Destinations Magazine

Cure Me, I'm Gay!

By Sweetapple19 @sweetappleyard
Last night I watched Undercover Doctor: Cure Me I’m Gay! The documentary about a well-known and openly gay British doctor called Christian Jessen, who investigates the current therapies available to those who wish to cure themselves of being gay.
And for the first time in a long time, I lay awake last night and couldn't sleep. I was deeply hurt and upset by what I had just watched. It is often easy to forget that we all live in a different reality to one another. Each and every one of us has a unique perspective. A completely exclusive way of looking at the world. Not one of us will be the same. This perspective is shaped over each year of our life as our brain is bombarded by sensory stimuli from our environment. Every single moment of our existence shapes who we become, as we integrate this information into a structure of our own personal reality. Even your closest friend or family member will see the world a fraction different to you. Their reality is just a little bit skewed compared to your own. And I fell into the trap of thinking that the whole world was moving on from the ‘gay is wrong’ idea. With gay marriage being legalised in more and more countries around the world, I just figured we were over it.
But watching this documentary last night proved that this is not the case. There are many in the world who still believe that being gay is wrong. This piece is not a judgment of those people, or any of the therapists on the show who are attempting to cure those of being gay. Because judgment is judgement, it creates a side, it divides us. This is just a glimpse into my unique perspective and why anti-gay conversations hurt me so much.
To start with, I grew up in a family with a mother who was an air hostess and had plenty of gay friends. I also had a father who was very open-minded and comfortable with his sexuality, so he was also happily friends with Mum’s gay friends. In fact, he had some of the best nights out of his life with them. So as you can imagine, the whole ‘gay is wrong’ thing, would never have flown in my house. We are also not overly religious, spiritual, but not a religious family, so have never lived by the idea of sinning. Instead, always striving to align with our own guidance system and be good people.
So already, my perspective and what I was exposed to as a child will be different to some, and you can see why the idea of being gay has never been an issue for me. A curiosity maybe, but never an issue.
As I vacuumed this morning and the thoughts of last night were going around in my head, I tried to ascertain why this show affected me so much. And the reason has nothing to do with the therapies; it comes down to three of the most fundamental aspects of my personal happiness. Choice, truth and love.
These are the three things in my life that fill me with joy, meaning and purpose. The right to choose what is good for me; what partner to go into battle with, what milk to put in my coffee, the way I will earn a living, what mood I will be in that day. All my choice. The second is the ability to live my personal truth. To be who I want to be, to speak my mind, express my ideas and create. And lastly, love. The love of my family and the love I experience in my personal relationships.
That is what upset me about this show. Take everything else away and it was a man standing in tears as he was told his choice of partner was the work of demons. It broke my heart. Because like any human watching another human in pain, I put myself in his position. I got a glimpse of what it must feel like to be him and the first thing I thought of was choice, truth and love.
How would I feel if someone told me the choices I have made (although in my opinion being gay is not a choice), were bad, shameful and disgusting – even if these choices did not hurt anybody. How would I feel if I could not live my personal truth and be who I truly am. And how would I feel if loving who I loved was wrong. If I let this get to me enough and didn’t resist this, it would feel like a life worse than death. I’m sure that is the case for many homosexuals who have taken their own lives. It is the case for many people who have felt too ashamed to be who they are.
I think the reason I admire those who are gay has nothing to do with sexuality. It has to do with bravery. Being someone who has often struggled at times to be myself or even know myself, it seems so amazingly brave to me to openly live your life in a way that some of society still don’t understand. It seems so brave to me to do something that feels right for you, but might upset your family. I’ve always been such a goody-two-shoes that the idea of ‘breaking the rules’ in such a profound way fascinates me.
I guess I am grateful to those in my life who are opening gay for this reason. So that every time I decide I want to live my life a certain way, but I am held back by what others think, I will consider this different kind of struggle. All of a sudden changing careers, or leaving that unhappy relationship seems completely minimal in comparison.
I am a philosophical person, and a neuroscientist, so I don’t believe in wrong or right, I believe in truth. What is true to each and every person, based on their experience of life to date. So this post is not here to convince you that being gay is wrong or right. I’m not telling you what to believe, because nobody can tell anyone what to believe. I am simply stating my truth. The truth that anyone who is brave enough to completely be themselves amazes and astounds me, and I am eternally grateful to them for showing me how.
Much love X

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