Friday, June 22, 2018

FRIDAY TIP: WHEN I ASK WOMEN OUT, WHAT SHOULD I INVITE THEM TO?

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We're deep into Phase 4 of our journey now--the dating phase! One thing that often makes ex-gays at this stage nervous is, what kind of activities should they invite women to?
In some ways, when you were gay, the claustrophobia of the gay scene made everything cozy. When you went on "dates" with guys, often this was a brief formality before you went to your or his place to have sex. The date was either a trip to a gay place where you knew a lot of people (and one or both of you had slept with many of the people there too), or a trip to a non-gay place where you tried to be invisible while you ate or did whatever, and made generic small talk until you could rush to somewhere private for quick sex.

None of that is like what happens when you date women. Especially given where you are right now, you have to shift mental gears and accept that the dates in Phase 4 do not involve a grand finale of sex. You will start the date, finish the date, go home, and go to sleep without having had full sexual release. You will often have no idea what she thought of the date or where the situation is going, until you decide whether or not to call her back and see how her voice sounds. That is just how it goes with women.

The whole world is a straight playground, so you may feel overwhelmed with the choices you have of where to take a woman. In this post I will try to throw out some ideas--take them or leave them since they are mere suggestions--to decide what you will invite women to do.

What do you like to do?

Sometimes we neglect basic questions like this one. Because in your Phase 4 the point of a "date" is not to throw out a thin pretext for having quick sex later in the night, you must focus your mind on the date itself, not what it might lead to later. The purpose of a date with a woman is the date, the stuff you do when you are with her in some public or semi-public capacity.

You will never get out of Phase 4 if you do not make it fun. Your goal on each date is to see how she and you react to each other in the most enjoyable possible circumstance. If you are feeling cold or unaffected even when you are on a date that is supposed to be fun, the future will hold few prospects. 

Part of the burden falls on you to be a fun guy. Part of the burden falls on her. But make her job easier. Do something that you enjoy. If you hate opera, do not take her to the opera. If you hate speedway races, do not take her to the speedway. If you have horrible allergies, do not take her hiking when the pollen count is high.

Figure out what you enjoy doing, and invite her to that. The first requirement is that the activity matches something that will put you in a good mood and relaxed enough to fall in love.

What are her favorite things to do?

Here's where the "little black book" I told you about in my 10 Tips for Dating comes in handy. If you have been jotting down things she said in previous conversations, this gives you a clue as to what types of things she likes. Does she have esoteric things she talks about a lot, like quilting or old movies or Irish dancing? Go over the notes you wrote in your little black book and see if you can figure out a way to connect little things she's mentioned to activities in your area. 

But be mindful of the first point, what you enjoy. If she really enjoys fashion but you hate fashion shows, don't invite her to a fashion show. Maybe invite her to some kind of gala or party where there will be a chance to dress up. Remember that her job is to arouse you and your job is to arouse her. You pick a fun activity so her job is easier. Pick an activity that matches her interests to make your job easier.

What can you do on your budget?

Dating does not have to be incredibly expensive. Public parks have romantic gazebos and areas to hang out. You can do outdoors activities during the day. Churches have social events that do not cost a great deal. And in any town or city there are usually local arts organizations that arrange free public events. If you go to something like a county fair that usually costs a mild amount to get in.

Whatever you invite her to do, let it be a real sacrifice given your budget. If you are making a lot of money, then take her somewhere nice and make her feel like a million dollars. Bring her to a high-end restaurant and a live performance show. If you are working at an entry-level job, then invite her to meet for coffee and hear spoken word or a live band, then use your conversational powers to get her to light up where you are.

You shouldn't be spending beyond your means, which will make you nervous and uneasy (bad bad bad for dating). Nor should you be doing something a lot cheaper than you could afford, which will come to her attention in ways you might not predict, and which will make you feel like the date is not all that serious. You want to feel like the date is somewhat of an investment, and that does boil down to money, in part.

