Same-Sex Attractions

100 articles about experiencing unwanted same-sex attractions while embracing a traditional Christian sexual ethic

Poll Question: “Why Do You Want To Change?”

I am curious about what motivates (or motivated) my readers who are distressed because they experience same-sex sexual attractions (or who seek to overcome or diminish those feelings).

The following poll question is non-scientific. Of the 18 considerations listed, you can choose as many as you wish. You can only vote once. If you wish to elaborate on your motivations, you are welcome to do so in the “Comments” section. And if you’re wondering, your answers are completely anonymous. No one (including myself) can tell who said what.

Thanks in advance for participating. If you encounter any problems, please let me know.

To my readers who are happy, satisfied and fulfilled in their self-identity and sexual identity: Please respect the rights, needs and viewpoints of my other guests. Thanks!

Recommended Articles (click to open in a new window):

Same-Sex Attraction and the Inevitability Of Change by John Piper

Homosexuality and the Resurrection of Disability (Chris Damian)

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Let Your Voice Be Heard . . .

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What causes homosexuality?

We don’t know. There is no one cause. There seem to be many factors that contribute to same-sex attractions or a homosexual orientation. And these factors are different for different people.

Can homosexuality be changed?

Some people experience a degree of meaningful change or modest gains. But not everyone who wishes or attempts to change will. Although change can occur along a continuum, moving from “completely gay” to “completely straight” is rare. And if does not appear to be intrinsically harmful to try to change one’s sexual orientation, especially if a person has realistic expectations.

I think if you are attempting to change, you should be supported in your efforts. But don’t go through the process in isolation and in shame with high expectations that you will become completely heterosexual. I hope and pray that your self-worth, the love of other people have for you and their assumptions about your faith (spiritual maturity) is not dependent on the desired outcome.

Have people to support you, strengthen you and comfort you. Let them sit with you in your pain, your questions, your doubts, your fears, your setbacks and your successes.

Again, I encourage you to expand your focus so that you are not overly consumed with your sexual orientation at the expense of other dimensions of your sexual identity and sense of yourself as a person.

Another thought . . .

In a relationship with God, we ought to expect changes in our lives well beyond our sexuality. A definitive “yes” or “no” answer is both unrealistic and irresponsible. Instead of asking “can homosexuality be changed”, it would be helpful (more freeing and enlightening) to ask and answer questions like:

  • “Where do you think God want to move you on your own personal spectrum of change?”
  • “What do you think is changing in your life as a result of where you are in relation to God?”

If you are interested, we have other poll questions and surveys you can vote in. The link is found at the top of this page.

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More Understanding, Please

As the church and as Christians, we really need to stop burdening down our families and friends who struggle with same-sex attractions, a homosexual orientation or a gay identity. Many of us experience tremendous shame, guilt, and fear. We understand you mean well. Please – don’t pressure us with unrealistic expectations or messages that we are not trying hard enough (or that we don’t have enough faith). Don’t placate, patronize or over spiritualize.

Listen to us. Share our burdens; our lives. Offer a realistic and biblical hope regarding our circumstances. Work to remove the stigma often associated with the struggle itself. Considering the totality of our lives and the cosmic work (and purpose) God is accomplishing (past, present, future), I believe it really doesn’t matter if individuals experience a measure of change in orientation or not. Support us in our growth toward holiness and Christ likeness. We are all in this together.

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4 thoughts on “Poll Question: “Why Do You Want To Change?”

  1. Thank you for putting up this poll question. It has given me another opportunity to think through some of the motivations that impact my sense of being. Actually, I surprised myself – I selected 15 choices from the list. Like many of your readers, I have been attracted to my own sex since my early teens. I’ve learned a lot from your blog and I’ve wanted to leave a comment before but I don’t know where I fit in.

    I have never “acted out” with another guy (or a lady for that matter). I am a 42-year-old virgin. Although I regularly have frustrations and questions, I’ve never experienced a “crisis of faith” or a “crisis of identity”. And even though I have lived with what most people would describe as depression, I have never had to endure agonizing despair, hopelessness or the drive to harm myself in any way. I guess I want (and I’m still learning) to be more authentic, open and honest with others and myself.

    1. I appreciate you visiting and sharing Peter. I’ve reflected on your comments and my own unremarkable life. I think I have an idea where you’re coming from. I was apprehensive when I started this blog back in 2012 because so much of my life (seemingly) was benign, meaningless and lacking in purpose and direction. Everybody has an opinion about homosexuality and everybody has a story to tell. But our individual stories and lives are meant to be shared. In God’s story, they (we) have purpose and meaning.

      It has been a year since I posted the poll question. Thinking back now, I could have included another option to the list of choices: “I WANT TO GROW AND MATURE SOCIALLY (DEVELOP MY INTERPERSONAL SKILL AND RELATIONSHIPS)”.

      It’s kind of hard to explain my experience. Social isolation, emotional isolation and chronic aloneness were characteristic of my youth (appx from age 10 – age 30). I could function within socially acceptable expectations in most situations. But there was always a feeling of being inept; being uncomfortable with myself around others. I am introvert but the feeling wasn’t shyness or timidity. It’s like a perpetual sense of inadequacy or insecurity.

      Anyway, I’m glad you’re here Peter. We are not alone.

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