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“So, I went to a super conservative Christian college, and I had a male friend there that I lost touch with and recently found again on fb. I found out that he had actually been supergay in college and then gone through this whole program that helped him to get over it (seriously, it's a little crazy how he explains it, he says things like SSA for "same sex attraction" because I guess it's too much to say when you say it so much in therapy and shiz). So, now he's allegedly not gay anymore and is married and I don't believe him and I think he's going to run off with some guy someday and break her heart, but I don't know if I'm right. What do you think about this? Do you think gays can "convert" if they really want to? I realize this doesn't fit the mold of the questions you answer, and I'm straight (promise), but I don't really have a gay brain trust to ask so I thought I'd ask you lovely ladies.”

-Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

Before I answer the question you actually asked, I want to just say the following:

If someone says they are straight, you have no right to tell them otherwise. The same way no one has the right to tell me I could like boys if I wore dresses. I don’t care how many people think it’s ok to bag on Ellen Page about wearing plaid, she is the only one who has a right to tell the world who she wants to bone, and if she doesn’t want to tell the world who she bones, so be it. There is a very very fine line between what is ok to talk about and what is not ok to talk about. IMHO (inmyhumbleopinion) this is NOT ok. If you MUST talk behind someone’s back about their sexual preference, don’t spread it to everyone you know, they have a life and a family and their reasons for saying or not saying whatever the eff they want.

NOW, I know you’re not going to go out him, I just wanted to throw that in the air so someone could catch it.

I, personally, don’t think it’s possible to talk yourself out of liking who you like. It is possible, however, to ignore something you like for what you feel is ‘the greater good.’ It’s like when you decide to go vegan. At first, it’s really hard, and you don’t know how to get a handle on it b/c FOOD IS SO GOOD YOU GUYS, but then you get used to it, and a few years down the road, you don’t even remember needing other foods. Once in a while you’ll see a pastry and be like ‘WHY DOES THAT HAVE TO HAVE BUTTER ON IT,’ but you’ve trained yourself to ignore it and move on.

Besides, the love between a husband and wife is totally different from a sexi love thing, it’s more a family and trust. So, the love they have may not be passionate, but it can still be real and strong and they probably have an amazing relationship. Imagine being married to your best friend. I would totally marry my bff, but like, I could never do it with b/c like…ew…and who knows, maybe he like girls sometimes, so now he’s just focused on that. You can pretty much trick your mind into anything. Hypnosis, you guys.

Kristin Says:

Alright. First I want to note the fact that we have a readership that includes straight men from conservative Christian colleges.  Swoosh.

Next I want to do something that I normally do, which is agree with Dannielle, and then do something I never do, which is completely disagree with Dannielle.

Part I normally do:  Dannielle is right, you have no place to be telling someone else who they do and do not want to climb on top of while wearing no clothing, unless they have specifically told you that they want to climb on top of you with no clothing.  If that is the case, they still might also want to climb on top of their wife with no clothing.  So, in that department, take a step away from the situation.

Part I never do: The idea of pushing gay people through a machine that spits out straight people makes me ill.  I do believe, of course, that anyone can force themselves to choose a life that fits the mold of “straight society.”  I do not believe that it is possible to force feelings of happiness within that choice.  Being sexually and emotionally attracted to someone comes with feelings far more complex and intense then wanting a cheeseburger with your french fries.  Even if you could trick your brain, your heart would be like “Fuck you, brain, I am all powerful,” and then kick it squarely and swiftly in its brain balls.

In my humble opinion, gay conversion therapy is one of the most violent and excessive  markers of our fear-fueled, heterosexist society. IT MAKES ME SO ANGRY.

EDIT: Dannielle Says Some More:

You guys. Someone else forcing you to think or believe anything is WRONG. If someone decides to live their life a painful and untruetothemselves way, they can do whatever they want. BUT JUST FOR THE RECORD, no one has ANY right to tell someone else how to live. AND I think he’s brainwashed and that’s bullshit, and I hate the institution in which he trusted his future.

(kristin, i always agree with you, let’s spoon now)

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"I found out that my 19-year old nephew is gay recently. As far as I know, only his dad and one of two sister’s know. Considering that my parents/his grandparents are Mormon conservatives and his dad’s side of the family is fairly conservative (and a racist great grandmother!) it may be hard for him to come out to all of them. Should I let him know that I know and I’m with him 100% or just wait it out until he tells me himself?"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

There is literally nothing worse than feeling scared and alone and like your entire family is against you, even if you don’t know their reactions yet, that feeling blows. So, my immediate reaction is to tell you to go to him and let him know you are there for him in anyway he needs you. Sometimes it rules to have a grown up you can talk to. At the same time, this is an extremely delicate situation, he could feel a little bit betrayed by his father or sister or whoever told you. You know your nephew better than I, so it’s sort of your call. Just keep in mind, there is no such thing as ‘too much support’ …it is ALWAYS a good decision to show someone how much you love them and how hardcore you are there for them.

Kristin Says:

If I were your nephew, your support would override any “hey-why-did-someone-out-me” moment, so I also would like to tell you to just be honest with him. However, if you feel in your gut that it might make him angry, take a more subtle approach. Get him alone for a moment and let him know that you love him, and that you hope he knows that you will be there for him through anything. Maybe even throw in a remark about how differently you view yourself in relation to the rest of the conservative family. Trust me, he will know exactly what you mean. I shared a similar moment with one of my uncles a few years ago, and even though he never said, “I know you are gay,” I read between the lines and it still meant the world to me.

One thing that you can be sure about is the fact that, regardless of your approach, your efforts will be extremely meaningful to him. I feel like I should take a moment to thank you for having an open mind, for wanting to be there for him, and for even going so far as to write us for additional feedback…you sound like a pretty fantastic aunt or uncle.

Sorry for getting all Hallmark, everyone.

 

 

 

 

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