I find it fascinating, if not intriguing, some still marvel at my remaining in dialog with members of the gay community, including gay activists, a couple of which are members of the APA (American Psychiatric Association).
While not entirely, our conversation(s) and our exchange largely began because I became concerned and alarmed with all the media attention given to the bullying of members of the gay community, and, not much, to my knowledge, was or is being offered, mentioned, or discussed regarding the hate that is often spewed and perpetrated against men and women that have said, "No" to homosexual practice and have rejected the gay identity.
Yes, I am using the word “hate."
I am confident many today are not aware there continues to be men and women with unwanted same-sex attraction that have and are making the personal decision to leave homosexuality. As a result, formerly gay-identified men and women are often reviled simply because they dare to exist.
Should not “diversity” and “tolerance” be a two-way street by recognizing and including the once gay-identified man or woman? We are real, and we are here. Therefore, I must express my growing concern of the often widespread “intolerance” practiced against those who decide to face and break free of the snare of same-sex attraction.
Here’s the question: Why do some gays (hate) ex-gays so much?
Thirty-three years ago, I said goodbye to homosexuality and the gay identity. Like all faithful followers of Christ Jesus, I had to face the decision of accepting or rejecting Christ’s Lordship. Coming out of homosexuality required deep emotional healing and a restructuring of my whole identity, as our Creator, God, is the only One who knows exactly how to restore our personality.
I remember so vividly when coming to know Christ at the age of 35, what it meant for the first time in my life to be a man. But more importantly, what it meant to be a godly man. For me to deny or not share what Christ has done in my life would be the equivalent of denying Him.
Thankfully and gratefully, I am far from the only individual that has experienced change. God has not been silent to the cries of men and women wanting freedom from homosexual feelings and behavior. Many have experienced the power of Christ to address the deep needs of both men and women trapped in same-gender struggles.
One gay activist challenged me by stating, “Phillip, while I commend you regarding your concern about ‘intolerance,’ I just can’t get my head around (ex-gay). Why don’t you just be true to yourself?”
"Be true to myself?"
"That is exactly what I am doing."
What makes one individual happy and content may not make someone else happy, because we are all individuals. I, like any man or woman, deserve the right to self-determination and happiness. To give sexual orientation protection to one group while excluding another is outright discrimination.
Without testimony from all sectors of society, including the ex-gay community, public policy on the topic of homosexuality is seriously flawed.
Ex-gay men and women are routinely denied equal access to participate in public school events and present on diversity day.
Ex-gay conferences, workshops and seminars are frequently picketed by pro-gay protesters.
Transgendered individuals are affirmed for changing their gender, but former homosexuals are ridiculed for making the decision to address and change their sexual orientation.
Ex-gays are subject to an increasingly hostile environment where they are labeled as perpetrators of (hate) simply because they advocate for or live out a different belief and view of homosexuality.
Ex-gays are criticized and face lifelong intolerance for simply existing as living proof that homosexuality is not innate.
Frankly, the welfare of individuals, society, and the Church as a whole depends on our facing the subject of homosexuality honestly, compassionately, and courageously.
Yes, homosexuals have the right, as do others, to believe that homosexual behavior should be accepted as normal. However, they do not have the right to demand everyone else agree with them.
True love is loving in spite of our differences and treating each other with kindness and respect. This is what it means to live in a society in which freedom of speech, religion (and belief) are guaranteed.
I’m real. I’m here. I will not be silent.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries