guess I can get away with having a female therapist.
I took the advice of www.PeopleCanChange.com : "Part of it is in how you address the problem. If you tell a prospective therapist, I want you to help me to become straight, they are more likely to say, that's impossible, or unethical. If you tell them, I need you to help me feel like more of a man, and more connected to other men, or to help me forgive my father, or break away from my smothering mother, or release anger, or overcome sexual addiction, or heal sexual abuse...all of these things any competent therapist should be able and willing to work with you on.
Homosexuality is a symptom.
Heal the underlying problem, and the homosexuality takes care of itself."
I realized that I do not have to find a therapist who is already fully versed in reorientation and reparative/gender-affirmation therapy. Just a regular therapist can help with the things I've identified as contributing factors.
So anyways, I described to my female therapist my family situation and my background growing up, and what I've been like during my teenage years. After a little while, she came to some initial conclusions as to why I had developed a fear and slight timidity toward other males. What she described matched up very well (almost exactly) with what I've managed to work out myself from reparative therapy books and experiences of other men undergoing reorientation.
She then outlined the approach she would like to take over the coming weeks to understand and tackle the problem. I agreed to go back regularly.
I've already made a lot of progress, so I hope she will be able to help me continue to experience the changes I have seen so far.
Continued -- Read Part 3