"We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice,
we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself." Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison (1943-1945)

The appalling choice: accept your homosexuality or euthanise

18 June 2016

The appalling choice: accept your homosexuality or euthanise

(first Published here)

Radical gay activists and the helping professionals promoting their ideology have a great deal to answer for.  They have created the idea that we are born gay, and that there is only one legitimate response to that fact, which is to embrace it.

The case of “Sebastian” (39) in Belgium brings this home. Unable to accept himself as a gay man, Sebastian is left to believe that the only way out is to euthanise his life, through the support of three doctors who recognise his unbearable suffering. The assumption, to be upheld at all costs it seems, is that homosexuality is an innate category and trying to alter this fact is to go against nature. This, despite the fact that the Royal College of Psychiatrists here in the UK affirms the important role played by environmental factors in a person’s upbringing, in shaping sexual orientation.  It won’t be lost to any listening to Sebastian’s interview on Victoria Derbyshire that coincidentally he has an estranged father and suffered a dysfunctional home life.  And yet of course, his homosexual feelings will be held as natural, wholesome and desirable.  But there’s a problem with that.  Such feelings are not congruent with Sebastian’s own sense of identity.  He simply doesn’t want to be gay and finds burdensome the limerent feelings he develops with young men. The only alternative he is aware of is to end his life, or, if the Victoria Derbyshire report is to believed, access to electro-shock therapy.

He’s not unlike the majority of young men and women I will see this week, who are similarly unhappy with their inclinations towards the same-sex. They are so, despite the swooning affirmations of every political party and all mental health bodies in the United Kingdom.  For them, gay just doesn’t work.  Like Sebastian many of them have attended state approved affirmative therapeutic and counselling sessions but simply reject the presumptive pushing they have received to embrace gay and accept that it is unchangeable. 

If I had the opportunity I’d introduce Sebastian to those I work with, several for over a year now, whose self-report is that life is getting better.  That’s not to say they have achieved psycho-nirvana – it means that having recognised this aspect of their lives, they now know how to respond to it, have discovered some alternative responses and are finding fulfilment in life in ways they once thought impossible - like learning how to build strong relationships with the same sex, that don’t go down the slippery slope of emotional dependency. They manage to re-socialise themselves so that they find a better fit in society generally.   These people don’t try to change personal histories; they do change the painful memories and crippling internalisations their young minds were unable to process. These are the people who break the silence, open up and build a new response to life’s circumstances. Clearly this is something Sebastian has been denied, because what he has shared, it seems, has led him to believe there is only one way out: death.

It’s an awful indictment on modern psychiatry or psychotherapy, that for 17 years this young man apparently has been told you can’t do anything with homosexual feelings, except embrace them.  It is ideologically and ethically impossible for any licensed professional to encourage Sebastian to integrate with those, who like him, reject as hogwash, the almost cultic professional view of “once gay, always gay”. The consequence of this in Sebastian’s mind appears to be that he has no alternative but to end his life.

I’d also like to introduce Sebastian to John (formerly Jannine) who did find his way back to his birth gender with the help of psychiatrists open to his own aspirations and goals. Or to Ivan who recognised the roots of his abuse, and disturbed pathway in a home that led to him re-gendering himself because of a father who simply failed in his parenting skills and a helpless mother who was incestuous in her relationship with her son. 

None of these people claim to have found some ‘miracle cure,’ much less any miracle worker.  What they have been given is the space to achieve their own goals, and to be taken seriously in their aspirations to end homosexual practices that they are uncomfortable with. Sebastian needs to be helped to see there are alternatives to his situation other than the final one, and his therapists need to know that it’s their ideological intransigence and skill loss that are hindering their client. It’s not some magic therapy that’s helping my clients, but the respect that any client deserves, which values their autonomy and their innate sense of personhood.  Those therapists and helping professionals who subscribe to the new state ideology, refusing to explore the origins and role of homosexual feelings in their clients, will simply harm those who look to them for guidance and support.

Dr Mike Davidson is Director of Core Issues Trust a Christian ministry recognised by the HMRC for charitable purposes working to support men and women wanting to move away from homosexual practices and feelings.  In 2014 he was removed from the British Psychodrama Association on the instruction of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy for supporting the idea that autonomous individuals should have the right to access professional therapy for unwanted same-sex attractions. No client complaint had been made against him and.  He offers one-to-one support in London at the Christian Legal Centre and in Belfast.

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