The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Symbolic Genders: Understanding Trauma Driven Homosexuality

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The topic of homosexuality has been so badly handled by the Christian community that all you have to do is use the words “gay” and “God” in the same sentence and everyone gets ready for war.  In this post, we’re going to discuss a very common way that people become sexually attracted to their own gender.  If you’re all caught up in gay pride and you just love being gay, then don’t bother with this post because it won’t help you.  This post is only going to be useful for folks who are feeling distressed by their homosexual desires and wondering how they got where they are. 

Now when it comes to responding to the concept of homosexuality, we find Christians dividing into two basic camps.  In the first camp, we find those who act like being gay is some super wonderful thing and they practically worship gays in some guilt-driven attempt to make up for what members of the second camp are saying.  It’s members of the first camp who produce “affirming” churches, and by that they mean that God affirms gays specifically.  Never mind the rest of the human population—God apparently favors gays, which is why affirming churches often like to associate themselves with the famous gay rainbow.  Is this a good plan?  No, it’s idiotic.  Since when should we be building whole churches around the theme of sexual orientation?  We shouldn’t have straight churches or gay churches—we should just have churches.  The pursuit of God has nothing to do with sexual orientation.  But the Church is too immature to grasp this concept, so now we’re stuck with rainbow churches.

In the second camp, we’ve got the folks who hate gays.  These are the folks who stand around in public places holding signs that say “God hates fags.”  Are they right?  Of course not.  God doesn’t condemn or bless anyone based on the sexual desires of their earthsuit.  This whole obsession with sexual orientation is ludicrous from start to finish.  Anytime we start favoring and condemning people based on some quality about their earthsuits, we’re talking like fools.  But the gay haters do a lot of damage, which is why some gays retaliate by cooking up a bunch of silly phrases like “If God hates us, why did He make us so cute?”  Once again, the focus is in the wrong place.  As a homosexual, you need to get a grip and realize that your sexual orientation is only one of many qualities that you have, and it’s hardly the most important.  Just as you can’t impress or annoy God with the color of your hair, you can’t get Him to love or hate you based on your sexual orientation.  In your relationship with God, your sexual orientation is irrelevant.  What He cares about is how you are responding to Him on a soul level.

So what’s the right way to respond to God if you’re gay?  First, let’s understand that the rules are the same for all sexual orientations.  Whether you’re straight, bi, gay, trans, or a pedophile, God wants the same soul attitudes from you.  Submission, reverence, dependency and trust are four critical soul attitudes which you will need to be embracing if you are going to get far with God.  Does being gay give you some disadvantage when it comes to developing the soul attitudes that God wants?  Not at all.  If you think it does, that’s because you’ve been listening to some bad teaching by people who didn’t know what they were talking about.

Relating to God is a soul thing.  Being gay is an earthsuit thing.  What your earthsuit wants and what your soul wants are two different concepts.  If you think that your homosexual cravings are some huge issue to God, then you need to think again.  Does God say that sleeping with your own gender is perverse?  Yes.  But He also says that straights lusting after other straights is perverse, and all straights are guilty of doing this.  So the fact that you are gay doesn’t instantly bump you into some category of “extra bad” sinners.  God says that getting drunk is wrong—does that mean we should rush out and condemn all alcoholics?  Of course not.  Every human on the planet is loaded with desires which God calls “sinful.”  But if you actually listen to God and stop letting other people put words in His mouth, you’ll discover that when it comes to your daily walk with Him, the fact that your earthsuit is always craving sin is simply not an issue to Him.  What He cares about is your soul’s response to Him, and your soul can be pleasing God even as your earthsuit is running amuck (see Understanding Divine Judgment: Illumination, Empowerment & A God Who Delights In Mercy).

Now for those of you who are feeling disturbed by your homosexual desires, we want to make you aware of a concept that doesn’t get nearly enough attention in the homosexual community: that of trauma driven homosexuality.

Every culture attaches symbolic meaning to the concepts of male and female.  Then each individual refines those symbols to match his personal experience of life.  For example, after growing up in a home with an abusive father and a very kind mother, Joe has developed a general stereotype that males are mean and females are nice.  If we’d been through what Joe has, we would have come to the same conclusion.  And once Joe starts stereotyping the genders like this, those stereotypes affect his behavior.  As a man, Joe seeks out females for friends and he feels uncomfortable around men.  Our beliefs drive our actions: this is a concept which many humans find easy to understand.  But what is far less understood is that our beliefs also have a powerful effect on our sexual orientation.  By this we mean that for many homosexuals, their sexual attraction to their own gender was a learned concept.  The fact that you’ve never been aware of having “normal” sexual desires does not mean that you were born gay.  Like pedophilia, homosexuality is very often a coping method for unprocessed trauma.  Sometimes the trauma is shocking in nature and limited in occurrence—such as Molly getting molested by her grandfather between the ages of three and five.  Other times the trauma is more subtle and occurs over a period of decades—such as Fred feeling starved for male attention as he grows up in a home with no father figure.  The point is that you shouldn’t be so quick to accept your sexual orientation as a permanent aspect of yourself.  The sex drive is a very moldable thing, and it’s appetites can change dramatically as a response to life experiences.

