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Friday, February 10, 2006

 

Brokeback Syndrome?

Another thought on Brokeback...

Comments:
Wow, you're really into this movie.

The LA Times and NY Times are both right.

Your source providing the unverifiable ex-gay anecdote is notable for what he doesn't say.
 
Maybe I will follow up with quotes from Lois, if that is what you are referring to.
 
Nope.
 
"Your source providing the unverifiable ex-gay anecdote is notable for what he doesn't say."

But I'm guessing that if an ex-ex-gay gives an anecdote about the harm of trying to change, you'd accept it immediately.
 
What he doesn't say is that he's sexually attracted to his wife. In fact, he implies his marriage is without physical passion.

Now, if he and his wife have found that they can make their marriage work without physical attraction, then good on them. But I wish "ex-gay" ministries would just be upfront that suppression of attractions is the most they mean by "change."
 
A follow up with Lois might be in order. I did not ask specific questions, but they said they have a satisfying sexual relationship.
 
What struck me was "after 2 children and 15 years of marriage, Rob set off on a business trip he hoped would turn into a weekend of sex with a male co-worker." Regardless of whether the man was looking for a weekend of sex with a male or female co-worker, how could you reasonably expect that what would transpire in a weekend could outweigh a 15 year relationship? It sounds like, whether or not he is gay, bi, straight, etc., this man learned that sex doesn't solve all your problems and sense of emptiness.

Good for him. If I tried to fill my spiritual needs (and yes, as an agnostic, I still have them--they may not be due to a transcendent divinity, but due to psycho-social functioning) with my partner, I'd come up short.

And though you say the point is not to generalize, I don't see how it cannot be--the rhetorical purpose of the article is to respond to what the author views as a "universal love story" (or something billed as such). So the kind of reply needed is a general one--there are people (plural) who change.

I don't think the claim that "love is more than eroticism" is one that most gay people who strive for relationships would argue with--and like I said, this gentleman's story sounds like he's learned that lesson in a way that suits his beliefs. Fine. But perhaps the characters (characters! fictional!) in Brokeback Mountain would have been able to grow into a richer love had they been able to marry and struggle in relationship. Many couples find an initial erotic attraction blossoming into something much wider and deeper.

End of rant for tonight. I haven't contributed much, but Love In Action is here in STL and it's getting me fired up. I'd much rather just live my life and have the general public let me pay taxes and cohabit with respect....
 
CK - The point of the article was not offer a universal as a polar opposite to the NYT's piece but to correct his universal denial of those who find happiness via a post gay adjustment. Rob's experience is one thing, others I know and work with say they do not change very much.

What is LIA doing in St Louis?
 
"What is LIA doing in St Louis?"

I'm sure every city has kids who need to be drugged against their will by unlicensed, untrained "spiritual counselors."

Since "post gay adjustment" apparently does not mean change in orientation, it may work in individual cases where people are willing to sublimate their orientations, but in the aggregate, it will lead to a lot of heartache, failed marriages, unhealthy acting out, and other assorted not-good-stuffness.
 
Warren -- still haven't actually seen it I guess? Yes? No?

While the MovieLand Critic approach is interesting, I do hope to see some professional Psych. interpretation from you. But that's just quirky ol' me.

In all that you put forward, there is one fundamental thing missing:

I don't doubt for a moment that you love your wife and children.

But you also know that a particular individual could be broken by a particular therapist.

Could you -- professionally - detail what would be required to make you avoid and then grow to despise your relationship with your wife, and what would cause such a bitter-sweet relationship with the children of that relationship?

Do that, and you're halfway to understanding Brokeback. The other half of the journey is to agree to mix, openly, with gay couples.

For all that you've make as comment on the film, I've yet to see any glimmer of possibility from you that perhaps, just perhaps, the two guys should not been with anyone but each other.

Even if you are theologically against homosexuality, perhaps the "ruin" of two lives would have been better than the ruin of four?

Begs the question, doesn't it?
 
Actually, it's Love Won Out--sorry for the typo. They have a big conference at a church here, and someone has already thrown eggs at the church, FOF ran an article assuming it was the "Gay Activists", and there are billboards up "questioning homosexuality."

Oh, and I understand the purpose of the article--I just take issue with the way some of it was phrased, and certain seeming underlying assumptions about what gay people assume love is (eroticism?). That's all.
 
CK - My meaning was that the movie tells a story where the marriage commitments were secondary. I do not believe all gay people think love is nothing but eroticism. The position of the NYT's op-eds is what I was aiming at. Of course, putting erotic expression before all else is a human thing whether straight or gay or in between.

grantdale - I am at a loss to explain what it would take to get me personally to that point. I often see clients to that point over an affair but that is not sufficient for me to say, oh now I get it.

I don't believe in matches made in heaven, in the sense that I think you mean "the two guys should not been with anyone but each other."

I think hormones and neurons conspire to give us feelings that seem like relational magic. But then other considerations take over. And if this is still in doubt, I believe this happens between men and men, women and women, and men and women. I do not doubt the passion nor the commitment of any gay couple posting here or ex-gay watch or to me via email.

