Ha! This is Perfect! REQUIRED READING (Updated)

THIS MAKES ME HAPPY.

Click HERE for the blog “An Exercise in Fundamentals of Orthodoxy.”  In it, Peter has come up with a much better term for Ex-Gay than I could have ever dreamed up:

“Post-Gay.”

I love this.  It acknowledges where I’ve been, and that I’ve left that destination for something higher, deeper, richer.  Here’s how Peter describes himself:

Charismatic, Reformed and PostGay, married to Gayle, Peter is the Curate at Christ Church Ware, an Evangelical Anglican church in the Diocese of St Albans. He became a Christian in 1994 and since then has worshipped in a variety of contexts, beginning in house churches (Vineyard and New Frontiers) and settling in the Church of England. He attended Vicar Factory in Oxford where he helped to setup the international networking group Anglican Mainstream which he is still involved with.

Peter has been speaking and writing on issues of sexuality and identity for a number of years and in diverse places (from Spring Harvest to the Pink Paper). He works with groups like Living Waters UK and TFT to bring the message of restoration and wholeness for all of God’s people and is currently the chair of Redeemed Lives UK. His relationship with Jesus is not just with a God who has saved him but who is also at work in his world, restoring those within it who turn to him to their intended being.

When he’s not watching his complete collection of Doctor Who videos and DVDs he enjoys being one of only 7 people in Britain able to sing Bronski Beat’s ” Smalltown Boy” at the correct pitch. Supermode eat your heart out.

Peter is a member of the New Wine Leaders Network and Forward in Faith UK. He and Gayle are currently expecting their first child in the Spring.

I give you a couple of pilfered paragraphs with the encouragement to click HERE to read the full thing (and it is a joy to read—literate, well-reasoned, well-written—unlike the crazed hummingbird-spatterings of this blog!):

I think the main problem with ex-gay is that it is an ontological statement. It presents, intentionally or not, the one who calls himself as ex-gay as one who’s sexual orientation has changed from gay to straight. He/she is claiming to have gone from one state of being (gay) to another (straight). And while that is the case for many who are ex-gay, for others it isn’t so clear. For some their sexual desires move more towards those of the opposite sex but not to a point where they are exclusively heterosexual in their attractions. That then raises more questions of an ontological nature – are they really “bisexual” (though one wants to ask where the bisexual/heterosexual continuum switches – 95% hetero, 96%, 98.64738%?) and not gay? Are they therefore lying?

I think “ex-gay” also presents a pastoral issue for some who undertake that journey. If the ex-gay ministries promise change to heterosexuality and that change doesn’t occur, does that mean that the ex-gay model is fallacious? While there is a pretty impressive “success rate” for those who go through ex-gay ministries, there is also an equally large number of people who drop-out or reject it. While some of that drop-out is embittered and angered other parts of it are intelligent and articulate and raise a number of important issues that need to addressed.

So this is my problem with “ex-gay”. It seems to suggest a bi-polar, ontological model of sexual attraction – gay to straight. In doing so it unfortunately sets itself up for a fall with those for whose experience that bi-polar model doesn’t seem to fit. So what is the alternative model for those of us who want to affirm the redemption of same-sex attraction and broken sexuality?

The alternative is “post-gay”. Post-gay isn’t an ontological statement, it’s a vectorial statement. For those uninitiated in the deeper arcane magicks of mathematics, a vector is simply a description of a direction and magnitude. It describes a movement, not a position (which is ontology). Post-gay then is less about being straight or gay and rather about a choice of a journey.

Wholeheartedly agreed, Peter.  Thank you for sharing that with us.  Seems we postgay people are always searching for a new, clearer identity.  This works magnificently.

Post-Gay.  Works for me.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Peter.

UPDATE:  Pam Ferguson writes in comments below:

Dr. Throckmorton was using the term “post-gay” about 2 years ago. There was a little brainstorming session in an email exchange I was a part of and he was pondering that word at the time. He’s used it off and on since then and it’s sort of working its way into the mainstream of the dialouge.

Peter’s reasonings for adopting the name are really good and I think it’s time to work that term a little further into the mainstream dialogue.  I’m going to start with the guys I know at church who run said programs.  See where it goes from there.  Thanks for the info, Pam.  We DO appreciate knowing things like this.

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~ by WriterRand on March 23, 2008.

6 Responses to “Ha! This is Perfect! REQUIRED READING (Updated)”

  1. “While some of that drop-out is embittered and angered other parts of it are intelligent and articulate…”

    Because it’s impossible to be angry & intelligent?

    One interesting fact I have observed within the ex-gay movement is the double-speak and outright fraud perpetrated by many of the organizations. When speaking to the secular press reps from Exodus will claim they’ve never purported absolute healing, that the journey away from SSA is a life long process. However, while speaking to evangelical Christian crowds that story changes dramatically to one of instantaneous change to people who surrender themselves to Jesus.

    Isn’t it possible to bring our sexual orientation into a position of emotional maturity where we can abandon the extremes of surrendering ourselves to debauchery or taking a position of denial?

  2. Roy:

    I think Peter is speaking rather generally about the blogs that are more interested in invectives than serious, reasoned thought about the situation. I read a lot of ex-ex-gay blogs because I want to know what people think who have “failed” ex-gay programs. I can’t get through some of the knee-jerk, reactionary writing. That’s not to say that there aren’t angry, well-reasoned writers out there. They’re just so hard to come by on a subject that is such a hot-button issue.

    I agree with much of your comment. Instantaneous change is completely unreasonable. I know Exodus recently came to the conclusion that moving away from a definitive, instantaneous cure was the right way to go, but I didn’t know they’d claimed to have never endorsed it. What? They’ve never heard of Google cache?

    Your last paragraph does a beautiful job of summarizing the problem at hand.

    Glad to see your comments here. Welcome.

    FormerlyGay

  3. FYI…Dr. Throckmorton was using the term “post-gay” about 2 years ago. There was a little brainstorming session in an email exchange I was a part of and he was pondering that word at the time. He’s used it off and on since then and it’s sort of working its way into the mainstream of the dialouge. Just thought you’d want to know. I always appreciate it when someone makes me aware of something like that since misinformation can quickly become rampant around this issue ;).

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  5. You’re just now finding Peter Ould? I’ve been reading him for a while! He’s great, but it might just be because he’s British. I always do give a little more cred to Brits for some reason…

  6. Yeah, I’m late to the party and I kept feeling like “Where has this guy been?” as if it were HIS problem he hadn’t come across MY radar.

    So whomelse is required reading these days?

    FG

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