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06/14/2007

Oh, is the 14th the 'condemnatory blog entry' anniversary? Who knew?

by Jeremy Hooper

The following is a blog entry from professional "ex-gay" Stephen Bennett:

14 Years of Living a Lie...

...so they say.

I want to wish my beautiful wife, Irene, a happy 14th Anniversary today, June 13th.

The last 14 years of my life have been the most precious and meaningful ones to me.

We are your average, traditional American family next door: a husband, a wife, two kids (a boy and a girl) and, well, a rabbit.

Life has never been better.

My 11 years involved in the homosexual lifestyle are a horrible nightmare. The immoral sex with numerous people, the bars, the drugs, the alcohol, the failed relationships, the pornography, playing "house" with my "gay" partners, friends and lovers dying from AIDS - a nightmare.

Today, I have peace. I have stability and responsibility. I'm a husband and a father, the provider, the one who pays the mortgage, the tuition, the bills and puts food on the table.

Thank God I have the One who is my Provider. Without Him, all would be futile.

So to all the naysayers out there, the militant homosexuals who tried to change, failed and now want everyone else to fail, I have one word for you: Jesus.

Jesus Christ loves you more than you'll ever know, and He's waiting for you with open arms -- no matter what you did in your past, no matter what you did last night -- and no matter what you're doing right now.

Jesus is the answer you've been searching for all of these years.

I thank my Heavenly Father and give Him all the glory, honor and praise, for changing me and delivering me from a sinful life -- something I could never do. I thank Him for my beautiful wife and my children - my family -- a REAL family.

Thank you Lord for loving me enough to die for me while I was yet a sinner, that I might have life and life more abundant; that I might be able to tell others what You've done for me, You are ready and willing to do the same for them -- TODAY.

Praise YOU Lord for 15 years of NEW LIFE -- and 14 years married to the most wonderful Christian woman, my wife Irene, and praise you for a family I could have never imagined.

I'm not ashamed to say - I love You, Lord, with all of my heart. -- Thank You. ~ Stephen Bennett

Fortunately, two can play the "good life" game:

27 Years of Living in 'Sin'...

...so they say.

I want to wish my beautiful partner (would-be husband), Andrew, a happy day today, June 13th.

The last 4+ years of my life have been the most precious and meaningful ones to me.

We are your average, traditional American family in the big city: A would-be husband, would-be husband, kids soon to follow, and, well, an adorable shih tzu named Bosley.

Life has never been better.

My eight years involved openly in the gay life have been a dream. The joy of living my life freely after years of stifled truth. Getting to experience the amazing sense of community. Not stifling my emotions or creativity for fear that such an outburst might make me look like a "sissy." Having a deep appreciation for rights and freedoms, as I know what it's like to be denied of them. Making a home with my one true love -- a dream.

Today, I have peace. I have a shared sense of stability and responsibility. We are a team, each other's provider, who jointly pay the bills, care for all of life's needs, and put some pretty elaborate homemade meals on the table on a nightly basis.

Thankfully, I have a strong connection with the world and with who I am. Without that, I might be persuaded to accept the notion that what I've always known to be my truth is somehow "wrong."

So to all the naysayers out there, the militant anti-gays who tried to change me, failed, and now want to convince others that my refusal is "radical" and due to "brainwashing," I have three words for you: STOP YOUR BULLSH*T.

You do not have ownership to faith, spirituality, God, or Jesus. No matter who you think you are, how loudly you proclaim, or how high you place the moral pedestal on which you think you exist -- you are not better than me because you say it is so!

The reality of the world holds the answers through which you need to spend a little more time searching.

I thank my father and give him much love and praise, for bringing up to be one who would not live a judgmental life -- something I always recognized as wrong. I also want to thank Andrew's mama and papa for my amazing almost-husband -- my family -- a REAL family.

Thank you everyone who has contributed to the being that is Jeremy Scott Hooper. For giving me the independence, capacity for critical thought, intellect, and wit to achieve all that I have achieved in this amazing life, and for giving me the fortitude to accept the notion that I am a "sinner" for loving in a way that others see unfit.

I give praise for my 27 years of LIFE (the existence, not the game with the really cool spinner) -- and almost 5 years
as-married-as-the-law in NYC-will-allow to the most wonderful Jewish man, my heart Andrew. And I give thanks for a family I could have only been so luck to have imagined.

I'm not ashamed to say -- I love You, Andrew, will all of my heart. Thank You ~ Jeremy Hooper

14 Years of Living a Lie... [Straight Talk blog]

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Your thoughts

Amen.

Posted by: Robin Reardon | Jun 14, 2007 4:52:06 PM

I like your story better.

Posted by: Sam | Jun 14, 2007 5:11:31 PM

Thanks, though I felt limited having to semi-stick with his writing style and formatting. I certainly would have made some different choices otherwise.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 14, 2007 5:17:24 PM


You're an amazing man, Jeremy Hooper! :)

Posted by: dr haber | Jun 14, 2007 5:25:55 PM

I enjoyed yours better.

