Gay

Got you thinking?
Image by Nicki Varkevisser CC BY 2.0 Cropped

Every guy makes a mental list

Your list will have some gay stuff on it

Today

Homosexuality is a very complex issue. On one hand we have loud political as well as some professional and church organizations proclaiming that homosexuality is a 'normal' condition which a small percentage of the population will experience.

Other professional and church organizations declare homosexuality as a 'fluid' condition which can change over time with or without intervention.

We are presented every day with the first view by most of the media. This page focusses on the less publicized 'alternative' views presented by reputable organizations. With this extra information you can make a more informed decision about a very personal aspect of your life.

Primitive cultures exhibit an intuitive understanding that boys need special help and encouragement to grow into their masculine identity.

Definitions

Fantasy
Sexual imaginations
Puberty
The stage of life when the physical changes from boy to man are occurring.
Heterosexual (straight)
Having a sexual attraction to the opposite sex
SSA/SGA
Having a sexual attraction to the same sex (SSA) or the same gender (SGA). Without external influence, many youth who experience these SSA/SGA feelings of attraction are not necessarily on a path to becoming homosexual/gay!
Homosexual
Having progressed from SSA/SGA to define yourself as 'sexually attracted to the same sex'. Definition is loose - sometimes 'homosexual' can mean SSA/SGA.
Bisexual
Having a sexual attraction to both sexes. A lot of young guys go through a phase where they are sexually attracted to people of both sexes.
Gay
A social and political identity. Having embraced the homosexual lifestyle for themselves outwardly as well as inwardly. Definition is loose - sometimes 'gay' can mean 'homosexual' or SSA/SGA.

Street names

Poofter, poof, gay, queer, homo, queen, fag, faggot, nancy, fairy, fruit, shirt lifter ...and lots more...

Some concerns

  • Does masturbating a lot mean I'm homosexual?
  • If I get an erection around other boys, does that mean I'm homosexual?
  • If I don't have a girlfriend, does that mean I'm homosexual?
  • I'm still a virgin, does that mean I could be homosexual (or frigid)?
  • I had a sexual dream about another boy, does that mean I'm homosexual?
  • Could I have been born homosexual?
  • A man tried to get me into his car - does that mean I'm attractive to gays?
  • What is gay and what is not gay?
  • I have fantasies about other males, does that mean I am homosexual?

How it all fits together


Birth to 3 yrs old
↓ ↓
Successful
Little boy needs to take on internal masculine identity
Unsuccessful
↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
Mixes well with other boys Feels different to other boys
↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
PUBERTY BEGINS PUBERTY BEGINS
↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
Desires come alive that could indicate SSA
If boy believes he has become homosexual
SSA comes alive or gets stronger
↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
Genuine emotional need for adult male attention, affection, approval and closeness Genuine emotional need for adult male attention, affection, approval and closeness
↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
Interaction with suitable adult males to complete boy's internal masculine identity
Adult male intervention
Cannot overcome childhood issues, homosexual identity or absence of adult male affirmation
↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
Successful Searching for masculine identity through other males
↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
Adult masculine identity forming Come out as gay
Stay in the closet
↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
PUBERTY FINISHED PUBERTY FINISHED PUBERTY FINISHED
↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
Adult male with heterosexual desires Adult male with homosexual desires and gay identity Adult male with homosexual desires
The flow chart above visually represents a common thread of 'cause and effect' uncovered by several organizations that specialize in therapy for guys who want to be free of SSA. (see end of page)

Other factors can come into the equation that can also 'lock-in' a guy's brain in the same way.

  • sexually experimenting with other guys
  • sexual abuse from another person
  • choosing homosexual lifestyle
  • judgement by friends (of a guy's sexual identity)
  • loneliness (making him more vulnerable to another guy's sexual advances)
  • previous bad relationship with a girl

Teenage sexual identity

As new sex stimulated drives emerge, adolescents seek out a love object to whom they can direct their feelings. Although most boys will not admit it, their need for affection is real and they feel too old or ill at ease to direct it toward some family member. The first love object of young boys is usually an adult of the same sex. This is called hero worship. The adult usually has qualities that the boy admires and would like to possess, so he identifies with him. The boy may imitate the dress, behavior and mannerisms of the idealized adult and this is the first stage in an emancipation (release) from the family. Through identification and dreaming the boy obtains emotional release for the beginnings of his sexual-affectional needs.

Homosexual (SSA) attraction of young students is usually temporary (if not encouraged) and may be unwanted.

