Non religious gay conversion?

I vaguely recall reading an article about scientists who turned a gay bull straight.

A really bad relationship has converted a couple of friends of mine


Back in the 70s I was briefly a member of Gay Atheists of America, and we regularly used the word “gaytheist” to describe ourselves.

To the OP: You’ve been rather obtuse about a few things. The person you’re considering reconnecting with, whom you have described as “them”: would that be a same-sex relationship, and you’re looking for self-acceptance . . . or would that be a hetero relationship, and you’re looking for a way to change, so you can enjoy sex with that person? We don’t even know what gender you are, let alone the other person.

I think it’s not fair what others are implying regarding, “you’re gay, deal with it, we won’t help you.” It is obvious to anyone with a brain (or, apparently, a freshly constructed vagina), that sexual preference is, at least in theory, a malleable thing.

In practice, though, it is much more difficult. Trying to change something like that is like trying to change any other deeply engrained part of your psychology. And the worst way to do it, the way the Bruno movie depicted religious people going about it, is to constantly say to yourself, “stop being gay, stop checking out that hunk’s ass. must. think. straight. thoughts.” If this is the way most other reorientation groups go about it, then it’s no wonder that they’re miserable failures.

But ultimately, anyone has to realize that it’s natural to see sexual attraction in the common gender, just as it is to see it in the opposite, just as it is to see it in your close relatives, in inappropriately young people, etc. But most people get to a level where they are comfortable with it and just don’t think about it. (That is the meaning when someone says “I am comfortable with my sexuality” after mentioning how they recognize Brad Pitt is hot.) I don’t know how to help you stop thinking about it, though. But, like I said, the Bruno-depicted reorientation way is 180 degrees from the right approach. Maybe see a buddhist monk? Or find a really big placebo pill.

In March Scientific American reported that a British study indicated that one in 25 British psychiatrists and psychologists say they would be willing to help homosexual and bisexual patients try to convert to heterosexuality. The piece speculates that rates may be higher elsewhere.

In a follow up piece they discussed Masters and Johnson and their cured homosexuals.

Anyone who falls into the bisexual area in the Kinsey scale can certainly be influenced to live an exclusively homo or hetero lifestyle. In fact all they really need is to fall in love with someone of either gender, and make a commitment. And many believe that the vast majority of humans fall into this “malleable” category.

But some of us are on one end or the other of that scale, and nobody has ever convinced me that any kind of “conversion” is possible . . . or desirable. Suppose two totally hetero guys are best buddies, and want to spend the rest of their lives together as a same-sex couple. Are there therapies that can successfully convert them?

Depends how many hang-ups they’ve got about being homo. I think it’s very much possible. If they’re thrust into a social atmosphere where it is very accepted or encouraged (and they integrate into the new social group, etc.), I can even imagine them bulldozing through ingrained homophobia. The environment in such a case can change mindsets drastically.

It’s all in the circumstances. If you just have two ordinary, straight guys living in ordinary America, surrounded by ordinary hetero people, then I agree it’d be quite the challenge. Possibly if they succeed short-term, they’ll regret and be troubled by it later. It’s especially hard to just will your mindset to change. It’s almost like evolution evolved mechanisms to stop this. (Imagine sometime in the past we could use our intellect to change ourselves any which way, and hilarity/chaos ensued.)

So it could be very easy, or it could be impossible. Funny how the mind works.

Really? I can certainly understand why a person might not want to be gay. There’s a fair number of self-loathing fundamentalist christians around, who simply cannot reconcile their feelings with the religious crap they’ve been fed all their lives.

But even aside from obvious cases, who wouldn’t want to receive better treatment from society? Gay people are widely discriminated against and even hated by an unfortunately large part of the population. And because of it, straight people have a lot more options in life.

I have no evidence at all of this, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if a very large percentage of closeted gays would become straight if they could undergo some treatment to do so.

I agree with Boyo Jim. Even among the gay guys and women I have known I know several who would, I believe, change like a shot if possible. Each of them tried to have at least one heterosexual relationship.

However someone would have to prove without doubt that being gay is a choice brought about by factors A,B and C. Then they would have to a therapy that changed their sexual focus without making them feel bad about their “choice” of homosexuality.

It would also help if the therapy was more successful than most attempts to quit smoking.

Large percentage? I doubt it. But that is one of the polarizing concepts. People who think trying to reconcile sexual preference with one’s upbringing and living against the grain of society is the healthier/easier/better option vs people who think is healthier/easier/better to live in a constant state of denial of something as ingrained and intimately a part of a person as sexual preference and behavior can be.

You say this like it is an uncommon trait among the LGBT population. It is not uncommon.

Oh, man, I can think of a lot of funny SNL scenarios comparing sexual reorientation with smoking cessation, especially the relapses. The gay patch, anti-sodomy gum, they practically write themselves. :smiley:


That is not my point at all. First of all, I specified closeted gays, who are already living with a large burden of denial. Second, I was referring to some theoretical therapy that doesn’t exist in today’s world – some therapy that does genuinely change sexual orientation.

I think there’s a pretty good chance such a therapy will be available in the future – a drug or a gene therapy that will work directly on the brain to change orientation. In any desired direction.

So what? I can understand why a black person might not want to be black too. That doesn’t mean it’s the sort of thing a therapist could help them with, except in the way that I described above – find out why the patient wanted to change, and help them deal with whatever issues were preventing them from being happy with themselves.

There’s really nothing more that could be done for a self-loathing homosexual, aside from providing support if they want to remain celibate. There is no effective “treatment” for homosexuality, so an ethical therapist could not offer a “cure” that doesn’t exist.

I stand corrected. I misinterpreted your post as a suggestion that the reasons for wanting to change sexual orientation were in themselves reasons for some form of psychotherapy qhwn they might be entirely rational.