Forum Posts

plapjc
May 27, 2021
In Welcome to the Forum
We’ve probably all done something a bit self-destructive at some point. Just about everyone has. Most of the time, it’s not intentional and doesn’t become a habit. Self-destructive behaviors are those that are bound to harm you physically or mentally. It may be unintentional. Or, it may be that you know exactly what you’re doing, but the urge is too strong to control. It may be due to earlier life experiences. It can also be related to a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety. It can also be because of your being gay. Self-mutilation. Some gay people resort to cutting their arms or legs with razor blades and other sharp objects to cope with emotional pain. Self-mutilation of this type is an unmistakable sign that something is wrong. So gays are not immune to this behavior. What is self-destructive behavior? Self-destructive behavior is when you do something that’s sure to cause self-harm, whether it’s emotional or physical. Some self-destructive behavior is more obvious, such as: attempting suicide binge eating compulsive activities like gambling, gaming, or shopping impulsive and risky sexual behavior overusing alcohol and drugs self-injury, such as cutting, hair pulling, burning There are also more subtle forms of self-sabotage. You may not realize you’re doing it, at least on a conscious level. Examples of this are: being self-derogatory, insisting you’re not smart, capable, or attractive enough, that you’re gay and not straight. changing yourself to please others clinging to someone who is not interested in you engaging in alienating or aggressive behavior that pushes people away maladaptive behaviors, such as chronic avoidance, procrastination, and passive-aggressiveness wallowing in self-pity The frequency and severity of these behaviors vary from person to person. For some, they’re infrequent and mild. For others, they’re frequent and dangerous. But they always cause problems. What are common risk factors for self-destructive behavior? You might be more prone to behave in a self-destructive manner if you’ve experienced: alcohol or drug use childhood trauma, neglect, or abandonment emotional, sexual, or physical abuse friends who self-injure low self-esteem social isolation, exclusion gay feelings and/or gay sexual acts If you have one self-destructive behavior, it may result in the likelihood of developing another. Studies show that self-harm is common in both people who have and do not have a mental health diagnosis. It can happen to anyone of any age, although teens and young adults are more likely to engage in physical self-injury. Self-destructive behavior can stem from a mental health condition, such as: Anxiety disorders: Characterized by debilitating fear, worry, and distress. Being gay and Christian can cause severe anxiety. Depression: Overwhelming sadness and loss of interest. It usually involves a variety of physical symptoms, as well. Being a gay Christian can cause severe depression. Eating disorders: Conditions like anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. Personality disorders: Inability to relate to other people in a healthy way. The stigma of being gay. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD is an anxiety disorder that starts after you’ve experienced a traumatic event. Studies show that PTSD and impulsive personality traits, like being gay, may put you at risk of self-destructive behavior. The rate of self-destructive behavior is particularly high among gays who have been exposed to trauma. What can you do to stop self-destructive behavior? Self-destructive behavior is when you repeatedly do things that will harm you physically, mentally, or both. It can range from mild to life-threatening. If you think you’re engaging in self-destructive behavior, you probably are. You don’t have to live this way. You deserve better. See your doctor or find a qualified mental health professional. In therapy, you can work through the cause and effects of self-destructive behavior. You can find new coping skills and practice alternate behaviors. Get confidants, confide in trusted people, like us here in this gay Jehovah’s Witnesses community. You can live a happier, less self-destructive life of self contentment, and, above all, a life pleasing to Jehovah. Notice in this image the two gay Jehovah's Witnesses holding hands. We're here to offer support! In Africa, for example, touch is very customary. The article “In Africa, Men Hold Hands and How Boys Become Men Response”, Author Bill Batson tells us about his experiences with how males behave in South Africa and further explains how there is no weakness in showing brotherly tenderness. It is believed Batson wrote this piece to show the rest of the world that performing acts such as holding hands with another male does not make you any less of a man. It makes you more masculine as you are confident with your sexuality to perform such acts in the public eye. Here is a photo of former President Bush holding hands with a Saudi prince. With gay Jehovah's Witnesses, self-control makes this possible without sending a sexual message to our friend. Support helped me to overcome self-destructive behavior! Related articles to click on: Self Injury Why Do I Hurt Myself? Please enjoy this encouraging song about how Jehovah helps us. Click on the song title, then the digital button to see the lyrics and hear the song being sung. Click also on the video button to see an accompanying music video. Jehovah's Always by Our Side Jehovah is always willing to hold our hand.