Remember your style, and play to it.

The single greatest help on a date is your confidence. You want to feel at ease, comfortable, and in your element. You want to be in an environment that is familiar to you so you can focus your curiosity on her rather than on your surroundings. So just ask yourself, what is your style? If you were to ask a friend to write a blurb about you, what would your friend likely say to play up your strong suits?

If your friend is likely to say you're athletic and robust, then your still is, you are an outdoorsy sporty type. Maybe invite her to go hiking or something physical in a park, like canoing or tandem biking. (I remember one of the most romantic things I did with my soon-to-be-wife girlfriend was in Los Angeles, when we rode a tandem bike from Venice Beach to Santa Monica. I could feel us falling deeply in love, and I have to admit, I liked impressing her with my skill pedaling both of us.)

If your friend is likely to say you are hilarious and a great talker, then invite her to something simple where you will be having great conversation. Don't talk too much, but let your conversational charm shine through. Go to a coffee house or some kind of cocktail place where you can chat. You can go to some kind of exhibition or show where there is not a lot of loud music and you are free to walk around talking. 

If your friend is likely to say you are suave and debonair, then take her somewhere where you can dress up and be elegant. Go to a banquet or fundraising dinner with a high dress code. Unleash your fashion skills and go to a place immersed in finer things.

If your friend is likely to mention that you are smart and artistically astute, then take her to a gallery or museum, an art show or concert. Let the fine art on display fill the silences if you are not a constant talker. When I was dating my wife, I knew she loved galleries and museums. To be honest, I adored the beautiful way she looked when she admired sculpture and paintings. It was a big part of how I fell in love.

Remember your goal is to fall in love

You can't force yourself to become straight. You have to fall in love with a specific woman. A date is partly a boost toward that goal, and partly a test to see if the attempt has failed. You want to place yourself in a situation where you are comfortable, curious, confident, and easily aroused. You want her to feel safe, at ease, curious about you, and easily impressed. Beyond that, let the chemistries do their magic. If you feel nothing at all, then she is probably not the one. If you feel yourself moved by her, then there are possibilities. 

Part of falling in love does involve physical contact. So when you are trying to figure out what to invite her to, there is something to be said for activities that allow you to "make a move." Films are always the classic event that allow you to do the old-fashioned move of lifting your arm and setting it around her, moving in closer, then drifting toward her until you can kiss. But even if you don't make out with her on the date, you can still see if there is a chance to hold her hand, put your arm around her shoulder, or have little points of physical contact. Obviously for your first date you will do almost no physical contact. If you have made it to second, third dates, and so on, you start trying to establish more and more. 

Your reaction to the physical contact matters. So does hers. If you feel as though you like it when you touch each other, that is a good sign. 

Much of a date's fate lies in the follow-up

If you find women scary, imagine how hard a date is for her. She has to wait to see if you call her back. I made the mistake, when I dated, of always calling back the next day so a woman would know I liked her. This signals over-eagerness to many women. I cannot provide a simple guide of when to call back, because there is so much contradictory advice you hear about that. Generally, as the guy you are expected to call her back after the date, unless she tells you at the end of the night she is not interested.

You should never allow fear to stop you from calling her back after the date is over. My philosophy remains that whenever you do call her back, you should call her back even if you are not interested in going out with her again. You should thank her for the enjoyment you had. If you want to see her again, tell her that you'd like to see her again. If you don't want to see her again, find a polite way to let her know so she isn't waiting around in mystery. Something like, "I'm not really in a situation where I can go out again" or something similar, no matter how weaselly and predictable it sounds, is better than being a complete coward and telling her nothing. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

THURSDAY (2): DELIBERATE WEIGHT GAIN

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I mentioned earlier that I know almost nothing about how to gain weight intentionally. I've never had to struggle to put on weight in my life! But I know many people in the ex-gay community actually face a struggle putting weight on. This becomes difficult because gay men value extreme thinness while women generally do not. 

