Continued from: 1, and 2.
The Gay Man: When people say they are somehow ex-gay or un-gay in anyway, it cannot be taken as equivalent to saying others should or could be as well. Even if you are gay, you have only a partial idea of what that means for another. That vocabulary doesn’t nearly address a whole host of important qualities: the strength of attraction, emotional vs physical attraction, general libido, and more. Very importantly, we have no idea how strong another’s revulsion is towards sexual action with a member of the opposite sex. Some straight men can be brought to nausea at the mere thought of gay sex, and gay men can feel the same for women. Yet others can perform the actions of coupling heterosexually without strong revulsion. We also have little idea how malleable, or how vital an individual’s orientation is to their happiness, and what it might mean to the happiness of those around them if they do try to suppress that part of themselves (or don’t).
In short, and as I’ve said before, one gay man is not the gay man. Even if a person thinks they were a flaming queen, now manly straight sex fiend, that does not mean they can make the leap to thinking even those less queer can or should make the same sort of steps in their lives. One gay man may be able to create a stable family with a woman, while another may not for his particular orientation; one may be able to create a stable family with a man, while the other may not for his particular beliefs. I think much tragedy can be avoided for a lot of people if more caution and attention to individuals were applied here.
Of course, this goes for the out and proud crowd too. Some gay activists do think all gay men should follow their path. And their path may be anything from simply in a gay relationship, to being “sexually free” without monogamy or obligations such as parenthood; which makes yours truly feel a good deal of common ground with the MoHos :-). They may also encourage gays to act long before they’ve worked out their ethics, and such can be a significant threat to their health and happiness (read the manual ;-)). Such folks on either side of this divide can do a lot of harm, and I do fear repeating their mistakes in my advice.
I can certainly admit, for many gays, my choices, though a great source of joy for me, may not be practical or wanted or best for others. I want a monogamous family life in a gay union to be clear as an option for those who might also want it, but it’s not necessarily the right choice for all gay men, particularly those holding strong beliefs solidified in their youth that gay relationships are wrong. You simply can’t build such a relationship with shame or guilt on your conscience, one of the big reasons gay couples have relatively recently gained the ability to do so in significant numbers.
To be fair, of course, there is an asymmetry here. I don’t have that specter of eternal threat regarding all gay action in my mind, and don’t experience it through near the same eyes of morality and faith. I can understand how that may change things for the other side. While some of the others may prefer all gay men resist their urges towards "evil", just as they’d never want another to steal, I don’t care to have more actively gay men in my camp, unless they can do it with health and happiness. The idea of the gay man may be less important to me as either sort of life for a gay man is not addressable by ethics on its own, to me. Regardless, I think it would be a help for both sides to keep in mind there are unique challenges and limitations for each individual gay man (and woman. Yes, please forgive not taking the trouble to always be gender neutral. The language is just easier, and I'm lazy, and think it can all easily be translated :-)).