Self-Destructive Behavior content media
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plapjc
May 27, 2021
In Welcome to the Forum
Please don't make me. "Reparative" or "Conversion Therapy" is a dangerous practice that targets gays and seeks to change their sexual orientation. So-called “conversion therapy,” sometimes known as “reparative therapy,” is a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation. Such practices have been rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization for decades, but due to continuing discrimination and societal bias against gay people, some practitioners continue to conduct conversion therapy. Minors are especially vulnerable, and conversion therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, alcohol abuse, self-mutilation, homelessness, and suicide, as these images indicate. Depression Anxiety Drug abuse Alcohol abuse Self-mutilation Homelessness Suicide To date, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico all have laws or regulations protecting youth from this harmful practice. Eight of these state laws or regulations were enacted under Republican governors. A growing number of municipalities have also enacted similar protections, including at least 70 cities and counties in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin. ​ On three occasions—May 2015, February 2016, and April 2019—the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) allowed decisions of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding New Jersey’s anti-conversion therapy law to remain in effect. SCOTUS also refused to hear challenges to California's anti-conversion therapy law in May of 2017 and June of 2014, leaving in place decisions of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the law’s constitutionality. ​ According to a recent report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, an estimated 20,000 gay minors in states without protections will be subjected to conversion therapy by a licensed healthcare professional if state officials fail to act. In April 2018, national organizations representing millions of licensed medical and mental health care professionals, educators, and child welfare advocates declared their support for legislative protections against conversion therapy. Some right-wing religious groups promote the concept that an individual can change their sexual orientation, either through prayer or other religious efforts, or through so-called "reparative" or "conversion" therapy. The research on such efforts has disproven their efficacy, and also has indicated that they are affirmatively harmful. Beyond studies focused solely on reparative therapy, broader research clearly demonstrates the significant harm that societal prejudice and family rejection has on gay people, particularly youth. Furthermore, there is significant anecdotal evidence of harm to gay people resulting from attempts to change their sexual orientation. Based on this body of evidence, every major medical and mental health organization in the United States has issued a statement condemning the use of conversion therapy. No way can you turn off gay feelings and desires like you turn off a light switch! "Conversion therapy" is a tragically flawed practice. Psychiatrist Dr. L. Spitzer, who once offered a flawed study on reparative therapy, has since denounced the study and has apologized for endorsing the practice. If you have suicidal thoughts, seek help as soon as possible, ​ and if need be, contact Click on this link: Suicide Crisis Hotline Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time 24/7 for help. See also the Forum post "Suicidal Thoughts?" Just click on the post title here to go directly to the post. Experience Michael Scott, Albuquerque resident & conversion therapy survivor As a young man struggling and unwilling to accept homosexuality, I found comfort in the misleading notion that I could overcome being gay. When I became a Christian at the age of 17, I became involved in the ex-gay or conversion therapy movement. In 1989, I went to my first ex-gay conference at the age of 18. Entirely naïve and committed to the idea that this was my intense spiritual trial, I attended weekly. Throughout the course of my therapy, strict and archaic gender stereotypes were taught and enforced. I was told repeatedly that I needed to learn to like football, to lower my voice, to avoid being a “weak” man, to wear certain types of underwear that “real men” wore, and to adopt more masculine behaviors. The program teaches you that you can be healed, and in approximately three years, one could overcome homosexual behaviors, have a heterosexual marriage, children, and a so-called normal life. I immersed myself in this program for 10 years, and after almost a decade, realized I was failing. I hit a crisis point when I was unable to make my homosexuality disappear, and doubled down my efforts. Spurred forward by the teachings to become a macho male figure, I joined the Army and volunteered for