I found a friend who is very well versed in how to gain weight, since he had to go from 140 to 215. He points out the following bullet points, which play out in the video below:

THURSDAY: 10 DATING TIPS

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Women are politely asked not to read this post.

So now, in Part 4, we have to go over what an ex-gay man might do during the period of "dating," which is basically an intense hunting period where he is looking for the one woman he is going to have as a lifelong companion. This period is full of uncertainty, since it might last only a few months, years, or more than a decade, depending on luck and the ex-gay man's own patience and perseverance. 

What follows below the break is the full extent of everything I know about dating. I am just one guy and much of what I say should be taken as possible ideas, but taken with a grain of salt. Please watch the two-minute video below before clicking to continue. Thanks!




Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WEDNESDAY TIP: INTRO TO THE DATING PHASE

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As promised, Phase 4 now starts! We will be covering dating, when you go out and finally meet girls.

In this intro video I explain the challenges I face in trying to help guys with this. I am old school and unfamiliar with online dating, for instance.

But three things to keep in mind: plan, purpose, style.

Monday, June 18, 2018

MONDAY TIP: GOODBYE TO THE CLEARANCE LIST!!

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Remember the Clearance List that allows you to get past Phase 3! It is important not to jump into dating too soon. So this hiding period in Phase 3 is not to be taken lightly! Here is your checklist to be "cleared for dating":

1. Is your living arrangement safe and well-kept?


Check this off if you have a good living arrangement as discussed in this post


2. Are you off social media?


Check this off if you have followed the guidelines about social media in this post.


3. Are your physique and grooming right for dating women?


Check this off if you are no more than 5-10 pounds below your ideal body mass or you are no more than 30-35 pounds above your ideal body mass. To check this off you should also have gone through your grooming standards as discussed in this post.


4. Is your job stable?


Check this off if you have held down a job, course of study, charitable pursuit, or creative art for at least two years straight. Consult this post.


5. Are you ready to become a father if you and a woman you are dating lose your caution and move too fast?


Check this off if you have prayed or meditated on accidental fatherhood as discussed in this post


6. How is your concentration? Are you able to pay attention to what people say and listen without your mind drifting off?


Check this off if you have passed two bimonthly checks on listening in a row, as discussed in this post.


7. Do you have a track record of sticking with your game plan for life?


Check this off if you have at least $1000 in the bank as discussed in this post and you can honestly say you have not had much backsliding during Phase 3.


8. How is your overall confidence and ability to handle rejection or hostility?


Check this off if you can say you feel confident and you are able to deal with rejection. The video below provides one self-testing exercise, which involves purposefully submitting applications for things and forcing yourself to read rejection letters, etc. 


9. Is your car in good shape?


Check this off if you have a car and it looks decent. Watch the video below for more details!


10. Have you been able to go without watching any porn and with near-abstinence of masturbation (at least 90-180 days between times you masturbate) for a healthy period of time?


If you have made it through the last 180 days masturbating no more than twice and you have not watched any pornography at all, you can check this off.


If you can check off all ten, then congratulations, scout! You are cleared for dating. Tune in this week as we embark on Phase 4, DATING!


Sunday, June 17, 2018

SUNDAY TIP: FATHER'S DAY IS THE DAY TO REMEMBER WHY THIS JOURNEY IS SO IMPORTANT

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Father's Day is a fraught day for many men with gay pasts. Many of us had difficult relationships with our own fathers. And many of us felt turmoil because our own sexual desires, at one point, vexed our inner urge to become a father.

On this Father's Day, no matter which phase you are in, in your journey, remember you are doing the right thing. The urge to become a father is a natural urge, far more God-given and innate than any sexual orientation. If you embarked on the journey from gay to straight because you felt a powerful call to fatherhood, remind yourself that this is good. This is often how God works on us. 

