Reader email…

The following email received 8/31 was refreshing. It is reproduced with the permission of the sender.

I’m sure you have found many in the gay community who take issue with your writings and stance on issues of sexuality. However, as a self-identifying gay man, I want to commend you on your site, www.drthrockmorton.com, which I visited for the first time today. While I do not agree with your views personally and have no desire to alter my own orientation, I think that every person should be able to make their own decision free from extreme bias or pressure from either side of the issue. I get quite upset when gay leaders lash out at persons such as yourself, when it is clear that you are simply presenting a view that is as valid as any other. Those of us truly comfortable in identifying as gay don’t feel threatened by your work. I have a very happy and fulfilling life with my gay partner, and if sexual orientation is safely changeable, than why not be happy for those who want to change and encourage them to change safely with the assistance of a qualified professional? If a person freely seeks that out, what is wrong with that? After all, the gay community is more than happy to welcome a person who lived in heterosexual relations, some married for years, who then “come out” as gay. It would be hypocritical to disapprove of a welcoming community for those who decide to “come out” as straight.

Sincerely,

Frank Kiraly
Columbia, SC

2005 article by Daryl Bem

Found this article recently by Daryl Bem. Not sure I agree with every point (I am not finished thinking about it) but this article may give some insight into the experience of some ex-gay men who report the experience of being attracted to their wives with some remaining same sex attraction. I think it addresses some of the discussion on this blog.

(2017 update) – For some reason, this 2005 post did not have a link to the Bem article. It was one of the very early posts on the blog and may not have transferred from Blogger to WordPress to Patheos. Because of fresh interest in the concepts involved, I added the link.

Mpowerment?

Some of y’all are going to focus on “Robert” Cohen in this FOTF piece, but I post it to follow up on some of the comments from the Anonymous posters regarding “the gay community.” I just don’t think this would fly if this were a program or club for underage straight kids. Where am I going wrong?

APA Statement to the Advocate regarding “reparative therapy”

The Advocate posted a statement from the American Psychiatric Association regarding reparative therapy on its website. Here it is:

The American Psychological Association, in its Resolution on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, which is also endorsed by the National Association of School Psychologists, states: “The American Psychological Association opposes portrayals of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation and supports the dissemination of accurate information about sexual orientation, and mental health, and appropriate interventions in order to counteract bias that is based in ignorance or unfounded beliefs about sexual orientation.”

This basically says therapy that views homosexuality per se as signalling a disorder is discouraged. I do not view homosexuality as a disorder per se but I believe that some people may not want to be homosexual for reasons unrelated to mental illness. Usually this relates to religious beliefs. The APA statement in the Advocate goes on to say that some religious denominations do not view homosexuality as immoral. Thus, the APA seems to be saying some religious beliefs are better than others. Is this an appropriate role for a psychiatric association? Where is the respect for religious diversity?

In any event, I do not believe the APA statement applies to my work since I do not view or convey homosexuality per se to signal mental disorder.