Gay Life/gay issue

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Hi Tedd

Im 23, straight and living in South Africa. My cousin came out as gay a month ago. Im the only one he has come out to cause we have always been close. He says im the only one he can trust.

The thing is, like most Africans i find homosexuality to be quite repulsive and just plain wrong. So as much as want to be there for him, i finf the whole very difficult to stomach. However i dont believe in attacking gay people or harassing them, i just strongly disagree with it and think its unnatural. It was only because of the fear and pain i could see in my cousin as he mustered the courage to come out to me that forced me to accept him, I understand that he did not choose to be gay.

The thing is Tedd ive always heard from gay people that they were born that way and cannot change. Yet there a two people i went to high school with that were gay but managed to change, one of them is even married to a woman now. In addition to this i have heard about reperative therapy programs in america that are helping people change from gay to straight. I hav told my cousin about this and did so very delicately but he just accused me of being homophobic and stormed off.

So my question is am i being homophobic? I mean maybe wat i said to him is just the truth. The two people i know who have changed are irrefutable evidence of this. How do i get my cousin to see that im just trying to show him that there is a way out, that his sexuality is not set in stone. From his reaction and the reaction of gays in general i just get the distinct impression that the homosexual community does not want to see the truth, they immediately dismiss it and instantly irrupt with anger . I just thought i could ask another gay person this question and calmly disuss it, maybe i'm missing something?

Many thanks

Chris

Answer
Chris,

Have you considered the possibility that it may be YOU who does not want to see the truth? That those who supposedly have "changed" are really just denying themselves the satisfaction of living true to their feelings because the societal pressure is just too great?

Because that is most certainly what is going on. Those who claim to have gone straight are no different than a right-handed person who loses the use of his right hand due to an injury. He is able to eventually change his BEHAVIOR to learn how to function as a left-handed person does, but that does not change his nature. He is still inherently right-handed, but due to external circumstances, forces himself to behave left-handed. It is no different with those who claim to have changed their homosexuality.

Gay people are NOT broken straight people. Gay people who CHOOSE to deny their true nature are the ones who are broken. These stories you hear of reparative therapy is promoted by extremist religious groups who would like to see a world where homosexuality does not exist. Those therapies are so psychologically damaging that some states have even outlawed them. They are just plain junk science. Your cousin is correct... his feelings are every bit as natural and healthy as are your heterosexual feelings. If you care about your cousin, you will try to get over your disgust.

Best wishes,

Tedd

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Tedd Adams

Expertise

I can answer questions related to gay life in general, but also specifically questions about gay youth, coming out, dealing with family issues, religion and homosexuality, and workplace issues. I have also visited many of the popular gay travel destinations and can give you advice on what is worth seeing and what is not.

AVISO: También, puedo responder a preguntas en español.

Experience

I have been a volunteer facilitator for a state-sponsored gay youth support group, where we dealt with all of the issues mentioned above. I have also been active in the local chapter of PFLAG.

Organizations
Human Rights Campaign Oklahomans for Equality Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

Publications
Tulsa World, Muskogee Phoenix, Tulsa Family News, About Business Magazine, Contributor to the book "I Can't Believe You Asked That!", by Phillip J. Milano

Education/Credentials
Associates degree, Biblical Studies, Kentucky Christian College
Bachelors of Science, John Brown University, Psychology
Masters in Organizational Management, University of Phoenix (Tulsa OK campus).

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