Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Is "Ex-gay" an Orientation?

There is a noise being made by several people and groups that think being "Ex-gay" should be considered as an orientation.

Wikipedia defines the Ex-gay movement as;
"The ex-gay movement consists of people and organizations that seek to get people to refrain from entering or pursuing same-sex relationships, to eliminate "homosexual desires", to develop "heterosexual desires", or to enter into a heterosexual relationship. "Ex-gay" is a term used to describe persons who were once considered to be gay, lesbian or bisexual, but who no longer assert that identity."
"Exodus International describes change as "attaining abstinence from homosexual behaviors, lessening of homosexual temptations, strengthening their sense of masculine or feminine identity, correcting distorted styles of relating with members of the same and opposite gender."[5] People Can Change defines change as "any degree of change toward greater peace, satisfaction and fulfillment, and less shame, depression and darkness," and emphasizes that for most people, heterosexuality is not the ultimate goal.[6] Some ex-gays advocate entering (or remaining) in a heterosexual marriage as part of the process. Some in mixed-orientation marriages acknowledge that their sexual attractions remain primarily homosexual, but seek to make their marriages work anyway.[7]"

I find it interesting the Alan Chambers, head of Exodus International agrees that people cannot necessarily change their orientation and has made the statement that he prays every morning to get through the day with out same sex attraction.

There are many reasons a person would not be happy being LGBT. Religion, family, school, friends, and peers all play a factor in how we fit in and how feel about ourselves. Because religion plays such an important role through out history and most have been interpreted to include that homosexuality is wrong, evil, dirty, and so on, it has been used as a tool against LGBT people.  When family and friends believe it is wrong and unnatural, it is hard to accept it in ourselves. Self hate can be just as destructive as others hating us.

Science has been studying sex and sexuality for some time trying to understand what makes us desire the people we do. Once religious beliefs were removed and studies were founded on research, we understand that sex and orientation is very complicated. There is no "gay" gene so far as we know but we do know there are brain activities that vary between homo and hetro people. We know that most people are aware at a young age that they are different from others which implies that we are born this way.
In 1975 APA issued a supporting statement that homosexuality is not a mental disorder.
The APA adopted a resolution in August 2009 stating that mental health professionals should avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments. The "Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts"[24] also advises that parents, guardians, young people and their families avoid sexual orientation treatments that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and instead seek psychotherapy, social support and educational services "that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth."

Changing ones sexual orientation is harmful and should not be attempted. While a person can change how they choose to respond to desire and attraction they can not change their orientation.
Therefore there is NO SUCH thing as "Ex-gay".
If there is no such thing as "Ex-gay" then it CAN NOT be considered an orientation.

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