Homosexuality: Choice or Consequence?

Gay sympathizers insist that homosexuality is not a choice. On this point I completely agree. It is not a choice. No man I know or have heard of who deals with homosexuality, whether they reject and struggle against it or embrace it with pride, feels like they ever chose these desires.

It is not a choice, it is a consequence -- an unintended consequence of a lifetime of choices -- conscious, subconscious and unconscious. It is an unfortunate but natural consequence of choices made by a growing boy that were intended only to protect himself against rejection and hurt, to make himself feel safe, and to do what seemed most natural.

One can hardly fault a little boy for running away from male peers he felt were taunting and frightening and for preferring the company of girls he felt were accepting and easy-going. One can hardly fault a little boy for rejecting and protecting himself from a seemingly cold or harsh or absent or disinterested father, or for expressing his naturally artistic and sensitive talents while rejecting what for him are the frightening, unfamiliar and uncomfortable rough-and-tumble games of boyhood. After all, he is only trying to take care of himself, feel safe and be true to himself, as best as an innocent (and unguided) little boy knows how.

Little does he know that all of these perfectly understandable and innocent choices, in combination, and without intervention, can lead to horrendous unintended consequences. These choices can ultimately cause him to fail to discover his innate masculinity, fail to bond with his gender, and fail to develop a healthy gender identity as a man among men. And unable to find his own masculinity within, he can begin to seek it outside of himself, to envy it in other boys and men, and finally to lust for it sexually. His choices can have the
very unintended consequence of causing him to see himself as the opposite of men -- to see other men as the opposite sex. And so, being their opposite, he naturally feels drawn to them sexually to give himself that sense of completeness, wholeness, balance and
oneness that sexuality is designed to provide.

The problem is, many (perhaps most or even all?) men never really find in homosexual relationships that sense of completeness and balance that they long for, because in homosexuality they give away their masculinity to their partner. They turn to another man to fill the masculine emptiness within themselves. And though they may feel maleness for a moment outside of themselves, and revel in being able to touch it externally for a moment, they are left feeling even more detached from their own inner masculinity and void of a sense of maleness they have been craving all their lives.

The question to the now-grown man becomes, what will you do with this history of choices and their unintended but inextricably attached consequences? No one I have ever heard of has been able to simply choose to stop feeling homosexual desires -- after all, the desires
aren't chosen, they are the result of a web of other, more primal choices. You can't unchoose the consequences while continuing to make the same original choices.

Nor can you change past choices you have already made. That is your history and must be accepted. But that doesn't limit you to make the same choices now, in the present. This is the terrifying, thrilling, exciting and satisfying part of homosexual recovery -- learning to
make all-new choices about the kind of man you will be now, the way you see yourself as a man, the way you see other men, the way you relate to men in your life, the way you relate to the world of men, and the way you see women and relate to women.

Today, as a grown man with much greater understanding about choices and their consequence, as a grown man with many resources for support to turn to, and not as a hurt and needy little boy, you can make different choices. Healthy choices. Constructive choices. Empowering choices.

Perhaps you will choose to work on no longer rejecting your father outright and instead to find the good in him that you can embrace and, yes, even accept as a role model. Perhaps you will choose to work on no longer seeing heterosexual men as destructive and
frightening, or no longer rejecting the entire masculine realm out of hurt and spite. Perhaps you will choose to work on overcoming defensive detachment, or no longer running from meaningful relationships with heterosexual men. Perhaps you will choose to begin to focus on your similarities with other men instead of your differences.

These new attitudes and beliefs and ways of relating will take time to learn and to develop. This is a chosen path of careful and deliberate reconstruction of the inner self. You will be ridding yourself of the long-established and familiar attitudes and beliefs and character traits and ways of being with others that have had negative consequences in your life, or the outcomes you don't want, and instead embracing and developing those that have positive consequences in your life, or the outcomes you do want.

(By emphasizing that these things can be chosen, I don't mean to suggest that change is a moment in time. The decision to pursue change might be, but the change itself -- as anyone who has ever pursued personal growth or enlightenment knows -- can take months or years or a lifetime.)

Then, as real change begins to take effect, the consequences will inevitably follow: You will discover a sense of inner male power and innate masculinity you previously only saw in others. Men will eventually stop appearing to be the opposite sex from you. You will
begin to see heterosexual men as your peers and will begin to identify with them in a bond of brotherhood as you never have before. And as your masculine identity develops, your desire to connect sexually and romantically with your opposite will gradually, quietly begin to turn from the men you once saw as the opposite sex to the women (or a woman) that you, as a firmly grounded man, now recognize as your true opposite.

So as a man among men, what new choices will you begin to make today?

Ben Newman