the 82nd Airborne Division—the toughest and most masculine thing I could think to do. It was also the most dangerous thing I could do, as it led to being thrust into a violent, debauchery-filled environment. During my time in the Army, I was outed, ridiculed, rejected, and made to feel as though I did not belong. Alienated and forced to deal with homophobic slurs and comments, I was eventually sexually assaulted and then discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Following my discharge, I went through a period of self-destructive behaviors and eventually found my way back into ex-gay therapy, which had only gotten darker and more robust in its teachings of self-hatred, guilt and shame. Only after discovering genuine therapy was I able to get my life on the right track and face the realization that there is no truth in ex-gay teachings. Ex-gay therapy contributed to many harmful factors in my life. The problem with this type of therapy—aside from its clear lack of success and false teachings—is that licensed practitioners often hide it in insurance reports as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Other practitioners unfortunately have no training at all—a two-week course in the case of my counselor. Regardless of how this so-called therapy is administered, it is dangerous and does not promote mental health. This pseudo-counseling style provides truly damaging therapy and sweeps legitimate mental health issues under the rug, as counselors seek to blame any and all issues on homosexuality, rather than looking at the real root of the problem. In my case, the pressing issues I faced were depression and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), but ex-gay therapy led me to believe being gay caused all of my problems. This line of thinking is severely harmful and placed tremendous damage on my psyche and well being. Entrenched homophobia in society that takes the form of dangerous ex-gay teachings led me and many others down a treacherous path, filled with self-doubt, self-pity and self-hatred. It led to self-destructive behaviors and many years of actual mental health counseling to get my life on the right track. I still have faith and am a Christian, yet I cannot condone the types of teachings I received. As one who now holds a Masters Degree in Social Work, I want to use my voice and skills to help others, and I can attest that conversion therapy does not work, and causes significant, lasting damage. What is "gender dysphoria"? How does such a person deal with it? Here are a few links to some discussions. Click on the titles to read the articles. "What Is Gender Dysphoria? "What Is Gender Dysphoria?" "Overview of Gender Dysphoria" "When You Don’t Feel at Home With Your Assigned Gender" Youtube videos I've got support. I'm exercising self-control and I'm happy!
The Dangers of “Reparative” or “Conversion Therapy” content media
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plapjc
May 25, 2021
In Welcome to the Forum
No! Stop! Leave me alone! Don't touch me! Childhood sexual abuse affects kids of all races and kids in all nations. Please, help us. Dealing with the effects of childhood sexual abuse Daily Text Sunday, October 31, 2021 The God of all comfort . . . comforts us in all our trials. —2 Cor. 1:3, 4. "Sometimes, though, children are hurt in far worse ways. Some are sexually abused. The abuse can be inflicted on a single occasion, or it may go on for years. In either case, the abuse can leave deep emotional scars. In some cases, the offender is caught and punished. In others, the abuser may seem to escape justice. But even if justice is swift, the harmful effects of the abuse may last well into adulthood. w19.05 14 ̊1-2" The impacts of child sexual abuse can be complex and severe. While it is not always the case, it is common that a man who has experienced child sexual abuse will experience a range of negative effects many years after the abuse. However in our experience with men who have been sexually abused in childhood, what we are working with is not only the effects of the abuse, but also the unwanted side-effects of the strategies some men adopt to help them deal with these effects. Anyone who has lived through traumatic experiences in childhood has, out of necessity, developed a range of creative, effective strategies that helped them survive and go on to live their life. Very often, however, the strategies that worked in childhood don’t work so well in the adult world. What brings men to support services is quite often not the original abuse, but a crisis involving the strategies the man has been using to manage the effects of the abuse. For instance, a drinking problem gets so bad the man had to go into rehabilitation; a way of managing relationships becomes so dysfunctional. Men are sometimes surprised to find that what they think of as their current problem was originally developed as a strategy for dealing with their abuse. So rather than listing all the negative effects that sexual abuse can have