Why am I gay? How can I control my gay feelings and desires?
Updated: Dec 15, 2021
In analyzing the question, "Why am I gay?"
let's first consider this question:
How is sexual orientation determined?
No one knows exactly how sexual orientation is determined; however, experts agree that it is a complicated matter of genetics, biology, psychological, and social factors. For most people, sexual orientation and gender identity are shaped at any early age. While research has not determined a cause, homosexuality is not the result of any one factor like genetics, parenting, or past experiences. It is never anyone's "fault" if they or their loved one grows up to be gay.
Are there biological factors that can cause homosexuality?
SCIENTISTS are hard at work to try to find genetic causes for homosexuality. Would it not be a relief to find that we are not responsible for our sexual orientation but are merely victims of biology? It is true, however, that our genes may influence us in one way or another.
There was an interesting research study claiming
that biological factors can drive homosexuality.
It appeared in 2019. To read the article click on this title link
"Stop calling it a choice: Biological factors drive homosexuality"
But, as gay Jehovah's Witnesses, there are factors we must take into consideration. Consider this comparison. The Bible says at Proverbs 29:22 - "A man prone to anger stirs up strife; anyone disposed to rage commits many transgressions." And at Titus 1:7 Paul wrote that an overseer should not be "prone to anger." What does "prone to anger" mean? Prone can be defined as "having a natural inclination or tendency to something." And what can "natural" indicate? It implies inborn or inherent qualities. The short answer is that anger can run in families, and genetics and nature can indeed play a role—which might help to explain why a person has angry inclinations.
So then, we rightly ask,
"Can a person be prone to homosexuality?"
There may be biological factors that drive homosexuality.
But, what about us gay Jehovah's Witnesses?
Are we gay Jehovah’s Witnesses helpless and even excused from obeying Jehovah’s standards regarding homosexuality, especially if, for us, we do feel biological factors have been involved as to why we are gay? (See the Forum post “God’s View of Homosexuality.” Click on the title here to go directly to the post)
But consider this, for example. Let's take the person prone to anger. If a person by nature, meaning as a result of inborn or inherent qualities, is "prone to anger," can he give free rein, that is, unrestricted freedom of action, to his anger and still please God? What about fits of anger then; why does God forbid them? Look at probable results.
Hostility, being ready for a fight all the time. Hostile people are often stubborn, impatient, hotheaded, or have an "attitude." They are frequently in fights or may say they feel like hitting something or someone.
Violent behavior, engaging in verbal threats or relatively minor incidents, but over time it can involve physical harm. Violent behavior is very damaging, both physically and emotionally. Violent behavior can include physical, verbal, or sexual abuse of an intimate partner (domestic violence), a child (child abuse), or an older adult (elder abuse).
Violence causes more injury and death in children, teenagers, and young adults than infectious disease, cancer, or birth defects. Murder, suicide, and violent injury are the leading causes of death in children. Violence with guns is one of the leading causes of death of children and teenagers in the United States.
Remember what we noted in Proverbs 29:22- "Anyone disposed to rage commits many transgressions." And Paul wrote to the Galatians at Galatians 5:19-21 - "Now the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality,... fits of anger, .... I am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom." So, just as a man "prone to anger" must control his anger, his fits of rage, even if there is a biological cause for his anger, likewise, a gay Jehovah's Witness must control his gayness, even if there is a biological factor as to why he is gay, and not give in to homosexual desires and acts. Everlasting life is at stake.
You may be thinking, however, "So why would Jehovah make a rule like that, no sex between males, males who love each other and want the emotional intimacy that can exist between them?" And as the Branch said: This bond between two persons included the pleasure of sexual intimacy along with a close emotional connection.
So, a gay Jehovah's Witness might ask:
"What if gentle, non-violent gay men who are in love and seek sexual intimacy and the close emotional bond with another man that can result, not hurting anyone else, how can that be forbidden by God?" An honest, sincere question, for sure, But...
Please see the post
General Discussion of Gay Topics,
and the section "Important Questions."
Click on the bold faced title link here.
Let's consider more in relation to the question,
"How can I control my gay feelings and desires?"
A life of self-control
How do you develop self-control?
Click on the article title here.
