Guest Blog by Stephen Done —
My story is my own, not someone else’s. My experience is mine. Just because someone else, or many other people, have a different experience does not mean that my experience must conform to theirs.
A frequent refrain we hear today is, “You can’t change your sexual orientation” — and there are plenty of people who say they have tried to change it but couldn’t or didn’t.
Another oft-repeated phrase is, “If you don’t act on your same-sex attraction, you aren’t being true to yourself.” Those who repeat the statement further imply that someone who experiences such attractions cannot be happy if they do not act on their attractions. There are plenty of people who say that is their experience.
Those stories are theirs, not mine. I am happy, and I have experienced change. Their experiences do not negate mine.
I have found that how I experience same-sex attraction is directly tied to the stories I tell myself about it — what it means, what caused it, and what I can do about it. As my “stories” (judgments, beliefs, conclusions, interpretations, or the meaning I give all of this) have changed, I have experienced change in my feelings, how I approach them, and how I interpret them.
In fact, my internal “stories” about my same-sex attractions have changed many times over the years, and my happiness and satisfaction have changed directly as a result of changes to those stories. I explore these ideas in detail my blog, “By Study and By Faith: Expanding the conversation on same-sex attraction.”
Just because someone else or even many other people do not experience the change they had hoped for and do not feel happy without having sex with someone of the same gender does not mean that I must necessarily feel the same way.
Just because the people who talk most about their homosexuality generally agree that change is impossible does not mean that there is no similarly large group that has experienced a meaningful degree of change. Or a group that does experience happiness without having sex with someone of the same gender.
Just because someone else had bad experiences in therapy does not mean that everyone does. Just because some specific therapies were harmful does not mean all are. Just because one person or many people had a bad experience with a specific therapy does not mean everyone will.
Your experiences may be very different from mine. But they are yours. They are real. My experiences do not negate yours.
But my experiences are my own, too. And your experiences do not negate mine, either.
Stephen blogs at https://bystudyandbyfaith.stephendone.com