on a man’s life, in the following section we will talk about some of the strategies men use to manage the impacts of their abuse, and how these strategies can sometimes ‘take over’. Strategies: When some solutions become the problem When a human being experiences a terrible event like child sexual abuse, the memories of that event become charged with very strong emotions, like feelings of horror and disgust. This is actually a biological process that has an adaptive advantage: It makes us want to avoid that same situation again, which helps us to survive. But, where we are not able to avoid the threatening situation – such as when a boy is being hurt by the very family which keeps him fed and alive – then these memories and feelings can build up and start to feel unbearable. When a child is not able to avoid the abusive situation physically, he must learn to avoid the memories and feelings about the abuse psychologically. Thinking about the abuse triggers the feelings that are attached to the memories, so the child learns ways to not remember or think about the abuse. There are multiple strategies children develop to do this. All the strategies we are going to talk about work the same way. The purpose of the strategies is to avoid the feelings which are linked to the memories of the abuse. Very often strategies are developed in childhood, using a child’s mind. A child can’t be expected to think though all the consequences of the strategy, and sometimes is in too much pain or danger to be able to afford to. The strategy may then take on a ‘life of its own’, and ultimately become a problem in itself. Nevertheless it is worth making that point that just because a strategy may cause difficulties, that does not mean it didn’t make sense in the first place. If it hadn’t worked to manage the feelings caused by the abuse, you would not have kept using it. All strategies make sense when they are first developed. We should also add that just because some activity or way of thinking is being used as a strategy, that does not mean it is an inherently unhealthy or problematic activity/thought. Anything can be used as a strategy. It only becomes a problem when it becomes dysfunctional or painful in some way, or gets in the way of other positive things in a person’s life. Numbing strategies Common emotional responses to child sexual assault are long-term depression, sadness, anxiety, intense fear of feelings or memories of the abuse, and anger. Some men feel joyless, and ‘empty inside’. A very common feeling following abuse is shame. This feeling may ‘cover’ the whole person, so that by the time the child becomes an adult he feels worthless and unlovable. Struggling to manage difficult feelings is a very common effect of childhood sexual abuse. The purpose of the ‘numbing’ strategies is to numb the feelings about the trauma. These strategies often have the side-effect of numbing other feelings and experiences, too. Some of the most common of these strategies are the use of chemicals to alter mood. They include: Painkillers and sedatives. Alcohol. Other drugs, legal and illicit (a very long list). Other numbing strategies include the ‘rush’ strategies. In these, the person engages in activities which provide an absorbing psychological ‘high’: Sex (including sex with other people, pornography, or any other form of sexual activity). Gambling of all kinds. Shopping, either physical or online. Online social networking, chatting, or trolling. "Trolling" = to leave an insulting or offensive message on the Internet in order to upset someone, or to get attention, or cause trouble: ... to intentionally do or say something annoying or offensive in order to upset someone, or to get attention, or cause trouble: Trolling, as it relates to the Internet, is the deliberate act of making random unsolicited and/or controversial comments on various Internet forums with the intent to provoke an emotional reaction from unsuspecting readers to engage in a fight or argument. Trolling on-line forums as described above are actually analogous to the fishing technique of “trolling”, where colorful baits and lures are pulled behind a slow moving boat, often with multiple fishing lines, covering a large body of water, such as a large lake or the ocean. The trolling lures attract unsuspecting fish, intriguing them with the way they move through the water, thus enticing these foolish fish to fall for what the Troll is doing. Not unlike unsuspecting Internet victims, once hooked, the "fish" are tricked, "reeled in" for the catch before they realize they have been duped by the Troll. Self-harm, like cutting, can result. Troll and trolling are slang terms used almost exclusively among gay men to characterize gay men who cruise or "wander about looking" for sex or potential sex partners or experiences "in a notably wanton manner and with lessened standards of what one will accept in a partner." The term can be used positively or negatively depending on the speaker, usage, and intent and can describe