One of the things that bothers me about many ex-gay testimonies is that they often talk about how horrible the "gay lifestyle" is, and how shallow and drug-, alcohol-, and sex-filled it is. I guess they never consider the fact that there are queer folks who don't live like that.
I was amused recently by the realization that most ex-gays' characterizations of the "gay lifestyle" fairly accurately describe my former "straight lifestyle." In the years prior to my coming out, I had a drinking problem, slept with people I didn't know, and used drugs when I partied with friends.
Oddly enough, since coming out in 1994, I've been celibate and alcohol-free and drug-free. Guess I won't be recruiting anyone into this fantastic party-like gay lifestyle with my story, will I?
While I admit that I might be one of the few people on the earth to have not had a sexual relationship after coming out (and one of the fewer still who might admit such a thing), I know I am not alone. And while most other gays and lesbians might not share my story, I know there are many out there who live pretty typical (probably boring) lives. I know I'm not alone in waiting for the right one. I'm also not alone in deciding to get my act together and quit drinking and start living in a healthy way. Straight and gay folks alike do this all the time.
What I'd like to see are ex-gays taking personal responsibility for the choices they made when they identified as gay, instead of trying to paint the entire gay community (whatever that is) as a degenerate bunch of shallow, alcoholic, sex-crazed drug addicts.
But perhaps I can turn this into a new career opportunity. I think I'll start touring around the country telling people how dangerous and damaging the straight lifestyle is, and how I found hope, healing, sobriety, and health in the gay lifestyle.
For the record, here is a snapshot of my gay lifestyle (don't read if you are the squeamish kind!): Alarm clock goes off. Take a shower. Dress. Feed the cats. Eat. Work. Eat. Work. Feed the cats. Eat. Play with the cats. Spend time on the computer. Talk to friends on the phone. Water plants. Read e-mail. Do dishes. Undress. Go to bed. Sleep. Repeat with minor modifications.
Pretty harrowing, isn't it? Almost makes you feel kinda dirty just reading the nitty gritty details...