- Gender and Relationships
Leaving The Gay Lifestyle
I am merely raising some questions here because I am curious and want to open certain aspects of this topic up for discussion. I am not doubting that every fiber of a homosexual person may ever feel otherwise. I am not stating there is a right or wrong.
One of my goals with presenting this topic is based on why it should matter whether or not gay is biological or environmental? Science is hot on this conundrum though. If it is biological does that mean it will finally be vindicated and gays will find everlasting peace? I ask questions, not because I am politically incorrect and wish to offend, but because this is a sensitive topic worth discussing. Let's begin to answer some things and be open to this topic like anything else we would discuss...
Most of us are who we are down to our core and we get pretty disturbed when people try to change us in any way. Take for instance my extremely pissed off mother who mad rushed her way into my 3rd grade teacher's classroom after she heard my teacher was trying to change me from left to right handed. Many of us have habits and traits that have stuck with us since before we had memory of how they got stuck on us. But we've got groups of people who really want the answers on the origin of sexual preference.
In the news
The following story got to me, and many other people. It's what I'd like to discuss most importantly.
Lesley Pilkington, a counselor in Britain, will appear before a professional conduct panel and may lose her accreditation with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. All because she agreed to help Patrick Strudwick, a homosexual man, become heterosexual without realizing he was an undercover journalist and gay rights activist.
Patrick came to her office seeking counsel and claimed he wanted to leave the gay lifestyle. During their session, he had a tape recorder strapped to his stomach and secretly recorded his conversation with Lesley. Mrs Pilkington, stated she ‘understands the issues’ and has treated ten patients in the past using the controversial Sexual Orientation Change Efforts Program. She also told Patrick she would help him change his lifestyle.
Patrick Strudwick, who runs a campaign group to stop "conversion therapy", said: ‘Every major mental health organization in Britain and America is opposed to attempts to change someone’s sexuality... because there is good evidence not only that it doesn't work but that it is harmful.'
There are however, counselors who believe all men are born heterosexual but that some choose a homosexual lifestyle which can then be changed through counseling. Lesley went on to state: "We say everybody is heterosexual but some people have a homosexual problem. Nobody is born gay. It is environmental; it is in the upbringing.”
There are unfortunate, and probably unintentional, issues with this story- Political, religious, ethical and social. First, the counselor is a Christian, and that sparks fire from opposing sides, especially among the gay community. Even those who are not gay may sympathize with their lifestyle and choices being regarded as "unacceptable" according to the Christian religion and Bible.
One understandable issue here for the homosexual community is when Lesley, the counselor, states homosexuality as a "problem". She definitely could have chosen better words. With that said, there are counselors who specialize in assisting transsexuals- someone who wants to change their entire sex, so why wouldn't a counselor be able to assist with someone who wants to change their sexual orientation? It's similar to telling people who would like to change their sex, 'you were born a man so you can't become a woman'. The gay community is stating, 'People are born gay so they can't ever be straight'. It's not fair in either scenario to take that choice away. It gives power to the biology versus environment argument which is only futile for all those depending on a definitive answer from science to solve the issue that doesn't even need to be an issue.
It is widely believed that people and society will become more accepting of homosexuality if they are convinced it is inborn/biological. The fact that science is still studying this in depth leads me to believe people are unconvinced of the current findings and may always be or the science hasn't caught up with the theories and questions yet. What concerns me is the continuing of these studies only suggests there is an alleged right or wrong.
Here's my science and opinion: Observational science and my logic, is what we'll call it. Science is truly flawed in so many ways. I witnessed this when I assisted with research in the field of psychology at my college. I wish it wasn't flawed so that we'd have more neat and tidy answers, because that's what I am comfortable with.
If science were to prove homosexuality is not biological or genetic, there is no doubt people would still be convinced otherwise. Science in any area of study is almost never proven, except for the law of gravity- you can bet your lightweight butt gravity exists and is proven. The only way science is proven is if the theory/results can't be disproved. That won't happen in the area of homosexuality.
I still have a question of logic backed by my psychology background. How is it one can be so sure homosexuality is biological when no one can remember back to the day they were born and especially before? Most of who we are is developed and consistent with what we learn in the first six years of life. At least three of those years are beyond anyone's memory.No memory for at least half of your most formidable years is significant enough to not be overlooked. How does anyone know they were always gay. Since it is a sexual preference, sexual feelings don't arise until later in a child's life, past the formidable years.
Many things in nature occur because of predisposition, something in the DNA, biology, but something (or several factors) in the environment triggers it to come to fruition. Concerning our physical health and bodies, it is known 50% is biology and 50% is environment. I wish the 50/50 answer was good enough for all of us.
A good example of 50/50 is a young male child with feminine qualities. What in the brain or biology determines whether they think they must simply be gay or must want to actually be a woman (transsexual). The answer...Environment! Environment is how the parents react to a sensitive young male child, how open and creative their environment is to allow them to be a well adjusted sensitive heterosexual man. Some grow up to think I must want to be a woman...because of input from society, from their upbringing, and some of the sensitive grow up believing they are attracted to other men because of the same environmental reasons. Two male children with female tendencies or qualities will receive different feedback associating them with these other choices.
And you ask, 'Why dont we just let them be'? Yes, why don't we. Why don't we as parents, educators, friends, say it's OK to be a sensitive man. It's OK to be a masculine woman. You don't have to be one or the other- you can be happy embracing all your qualities.
Stories of people leaving the gay lifestyle all report one thing- it was a lifestyle, a choice. They do remember some trauma in their early lives that made them "flip the switch" and become homosexual. My cousin, for instance, is gay. She claims since having her heart broken one too many times by men, she is now happier with a woman. She remarks it was a choice and has been happy with her partner for over ten years.
Those that maintain homosexuality is biological and believe it is not a choice or environmentally driven, may possibly not recall an event(s) much too early in childhood that influenced them. If we don't remember does that mean it doesn't exist? Those that are most likely to leave the gay lifestyle or believe it is simply a choice, do remember early events that may have been an influence.
The counselor, Lesley, who is under scrutiny for her practice, believes getting to know God and Jesus is a helpful part of the process she practices. Interestingly enough, many homosexuals who have left the gay lifestyle reported leaving on their own, but turning to the Bible and God for assistance. While I don't think Lesley is completely out of turn on her practice, I also don't know why it is such an issue if someone wants help and that sort of help is sought. To suggest people would not leave the gay lifestyle because it is biological and inborn isn't consistent with the facts that some people do in fact leave and the biology argument will never be proven.
A counselor not helping someone with something completely ethical- she's not assisting with a murder- is like a pet store owner turning away someone who wants to buy a cat because the person has always been a "dog person". People change their minds, people are always changing. This is life.
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