Do Real Ex-Gays Exist?

Aug 1 2011 @ 2:13pm

Julian Sanchez believes they do:

It’s true, most self-described “ex gays” sound like they’re engaged in a religiously-motivated form of denial, rather than responding to some genuine personal epiphany about their inner nature. But if people who are actually gay can go years or decades convincing themselves (or trying to convince themselves) that they’re straight, surely it’s at least possible that some small handful of actually-straight people sometimes convince themselves they’re gay.

Nope. Never found one. The reason? So much of the culture and the environment and social pressure is for heterosexuality. It's the norm. Very, very few people who are the norm in a society where the norm is overwhelmingly celebrated, are going to be in denial that they're really straight. Maybe a few fluid lesbians in college. But that's it. I can't imagine a straight guy feeling in any way pressured to live a gay life.

The vast majority of "ex-gays," in my view, are not ex-gay in any internal sense; except if their inability to accept their true nature is so overwhelming that they'd rather live as tortured heteros than marginalized homos. They can do it, of course, and it should emphatically be their choice. But in many cases, it will come at enormous personal and human cost.

Still, good luck to them. My view is that the point of the gay rights movement is not to force everyone to be gay, or even every gay person to be openly gay, it is to expand the possibilities for individuals to be themselves. That must include those gays who cannot bear to be who they are. Unhappiness, like happiness, is an option every free society should respect.