Help! I Am a Straight Man Trapped in a Gay Man’s Body (Part 1 of a Series)

Help! I Am a Straight Man Trapped in a Gay Man’s Body (Part 1 of a Series)

By JOSEPH SCIAMBRA
Published on July 27, 2017

On June 8, 2017, Facebook Live featured a prominent Catholic priest, James Martin, S.J. He was promoting his book Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity. Father Martin said:

That’s the way God created you. I think almost every psychologist and biologist and scientist would agree on that; and certainly LGBT people will tell you that’s the way they always felt – that they had been created that way.

Lady Gaga agrees. She gave this theory its anthem with the 2011 hit “Born This Way.” Activists have codified this claim into a dogma. The origins of homosexuality are now “settled science,” we’re told. One researcher boldly declares: “[W]e’re born this way. Let’s deal with it.” One of the most adamant devotees of the “born gay” theory is Mark Joseph Stern. He covers law and LGBTQ issues for “Slate.” He stated unequivocally:

In study after study, biologists have found that homosexuality, at least in men, is clearly, undoubtedly, inarguably an inborn trait.

Others rely less on scientific studies. Instead they attribute their homosexuality to the will of God. When Apple CEO Tim Cook famously “came-out,” he said: “I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me… .”

Did God Make Me Gay?
In some Catholic quarters, the “born gay” theory is accepted and taught. There’s even an LGBT Catholic on-line video series “Owning Our Faith.” It’s a film project sponsored in part by the New York City parish of St. Paul the Apostle, the motherhouse of the Paulist Fathers. In it, one of the men interviewed stated:

God doesn’t make junk — we are His creation. And we might not fit into some traditional box of human relationships, or marriage, but our energies are real, our reality is real, and it’s not just a matter of accepting us, you have to, or tolerate us, you have to encourage us to be who we are. We are God’s creation, and to deny that is to deny that He knows what the hell he’s doing.

Of course, this isn’t just a Catholic problem. Media reported on the reaction of a Mormon church when a 12-year-old parishioner came out in front of the congregation. They weren’t enthused. But the mother of the girl said:

Savannah wants the Church to know that she isn’t bad, that God loves her, and she is gay because she was born that way.

From Fake Science to Bad Constitutional Law
In his documentary Religulous, atheist commentator Bill Maher flatly states: “Nature made gay people.”

The “born gay” argument formed the basis for the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision. It legalized same-sex marriage. In his majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote:

Far from seeking to devalue marriage, the petitioners seek it for themselves because of their respect — and need — for its privileges and responsibilities. And their immutable nature dictates that same-sex marriage is their only real path to this profound commitment.

This idea is catching on. A 2015 Pew Research Center poll reported that 41 percent of Americans think that “people are born gay or lesbian.”

Science Offers No Answer
But there is nothing like “settled science” on this issue. Even the pro-LGBT American Psychological Association had to concede that:

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.

Despite the lack of science the LGBT community insists that only one answer isn’t bigoted. When asked if homosexuality was a choice, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin answered honestly: “I don’t know. …” The Human Rights Campaign, gay-advocacy group, pounced, called his answer “appalling.”

The origins of homosexuality are now “settled science,” we’re told.
To those who believe that they were “born gay,” it’s an indelible part of their identity. CNN anchor Don Lemon once said: “I was born gay, just as I was born black.”

Call the Cops
Gay lobbyists have fought hard to enforce this orthodoxy. They want to suppress and even outlaw therapy sought by people who don’t want to be gay (“reparative therapy”). See The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017.

I’m glad that no such law was in place when I looked for help. As a disaffected and disheartened “gay” man, I went in search of help. I found very few willing to listen. People I knew through the LGBT community told me that I was suffering from “internalized homophobia.” That I hadn’t truly accepted my identity. A few outside therapists and physicians were willing to listen to my story. One of them was Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a pioneer of reparative therapy. And a target of staggering hatred among outraged gay activists. When he passed away, the good doctor was reviled as an “arrogant hate-mongering demagogue.”

That’s the price people pay when they violate the unscientific orthodoxy about homosexuality. They’re vilified. Shunned. And soon they may be prosecuted.

Born Gay But Not Male or Female?
We’re now all supposed to march together and say in unison that gays are “born that way.” But at the very same time we can’t say that about … boys and girls. We must believe that one’s sexual desires are genetic and set in stone, but biological sex is fluid and fleeting. It can change with a person’s feelings. And this is still supposed to be “science.”

In parts two and three of this series, I’ll examine how strange that is, in light of my own struggles and my conversion to Jesus Christ.

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2 comments on “Help! I Am a Straight Man Trapped in a Gay Man’s Body (Part 1 of a Series)

  1. Sexual Orientation is Fixed, but Gender’s Completely Fluid. And 2 + 2 = 5 (Part 2 of a Series)

    By JOSEPH SCIAMBRA
    Published on July 31, 2017

    As I wrote in Part One of this series, the theory that gays are “born this way” is not the fruit of science. It’s a political orthodoxy enforced by media, pressure groups, and increasingly the government. It stands in stark and strange contrast to what those same groups want us to think about being male and female. We’re not born that way. “Gender” is fluid and shifting, but “sexual orientation” is fixed.

