Our Life, Our Choice, Our Right
Throughout much of the world today, there is a concerted effort deny people who experience any degree of same-sex attraction the right to choose a life direction or even a belief system other than a gay-affirming, “gay-pride” path.
The cultural pendulum of prejudice and shame has swung decidedly in the opposite direction from where it was in the 1960s and before. Today, it is those of us who put our faith and values first, above our sexuality, who are shamed, rejected and scorned — all because we seek to find peace and fulfillment in more religious, faithful, celibate or more heterosexual lifepaths than our LGBT brothers and sisters may.
In fact, as men who choose to put our faith and values first, above our sexuality, we are one of the few remaining sexual minorities in Western society today that it is still socially acceptable to hate and malign.
That kind of hostility and hate is just as wrong today as it was when it was targeted at the pioneers of “gay liberation” and gay pride in decades past.
We Get to Choose
Gay, straight, bi, or something else, none of us ever deliberately or consciously chose to feel same-sex attractions. But we do get to decide how to respond to them — how and whether to act on them, how and whether to identify with them, which feelings to emphasize, and which to de-emphasize.
We get to choose which life path, for us personally, may be most rewarding and most reflective of who we really are and who we want to be.
In the Brothers Road community, we refuse to define ourselves primarily by our sex drives and personal temptations. This does not make us homophobic or self-hating. On the contrary, we find it makes us anchored, principled, balanced, authentic, and self-determined. Our life choices are driven by our values and goals, not cultural demands, social pressures, or sex drives.
Also, as clients, former clients and potential clients of professional therapy, we have a highly vested interest in our right to voluntarily seek professional counseling that supports our goals and to help us find the most authentic, healthy life path for us, individually and personally. We greatly respect the professional therapists’ ethic of honoring client self-determination, and we emphatically affirm that it applies to us as much as to anyone else.
Likewise, we have every right to attend workshops and support groups of like-minded people, if we wish, in pursuit of our goal to address our same-sex attractions in ways that align with our faith, our values, our beliefs, morals and life goals.
Your Life, Your Choice, Your Right, Too
We also affirm these same rights for others who seek a more gay-affirming path. Gay or straight or bi or something else, let’s never let the government get between a client and therapist to dictate what goals the client is allowed to have and what issues the client is allowed to explore.
We fully recognize that our path isn’t for everyone. We affirm the right of all people who experience same-sex attractions to choose their own sexual identity and how and whether to express it, as well as how and whether to pursue any kind of counseling, support community, or change effort.
We respect the brave “coming out” stories of so many gay men and women. Our own stories, while similar in some ways and different in others, are equally valid. In sharing our stories, we never imply that no one else will find happiness in gay relationships or a gay life. It just wasn’t right for us.
I reached a point where the gay culture, gay movement and gay identity simply didn’t fit me anymore. I no longer believed in the things that were important in the gay world. Plus, I had pretty much gotten “burned out” on gay sexuality, and it really didn’t turn me on the way it used to.
Ultimately I decided to finally make my own decision and ignore the scare tactics I was getting from my gay friends and from the larger “movement.” I defected from the gay culture because I didn’t believe in it anymore.
I discovered that I was capable of many different types of feelings, relationships and experiences that my gay-advocating friends had said were impossible. I also learned that I wasn’t the only person who experienced this type of change and that I was okay choosing a different path for myself.
There was a time when my same-sex attractions seemed to consume me. Though still attracted to my wife, I had this intense conflict going on inside, and I was miserable. I even thought at one point that suicide was an option. Society offers people like me two choices: either you are out and proud or closeted and secretly wanting to come out.
I wanted to find another way out of this turmoil. I had heard of and spoken to others who said they had reduced their homosexual attractions. I thought if others have done it, then this was something I want to investigate for myself.
Today, my SSA has been greatly reduced. There are days when it seems non-existent. When my SSA is reduced, my opposite-sex attractions naturally increase. I do not have urges to go to gay bars or try to have sex with men, and I do not want to leave my wife. We enjoy a healthy, regular sex life.
I have had a boost in self-confidence, in feeling more masculine and in knowing better how to form healthy relationships with men. I no longer feel despair like before. I no longer think of suicide as an option. I know I would not be happy living a gay life. Although the journey of healing has not been an easy one, it has been the best decision for me. I am happier, more confident, and enjoying life more now than ever before.
I never wanted to live a gay life. I had been sexually abused while I was young, so I thought the only way I would feel accepted by men was through gay sex. But I hoped there would be some way I could break out of the life I was living.
Finally I found someone who directed me to a therapist, then to Journey Into Manhood. I was in contact with a number of men who walked away from homosexual activities. I started to live the life I always wanted. I felt accepted by other men. But the biggest benefit was that I was finally able to love and accept myself.
I was at a crossroads where I had to make a decision to pursue a gay life and lose my family — or find some other way out of this conflict. I didn’t want to hurt my wife or children but I didn’t know there was support to make any other choice until I was introduced to Brothers on a Road Less Traveled. Now, I am at MUCH greater peace.”
I had a big personal crisis. I was looking for a relationship with a man until I went to a friend’s wedding and there I realized I wanted to have a family — a wife and our own children. After debating with a couple of friends for some time, I realized I want to live fully and not let fear take control of my life. And that means taking the risk of pursuing what I deeply desire and following my heart.