the person or the activity. Although often referring to "an unattractive older gay man" and although troll as a slur "is primarily a visual, not a behavioral" judgment, the phrases can be used for anyone who is trolling regardless of the troll's assumed age or perceived attractiveness. As a verb, "to troll" is not necessarily pejorative, with "trolling for sex" merely a synonym of cruising for sex. The same is not true of "troll" as a noun describing a person, usually an elderly or unattractive gay male (a "troll") aggressively seeking younger partners ("twinks" or "chickens"). This usage carries all of the negative connotations associated with "dirty old man" outside the gay community; editorialists in the gay press also occasionally cite this usage as evidence that a gay community which values youth and physical attraction is marginalising its elderly. Another group of numbing strategies are the task/discipline group, where the strategy is to throw oneself into highly challenging, absorbing, or painful tasks. For men, these strategies often have an element of aggression, pain, or high levels of self-control. More examples: Comfort eating or disordered eating. Work (“workaholism”). Physical training, marathons, cycling, martial arts, weightlifting, and so on. Ascetic practices including long or arduous forms of meditation, prayer, fasting, etc. An additional benefit of aggression- or risk-based strategies is they may help the survivor combat feelings of shame about being a “victim.” Thinking strategies These strategies involve thinking about things in ways which help us avoid painful feelings. Here are some of the more common ones. Self-blame: It is very common for men who experienced child sexual abuse to blame themselves for the abuse, or to believe that it happened because there was something wrong with them. These beliefs are encouraged by perpetrators and sometimes by society. However, self-blame can also have a psychological benefit. Sometimes it can be easier for a boy who has been abused to look for the fault in himself, than have to accept that a person he loves is an abuser. Some men also find hope, if unconsciously, in the notion that if the abuse is their fault, if they can find a way to change what is wrong with them, then that might stop it from ever happening again. It seems easier to change ourselves than to change others who are more powerful than us. Intrusive/unavoidable thoughts: Some men experience critical or despairing thoughts or worries. Sometimes these thoughts can seem to come out of nowhere. These thoughts can become ‘stuck’ in an endless cycle of circular worrying and obsessing. The origin of these anxious thoughts is often a desperate attempt by the man to ‘think’ his way out of experiencing the post-traumatic feelings. Over the years these thoughts become attached to ‘worry objects’ and can become habitual (For example: “Why didn’t I do X or Y?” “If only such-and-such had not happened.” “Why did this happen to me?” and so on). Rigid beliefs: These are very strongly held, emotionally charged beliefs about self, right and wrong, politics, society, the meaning of life and so on. When we are growing up, ideas which make sense to us become beliefs. One of the reasons ideas make sense to us is that they help us manage bad feelings. Examples could include: Religious beliefs that help with notions of forgiveness, where the a person is experiencing shame. Political beliefs which allow anger to be expressed against one group or another, where it is psychologically dangerous to feel anger against the perpetrator. Spiritual beliefs that the world is basically a good or rational place, which help guard against feelings of fear and betrayal. We are not saying that just because a person believes something that helps them manage their feelings, that what they believe in is not reasonable or true! We are not concerned with the objective truth or logic of someone’s beliefs. What we are saying is that some beliefs do help people manage strong feelings and from that point of view, can be seen as a strategy. Abundant support is here!!! Relationship strategies Many men who have survived childhood abuse find that being in relationships triggers uncomfortable feelings. Here are some of the main ways men may attempt to manage their feelings within relationships. Clinging to relationships: Some men who have experienced neglect or lack of care can be so afraid of losing a relationship that they become vulnerable to entering into abusive or unhappy relationships. Alternatively, such men may also act in controlling or abusive ways within relationships to try to keep the relationship together. Worry about losing their partner, feelings of despair or anger, jealousy, even stalking and violence, are not uncommon. Controlling relationships: Some men are susceptible to feeling like they are being controlled, exploited or abused within relationships. This can lead to them reacting with attempts to strongly control the relationship themselves, which can