Sexual Orientation > Quick Facts American College of Pediatricians [2]

Originally, I had only been interested in other guys and was actually convinced I was homosexual. But at about age 14 I lost interest in guys and switched over to girls.

16 year old - Colorado [1]

You will pass through this phase in your own time (usually in the early stages of puberty) and your timing will probably be different to your friends. It is important not to get involved in sexual acts with other males during this period because your sexuality is fluid (not rigidly gay or straight). You might lock your sexual nature on a course that you ultimately don't want it to go if you get involved sexually with other males.

Don't label yourself...yet

Boys often feel pressured to label their sexual identity at a young age. There is then an expectation that they must live with that identity for the rest of their life. Confusion about ones sexual orientation is a fairly common occurrence around the time of puberty.

Another study showed that early self-labeling as homosexual or bisexual is one of the top three risk factors for homosexual teen suicide attempts. The risk of suicide decreases by 80 percent for each year that a young person delays homosexual or bisexual self-labeling. [6]

Rather than affirming teens as gay, counselors should affirm them as individuals, but encourage them to wait until adulthood to make choices about sexuality. [3]

Q: In some schools it has become chic to "come out" as a gay, lesbian or bisexual teen. Programs like Project 10 and gay student clubs encourage this. What's your reaction?

A: A study reported in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Vol. 89, April, 1992) surveyed 34,707 Minnesota teenagers reported that 26 percent of 12-year-olds are uncertain if they are heterosexual or homosexual. This is significant because only about 2 percent will actually identify as homosexual in adulthood. This means that almost 24 percent may erroneously (wrongly) be identified as homosexual if they are affirmed as gay at age 12! [6]

Donna Rene Hopkins, program director for New Creation Ministries in Fresno, Calif., a counseling resource for those who struggle with homosexuality, meets with sexually troubled teens. 'Homosexuality is probably the prominent issue among our youth across the country today,' says Donna. 'Coming out has almost become a fad.' Donna, who fell into lesbianism as a teen, understands first hand the sexual pressures kids face. [3]

In the identical twin studies, Dr. Whitehead has been struck by how fluid and changeable sexual identity can be. "Neutral academic surveys show there is substantial change. About half of the homosexual/bisexual population (in a non-therapeutic environment) moves towards heterosexuality over a lifetime. About 3% of the present heterosexual population once firmly believed themselves to be homosexual or bisexual. Sexual orientation is not set in concrete." Even more remarkable, most of the changes occur without counseling or therapy. "These changes are not therapeutically induced, but happen 'naturally' in life, some very quickly," Dr. Whitehead observes. "Most changes in sexual orientation are towards exclusive heterosexuality." The number of people who have changed towards exclusive heterosexuality are greater than current numbers of bisexuals and homosexuals combined. In other words, ex-gays outnumber actual gays. The fluidity is even more pronounced among adolescents, as Bearman and Brueckner's study demonstrated. "They found that from 16 to 17-years-old, if a person had a romantic attraction to the same sex, almost all had switched one year later."

Always been gay?

Could a person be born gay (through the genes or chromosomes)? Because the circumstances that can lead to SSA occur at a very early age, the guy can easily think that he must have been born that way.

'Born gay' is in the media a lot but it is not accurate. Read this report 'Born this way'? It's way more complicated than that USA TODAY summarized from many sources. Some of the people who did the research were pro-gay but say there is no evidence to support the claim of 'born gay'. See the link below for another resource which highlights the research of the born gay theory. Born this way? Society, sexuality and the search for the 'gay gene' The GuardianNote this article branches out to opinion on other topics towards the end rather than sticking to the headline topic.

Your problem is not your homosexuality. Homosexuality is not about sex. Your problem is about a deep sense of pain and alienation (feeling different) that you experience. You are a lonely and suffering guy in emotional pain. That pain is about not belonging and not feeling connected. It is a gender identity problem. Sex is a means of covering up the pain of your alienation.

Dr Joseph Nicolosi NARTH [4]

Touch deprived

A young guy who has 'touch' as a love language and lives in a world where the significant adults in his life do not meet his emotional need for touch is vulnerable. Guys in this position often put out the body language to older males 'pick me'. When a person finally touches him with affection the young guy can feel that he has finally come home and found his place, because it is the first time his emotional need for touch has been met. Depending on the motivation of the guy doing the touching, it can be an easy transition to move to sexual contact.

