Outlawing Options

Outlawing Options

On March 4, I flew to Boston to testify at the Massachusetts’ capital hearing regarding the proposed bills H.140/S.70, which if passed, would ban conversion therapy.   My reasons for going were very personal and close to my heart. I feel strongly that the ban on conversion therapy for minors would greatly hinder much needed holistic care that health-care professionals can offer to children who question their sexual identity and orientation.   Many states desire to ban conversion therapy because it has been labeled harmful.And in fact, some of the examples of “conversion therapy” described in the hearings included such harmful practices as electric shock therapy, exposure to pornography, forced separation from loved ones, and extreme public shaming. However, the greater health-care community, including those with faith-based practices, already considers these methods barbaric and unethical. Blasted by the media, this kind of “conversion therapy” has become a straw man, erected with the intent of advocating one sided and biased counseling methods that support an ideology that sexuality is completely fixed.   But do not be misinformed. The proposed legislation in Massachusetts (and similar bills being proposed elsewhere) is about much, much more than protecting children from shock therapy and other ill-favored practices. These bills define “conversion therapy” in such a way as to prohibit any health-care professional from therapeutically questioning a minor’s sexual orientation or desire to transition gender.  Under this law, a health-care professional could have their license suspended for doing anything other than affirming a minor’s feelings of same-sex attraction or perceived gender identity. Furthermore, if passed, these laws would threaten parental rights. If a child’s physician prescribes medications, such as...
Did I Choose to be Gay?

Did I Choose to be Gay?

That afternoon when I was seventeen still stands out as a marker in my mind so clearly. It was the day I finally spoke with my father about coming out as a lesbian. Soberly, I walked into the room where he was sitting quietly on the couch. After our awkward interaction, in which I disclosed that I was a lesbian, he asked me if I wanted help. I had no confidence in his ability to help me and was completely disconnect from God, so I rejected the offer. I go into depth further about my journey in my book The God of My Parents and other blog posts you can read here and here. However, in this blog, I’d like to talk about how certain verbiage that is thrown around by Christians in order to be effective in reaching the gay community is actually very damaging. I will be writing about the concept of choice. To choose something you need to first see another option. During the time in my life when I came out to my dad, due to my disconnected and false understanding of God, I lived a desperately lonely and isolated existence. I was starving for affection and affirmation and had been for some time. I began to attempt to meet these needs, these deep longings for affirmation, validation and emotional safety through romantic relationships with women. But did I choose to be gay? This is a question I hear from many well meaning Christians when trying to communicate the truth of the gospel. I experienced substantial deficits in my life but while I very much had...