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Dear Jody

By |2005-08-04T09:00:00-04:00August 4th, 2005|Opinions|

By Jody Valley

Accepting yourself, truthfully

Q: My mother was watching TV the other day and saw a news program about a guy who has a program to help men deny their homosexual behavior. He says that his program does not change a person that is homosexual, but will help them not act on it. In other words they can change their behaviors. He apparently said that this made him and others that don’t want to be homosexual happier and well-adjusted. He reports he is now in a heterosexual relationship; he realizes that he will always be homosexual, but a person can learn to not act on it.
Well, my mother immediately took down the information about his program and how to contact him. Now, she wants me to attend the program, and she is even willing to pay for it. I don’t know what I think. I haven’t been out very long so I am still pretty uncomfortable with my sexuality, but I’m not sure I want to change. I have been working on accepting myself and learning who I really am.
My mom says if there is a chance I could be normal, I owe it to the family to at least try. She and my dad have both had a hard time accepting me since I came out, although they have not outright rejected me. I am afraid if I don’t do this I will lose them. I just don’t know what to think. What do you know about places like this?
Not Wanting To Change Orientation

A: I just don’t believe that a person who is homosexual can go through a program, decide to be heterosexual, and then have intimate relationships with the opposite sex and be well adjusted, or the reverse to be true. I do believe that people who are bisexual can make a choice as to whether they will act on their attraction to either same sex or opposite sex persons. It seems to me that you have just discovered who you really are and are in the stage of accepting yourself. I think to go to a program like this would be a step backwards in your self-acceptance. It is always hard when people we love have a difficult time accepting who we are, but you will be hurting yourself by trying to please your family, which won’t be good for any of you.

Hiding in the ‘law’

Q. I am so pissed with my girlfriend. She recently took a job with a law firm here in town. She will make really good money, and there are lots of benefits working at this particular firm. The problem is that she has gone back in the closet at work. She has gone out and bought a bunch of new clothes that look so hetero. I hate them. She also is letting her hair grow long and has started curling it. The other day she started polishing her nails, now she shaves her legs. She has bought makeup and has started using it. She says it is just because she has to put forth a certain image at work for her clients. But I think she is going back in the closet because she says she hasn’t told anyone about us because “the time hasn’t been right.” We have always been totally open about our relationship and who we are. I’m afraid I am losing the women I love to a law firm, and I don’t know what to do. Help!
Law Firms Grabbed My Girlfriend

A. Have the two of you sat down and talked about what is going on? It is important that you hear and understand what is going on with your girlfriend, and it is equally as important that she hears what is gong on with you, and how you are feeling.
It may well be that she needs to change her image if she is going to work for this company. And by the way, lots of lesbian women dress in feminine clothes, curl their hair, shave their legs, etc. As far as not telling her company until the time is right, that is a personal thing when someone feels that it is okay and the time is right. Whatever, you both need to talk about all of this.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.