Awwwwwwwwww! You actually thanked your husband, unlike Bennett who thanked God. That already makes you the winner. :-)

Posted by: Anya | Jun 14, 2007 5:35:40 PM

Anya: I did find it a little odd that it was his was so Stephen-centric. HE's the provider. HE has stability. HE pays the bills.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 14, 2007 5:39:24 PM

Yes, that struck me as a little egotistical (or egotestical? lol).

I feel sorry for his wife. Even if he's truly changed his sexuality, she's still having to live with someone who thinks of her as less than him - seems to almost think of her as a posession.

I wouldn't put up with that crap from ANYbody.

Posted by: | Jun 14, 2007 5:48:18 PM

I wonder why, after 15 years, he still feels the need to identify himself as being previously gay. You'd think that someone who finds the "lifestyle" so abhorent would not want to be associated with it. Rather, he maintains this association even after being "out" of it longer than he was in it. It's as if he needs the association to give validity to his current situation. Whereas I don't know any gay folk who describe themselves as ex-straight in order to justify their current queerness.

Posted by: Jessica | Jun 14, 2007 8:06:53 PM

... but both of you are happy. Both of you are enjoying the life you live. I know that ex-gay is a sham, and it could never happen, and I know that my sexuality is like the most precious thing in the world to me, but... I wish everyone could just be happy. I'm happy for whoever that guy is, because he found his happiness, and I'm happy for you, because you found yours.

Isn't that all that matters?

Posted by: Hilde | Jun 14, 2007 9:24:09 PM

Hilde: You bring up a point that has been on our tongues a lot lately. The thing is, Stephen Bennett is not someone just living his life as a heterosexual man who used to be gay. He LITERALLY is a professional "ex-gay." He writes books, hosts websites, lectures, hosts talk shows, wries blog entries, and works with the major "pro-family" groups, all with the goal of fostering the illusion that gay is immoral and folks can "change."

This is a major issue with gay activists in dealing with the "ex-gay" movement. For those of us who follow such things, we can talk in a sort of shorthand. We know the way they twist the Spitzer studies. We know the way the twist the APA's position statements. We know who's in bed with whom. We understand the practices and the reasons behind them. So we can operate with the given knowledge that we mean no malice to ANY individual who stops having gay relations for whatever reason. But to the outside world, it can look like we are "attacking" individuals who just want to live their lives. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. It is the movement we are opposing, not the people. If it were not for their socio-politic-religo "attacks" on us, we would have nothing to say on the subject.

The bottom line: "EX-GAY" is not an identity type. If you once had gay sex and now have only hetero, then you are (a) actually hetero, with your gayness just something that you were trying out, (b) still gay, just re-closeted , or (c) bisexual. You would think after 14 years of marriage and 2 kids, Mr. Bennett would want to stop identifying himself as what he once "was" (something he claims to hate).

One last point: It's interesting that he titles his entry with "14 Years of Living a Lie...so they say," as if THIS is the idea he feels most worthy of address. As if this is what he most wants to prove on his anniversary. But the thing is -- this writer opposes Mr. Bennett's endeavors loudly and unapologetically, yet I could not care LESS if Mr. Bennett truly is hetero-only these days. He has absolutely nothing to prove as far as I'm concerned. I just want him to stop attacking the gay community and to stop painting us all as immoral demons!

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 14, 2007 10:36:28 PM

"I'm not ashamed to say - I love You, Lord, with all of my heart. -- Thank You. ~ Stephen Bennett "

-----------------------------------------------------

Gee Stephen. . .I noticed you didn't mention anything about loving your wife with any part of your heart. And then, of course, you explain why - because all of your heart belongs to the Lord.

Since your religious affiliation dictates that the "Lord" is a male image, I guess you still haven't changed that orientation.

Posted by: Kevin | Jun 14, 2007 11:27:55 PM

I think this is one of the best articles I've ever read here.

Posted by: Good Job | Jun 15, 2007 10:09:35 AM

"Not stifling my emotions or creativity for fear that such an outburst might make me look like a "sissy." "

Amen to that! I think even more than being able to share my true feelings with another man, being able to fully express myself without reservation is one of the best parts of being out of the closet. I know I like myself better as an individual because of it.

Posted by: | Jun 15, 2007 5:47:15 PM

A wonderful response. It did make me laugh. Has Stephen Bennett read this?

Posted by: Alicia | Jul 19, 2007 10:58:38 AM

I just took a look at Bennett's blog - how utterly cowardly to spout all of his radical mumbo-jumbo and then restrict his blog comments to members he's vetted himself! How dare he expect us to listen to his views yet not allow us a forum for immediate discussion!

Perhaps he's just worried that immature sinners like myself will point out how much he resembles the love child of a gay romp between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Nicolas Cage.

Posted by: Alicia | Jul 19, 2007 11:15:34 AM

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