If you want to be a father, you must also feel called to be a good father. As a father you must follow the cue of our father in Heaven, after all. It is crucial that you set aside the propaganda in our society that justifies gay male couples raising children.

Be humane to children raised by gay men, because they did not choose to be placed in such a dilemma. But understand with clarity that it is wrong to separate a child unnecessarily from his mother. It is wrong to deny a child the experience of having a mother. It is wrong to force a child to respect a second male who is not a biological parent as a "second father," because the child's love and obedience to such a person are unnatural burdens and cause the child confusion and distress.


Lastly, it is wrong to deny a child the chance to grow up seeing a man and woman love each other.

So if you are in Phase 1, reflect upon Father's Day and consider the heavy weight that fatherhood bears in your calculations as to whether you want to go straight.

If you are in Phase 2, reflect upon Father's Day and remember that you cannot build yourself up to court women, until you have cut ties with the gay community and your old gay self has withered away.

If you are in Phase 3, reflect upon Father's Day and remember that you have to be marriageable and worthy as a mate to find a wife, so you must go through this period of self-improvement. Otherwise you will not become a father.

If you are in Phase 4, remember that you want to be a father, but in the right way. You need to find a good woman to be mother to your children, so the dating period is a period that matters a great deal. Go about courtship with purpose and anticipation.

If you are in Phase 5, love your wife so your children see that their father and mother love each other.

And watch this video for more tips:

Saturday, June 16, 2018

SATURDAY (2): MY RESPONSE TO KAREN SWALLOW PRIOR

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I thank Dr. Prior for agreeing to the interview and providing thoughtful responses to the questions I posed to her (see post preceding this one).

Certainly in weeks to come her answers to the 8 questions will receive close scrutiny from both critics and supporters of the Revoice conference.

In private communication with her, I sense that we have improved our ability to engage in discourse on many of these difficult social questions. Our common mentors tended to instruct me, some twenty years ago, by telling me that the greatest honor you can pay to someone is an honest and engaged reply to their ideas. So I have recorded this response to Dr. Prior's interview:




I just talked through it instead of writing it because I wanted the inflection of voice. I would like to thank Dr. Prior once more for agreeing to the interview.

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Post-script: In this interview I was asked by Urban Family Talk show hosts about this video response to Dr. Prior.

SATURDAY IN SOCIETY: FULL TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW WITH KAREN SWALLOW PRIOR ON REVOICE

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In a past post I provided readers with the full, unedited interview I had with Tim Bayly, editor of Warhorn Media. Below is the full, unedited interview I had with Dr. Karen Swallow Prior. Dr. Prior teaches English at Liberty University and serves as a research fellow for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. She agreed to speak with me on the record regarding Revoice, a conference to take place July 26-28 in St. Louis.

Interview in full follows:


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1.    Please tell me your understanding of the Revoice conference's purpose. Is the organization and staging of this conference making an argument, in your understanding? If so, what is the argument that the organizers are making?

Conferences exist to bring people together around a common interest or purpose. I do not know that any, including this one, make an argument. The purpose of the conference, as its stated mission puts it is “Supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sex-attracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can flourish while observing the historic, Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality.” The implicit argument of the conference is that Christians who experience same-sex attraction can and should live in obedience to scriptural teaching, and benefit from the support of the church in doing so.


2.    Given your response to #1, do you agree with the argument that Revoice is making? Is it an argument you feel called to make to the public at large?

The reason I endorse the conference is that I believe Christians who are attracted to those of the same sex can and should live in obedience to scriptural teaching. I think that is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s culture to do so because of so many who say, wrongly, that homosexual behavior is not a sin. If the church does not support those in the midst of this struggle who are trying to live biblically faithful lives, they are at greater risk of giving up and embracing the false teaching purporting that homosexual behavior and Christianity are compatible. They are not.

3.    Did you consent to have your photograph and endorsement posted on the Revoice website? Did you intend this to signal to the public that you agreed with the conference?

