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02 November 2011

Leaving Lesbianism And Confronting LGBT Activism-- My Story

As someone who has personally struggled with lesbianism, I am very aware of the unhappiness, confusion and misery that it can cause in one's life.

There are those who would say that the only way for homosexually oriented people to find any real peace or happiness in life, is to just accept their homosexuality, fully immerse themselves in Gay-Affirmative Therapy and ultimately "come out." My own experience, however, has proven this idea false. I have been undergoing Reparative Therapy* and have found it to be extremely effective in providing me with not only a tremendous amount of relief and healing in my struggle, but also a profound sense of peace and happiness that I have not experienced before.

The improvements I have experienced have been so great, in fact, that I have become strongly motivated to do all I can to change the opinion of those people who aggressively oppose this type of therapy.

But where should a layperson start such an endeavor? Where does one go to have their voice and experience heard--and ultimately, to have some influence on how homosexuality is viewed and treated?

I decided to begin by sharing, in a letter, my views and experience of Reparative Therapy with the American Psychiatric Association (APA). To date, I have not received even so much as an acknowledgment from the APA that they received my letter.

Next, I decided to begin a personal quest to try to somehow reach Ellen DeGeneres and attempt, via my own witness, to open her mind to the possibility that treatment alternatives like Reparative Therapy can be good and effective, and subsequently, do have a valid place.

Ellen's "coming out" in 1997 and her subsequent implied endorsement and promotion of Gay-Affirmative Therapy as being the sole healthy, acceptable treatment approach has profoundly influenced the lives of many homosexually oriented people, not just in the United States, but around the entire world. Ellen's public witness has also given much strength to the gay-activist movement and its political push to have Reparative Therapy banned, and Gay-Affirmative Therapy recognized by the APA as the only healthy and acceptable treatment modality.

I attempted to reach Ellen earlier this year by writing my story about my life and experience with homosexuality, and the therapy I had undergone. I was hoping that, in the remote chance of her receiving and reading it (amongst the thousands of other letters she receives), she might at least enter into some dialogue with me about it. Not surprisingly, I have not had any response to that letter.

Then, I decided to attempt to reach Ellen by posting a short letter on the public comment boards on her show's website. Here is a copy of my post:

Dear Ellen,
I think you are an incredibly fun, caring and talented person... I just absolutely love your humor and I think you are very genuine... and it is because I really do care for you very much as a person that I want to share some thoughts with you about something that is very relevant to both of us, and that you might like to think about.
Since I was 18 I have experienced homosexual attraction and have been in several same-sex relationships. However, after a lot of research and study on the subject, as well as a lot of honest soul-searching, I have come to the conclusion that homosexuality is not normal, natural and healthy.
Just from a totally biological point of view, it is really quite clear to me that our bodies were not "naturally designed" to have sex with the same sex. I mean, if we were meant to have sex with members of the same sex, we would have had designed into our bodies a natural way to satisfy each other sexually. As it is, fulfilment can only be obtained artificially -- that is, homosexual men and women both have to use "things" that you can hardly say were naturally designed for sexual intercourse (eg., anus, mouth, vibrator, rubber dildos, hand, etc. etc.... sorry for being so explicit but we need to be really honest here and face the reality of the situation and not gloss over the truth).
The fact is, the natural design of our bodies clearly reveals their true purpose and intention and in homosexual actions, we are clearly not using our bodies in the way they were naturally designed to be used. On the contrary, we are using them in an unnatural way and therefore it cannot be normal or healthy.
Anything done against nature cannot be right or healthy. We may initially think we can "get away with" doing things against nature and that it is "OK," but as with everything else in nature, when it is abused, ignored or not respected, there always will be negative consequences to pay.
I know you will say, if it is not "natural," then what causes people to be sexually attracted to people of the same sex? From all of my research and study (of which I have done an enormous amount), I am now totally convinced that it is actually a psychological and emotional disorder caused primarily by early childhood family and social experiences and influences, and our unconscious reaction to those influences (which is largely dependent upon our inherent personality and temperament type)... And it can be effectively treated, or at the very least alleviated, in people who are willing to obtain help.
I have been undergoing therapy for some time now to help repair the emotional damage that I experienced in my early developmental years, which I believe caused most of my homosexual-attraction problems, and I can honestly attest to the therapy's effectiveness. I am finally starting to feel "alive" for the first time in my life. At the same time, I am also starting to discover what I believe to be the "real me," the "true me"... at last; that is, the person who I was really meant to be... the person I was originally designed to be.
In other words, I am slowly becoming on the inside, the person that reflects the physical person I was born as on the outside... To put it another way, my internal psychological and emotional sexual identity is slowly aligning with the gender or sexual identity with which I was physically born. The two are actually becoming less in conflict with each other, and are slowly re-aligning to become one--i.e., female, inside and out. And, what's even more incredible, I am now actually feeling my homosexual urges starting to diminish and heterosexual attraction starting to develop in me!
This has been so liberating for me and has given me such a great sense of peace about myself, unlike I have ever known before. That is not to say that it has been easy. There's been a fair amount of "emotional surgery" performed to get to this point (and still some more needed) and it takes a lot of courage, determination and willpower to get through it, but in the end, I believe it to be truly worth it for the ultimate relief that it brings.
I recommend that you consider it... you may believe that you have had some great moments in your life thus far, but trust me, if you really open your mind to what I am saying and choose to take my advice.... the best is yet to come!"

Of course, in posting that comment, I had no idea if it was ever even going to get past Ellen's web monitors and into her own hands or not, but whatever the case, here follows what happened. Within 24 hours of my comment being posted, it was not only removed from the website, but I was banned from posting on the site again!

Every time I attempted to post something again, a page came up with the statement, "You are not allowed to post on here"!

So much for freedom of speech, I thought! Where is the tolerance and acceptance of other peoples' views? Why is it that Ellen is allowed to talk openly about her personal experience with regard to her homosexuality, but I am not allowed to talk about my own personal experience and feelings with regard to this same issue?

I then re-posted my comment on Ellen's website through someone else's computer, along with some added questions as to why my post was removed-- and again, I was banned from the site. My post was removed and I was banned from sending anything through that second computer!

Four times I re-posted my comment with the attached questions regarding their discriminatory and intolerant response to my post, and each time, my post was removed.

About a week later, I thought I would try to see if I could post again from my own computer; and lo and behold, for whatever the reason, they had lifted the ban. So I decided to try re-posting a slightly edited version of my original comment. When I checked the website the next morning, not only was my new post gone, but everywhere that anyone could previously post a comment on the show's website, had also been removed. All public comment/feedback options were now totally gone!

What was the reason? I don't know, but even though the public comment boards on Ellen's website have been shut down, my personal quest has not!

One way or another I am determined, as one who has found Reparative Therapy to be immensely helpful, to find a way to have some say in this important public debate. Gay activists alone should not have all the say when it comes to deciding what is effective and acceptable in the treatment of homosexuality. Those of us who have benefited from Reparative Therapy also need to be heard and considered.

Reparative Therapy works for me, and nobody has the right to deny me, or anyone else for that matter, access to it.

------Siena de la Croix

--* With Cynthia Winn, MFT at the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic (Encino, CA)

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