Wednesday, May 31, 2006


According to popular gay rhetoric, if a man attempts to resolve his homosexuality, he must be unable to accept himself as he is. Even popular psychotherapies promote this false dichotomy.

Critics of reparative therapy suspect that it is primarily guilt that keeps clients coming to treatment. Although guilt may have been a strong motivator that originally propelled the client into therapy, it is never the foundation for successful treatment. In fact, after some months in therapy, the client typically reports a diminishment of guilt. What has diminished here is not actually valid guilt, but the excessive guilt he has felt so long that it feels natural.
Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D.
in Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality

I can only speak for myself in terms of self-acceptance, guilt and my motivation for reparative therapy.

Guilt isn't much in play at this point. I still have some guilt when I look at porn, but never from being attracted to men. And whether for better or worse, I have less guilt from the porn too. I think it's just that I'm not as fatalistic about it. Sometimes I feel guilty for not feeling guilty, but porn seldom takes centerstage anymore--I just acknowledge it and move on. So, the point is, guilt isn't my motivation for wanting to change my orientation.

As for self-acceptance. It almost makes me smile at the suggestion that a desire to change shows a problem with self-acceptance. So, studying for school, getting a haircut, working on my tennis backhand (if I played tennis--haha), and lifting weights are all symptoms of my inability to accept myself the way I am. If we're talking about personal worth, I have all the self-acceptance that I need and I don't think changing my orientation will make me any more of a human being. If we're talking about self-improvement, I'm afraid I have to concede that I consider self-acceptance to be antithetical to my goals. Even having goals is antithetical to self-acceptance. :)

Ultimately, I wonder if the problem with the "self-acceptance" argument is that it ends up being an authoritative person telling some other person that they are living a lie--that the authoritative person allegedly knows more about their character and identity than they do themselves. Therapists and activists (and for that matter, church leaders) all assert with ostensible authority what parts of a person's character are necessary. Who's a person to believe? As I've said before, I don't buy that my sexual orientation is a necessary part of my character.

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