Even with no sexual contact, the young guy can easily become confused because his emerging sexuality gets mixed together with the emotional need finally being met. The emotional need for touch should have been met all through his life as a young boy by the significant adults in his life. Then the young guy's sexuality can develop on its own without having sex and the new emotional fulfillment mixed together. It is normal for a guy to try and meet a lifelong emotional need.

If you as a young guy find yourself in this position, then you need to enforce physical boundaries to touch. No touching where your shorts cover, inside your thighs and anywhere else or by a method that makes you feel uncomfortable. Speak up in a kind way at first. Being touched can be a positive experience to send you on your way in life but often the touch will progress further to sexual contact and lock your brain in.

Gay fantasy

Every guy expects their sexuality to be black or white. Reality is there are lots of shades of gray that no one prepared you for.

When the body and mind are growing and developing during adolescence, it is very common to have fantasies about the same gender during masturbation sessions. Young men frequently wonder if their friends are developing as fast as they are. They may question whether their friends masturbate as well, or if they have had sexual intercourse. New feelings and changes in the body can create quite a bit of curiosity. This is sexually arousing to many people simply because the thoughts revolve around sexuality and sex organs. At the same time, adolescence is a time for the development of a person's identity. When developing an identity, we tend to take a very close look at those around us of the same gender. In doing so, certain males will be more appealing to us than others. The males we would like to be similar to will appear more attractive. Although we may not want to actually have sex with them, at a time in life when just about anything can be erotic, this emotion can manifest itself as sexual arousal.

Male bonding

Society has brought confusion about the difference between 'love' and 'sex'. Young people need to hear that they were created with a need for same-gender love, which today is often interpreted to mean same-gender sex.

Emotional intimacy and sex are often confused messages in a teen's mind. In reality, a boy's interest in other males may simply be the desire for affirmation and attention (of a male) that he lacks at home.

website no longer exists

A particular benefit of the Double Loop experience (therapy) for many men is that it assures them that a felt emotional connection with another man need not be 'gay', and that feelings that come up through an emotional connection with another man are healing and affirmative.

The Double Loop Experience Nicolosi [5]

Two sides of the story

Topic You've heard this Have you heard this?
Where does homosexuality come from? Born that way All kinds of stuff happens growing up when you are real young - later it feels like you were 'born that way'
How much of the population is homosexual? 10% old research (Kinsey) 1.5% modern research *
Will you be homosexual for the rest of your life? Yes "Once gay - always gay" Not necessarily
Is it a choice to be homosexual? No Homosexual desires normally just appear but it can sometimes be a choice
Can you change from homosexual to heterosexual? No Yes, many do with or without mentoring
How should you handle your homosexual desires? Accept them Seek change if you are unhappy with them.
Are homosexual thoughts a sin? No No
Does God love homosexuals? No Yes
How much publicity does this view get in the media? Very high Very low and negative

* The Office for National Statistics (UK) - The Guardian

First you believe an idea, your choices follow your beliefs and then you live with the consequences. You owe it to yourself to find the facts, think things through and make sure your beliefs are correct. You are responsible for where your life goes, not the media or the education system - they won't be there when it comes time to for you to live with consequences of your choices. This is important! If you struggle with SSA/SGA, you need to understand all sides of your situation. So much is riding on what you choose to believe.

Mentoring

One of the main factors in mentoring is to help the male resume his (internal) journey into masculinity. NARTH have interviewed hundreds of homosexual men who volunteered to tell their life story and similar trends appeared in every case - an interrupted journey into their personal masculinity. The good news is that it is not the end of the story. This generation can benefit from the brave ones of a previous generation who chose to bare their souls.

Parent mentoring before puberty

Since males are characterized by what they do, then parents can help a young child to build a (internal) masculine identity by helping him DO male things. Boys who are having trouble in this area often tend to spend more time with girls. Parents can gently manipulate to create more opportunities to help the boy relate better to other boys. The whole point is to develop pride in being male.

Boys need to do the things that men do and find the affirmation that is a necessary part of growth. Every time you put forth an effort at achieving manhood, regardless of your failure or success at achieving the immediate goal, you have increased your manhood.

Adult male mentoring during puberty

Boys in puberty need an adult male beside them in some form to complete the masculine identification process. Peers and women can't help here.

You have to move into their (mens') arena of action; don't expect them to move into yours. The primary key is to say yes to mens' invitation to join them. Every time you are invited into that world, they are acknowledging that you are a man. They are affirming your manhood. But you must be willing to join in. Their simply asking you to join them has some affirming value, but being with them, joining with them in the context of what men do, will offer far greater affirmation. We need the words of affirmation that we didn't receive as little boys. We need them to come from men and we need them to be offered in the context of what men do because "doing" is a trait of manhood.