    According to The Human Rights Campaign:

    Children are not born knowing what it means to be a boy or a girl; they learn it from their parents, older children and others around them. This learning process begins early. As soon as the doctor announces — based on observing the newborn’s external sex organs — “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl,” the world around a child begins to teach these lessons.

    Sex Is Fluid, Desire Is Fixed
    But on homosexuality, we’re ordered to believe that the opposite is true. One is born with homosexual preferences. Sexual orientation is not determined by family or social pressures. But gender is. According to transgender theories, for some people “their own internal gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth.”

    Are you writing all this down? It will be on the test.

    So if current “science” is right … Let’s see what that would mean. I know I was born a man. Activists tell me that I was “born gay.” What if I’m dissatisfied with that? You know, as transgender people are unhappy with their assigned gender? Am I allowed to try to change it? No, they say. Sexual orientation, unlike gender, “is predetermined and unchangeable.” Any therapy aimed at altering it is unethical and should be illegal.

    In fact, the science on sexual cravings is murky. Dr. Simon LeVay, a neurobiologist at both Harvard Medical School and the Salk Institute, has spent much of his career trying to locate a gay genetic determinate for homosexuality. He once wrote:

    A person’s sexual orientation is not necessarily a fixed, lifelong attribute. Sexual orientation can change: for example, a woman may be predominantly attracted to men for many years, and perhaps have a happy marriage and children during that time, and then become increasingly aware of same-sex attraction in her thirties, forties, or later. This does not mean that she was concealing or repressing her homosexuality during that earlier period. To argue that she was “really” homosexual all the time would be to change the definition of sexual orientation into something murky and inaccessible.

    Change the Body, Not the Soul
    So the culture praises people as heroes for surgically altering their bodies to match the “gender” they want to be. (Here they’re absorbing biological sex into the protean word “gender.”) But to try to change my sexual feelings, they insist, is unspeakable and taboo. Any therapist who’d help me with it is a quack. Sex change operations are fine. But talk therapy aimed at altering sexual cravings is “dangerous.” It’s “barbaric” and “cruel.” If I try it I’m labeled “desperate.” By all those oh-so-compassionate progressives.

    In the TLC reality program, I Am Jazz, the cameras followed a transgender teenager to discuss, with a kindly looking and smiling physician, the possibility of sex reassignment surgery. This good and caring doctor also monitors Jazz’s ongoing hormone therapy. Such doctors are described as “compassionate” and committed to their work and patients.

    In contrast, the doctor who helped me with the reparative therapy I urgently asked for, Joseph Nicolosi, was labeled a bigot and a charlatan. He tried to help those of us, even if we didn’t believe that homosexuality was an inborn trait, who somehow were assigned the wrong sexual orientation. He didn’t prescribe hormones or suggest any type of surgery. No, he listened to our stories and suggested another way of perceiving ourselves and the world.

    In Part 3, I will unfold what I learned from reparative therapy, and the role it played in my return to faith in Jesus Christ.

  2. My Journey Through, and Deliverance From, the Gay Life and Lie (Part 3 of a Series)

    By JOSEPH SCIAMBRA
    Published on August 2, 2017

    In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I examined the bizarre political orthodoxy that the world is imposing on the church. We’re supposed to believe that gender is fluid and shifting, but sexual desires are inborn and fixed. My own story, and what I learned about myself through my conversion back to Christ, gives that the lie. So permit me to talk a bit about myself.

    I was a lonely child. I thought I was different, but I didn’t want anyone else to know. The harder I tried to hide these strange inner feelings, the more obvious they seemed to become. I presumed that every man in my life rejected me. There was something wrong. I didn’t fit in with the other boys and they sensed this peculiarity. Like a school of piranha, they instinctively honed in on the lop-sided straggler. At recess, these boys circled me and pecked me apart, piece by piece.

    I recoiled and found solace in fantasy and make-believe. I became obsessed with The Wizard of Oz. It let me dream of somewhere just “over the rainbow” where even the misfits, like a Cowardly Lion, could find acceptance, peace, and joy. For those brave enough to begin the journey down the yellow-brick-road, the culmination of our suffering was the eventual realization of our true self. That hope was always there.

    But for many years, I struggled with myself. I didn’t want these strange feelings. I certainly didn’t want to act differently or look conspicuous. So I tried to conform. It never worked. I wondered why I was made this way. In the era of AIDS, I wondered if a malevolent God had predestined some of us to an early grave.

    When my male relatives began to date women and marry, I looked at those men with revulsion. They were alien to me. They were like other boys. And yes, they were — like our fathers. I didn’t want to be like them. (In hindsight, however, I usually ended up yearning for men who subconsciously reminded me of them.)