Yes. I believe strongly that the church needs to support those who struggle with homosexual attractions yet want to live lives in obedience to scripture whether through celibacy or biblical marriage between a man and a woman. The power of Christ is sufficient to remove such desires, but for whatever reason, God does not choose to remove struggles and ailments for some of us on this side of heaven.

4.    Did you anticipate the resistance to Revoice that has arisen?

Of course. We live in a cultural climate defined, unfortunately, by the suspicious, hostile spirit of the “culture wars.” This spirit of the age makes it harder for Christians to think less within modernist, culturally constructed categories and more within biblical ones that transcend these. If there were not such resistance to helping our brothers and sisters in this struggle more effectively, there would not be a need for such a conference.

5.    You are listed as a "research fellow" for the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, which is funded by Cooperative Program funds taken from Baptist church members. Do you feel that public stances on issues such as the theme of Revoice require you to answer to Southern Baptists who take exception to them? Who holds you accountable as someone speaking with authority to Southern Baptists?

Yes, of course, I must answer to them. You are the first to take the time to question me directly and candidly about it. So, I thank you. I answer directly to the head of the ERLC, who answers to the trustees of the ERLC, who answer to Southern Baptists.

6.    What is your understanding of the criticisms of Revoice from some Southern Baptists and from some Presbyterians? Have you read through or listened to the essays and interviews in which these critics express their reservations? Whose? Do you see any truth in their concerns?

Yes, even some of my colleagues in the ERLC have written in opposition to the conference. I share some concerns about the language and terms used by some of the conference speakers. I think some terms are unclear, ill defined, and perhaps unfortunate. However, the need to understand what people mean by these terms and how they are used within the context of their endeavors to honor God and the scriptures through sexuality that is in submission to scripture points to the very need for such a conference. The aim of the conference is biblical faithfulness even amidst the struggle, and that is why I endorse it. That does not mean I endorse every speaker, every panel, every presentation. Again, I want to support those who are attracted to the same sex but choose obedience to God rather than indulgence to self.

7.    On June 13, Russell Moore stated to a messenger at the convention's annual meeting that he did not know about Revoice. Can you state that you never spoke with Dr. Moore about your involvement with the conference and your open endorsement of it? Have you spoken with him about Revoice at all since that event? Has he asked you to withdraw your endorsement?

I have not spoken at all with Dr. Moore about ReVoice, either before or after the convention’s annual meeting.

8.    If the Southern Baptist denomination determined that same-sex-attracted identity of any kind corresponds to "homosexuality" as defined in its past positions, and that the identity is itself is a sin rather than, in your words, something that needs to be "supported" as a manifestation of Biblical principles, which of your positions would you choose? Would you renounce publicly the arguments of Revoice figures such as Wesley Hill, Nate Collins, Eve Tushnet, and Greg Coles? Or would you vacate your post at the ERLC?

I suspect that a definition of “identity” is too modern and too fluid a philosophical and ontological category for Southern Baptists to agree on in a resolution. If they did, I would have to consider how they define the concept before making such a decision.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

FRIDAY (2) TIP: MONEY

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It's a painful truth but I will have to break it to you: women like money. You need money to date women.

Long gone are those days in the gay world where nobody asked you point-blank what was in your savings account, you could take turns picking up the check at dinner, and the only thing that mattered was how cute you looked in a tank top.

No more! You are nearing the end of Phase 3 and about to meet Girls! Girls! Girls! Yes, Phase 4 approaches. And in Phase 4, you are going live on the dating market. Quickly you will find that everything requires money. And as I explain in this video, you may find situations in which you need a chunk of big money to close the deal because your dream girl has arrived sooner than you thought.


(Another scenario, which we will discuss in next week's spotlight on Phase 4, is you are dating a girl you really like and you haven't gotten her to go exclusive with you yet, so you have to find a way to get rid of your male rivals who are dating her. Often a great thing to do is to surprise her with tickets and take her on a trip, which comes with big price tages.)

