Everyone knows a gay person these days, but few books about the plight of the non-straight have been written with the straight reader in mind (my mother and my pastors).
Few choose the “ex-gay” path, so my journey is unusual, but also relevant as I am able to relate my personal crusade to “de-gay” to the larger cultural questions being debated (even as I write these words) in politics and religion:
Is being gay a choice? Is it a sickness or a sin?
Can a gay person change?
If you’re a church pastor or leader, you are undoubtedly dealing with these issues. So I hope and pray my book will enlighten, challenge, and of course, entertain.
I knew one thing for sure as a tormented high school kid in Texas: I would kill myself before I ever told my mother. She grew up Southern Baptist. It would destroy her.
So I had one option: change! My crusade for the holy grail of heterosexuality would ultimately consume my teens and twenties and in whole would include:
- Campus Crusade for Christ Bible study leader at Penn State and UCLA.
- Earning a degree in Psychology from UCLA.
- Three years of psychotherapy with a Jewish Hungarian Psychoanalyst.
- A year of immersion inside the Playboy Mansion as a butler to Hugh Hefner.
- Listening to and financially supporting James Dobson of Focus on the Family
- Three years of “spirit-filled” Christian counseling with a Christian “men’s mentor.”
- “Ex-gay” counseling with Joe Dallas, former president of Exodus International.
- Aligning with Promise Keepers and attending conventions five years in a row.
- A decade of accountability from church pastors and Bible study brothers.
- Over a decade of zealous involvement in several churches: Methodist, Episcopal, Baptist, Charismatic, Church of Christ, Presbyterian, and “non-denominational.”
With the Boy Scouts of America narrowly voting to allow gay youth but not gay leaders; the recent Supreme Court decisions setting the stage for a showdown in states over the divisive issue of “marriage equality;” and measures being debated to ban “ex-gay” treatment methods for minors, my experience allows me to speak to both sides of the debate, offering healing and clarity on perhaps the most divisive cultural issue of our time.
This book is for grandmothers who “just don’t understand” their gay grandson and how they can be “that way,” the conservative father who has exiled his gay son until he changes, and the mother who refuses to set a place at the table for her lesbian daughter’s partner.
Most advocating for “traditional values” don’t know what it’s like to be gay (and not want to be), the soul torture instigated by “pro-family” rhetoric, and the untenable anxiety when one is forced to be closeted in ones fraternity, family or church in order to be accepted into the fold.
Most “values voters” still view gays as “the other,” their gayness a choice and a lifestyle.
If that describes you, I hope you read my book.
I welcome your thoughts/comments and invite you to contact me directly.