Some of us choose to reject the world’s label

In the UK there is still a lot of unrest around the proposed legislation for banning conversion therapy.  The aim of those proposing this ban is “to improve the lives of LGBT people.”

I am all for lives being improved and am against any form of psychological or physical abuse against anyone.  I am also very mindful that not all LGBT people are the same, there are many different views, experiences and desires, yet sadly it is those who shout loudest who get noticed by main-stream media.

My concern is that those shouting loudest are calling for prayer to be banned, for talking therapy to be outlawed and even for parents to have their parental rights to speak into their children’s lives removed.  They are reacting disproportionately because of the experiences of a few who have been treated badly, charging every church and every Christian with the same heinous crime.

But what of those LGBT people who want to receive prayer? What of those who need an outlet to talk in a therapeutic setting about their desires, their concerns and their faith?  What of those who have real questions and want answers? Is the desire to improve the lives of LGBT people simply reserved for those who fully embrace their sexuality?  Because there is a cost here, a cost to the many Christians who want to talk about their feelings and explore them with another Christian.  Christians who want to willingly ask others to pray for them to find a place of peace, to reconcile their faith with their feelings or for a myriad of other things that affect all of us from time to time, particularly those who come from a background of trauma, rejection, or intimidation.

Not only Christians, what about those who are in heterosexual marriages and develop feelings for their same sex friend (and believe me this happens a lot)?  If they want to stay faithful to their spouse, why should they not have an outlet to explore their feelings without being affirmed and called out as gay?

How does introducing a conversion therapy ban improve the lives of LGBT people?  I don’t see how it can, simply stated, the LGBT community already have all the legal protection required, if they are abused in any way the law is there to protect them.  A ban on those extras like prayer and talking therapy does not affect any of the mainstream, affirming LGBT community, but targets those on the periphery, those who are not part of the “in-crowd” whose loud voices we hear every day crying out for change.

On the contrary, a conversion therapy ban will cause great damage and distress to those who want an outlet to explore sexuality and faith.  It will push people into a dark place where they are unable to explore the Bible with other Christians, to understand how God sees and loves them.  A place where people who truly love God feel unable to ask for prayer.  And for those whose SSA stems from a place of abuse, trauma or rejection, an inability to find a counsellor who will work with them from a place of neutrality, rather someone who pushes them to affirm them in an unwanted sexual attraction, failing to address the roots.

If the activists and those MP’s pushing for change really want all LGBT people to live improved lives, I call on them to recognise that some in the LGBT community, particularly those of faith, want and demand the right to ask for prayer and to receive prayer.  They have the right to book counselling sessions without being pushed to act on sexual attractions “just because”, or being told to use a label that they are uncomfortable with, or don’t want to identify with anymore.

Let’s get real about this – if we really want all LGBT to be protected and to live lives that are improved, don’t forget the small minority who love Jesus and choose to follow him in obedience to his word above all else. We exist, we are here – why not come ask us about our stories and expand your understanding of the LGBT community?  Sexuality is not fixed and some of us choose to reject the world’s label and trust in who God tells us we are.





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