Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Coming Out of "‘Situational Heterosexuality’

Joe Jervis has a quote at Joe By God from Former "ex-gay" evangelical minister Anthony Venn-Brown. Brown, now one of Australia's leading LGBT activists, where he says that gay men in heterosexual marriages engage in the opposite of the situational homosexuality found in prisons and other all same gender settings. Having been in a heterosexual marriage myself for 24 years , I think that Venn-Brown is on to something. Those of us gays who married and tried to do "what was expected" by family, society and/or our religious upbringings in effect engaged in straight relationships even thought that was not our true sexual orientation. We either did not know what else to do, wanted to have children, or simply could not admit to ourselves who we really were. Thus, you try to make it work even though in your heart you know its not complete and you continue to suffer from those pesky attractions to other males. You become the actor on the stage playing a role until the point comes where you simply no longer have the energy to keep up the performance either inwardly or outwardly. Here are some of Venn-Brown's comments on the phenomenon:
"‘Situational heterosexuality’ is a term I’ve used for several years when people have asked how I could have been married for so many years and yet be gay. This term has also helped people gain a clearer understanding of what really happens when someone who is homosexual marries someone of the opposite sex and claims change. Confusion about what really happens in these situations still exists and often wrongly reinforces the ‘homosexuality is a choice’ and ‘homosexuals can change’ concept.
"How often have you heard someone say something like this ‘They couldn’t be gay, they’re married’. When someone says that to me, I just remain silent for a while with a smile on my face (having been a gay man in a heterosexual marriage) and wait for what I’m actually thinking to sink into the consciousness of the person who made the naive statement."
As much as "ex-gays" may seek to deny it - even to themselves - they have not changed their sexual orientation. Instead they have suppressed it at least for a time. That does not equate to permanent change.

1 comment:

Anthony Venn-Brown said...

thanks Michael....I liked your personal observations