Why does a man want to become a woman?  Because he feels intensely uncomfortable being a man.  But who taught him that being a man was a bad thing?  When he was just an infant lying in a crib, Rob didn’t think of himself as male or female.  The concept of gender was introduced to him as he grew older, and with that introduction came a bunch of extra information.  Rob wasn’t just taught that he was male, he was also taught that males are shameful, inferior beings who deserve to be mocked and degraded.  It was because Rob was taught that being male was bad that he now feels so desperate to disassociate himself with all things male.  But in Sam’s home, Sam was taught that being male was a good thing.  He was taught that males were capable, respectable, smart, and full of potential.  So Sam likes being male while Rob feels deeply threatened by his masculinity.  Sam is a happy straight while Rob is a tormented transsexual.  Should we then come along and condemn Rob for having a closet full of dresses?  Should we say Rob is a freak to want to castrate himself?  No, we should see Rob’s extreme behavior as evidence of how intensely Rob is upset by being male.  Then we should try to help Rob figure out how he has come to hold such a negative view of males and see if we can help him get more comfortable with his gender.  Merely helping Rob present himself as a woman isn’t going to help him find peace of soul.  If we really want to help Rob, then we need to help him unlearn the lies he’s carrying around that cause him to view half of the human race as a bunch of inferior yucks.

Now while Rob is trying to use transsexualism to cope with his gender stresses, he could just as easily have become gay in response to his miseries.  Mike grew up in a similar situation as Rob: in his home males were treated as inferior.  But while Rob’s mind focused on his own inferiority, Mike always felt that things would have been different if he’d had another male in the home to side with him.  So when Mike meets Larry—a very kind and affirming gay man, the two immediately hit it off.  Mike has never experienced the kind of affirmation that Larry is giving him.  Larry is the first person to ever treat Mike’s masculinity with respect, and an intense bond is formed.  Soon they’re getting married—why wouldn’t they?  Both men are helping ease each other’s core pain, and neither one wants the relationship to end.

Trauma driven homosexuality really isn’t hard to understand once you realize that there’s nothing sacred about the sex drive.  If you keep telling a girl that she’s ugly, she’ll end up accepting that lie about herself and grow up seeing a very unattractive woman in the mirror.  In the same way, if you teach someone to believe that the opposite gender is dangerous, cruel, or impossible to please, that person will naturally develop a very strong aversion to being intimate with that gender.  If you withhold the normal affection that a child needs from his same sex parent, then that child can very easily channel his intense need for that kind of affection into a sexual attraction to his own gender.  Our sexual orientation is profoundly impacted by our experiences in life.  How we approach intercourse is affected as well.

Among Christians, there is an absurd stereotype that all gays are deeply disturbed while all straights have it together in the realm of sex.  And yet the truth is that many straights are caught up in all kinds of abuse, self-degradation and perversity in their bedroom behavior.  Merely knowing a man is straight tells us nothing about his psychological health.  Many straight men so intensely hate women that they’re going around raping them at every opportunity.  For such men, sex is just a power trip—a chance to dominate a gender which they feel intensely threatened by.  In the world of sadomasochism, we can find plenty of straight women brutally torturing men who are voluntarily playing the role of their sex slaves.  Simply being straight doesn’t at all mean that people are handling sex in a healthy, God-honoring way.  There’s nothing God-honoring about making another human crawl around like a dog while you strap his genitals to a device that prevents him from being able to stand up.  Yet in many BDSM relationships, straight individuals are thoroughly enjoying the feeling of power that they get from torturing and degrading another human being.  Is it okay to abuse someone just because they are willing or eager to be abused?  No, it’s not, and yet for many these torture fests are a total addiction.  The point we’re making is this: there’s nothing sacred about sex.  Getting perverse in the realm of sexuality is just one of a billion ways that humans try to cope with their own unprocessed issues.  The real crisis arises when we dig our heels in and refuse to admit what’s really driving our behavior.  When we start celebrating our dysfunctional coping methods as wonderful things, we only end up stagnating in unprocessed pain.

