Thinking out loud: Gay and straight pride is just pride

Vague post I suspect.

Working with evangelical families who have same-sex attracted members is among the most difficult clinical work I do. Many evangelicals make SSA the unpardonable sin (“thank God I am not like those sinners”) and the SSA member wants to pursue a scorched earth, take no prisoners approach (“if you don’t accept my truth, then you don’t love me and I will never speak to you again”). Both sides wants a change of belief to occur and accuses the other of disloyalty and hatred if the change is not forthcoming. It appears to me that both sides want to fight and win the culture war within my office and within the context of their family. My efforts to normalize disagreement by making it analogous to other behavioral and social issues about which people disagree often fail initially. While most families do gradually grasp on to that concept, living and letting live is like brokering a peace treaty. I think at the moment that I write this that pride in the direction of one’s sexual attractions is not healthy self-esteem nor assertively standing up for one’s beliefs, it is just pride (or narcissism, if you speak english with a psychological accent).

My work is practically done for me when I speak to a less common set of parents who understand “there but for the grace of God, go I” and gay identified member who says, “I know this is difficult for you, it is difficult for me, remember I didn’t ask for these feelings.” These families seem to understand quickly that one cannot argue anyone into heterosexuality.