Thursday, July 26, 2007

I am homosexual, not gay

There are men who do exist who understand they have a homosexual orientation but do not want to live as gay men. These men feel out of integrity with themselves in terms of their religious beliefs, cultural and ethnic teachings, family values and other important factors which trump their willingness to live a life as a gay man.

They do not respond to gay affirmative therapy nor do they respond to reparative therapy and are neither proud of their homosexuality nor repulsed by it. They just do not want to live their lives as such.

Warren Throckmorton has begun promoting his work to help these men. I have to admit that overall his work sounds reasonable.

On his website he promises that with the help of his program, Sexual Identity Therapy, these men can be helped. He writes:

Sexual Identity Therapy seeks to aid people in conflict over sexual identity to integrate and live out a valued sexual identity. This page is dedicated to an examination of guidelines that provide a framework for such therapy. The guidelines are authored by Warren Throckmorton and Mark Yarhouse.

The problem is that when you read on both Throckmorton and Yarhouse talk about homosexuality as being able to be changed. Like reparative therapy they promise to make straight soldiers out of homosexual men.

Jack Drescher and others show high levels of relapse for men who attempt to change their sexual orientation.

I have helped many men who know they are homosexual but don't want to be gay. In other words, they know they have a homosexual sexual orientation but cannot and will not live their lives as gay men. For them it goes against their core values of how they want to live.

My work with them is to rid themselves of any shame, guilt or self-hatred about having same sex attractions and feelings. They ultimately understand they are homosexual and cannot change that and can change how they choose to live.

They understand the potential hazards of taking this route which could be relapse into homosexual behaviors and/or marrying heterosexually, starting a family and deciding to come out later in life as so many closeted gay men do.

What makes these men that are homosexual and do not wish to live as gay men different is that they tell the women they fall in love with about their homosexual orientation and together they make informed decisions about going forward.

It is not up to me or anyone else to tell these men how to live.

I do wish Throckmorton and Yarhouse would stop promising to change peoples sexual and romantic orientation. Why isn't their work balanced with helping straight people change to homosexual. Plenty of women who have been harmed by males through rape, domestic abuse and violence and other patriarchal abuse might consider a program to make them lesbian if Throckmorton would help them.

1 comment:

Warren Throckmorton, PhD said...

Joe - While we are not closed to the possibility that some people change aspect of their sexual identity over time, we do not promise change of erotic desires. Again, we are not going to debate clients who say they find changes in these desires, sexual identity therapy specifically addresses sexual orientation change by suggesting the actual outcome measure of interest is client satisfaction with the therapy and not sexual orientation change. I am glad you pointed people to our website so they can read the framework for themselves.