You make it sound like people in the Brokeback Syndrome have no choices (ruin 2 versus ruin 4), but the point of my article, in contrast to the NYT's articles, is that other choices exist.
 
PS - No I still haven't seen it; it hasn't come anywhere close enough to GC.
 
Actually, I said "ruin" 2 and ruin 4. That was deliberate.

The point is, really, that their choice is not actually their choice -- is it? To give but one example, in 1963 a gay couple were criminals in every State except Illinois.

They would not be today, but that is no thanks to the people you 'collaborate' with (your word, BTW). You have personally appeared in front of legislators and supported the degradation of gay couples.

And I'll make the original question easier to answer (I hope)

> how much $ would it take to have you leave your family?

> what sort of threat would it take?

Knowing, as I presume, the answers are "Never enough" and "Kill me", why do you persist with this academic nonsense about choice -- but only for everyone gay?

If you were merely supporting a minority that wished, largely hopelessly, that they will become not gay and if you did so without attacking gay people in the process I don't think anyone could care less. But they do, because you don't.
 
Dr. T, don't you think that GCC could show the movie on campus sometime? :)
 
I don't think choice is nonsense. I never said a person's feelings are chosen but rather the sense of those feelings a person makes is chosen consistent with whatever worldview he/she believes makes the whole picture make the most sense.
 
In other words, you recognize that as the world changes to become more accomodating of gay people you will inevitably become obsolete?
 
I suppose time will tell, Boo.
 
In other words, you recognize that as the world changes to become more accomodating of gay people you will inevitably become obsolete?

I think Warren said something quite reasonable--that humans are not ruled solely by raw feelings, and that life may very well be about how one goes about integrating those feelings into their worldview.

If people like him become obsolete and are replaced by the likes of you, god (or satan, or the easter bunny) help us all.
 
And hence as the worldview that gay people are irreedemably awful fades away, fewer and fewer people will experience conflict between their sexual orientation and their worldview, and "change" ministries and counselors will become obsolete, or at least the change part will. There will still be a need to help gay people of the type who get drawn into these programs with their real problems- be they sexual addiction or whatever, but I doubt most "ex-gay" ministries would be able to successfully retool themselves for that purpose. Plus, once LGBTs have social and political equality then Focus on the Family and likeminded groups will no longer find gay bashing to be useful for fundraising and these groups will lose their major support.

So I'm curious Dr. Throckmorton- if a gay person comes to you saying that they experience a conflict between their lifestyle and their values, and they want to tone down their unhealthy sexual acting out and seek out a healthier relationship without changing their sexual orientation, what would you do?
 
Warren, sometimes I wonder...

I addressed the social pressure on people to be dishonest, and then said to talk about "choice" in such an environnent is "academic nonsense".

This -- somehow -- is about YOU thinking choice is nonsense?

No. And I really don't need to score points with you over what true choice means. You've sided time and time again with very anti-choice people; including those who would willing gaol gay men and women.

I'll ask again: as a professional, what effect do you think anti-gay social attitudes have on the mental health of gay men and women? What effect does it have on their family?
 
Boo - Ex-gay ministries won't retool because they are not consumer oriented service organizations. They may have a shrinking population but they will continue on because they believe they are faithful to the teaching.

Regarding me and a person such as you describe. This is not a hypothetical. I have done and do this now.
 
Warren,

Just an aside -- but why are your "supportive" people anonymous?

I mean, we protect our identity to some extent -- as do you -- but we're also happy to be at least identified.

For what it worth... once again, just to back what we're noticing.

Oh heck, why not have a look at a full trip while you're at it...

BTW: your collegue, Rev. DL, claims "we" do not exist -- despite all evidence to the contrary. Based on his own life, apparently we are therefore involved in drug-fueled orgies. Of course, I am also saddened to imagine you and your wife as a mirror of "War of the Roses"... somehow I guess you are not :)

Why do PFOX associate with DL Foster?
 
Dr. Throckmorton- my opinion of you just went up.

But then you've said things that aren't true in the past to me so who knows...

http://wthrockmorton.blogspot.com/2005/10/bill-oreilly-is-right-about-gay-teens.html
 
Dr Throckmorton,

Recently Tim Wilkins, Cross Ministries, wrote an article about why he would not see Brokeback. He identifies as a former homosexual however he admitted that he still has same-sex attraction. If most people define being homosexual as a person who has same-sex attraction, and Tim Wilkins has same-sex attraction, then does this mean that Tim Wilkins is a homosexual? Or is being homosexual only a label and has nothing to do with physical attraction?

Thanks
 
Dr Throckmorton,

Recently Tim Wilkins, Cross Ministries, wrote an article about why he would not see Brokeback. He identifies as a former homosexual however he admitted that he still has same-sex attraction. If most people define being homosexual as a person who has same-sex attraction, and Tim Wilkins has same-sex attraction, then does this mean that Tim Wilkins is a homosexual? Or is being homosexual only a label and has nothing to do with physical attraction?

Thanks
 
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Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
COMMENTARY: Writing from the depths of my struggles, as a celibate homosexual and a Christian, Brokeback Mountain forcibly brings all these tumultuous thoughts, tormenting conflicts of interest and personal struggles to the surface, surging like lava from...
 
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