Life’s funny isn’t it? I was sitting in a meeting last night and I realized that across the room from me was this chick I almost stabbed in the throat with a fork. No, she was never in any mortal peril for I have quite a bit of physical self control. What comes out of my mouth is another story. But the idea of opening her up a side mouth occurred to me later. What was it that could make me contemplate such an act? I’ll tell you – it was the suggestion of Reparative Therapy. Never a good dinner topic if you have me over.
Now I had no idea we were going to be discussing Reparative Therapy, which is the quack idea that there’s some way to make a straight person out of a gay person. As if there aren’t enough straight people already. You people are everywhere – and it’s OK – some of my best friends are straight. I even don’t mind it when they shove it in my face by doing things like having children and being legally married. As much as I’d like to have kids and be legally married, I’m no longer interested in being straight. I looked into it, and it’s not for me.
All joking aside I would like to point out that any creditable source in psychology (read: Not Your Youth Group Leader nor Pentecostal Preacher but actual licensed Doctors of mental health sciences) will tell you the “opinion that being gay is a choice has no basis in current scientific thinking.” [Dr. Jack Drescher, MD] It’s worth noting that Dr. Drescher also looked into Reparative Therapy, having attempted to practice it for years with nothing but failure to show for it. He’s done major work in reversing the damage his erroneous study had once done.
So back to dinner and how I almost got blood all over my dress. I had finished yoga and sat through a meeting and now I was out to dinner with friends. I was famished. This gal I barely knew from the meeting came in to the restaurant. She waived and we invited her over. She seemed nice. We started talking pets and were showing each other photos of our dogs on our iPhones. My guard was down. My friends that I do yoga with are almost all straight really comfortable with their sexuality and mine. We make jokes regularly with either them or I as the butt. When the topic of sexuality came up this gal’s face lit up. She immediately took advantage of the topic change.
“I’m really interested in the gay thing.”
Whoa… Whoa… Thing? What thing?
“Yeah, I’m going in to counseling and I think there are a lot of people that are gay who don’t want to be.” She said this like one might say: “I’m really good at sewing and I know people like clothes.”
I was horrified. I still had my puppy photo in my hand. I locked my iPhone and placed it safely on the table. I sat back in my chair away from her as my blood pressure continued to mount. I’m sure my ears turned flush and a little bead of sweat developed on my upper lip. My hands began to shake. My throat began to tighten. Fight or flight was doing things to me. My friends were watching me like I might pull out a knife.
To be honest hurting her never occurred to me. Protecting the kids or young people that this chick might come into contact with was all I could think of. I proceeded to tell her my truth in a direct and no-nonsense way. I spoke to her with firmness but also with a tone of frustration.
What business is it of these spoiled pretty white girls to change other people? Why on earth would any straight person be driven to think they could impact something that has nothing to do with them? What on earth would qualify her to speak to me about desiring a vagina? I don’t see her being attracted to women and having overcame it. What’s her angle?
“That’s an external pressure to change that those people might be feeling. And why wouldn’t they want to change? I grew up with people calling me ‘fucking faggot’ and when people at school would learn my last name they would say it like: ‘Oh, you’re that guy.’ My self esteem was non-existent. Who wouldn’t want that to change?”
It was clear I was put off and the worst thing I can say looking back at how I became unhinged at her suggestion is that I probably came off like I could use a little therapy. The good news is I was in therapy at the time and I took the whole thing up with my Jungian Analyst. It wasn’t difficult since we were analyzing dreams and that evening I dreamed about Hitler doing experiments on me. I did choose to apologize for how upset I had become. We left things on decent enough terms. I didn’t owe her anything. I think she might have been apologetic, but I honestly wasn’t hearing much after that first bit.
A couple of days later we saw each other at another meeting. Yes, I go to a lot of them – because they work. Anyway she actually had the nerve to come up to me: “We’re still friends, aren’t we?” Which is odd, we were never friends and this gal is really coming from outer space if she thinks we were friends after she almost grew a stoma.
“Sure…” I told her. I was too stunned to say anything else as she hugged me.
Picture via Flickr.