Specialist mentoring

See section below for some groups that specialize in helping teenage boys and men recover and complete their journey into an adult masculine identity.

Our failure to let our fathers be our fathers is a primary cause of homosexuality. You cannot become a man until you have been a son. You cannot be a son until you have acknowledged or honored your father.

More information

Young people, wrestling with a variety of issues, are being encouraged to 'come out' as a cure for their problems. But there are many, like me, for whom this well intended advice has led to heartache. I now know that change is possible and I share my testimony in hopes that others will realize there is another option.

Mike Haley, a "Love Won Out" conference speaker
Facts about youth - medical based help site
http://factsaboutyouth.com/
(copy and paste link)
'FACTS ABOUT YOUTH (Facts) is a resource designed to give educators, parents and students important science-based information about healthful approaches to youth who may be conflicted about gender identity and sexual orientation. This site is a project of the American College of Pediatricians.'
Joseph Nicolosi Ph.D site
http://www.parentsofgaychildren.org/uploads/Compilation_of_Articles_on_SSA_11-08.pdf
(copy and paste link)
The Meaning of Same-Sex Attraction
Joseph Nicolosi Ph.D site
http://www.josephnicolosi.com/
(copy and paste link)
If gay doesn't define you YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE GAY'
Focus on the Family website
FAQ On Homosexuality from a Christian perspective.
Voices of change website
http://www.voicesofchange.net
(copy & paste link)
'Voices of Change is a project of PATH: Positives Alternatives to Homosexuality, a coalition of organizations dedicated to helping individuals struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions'
Brothers road website
http://www.brothersroad.org/
(copy & paste link)
'Men supporting each other in addressing our same-sex attractions in affirming ways that align with our faith, values, morals and life goals.'

Feedback

A 15 year old boy from the USA had unrelenting curiosity about wanting to see another male masturbate. He went to extraordinary lengths on the Internet to set up a meeting with a stranger to satisfy this desire . After he emailed me for advice, he canceled his meeting with the stranger at the last moment. The 15 year old boy's comment:

...I decided since I was getting baptized today that I have to make up my mind. I deleted my website and told the person I was going to meet I wouldn't meet them. I want to stand firm in my decision, but it seems when I took the courage to make the decision, my desire was not there anymore to do those things. This morning I got baptized in front of the whole church about 3,000 people in one service. And I'm glad I did. I want to follow Jesus and His ways only. And not go in the middle.

15 year old boy, USA

I went through an experience about seven years ago when the enemy was convincing me that I was gay. It started with little thoughts that I found very disturbing. Then came the dreams, vivid and powerful dreams. The feelings and thoughts became more frequent. Then the voices (thoughts) telling me that you are born this way and it is not that bad. Just about when I was convinced, God prompted a brother to call me. He started the conversation out by saying, "You'll never guess what I have been through! The enemy almost convinced me I was gay!"

Our stories were the same and the processes were identical. I know that the next step would have been to set up an opportunity for it to manifest. I know, because it has happened to others.

The enemy was exposed and his plan ruined. I have not dealt with it since. Through this experience I have had much mercy in my heart for those who have been caught in this snare. Just realizing that it is the enemy is the first step to freedom and freedom can be had.

23 year old man, USA

Thank God that someone is willing to talk openly and honestly about male sexual development. The sexual awakening of many young men has been ignored by too many for too long. Boys need to understand that being attracted to another man is not sin, is not an indication of being gay, and is a normal part of maturing. I wish this information had been available to me when I was a teenager, I might have avoided a lot of pain and misery. I might also have avoided being an AIDS patient.

36 year old man, USA

References

The following addresses cannot be hyperlinked (page will lose secure status) - copy and paste addresses.
  1. Adult site (used with permission). Address available on request
  2. http://factsaboutyouth.com/getthefacts/quickfacts/
  3. http://www.urbanministry.org/f/audio/donna-rene-hopkins-how-helpyouth-navigate-glbt-matrix-uywi-2005
  4. Dr. Nicolosi (deceased) - president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a professional organization of psychiatrists, psychologists, family counselors, certified social workers and educators dedicated to researching and treating homosexuality. As a licensed psychologist, Dr. Nicolosi has treated a wide variety of clients and specializes in treating homosexual men who are dissatisfied with their orientation.
  5. http://www.josephnicolosi.com/the-double-loop-experience/
  6. A study reported in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Vol. 89, April, 1992)