This is unpleasant business but it's important to go over.

To get out of Phase 3, you should have between $1000 and $3000 in the bank.

The low end, $1000, is for guys who are younger and/or in entry-level jobs. Women are not going to expect you to be rich but they want to see you are a hard worker and they will love it if you don't have debt. They'll think it's cute if you handpick wildflowers in the city park and make a bouquet out of them. The higher ranges are for guys above the age of 28, or who have professional jobs. Women will know if you make decent money (they notice stuff like that in ways you can't predict) and they will find it troubling if you can't put savings away despite how much you earn.

Watch this video for more:

FRIDAY TIP: YES, YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT TO GET READY FOR DATING WOMEN! YOU CAN!

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I am the world's least reliable expert on dealing with being too skinny. I think I was skinny for a few days in 1975. But that was probably just a Kodak glitch. I've always struggled with weight gain. I've spent a lot of my life fat, obese, or morbidly obese. 

 So I am probably the world's most reliable expert on how to lose weight. I've done three huge weight drops at roughly age 29, 37, and 46. Even with a history of being fat, I managed to get through basic infantry training with 18-year-olds when I was 39-40 years of age. It can be done!

So I have made this video message just to give some help to the guys in Phase 3 who need to lose weight to get cleared for dating.

Remember, to get out of Phase 3 and start dating (Phase 4), you should be no more than 30-35 pounds above your ideal weight according to the BMI charts. That's not exactly impossible! I give guys more latitude at the high range because women seem to respond to chubby guys better than they respond to skinny guys, especially if the chubby guys have some strength to them.

Nobody promised you that Phase 3 was going to be short! If you have to lose 90 pounds, Phase 3 might be 2 years, but you need to do it any way.

And the thing is, you want to have the best chances for success when you start asking girls out on dates. If you are fat, you are increasing the chance that your first impression will cause most girls to say no when you ask them out. Also, if you are so fat that a girl keeps noticing your body shape on your first date, you will have a high chance of being told there will be no second date.

Also, next week as we start talking about Phase 4, we will talk about physical intimacy (I'll get into this in baby steps.) If you're very fat, you may find that girls will not enjoy the four approved forms of intimacy for Phase 4: kissing, caressing, footsie, and cuddling. Some girls are chubby chasers but most don't want you to be huge. (I would even encourage hyper-muscular bodybuilders to lose some weight.) If you're fat you may have excessive sweating and/0r heavy breathing, which will turn her off. Lastly, as things move along with a girl in the dating phase, she has to keep her shirt on but you can take your shirt off. The "torso reveal" moment can be a clincher for getting a girl to want to invest in you long term. And it's okay if you are chubby but a fat build will ruin that moment.

Given that you are starting with a disadvantage already, you want to minimize the risk of disappointment burnout, which will possibly cause you to give up and go back to being gay.

You may see a lot of straight guys who are walking around with tons of fat, but they're happily married. Good for them and their wives! But that's not where you are. You are trying to make yourself marriageable and going up against stiff competition on a tough dating market. You absolutely cannot let yourself go until, at the earliest, after you've already made it to Phase 5.

Listen to my quick tip on weight loss:

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

WEDNESDAY TIP: WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIPS SHOULD EX-GAY MEN HAVE WITH EACH OTHER?

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I tackle today a difficult question, which you will likely confront in Phases 2-5. Should ex-gays be close friends with each other? What kind of relationships do they owe to each other?

I run English Manif the way I do, in part, because I find safety and comfort in the distance between myself and other men who struggle with this unusual life experience. Like many other men I have met, I did not feel called to join a fellowship specifically for ex-gay men. While I find common cause with ex-gays and want to help them, I do not enjoy a lot of social interaction with them in groups. In the video message below, I explain why.

