SSA suggests an experience, not a permanent identity. It implies a set of feelings, not a way of life.
It’s Not About “Turning Straight”
This work is not about becoming heterosexual. After all, heterosexuality hardly guarantees happiness! Besides, efforts to transform one’s basic sexuality can never be assured of success.
Rather, this work is about finding peace.
It’s about self-acceptance, releasing shame, and loving self. It’s about creating brotherhood and community. It’s about putting faith and values first in our lives, firmly above our sexuality or our particular temptations.
It’s about fully embracing our masculinity and becoming more connected to the world of men. And more empowered and affirmed as men. It’s about healing from past hurts and emotional wounds while growing in self-esteem and personal empowerment.
It’s about aligning our sexual choices with our faith, values, morals and life goals — rather than the other way around!
Yes, for some of us, doing this work has resulted in a shift in the nature of our sexuality, and even in a decrease in the intensity with which we experience same-sex attractions. (See “Does Sexuality Ever Shift?”) But these tend to be byproducts of doing other personal-healing or personal-growth work, rather than the focus.
Certainly, it has resulted in a decrease in shame, distress, or internal conflict over our sexuality.
And again, that is our real goal: peace.
My efforts never were to change my sexual orientation but to be happy as the man I am — the man God created me to be. I’ve seen an increase in my self-esteem and renewed confidence. I have much more joy in my life. My love for my wife has increased a lot. I’m more secure and confident as a father, too.
Even though my sexual attractions haven’t really diminished, I have more self-esteem and self-assurance. I feel better about myself in general and I’ve been able to step into many tasks powerfully, where I was afraid to do that before. I’m a leader and a mentor in my community.
I used to fight SSA and sex addiction in suppressing the urge and hating myself if I failed. During the Journey Into Manhood weekend I learned to accept myself and love myself as I am. I have experienced that this is a far better basis to come to terms with my SSA, which is still a part of me, but does not dominate me any more.
Therapy and healing weekends have not only helped me to see my problems differently but to see myself as someone who is good and valuable and acceptable just as I am — even unchanged.
Emotionally, I am a much healthier person. I used to have really deep emotional lows, to the point that I considered suicide several times. Now, I am happy. I like myself, where before I did not. My self-esteem is much greater than it has ever been. I feel respected and appreciated by men, where before I only felt merely tolerated (or downright rejected) by them. My marriage is very strong. I love her more deeply than ever. I feel masculine; before I did not. I feel like an adult; before I felt like an 8-year-old boy stuck in a 48-year-old body of a man.