1. THE EX-GAY CONTROVERSY
There is currently a controversy raging over the claims of a handful
of members of Fundamentalist Christian groups, that they had once been
Gay or Lesbian persons but had been "cured" of this orientation by God,
Christian therapy, and prayer.
A close perusal of the auto-biographies of such claimants (see www.stonewallrevisited.com)
however, reveals some underlying misconceptions about the nature of homosexuality
and calls into question the underlying premise of these claims as well
as the claims themselves.
Specifically, the questionable premise which forms the basis of these
claims is that homosexuality is ENTIRELY a form of gender-identity confusion.
This is a common perception in society at large, reinforced by bigoted
stereotyping and the tendency of mainstream media to be obsessed with the
"queens" and the "butch dykes". However the reality is that the majority
of Gay and Lesbian persons do not suffer from gender-identity confusion
and are quite comfortable with their maleness or femaleness.
The Les-Bi-Gay community is very diverse and has always provided a haven
for persons who truly do feel mixed up about their gender, including those
who wish to dress and act like members of the opposite sex as well as those
persons who truly feel trapped in a body whose genitalia do not reflect
the person that they really are and who wish to have surgery to correct this.
And thank God that the Gay community has accepted such persons and given
them community and acceptance, because they certainly would not find such
unconditional acceptance elsewhere in society, least of all amongst Fundamentalist
Christians. The Queens in particular have been in the forefront of the
Gay Rights movement since its inception, and have played an important role
in forming the culture and community that we commonly term as "GAY".
But the Transgendered are only a small fragment of the larger Les-Bi-Gay
community, both Out and Closeted. It is commonly believed that all Gay
men, for example, were "sissies" as children - preferring to play with girls
toys, avoiding sports, associating and identifying primarily with females.
This is however, emphatically not the case with all or even a majority of
Gay men, who would have been virtually unidentifiable as in any way different
from their peers in childhood by most observers. In adult life, many Gay men
are very masculine, even macho, in appearance and behaviour. This does not
only apply to Closeted Gay men, who might be suspected of behaving in such
a manner as a "cover".
The majority of Gay men and Lesbian women are quite happy with their bodies and
quite comfortable with their gender, having no desire whatsoever to be a
person of the opposite sex. This makes the claims of the "ex-gays" to be
basically irrelevant to the lives of most members of the Les-Bi-Gay community.
In fact, it is questionable whether these persons were ever truly Homosexual
in their orientation at all. Most appear to have been victimised in various ways as
children, and it is quite possible that this contributed to a general confusion
about many aspects of their identity. But the campaign to market these persons as
representative of the Les-Bi-Gay community in general appears to be a rather
cynical exploitation of them for political purposes.