Article Title:Praying for straightness
Category:Ask Our Expert
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Published on:10th December 2005 - 12:00 pm
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Story ID:1036
Text:Luke's father wants him to attend a prayer group to turn him away from his attraction to men... Luke feels he should give it a try, for the sake of his family. I'm a 17 year old guy and recently got caught by my dad having sex with my best friend, also a guy. He hit the roof and said we weren't allowed to see each other any more but hasn't said anything to my friend's parents. He didn't say anything more about it for a couple of weeks but now he's saying he's sorry for yelling at me about it and that he wants to send me to a special prayer group for help in getting rid of my feelings. I love my dad and he is quite well involved in Christian politics so it would be very embarrassing for the family if any of this were to get out. I don't think the prayer group is going to help me but I think I should try and change for the sake of my family. Jacquie says: My first comment is why should you change what is perfectly natural for you for the sake of your family? What should happen is your family should change their attitude for your sake. What a pity we don't live in an ideal world, however it seems as though your Dad has taken some time to think about the situation and has not gone off breathing fire and brimstone. By wanting to send you to a special prayer group he will be letting others know about this situation and that will breach your privacy. It seems that you have a good relationship with your Dad, try discussing how you feel in a rational way with him and if he insists on the prayer group talk about your privacy. However, if he still insists at least it will be out in the open and you never know where the support will come from. All I can advise is do not deny your own feelings and persona for the sake of anyone else. This is your life, lead it yourself. If your Dad is a true Christian and follows the teachings of Christ he will not deny you. Bill says: It's a very sad situation. You are right that the prayer group is not going to be much use. The truth is that there is no way to turn from gay to straight. What is possible is to live a good and happy gay life. There is a big Christian "ex-gay" movement in the United States, and it has a terrible record. It is possible for people, with prayer and determination, to live straight lives for a few months or even a few years, but it is not possible to wipe out gay desires, and in the end the people in these programmes "fail". And after such prolonged unsuccessful attempts to change they obviously often get very depressed. There is a considerable suicide rate among those who go through such groups. Look at this website on Bible Abuse: There are, of course, different ways of practicing Christianity, and different interpretations of the Bible. You might wish to contact one of the gay-friendly churches. I'm sure you could find people who would pray with you for your family to recover from their fears of homosexuality, and their fears of the other people's fears of homosexuality. A starting point to find gay Christians would be in the "Links/Gay (non-profit)" section of You cannot live the life your father wants you to live. You must live the life you have been given—whether it was given by God or nature or accident of psychodynamics. Some would even say that it is a kind of blasphemy or a crime against God to attempt to live in a way you are not made for. - 10th December 2005
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