No one is born an alcoholic.  For many alcoholics, their addiction is a coping method—a way that they’re trying to distract themselves from their internal woundedness.  In the same way, there are a whole lot of homosexuals in this world who are pursuing same gender partners as a means of trying to avoid dealing with deeper core fears and pain that they are associating with gender in their minds.  Is there something super evil about choosing the coping method of homosexuality over, say, pedophilia or alcoholism?  Not really.  These responses are wired in and rarely a conscious choice.  Some minds quickly turn to drugs in times of stress, some never turn to drugs.  Some minds fixate on the gender of the people who have upset them in life, while others fixate on something else, like a personality trait.  Regardless of what we’re fixating on, trying to put patches onto trauma instead of dealing with root causes is always a mistake.  It doesn’t matter if you live in a culture that has decided to legalize and celebrate your particular coping method—you are still personally carrying around a bunch of burdens which you’re not dealing with, and the longer you do that, the worse you’re going to feel.  God is all about dealing with root causes, and if we want to get far with Him, we have to be receptive to Him helping us face and deal with our own baggage.

Treating homosexuals like scum because they are feeling sexually aroused by their own gender is like condemning a man for being tall.  You can’t control the height to which your skeleton stretches over time, and you didn’t decide what targets would turn you on when you hit puberty.  The insight we want you to gain from this post is that the sex drive is far more moldable than most people realize.  It uses many factors to determine which targets it wants, and as those factors change, so will its preferred targets.  This means that you should not be so quick to accept the theory that “once a homosexual, always a homosexual.”  You have many reasons for pursuing same gender targets, and many of those reasons are based on the stereotypes you have about gender which you learned from other people.

Humans are complex creatures, and they seek out sexual targets for positive and negative reasons.  Some of us are intentionally hunting down sexual partners who we think will abuse us. Some of us are searching for partners who we can easily dominate and control.  Some of us are trying to sexualize friendships because we’ve been taught that any strong emotional attraction is supposed to have a sexual element to it.  Some of us are going after same sex partners as a way of hiding out from the other gender because that other gender threatens us.  Some of us are pursuing same sex partners to try and please a same sex abuser from our past, or to get same sex affirmation which was withheld from us.  Sex is loaded with symbolism for human beings—it’s never just about getting physically intimate with another warm body.  When you feel like sex has become a troublesome issue for you in your own life, it’s time to ask God to help you understand what sex means to you personally.  What are you really looking for when you pursue sexual relations with other humans?  What specific core needs are you trying to satisfy?  What frustrations, disappointments, and wounds are you trying to resolve?  God understands each one of us inside and out, and He doesn’t condemn any of us for responding to the programming He put into us.  But He does want to use our experiences and desires in life to draw us closer to Him—and that includes our sexual relationships.

Don’t let the fact that you’re gay drive you away from God.  Your sexual orientation doesn’t have bumpkus to do with how much God wants you.  God wants a real, honest, dynamic relationship with you—one in which you are open to talking to Him about anything and eager to learn everything that He wants to teach you.

When our sexual desires aren’t fitting within God’s extremely narrow parameters of “righteous behavior,” the resulting guilt can be very intense.  And yet dragging around a brick load of guilt is not where God wants us to stay.  God doesn’t blame us for things we can’t control, and we can’t control what our bodies find arousing.  God wants our souls to be sincerely submitting to Him as the Supreme Authority that He is.  God wants us to sincerely care about pleasing Him and to be receptive to His convictions.  When you take this attitude towards Him, He isn’t going to come back at you with a bunch of impossible commands and condemnation.  God doesn’t think you’re awesome for being gay, and He doesn’t think you’re scum for it either.  God doesn’t define you by your sexual orientation or by any other earthsuit quality.  God created you for the specific purpose of having a positive personal relationship with Him.  Ask Him to make you all that He wants you to be, and you’ll be amazed at how He responds to the fact of your homosexuality.  The Christian community does a miserable job of accurately conveying God’s feelings on many issues, and sexual orientation is one of them.  The better we come to know God personally, the more we realize how absurd we’ve been ever to question the depth or intensity of God’s love for homosexuals.

FURTHER READING:
Gender Dysphoria: Confronting the Lies that Fuel the Crisis (Help for Transsexuals)
Are all sexual perverts going to Hell?
Understanding Your Perverse Fantasies: A Sign of Stress, Not Defectiveness
The Inner Room: Understanding How God Judges You
Understanding Divine Judgment: How God Ranks Sin
Help for Sex Addicts: Understanding Symbolic Sex
Voluntary Castration: The Solution that Makes Everything Worse (Help for Sexually Frustrated Men)
Understanding the Love of God: The Five Versions of You

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