Remember that "sexual immorality" does include homosexual acts. (See the discussion of Paul's words at 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 in the Forum. Click on the Forum post title "General Discussion of Gay Topics." to go directly to the discussion.) "Sexual immorality," from the Greek word por·neiʹa, is a general term for all unlawful sexual intercourse. It includes adultery, prostitution, sexual relations between unmarried individuals, homosexuality, and bestiality. The original-language Greek word por·neiʹa, translated “sexual immorality,” refers to all forms of intimate conduct outside of marriage, including sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, and masturbating another person.
But then, how could it be a sin, a transgression,
to commit homosexual acts if someone
seemingly feels born prone to homosexual desires?
Please reason on this:
We are all products of nature and nurture. We all struggle with desires that should not be fulfilled and with longings for things unlawful. As Christians, we know that the heart is desperately wicked, treacherous, a traitor within us (Jer. 17:9). We are fallen people with a propensity for sin and self-deception. We cannot derive moral allowance from what is. Our own sense of desire and delight, or of pleasure and of pain, is not self-validating. People may, through no conscious decision of their own, be drawn to binge drinking, to promiscuity, to rage, to the occult, or to any number of sinful behaviors.
If the "I was born this way" or the "It's just the way I am" of personal experience and desire determines the “moral allowance” of embracing these gay desires and acting upon them, then there is no logical reason why other sexual “orientations,” say, toward children, or animals, or promiscuity, or bisexuality, or multiple partners should be stigmatized. As creatures made in the image of God, we humans are moral beings, responsible for our actions and for the lusts of the flesh. Quite simply, sometimes we want the wrong things. No matter how we think we might have been born one way, we must abandon sinful inclinations. (John 3:3–7; Eph. 2:1–10).
In the final analysis, though, regardless of the cause or causes of homosexuality, loyal gay Jehovah's Witnesses deserve to be treated fairly, and with kindness, respect, and dignity. (See also the Forum post "How to help gay Jehovah's Witnesses? How to comfort, encourage, and reassure them?" Click on the Forum post title here to go directly to the post.)
Here was a question,
a question that we gay Jehovah's Witnesses ourselves
might very well ask,
a question posed on a psychology Website:
"Is there any way I can overcome my life-long struggle with same-sex attraction? I've tried to resist, but it seems inevitable that I will eventually act on these feelings. What should I do?"
Here are the observations of the psychologist,
along with some concurring thoughts of my own.
Same-sex attraction is a complex subject.
The origins of sexual feelings often lie deeply hidden within the individual person. We believe they are best explained in terms of developmental psychology and trait development, and that there is no single “one-size-fits-all” theory to account for them. In spite of this, it is feasible, to gain valuable insights into some of the factors that may have contributed to the shaping of your present same-sex feelings and desires.
There are a variety of tools to help in this process, including: both individual or group therapy here, prayer, healthy relationships, discipleship, reading and writing in a journal. In turn, these insights can be useful in freeing you from emotional bondage and enabling you to live according to your consciously chosen Biblical values. As a first step, we suggest you seek out the assistance of a Christian confidant or confidants– with Biblical views – who is/are compassionate, understanding, and, hopefully, has/have experienced same-sex attraction, too. Find such a confidant or confidants here!
Needed and found confidants
We’d also like to encourage you. the one asking the question, to excise the word “inevitable” from your vocabulary (to excise = to remove, like a surgeon would excise a tumor, totally cutting it out). It simply isn’t true that you must “inevitably” act on your feelings of same-sex attraction or any particular sexual attraction or urge for that matter. Plus, you can't have your cake and eat it, too. There's no middle of the road, no compromise. The choice is clearly black and white.
Sure, we understand that feelings are difficult, if not nearly impossible, to control. They can blind-side you and take you by surprise. Fortunately, the same thing can’t be said about actions. There is such a thing as self-control, and it is possible to subject your behavior to your will regardless of what your emotions are saying. Habits can be changed. This takes discipline and determination, and perhaps most importantly, support from caring and non-judgmental individuals who share your values, and again, hopefully, share also gay feelings and gay desires, but it can be done.
You can meet the challenge successfully by adopting a values-led approach. Start by taking some time to think about your personal belief system and faith-commitment, including your personal dedication to Jehovah. Ask yourself, “What is most important to me? What is the guiding principle, the focus, of my life?” Do you consider yourself a Christian and a worshipper of Jehovah?
If so, you will want to examine your faith convictions with great care and give them priority over every other consideration. Remember that it is never wise to give more weight to feelings than to rational conclusions and clear Biblical teachings. Feelings don’t make you who you are; beliefs, values, and conscious commitments do. Additionally, we contend that your Creator and what He’s revealed in Scripture, are what mold the “true” you.