The Ex-Gay Landscape Has Changed

Your proclivities will depend on your personal experience, of course. Here I share my views knowing you may see things differently. I can say, however, that the ex-gay landscape feels much better than it used to feel. The collapse of Exodus International looked tragic as the organization fell apart, but now I see its demise served many good purposes. Without a centralized network dictating to the whole world what ex-gay experience was, people like me had freedom to put forward our own solutions and share the insider tips we kept secret before, for fear of breaking with the seeming consensus projected by Exodus. 

Until the point of Exodus's collapse, I did not use the term ex-gay. In reality I fought the term, which is why I left behind many essays calling myself "bisexual," a term I foolishly believed would spare me having to associate with the life history encapsulated by "ex-gay." But with Exodus gone, and with many of its former leaders exposed as people who had grossly exaggerated their own virtue and not flourished under the methods they sold to others, I found freedom. I realized my experience and knowledge was not only legitimate, but better. And I felt more confident to come forward with what I knew.

Back in the 1990s, when I left the gay scene, "ex-gay" was a rare and new term. Exodus International was the only major organization that talked about the lives of ex-gays. This organization fell prey to very poor management and collapsed as gay activists exposed some of its leaders and infiltrated its boards. Exodus was heavily Christian and due to its prominence, the only acceptable ex-gay narrative for a long time was a story of finding salvation from homosexuality through Jesus Christ. Conversion to Christ was synonymous and simultaneous with being "saved" from homosexual desires.

To summarize it honestly, I must say that I did not find salvation from homosexuality. I found an exit, or escape from it. I escaped it not by praying but by changing my physical habits and eventually gaining the confidence to pursue women. The key moment for me was my first experience engaging in sexual relations with a woman. I converted to Christianity later, as a heterosexual man.

For many years I did not know how many men got out of the gay scene the way I did. I felt shame when I was in groups of ex-gays because I could not share the same story and did not fit their mold. Sometimes when I felt judged, whether or not other ex-gays judged me, I responded by getting judgmental to them.

It has been 20 years since I left the gay scene, and now I must say that I have healthy friendships with a lot of other ex-gay men. Mostly I feel called by God to share my own blessings with others and help other men get out of homosexuality, so I feel this common purpose with activist ex-gays keeps us generally upbeat and positive toward one another. Certainly I have luckily felt none of the infighting or mutual bitterness that I hear happened, behind the scenes at Exodus.

But my friendships with other ex-gays now are not intensive. We know each other through common media contacts and I do not depend on them for emotional support, particularly since I have a family of my own. In my view my course has been healthy. I broke from the gay scene and found a deep freedom from it because I developed strong friendships with other people who shared things other than my gay past as common grounds. Getting away from all things gay, including ex-gays, helped me redefine myself along lines that had nothing to do with that difficult past.

Some of you may decide to build fellowship with other ex-gays so you can be each other's support as things grow difficult. That may work for you. I have found what worked for me--breaking away decisively, and reaching out to ex-gays as a fully developed heterosexual man with a wife and children, decades away from the roller-coaster ride of the gay scene. 

The video embedded below offers more thoughts. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

TUESDAY TIP: PRAY THE GAY AWAY BUT DON'T EXPECT TO PLAY

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Two awful things happened today, one in Dallas and one in Sacramento.

In Dallas, the Southern Baptist Convention held its annual meeting, including today's sessions devoted to considering resolutions. The messengers on the floor voted on 16 resolutions. The resolution "On Ministry and Counseling to Lead People from Homosexuality to Heterosexuality" was not among the 16. I authored "On Ministry and Counseling."

The resolutions committee issued a brief disposition indicating that they declined the resolution because it went beyond what the committee could deal with, at this meeting. People in the SBC cautioned me that the arrival of Mike Pence scheduled for Wednesday probably played a role. Vice President Pence would avoid speaking publicly before a group that was currently considering a resolution on ex-gay therapy. He has to avoid the wrath of the gay lobby. 

