|Ex-Gays and homosexualities||email SteveS|
Letters from Steve S to Steve C and Maggie
Ex-Gays and Homosexualities
Four Letters from Steve
C to Steve S
|Date: Fri, 14 Mar 1997
To: Maggie Heineman
From: Steve Schalchlin
Subject: Ex-Gays and homosexualities
Anything I write to you, unless you tell me otherwise, you may share with anyone you wish. I am trying as hard as I can to follow your work and your thoughts, but it is terribly difficult at this time because I get so little computer time. I'm not complaining. Just stating a fact. Part of it has to do with the fact that I'm borrowing someone else's computer part time, but mostly it's because we're trying to get a show going.
I am counseling a 14 yr old kid who "thinks" he might be gay. Contrary to those who think all gay people do is recruit, I'm telling this kid to not make any big decisions about who he is or what he is. I'm telling him to be relaxed about any of his emotions, and that if he handles them in a healthy manner, all will be revealed in time.
I tell him my main concern for him is that he not become a homophobe and a bigot during this process. And that he not be "afraid" of himself no matter what he realizes about himself. The worst gayhaters are closeted gays who deny their own feelings and turn against other gays. He's scared as hell about being gay the same way Bill Clayton was scared. He's petrified of his family and friends and that, if gay, he'll be relegated to finding dates in sleazy bars or classified ads.
All I can do is assure him that it might be difficult to be gay in a straight world, but that there are just as many sleazy ways to live a str8 life as there are to live a gay life.
On the Ex-Gay groups: In IRC chat, I spoke to a young man who was totaly gay (he said), but totally under conviction that it was "wrong" according to the Bible. I gave him my opinion on the subject, but he was not convinced and had terrible feelings of doubt.
Now, hear me. Because of your work, and because you showed me that we shouldn't demonize the opposition, instead of warning him to stay far away from these groups as possible -- as I might have done earlier -- I told him to check them out. I stated that I personally found them abhorrent and scary, but that I had heard of some "ex-gays" who were very happy.
I told him that if there was nothing I could do to change his mind about his religious convictions, and if he really felt the full weight of guilt and anxiety, perhaps he could find some way to live that would make him happier, even if it was just to remain celibate.
Who am I to judge anyone else's life? It's the guilt, the pain, the fear and the hate that destroys people. And god bless anyone who finds a way to get a little peace in their lives.
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