Molding the "true" you!
In connection with this last thought, we should add that, from a Christian perspective, your identity is given and unchangeable: according to the Bible, you are a person, male or female, created in the image of God, despite serious, inherited imperfections, including imperfections that drive a person to same sex attraction.
Obviously, you are free to accept or reject this idea as you see fit. You can also elect to self-label or self-identify in any way you choose. But the point we’re trying to make is that you don’t have to feel locked into any particular understanding of your identity simply on the basis of your sexual feelings or someone else’s arbitrarily devised labels which have been newly created in the last several decades of human history.
Shut out all the political “noise” on this subject and take a close and careful look at your options. Remember that “gay” is just an artificial construct: a word that can mean what other people say it means – nothing more, nothing less. We’d encourage you not to allow yourself to get locked into being labeled an LBGTQ advocate, one who often affirms homosexual relationships and homosexual acts.
However, having strong feelings and desires for the same sex, feelings and desires that aren't just a passing infatuation, but feelings and desires that persist through childhood and adolescence and into adulthood, can rightly describe you in today's society as gay, and sometimes 100% gay. "Gay" currently does define a person with same sex attraction, usually a male homosexual, one who has feelings and desires for other males. (See the Blog post, How did a male homosexual come to be called "gay"? Click on the post title here to go directly to the Blog post.)
Hey, I know I'm gay! No doubt in my mind!
It’s also important to understand that feelings of same-sex attraction don’t have to disappear before you can make reasonable choices in response to those feelings. Many people in your position find that as they embrace a values-led approach to life, they begin to grow in terms of their self-worth and self-esteem. Some start moving in a more positive direction simply by engaging with their peers, cultivating a deeper involvement with their faith community, and developing a wider network of supportive relationships; for example, within a safe group counseling setting, like here on this Website!
Group therapy and counseling
In some instances, individuals who follow this course of action experience a dramatic change in their sexual attractions. This is a very real possibility, but it’s important to realize that it doesn’t always occur. When it does, it typically takes place by degrees and over a long period of time. If things don’t work out this way for you, you shouldn’t lose heart.
Bear in mind that this type of change like the apostle Paul wrote at 1 Corinthians 6:11 after mentioning homosexuals, "And yet that is what some of you were. But you have been washed clean; you have been sanctified; you have been declared righteous in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God" has to be the focus of your life, or even the main goal of the self-control process.
So, what are many gay ex-Jehovah's Witnesses
doing with the apostle Paul's inspired words
at 1 Corinthians 6:9-11?
2 Peter 3:16
"Paul also wrote you according to the wisdom given him, speaking about these things as he does in all his letters. However, some things in them are hard to understand, and these things the ignorant and unstable are twisting, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."
This is a clear, non-negotiable issue.
See the Forum post "General Discussion of Gay Topics." It has an in-depth discussion of the apostle Paul's words at 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 regarding male homosexuality. Click on the tag here "General Discussion of Gay Topics" to go directly to the Forum post.
Such change doesn’t occur by trying really hard or focusing on not having same-sex attractions. Instead, it may occur as you redirect your energy toward other areas of life, such as altering your behavior, your relationships with God and others, your self-identity labels, your attitude toward others, your thoughts and beliefs, and your understanding of yourself as a person made in the image of a righteous and loving God.
In most cases, this is by far the most helpful and productive plan. Your life will eventually take on a very different shape as you shift your focus away from issues of same sex attraction or a preoccupation with an LGBTQ label and center it around new goals and a well-defined set of personal Biblical values."
Here is a helpful article that you can click on to read:
How Can I Keep My Mind Off Sex?
We welcome your comments
on learning what helps you personally
to control your gay feelings and desires.
Here is an encouraging song about our need for self-control. Click on the song title, then the digital edition button, and see the lyrics and hear the song being sung.
We Need Self-Control
Help me Jehovah. I need self-control.
This young gay brother is enjoying the
contented blessings of self-control.
This song is encouraging, too. Just click on the song title to see the lyrics and hear the song being sung. The digital button gives you the lyrics to the song being sung. Then click also on the video button to watch a music video appropriate to the song.
Safeguard Your Mind
With Jehovah’s help and true friends here,
you can control your gay feelings and desires.
True supportive friends forever!
Now we know how to control our gay feelings and desires.