Article ID: DH055-1 | By: Joseph P. Gudel
The following is an excerpt from Article DH055-1 from the Christian Research Journal. The full article can be viewed by clicking the link below the excerpt.
CAN HOMOSEXUALS CHANGE: IS CHANGE IMPOSSIBLE?
The question of whether or not one should want to change his or her sexual preference will be addressed shortly. But before looking at the desirability of changing, we need to ascertain whether change is even possible. I say that this is important to investigate because a host of individuals concerned with homosexual issues deny that this is a possibility. Those in the gay rights movement, as well as numerous researchers, psychotherapists, and so forth, decry any attempt to change the homosexual’s sexual orientation or preference. Rick Notch, a homosexual man who at one time claimed to have become an ex-gay, stated on The Geraldo Show: “The only choice we have is to learn to accept ourselves and to find a way to live a responsible, moral life.”28 Dr. Richard Isay, a psychiatrist who heads the APA’s committee on gay issues, likewise asserted: “The core orientation in a gay man cannot be changed.”29 But even a perfunctory examination of the available testimonies and case studies shows that this simply is not true. First of all, do all of the other psychiatrists and psychologists agree with the assertion that change is not possible? By no means! In fact, most believe that change is possible. William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson, hardly homophobes, write in their work Homosexuality in Perspective: “Providing therapeutic support for the homosexually oriented man or woman who wishes to convert or revert to heterosexuality has been an integral part of the practice of psychotherapy for decades.”30 Likewise, in the Kinsey Institute New Report on Sex (1990) we find the statement that “sexual orientation, whether heterosexual or homosexual, is not readily changed by any type of intervention” (emphasis added).31 Thus, while it is not easy, changing one’s sexual orientation is nonetheless possible — which could not be the case if homosexuality was innate and immutable. This was confirmed on a recent segment of ABC’s 20/20, which had a story dealing with a Dr. Joseph Nicolosi. Nicolosi is a psychologist and psychotherapist who has been helping homosexual men convert to heterosexuality for a number of years now. 32 I already referred above to the work of Dr. Robert Kronemeyer. If the interested reader pursues this work, he or she will find eight case histories cited — true accounts of people who sought relief from their lives of homosexual bondage (their own description of their lifestyles) and were converted to heterosexuality 33 Another area where we see the fruit of changed lives is in the numerous Christian ministries reaching out to homosexuals desiring help. Space limitations will not allow me to go into great detail. Those interested can find the references in the endnotes. Are there really changed lives? There is Darlene Bogle, a woman who “struggled with lesbianism” for 17 years.34 She was raised in an environment where she was sexually abused by different men and boys, the first at the age of three. Her parents divorced when she was only five. Her new stepfather frequently abused her, both verbally and physically. In her own words she was raised in “a home that lacked nurturing, that was void of positive role models and void of love.”35 Today, through the grace and mercy of God, she has been completely free for 15 years from her former lifestyle and is currently a counselor at Paraklete Ministries in Hayward, California. There is Frank Worthen, a practicing homosexual for 25 years. In 1973 he turned back to Jesus Christ, who delivered him from that lifestyle. Since then he has remained free, without once falling back into his old secular behavior. Today he and his wife Anita are missionaries in the Philippines with Exodus International.36 There is Andrew Comiskey, a former homosexual who is now the director of Desert Stream Ministries.37 There is Joanne Highley, a lesbian from the ages of 13 to 23, who has now been freed from that lifestyle for the past 35 years. She has been married to the same man during those 35 years, is a mother and grandmother, and with her husband is codirector of L.I.F.E. ministries in New York City.38 Are there really changed lives, people who were exclusively homosexual and became heterosexual? Yes. Have there not been those who have fallen back into their old lifestyles? Again, the answer is yes, which is to be expected. Just like in Alcoholics Anonymous, the road is rarely easy and involves a tremendous commitment by the individual seeking recovery and healing. Sometimes individuals stumble and never get back up again. Sometimes they stumble, get back up, and continue on in the process of recovery. And occasionally, individuals are healed instantly and never turn back again. But the fact remains that there are many former homosexuals, ex-gays, who have been transformed by the power of Jesus Christ.