So my resolution died in order for the SBC to have a speech by Mike Pence. My resolution was the only one submitted to the resolutions committee, that engaged the ongoing controversy of the pro-LGBT bills banning ex-gay therapy in multiple states. Since this resolution died in committee (and then died again on the floor -- long story), the SBC has issued no convention-wide statement pledging support to Baptist churches in states that have passed laws banning gay-to-straight counseling. 

Meanwhile, on the same day, in Sacramento, California, the state legislature moved an Assembly Bill out of the judiciary committee with a vote of 4-2. What bill is this? The most sweeping ban on ex-gay therapy in the whole country. 

So it is illegal in California now to advise or counsel people to change from homosexuality to heterosexuality. And the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, the SBC, has declined to consider a resolution that would disagree with California's logic in passing the law. California believes people cannot change from gay to straight. The SBC refuses to say that people can change from gay to straight.

In addition, two separate entities tied to the SBC have issued problematic statements about homosexuality. They present an incoherent Christian philosophy that says the following:

1) Homosexuality is a sin and we should help "same-sex-attracted" people be delivered of it

2) Heterosexuality is no better than homosexuality

3) The purpose is to go from homosexuality to holiness, which would mean celibacy or a Biblical marriage to the opposite sex

Items 1-3 above sound good but they are the road to Hell. First of all, it's utterly inconsistent and also against what the Bible says. The Bible states (as I have elaborated in other posts) that God created male and female to form a pair and become one flesh. Jesus Christ speaks of eunuchs and Paul speaks of people gifted with non-desire, who can be celibate. Both of these references allude to people who, through divine intervention, do not struggle with sexual lust or "burning." Paul makes clear in his letter to the Corinthians, however, that it is "better to marry than to burn." So if someone cannot avoid burning lusts, then the person must acknowledge that these are God-given and meant to find expression through a married bond with a member of the opposite sex.

In a nutshell, God made us to be heterosexual. There is no way to get out of homosexuality and resolve burning lust in a godly manner without turning to heterosexuality. The vague reference to "holiness" is a lot of empty pointless pettifoggery, meant to sell books that offer almost no practical guidance to the average person who struggles with homosexuality in a church. 

I phrased the SBC resolution explicitly to embrace heterosexuality as a defining phrase precisely to eliminate the unclearness and confusion of the "Homosexuality to Holiness" gimmick. But the resistance to heterosexuality plagues much of Christianity, not only in their misguided advice about homosexuality, but also in their hysteria about protecting women as MeToo comes to church culture. Now as MeToo turns into a mantra of Christian reform, heterosexual men are cast as sinners for experiencing normal heterosexual desires for women. This worsens the confusion over how to minister to homosexuals, because the church cannot counsel homosexual men to become heterosexual men when heterosexual men are cast as lustful criminals just as bad as homosexuals if not worse.

The answer then is the glossy but empty phrase about going from homosexuality to holiness. While Christians objected to being caricatured by gay activists as "pray the gay away," the actual answer they hope to give to people trying to escape homosexuality is, in fact, to pray the gay away. They are worse than the caricature because they say gay men should pray the gay away, and then not expect to get any play with women ever. Church leaders will hold out the possibility of gay men praying away the gay and then getting into marriages with women, but I foresee no feasible route to finding a woman to marry if you do not first adopt a heterosexual identity and go on the dating market with a specific goal of finding a woman.

The church has refused to provide any actionable guidance to gay men who want to build straight lives. Increasingly the church sends signals that its leaders do not believe change from gay to straight is possible, for the best one can expect is a magical process of becoming "holy." (The homosexuality-to-holiness journey is not based on Biblical principles but those who spread this strange vocabulary insist they are basing it on the gospel.)

The events of June 12, 2018, leave me with no option, other than to continue blogging and to function as an underground radio station like Radio Free Europe. As I explain in the video below, I cannot refer you to churches and the government is going to hunt you down. You can still go from gay to straight and I will provide as much ongoing content as I can to help you do so. But this is a battle. Gird your loins.