    Is “Coming Out” Redemptive?
    At age eighteen, I thought my only hope was to “come out.” Yes, I was afraid of contracting an incurable disease (which was then also untreatable.). But I was much more afraid of living alone. So out I came.

    For a while, I thought I’d made the right decision. Freely expressing my sexuality turned a secret source of shame into the center of my joy.

    At first, I couldn’t believe it. Incredibly handsome and masculine men wanted to be with me. To be near me. To touch me. Since I was extremely insecure and suspicious, at first I thought it was a cosmic joke. Soon they’d turn and reject me.

    I never forgot an incident in high school: An older boy whom I’d adored from what I thought was a discreet distance approached me one day. He grinned, and spoke in a kind and welcoming voice. As we talked to each other, we walked for a few feet and then rounded a corner. His friends were waiting there. He shoved me away and began to berate me.

    Surely that’s what would happen again, wouldn’t it?

    But it didn’t.

    With gay men, I finally got to be friends with boys like the ones who had teased me. Sex forged a keen, if fleeting, bond. It often seemed that I traded sex for acceptance and affection. I put up with physical and emotional pain, for the sake of connection.

    Still Playing Out Childhood Traumas
    A decade passed. I wasn’t eighteen any more. But I was still desperate for other boys to like me. In my own mind I decided that this was pathetic. I didn’t know what to do.

    I don’t know exactly why. Maybe God was working on me. But I began to question everything that I’d convinced myself to believe. When I was a kid, why did I feel so different? Was it because I’d been “born gay”? Or just because I was afraid and alone?

    At the same time, sex changed. It had always been painful. (The parts don’t … fit.) Now it became excruciating. It turned from a moment of long-sought healing to an aggravation of old wounds.

    For a long time, I couldn’t talk about my childhood or even admit to myself what dynamics had formed me. It was just too painful. Then I could no longer avoid it. I was becoming self-protective and reclusive. I was alone again. My new isolation was greater than the dread of facing my past.

    Almost blindly, I reached out for help and stumbled onto Courage. It’s a Christian support group for people with same-sex attraction, people who have made the conscious decision to no longer act upon their desires. At first, it was an immense revelation to learn that other men shared a similar story. I’d already heard countless tales from friends of vicious near sadistic schoolyard persecutions. Vulnerable half-drunken confessions about a distant and unloving father who never hugged them. But here, at least, some men were willing to admit that the pain never went away. That gay sex didn’t cure it.

    Self-Deception About Gender
    Yet, this setting was limited so I sought out the help of a man whose book I’d previously read: Dr. Joseph Nicolosi. In A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, Nicolosi wrote:

    Self-deception about gender is at the heart of the homosexual condition. A child who imagines that he or she can be the opposite sex — or be both sexes — is holding on to a fantasy solution to his or her confusion. This is a revolt against reality and a rebellion against the limits built into our created human natures.
    That was me.

    And I had been living a lie. Or rather, an honest but deeply misguided mistake. I’d spent my life trying to make sense out of my uncontrollable yearning to receive acceptance and affirmation from other men. So I’d agreed with and integrated the core LGBT claim: that these emotions were not only inborn, but they determined my identity. I had been “born gay.”

    The Love of the God-Man
    Now I began to see that none of that was true. It fell away like a false religion. In its place, true faith could flower. The reproachful God whom I’d feared had been humanized through His sacrificial love for all mankind. It had already happened, in Jesus.

    At the same time, men appeared surprisingly less distant and judgmental. I was less attracted to them. For the first time in my life, I could have a healthy Platonic relationship with another man. I found aspects of their personality that I admired. And I wanted to be like them. Most astonishingly to me, my greatest respect emerged for … married family men. Those guys whom I’d previously loathed (and secretly craved). I got to know them. Slowly, I absorbed what was central to these good husbands and fathers, what they had in common. They habitually renounced their selfish wants to more fully protect and provide for those assigned to their care. That is what masculinity meant to them.

    I was attracted to the noble aspects of these men, but I didn’t want to have sex with them. What they could give me I received through friendship. Pure friendship, in every sense of both words. I didn’t consider myself “gay” any longer. But the LGBT world says that I don’t have the right to do that.

    In Christ, I discovered pure friendship, in every sense of both words.
    I may not be anything but what I was born to be, they insist. It’s “heroic” when some renounce the “incorrect gender” assigned to them at birth. I cannot escape my “sexual orientation,” they say. I was “born gay.”

    The Last Moral Absolute: “Born This Way”
    In a community that often scoffs at moral absolutes as hopelessly archaic and discriminatory, there remains just one unforgivable sin. That is, to say you are no longer “gay.” It’s the ultimate betrayal. And many good people, mostly Christians, have been unfairly caricatured and ridiculed for daring to say that. To the LGBT dogmatists, someone like me is hopeless, beyond treatment or help. I am a straight man trapped in a gay man’s body. I was “born this way,” and there’s nothing I can do.

    But Jesus, who made me and died for me, knows better. It’s His view of things that interests me.

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