in turn lead to abuse or violence toward their partner. Some men protect themselves by remaining distant or inaccessible within the relationship as a way to “have control” over their feelings. It is common for men who experienced sexual violence to have lots of feelings of anger in relation to their abuse and for this to spill over into their relationships. Avoidance of relationships: For some men, suspicion about the motives of others may lead to an inability to maintain relationships. This sort of hyper-vigilance for abuse was obviously adaptive in earlier life, but now may interfere with fulfilling relationships. Men may also feel they are unlovable or not worthy of a relationship. These perceptions, which are similar to self-blame (see above) may be easier to manage than dealing with the emotions caused by the abuse. ‘Pursuit/retreat’ relationships: Some men combine all these approaches into a pattern of intense preoccupation with and pursuit of a new partner, swift disillusionment once the relationship is established, and anger or rejection of the relationship. This strategy attempts to meet the man’s need for affection with the pursuit of new relationships, but tends to be sabotaged by the opposite strategy of distancing/avoidance once a partner becomes so close that the man feels emotionally threatened. Attachment to the perpetrator: A very common pattern is a boy or man remaining in some sort of relationship with the person who committed the abuse. The purpose of this strategy was originally to earn love, or at least some physical security, from the abuser. Another reason may be that maintaining this connection with the abuser can give a sense of control over the relationship, or denial that what happened was abusive. This pattern may continue for years after the abuse has stopped. This pattern may also make the man more susceptible to further abuse from other people who in some way are reminiscent of fill the same emotional niche as the perpetrator. Emotional strategies Emotional reactivity: A person is “emotionally reactive” when he responds very quickly with very strong emotion – essentially an uncontrolled or excessive emotional response. Some men can use less painful emotions, such as anger, to mask the experience of more painful feelings like sadness, fear or grief. Being angry, or close to anger, all the time, can lead to a “rush” like those described above, and can be psychologically addictive. Other emotions – for example, depression or despair – can sometimes be used in the same way. Depression: Some clinicians consider depression a strategy for conserving resources and protecting deep emotions. If depression goes on for a long time after the abuse has stopped, it can become difficult to move on from it. This can be particularly so if the person stuck in the depression has a lot of negative judgements about it (“I should just get over it,” “I should be achieving more,” etc). Avoidance and phobias: Avoiding activities, people, or places which trigger memories of the abuse. The short-term benefit of this is obvious. In the longer term, the person’s life will become more and more confined – especially since phobias tend to expand and grow to encompass broader and broader situations over time. Hyper-vigilance: The hyper-vigilant person is always alert for, and expecting, something dangerous to happen. It creates a heightened sense of anxiety and “jumpiness,” and may also contribute to difficulty sleeping, lack of concentration, and irritability. Hyper-vigilance is a good strategy for avoiding real danger such as abuse, but once the abuse is no longer happening, it can lead to a very anxious life, or seeing threats where there are none. Flashbacks, nightmares, other intrusive memories: Flashbacks are memories of past trauma which feel like they are happening again in the present. Some clinicians believe that intrusive memories, whether experienced waking or in dreams, are attempts by the mind to begin processing the feelings related to the trauma. Often men will need professional help to move past this point. Dissociation strategies Dissociation is the psychological phenomenon of becoming detached from a key part of your personal experience. It is a way of ‘splitting off’ from suffering, so that the pain (feelings and memories) is consigned to another part of the mind. In situations of very great and ongoing abuse, dissociation is sometimes the only strategy that young children have. Dissociative strategies can cause significant difficulties in later life and should be worked on with an experienced professional specialist. Here are some forms of dissociation: Dissociated emotional states: Finding yourself switching between very different or opposite emotional states. Disengagement/’spacing out’: Losing awareness of the present for short (or sometimes longer) periods. Sometimes there may be loss of memory, or ‘coming to’ in a place or situation and not knowing how you got there. Derealisation: Feeling like you are living in a movie or a dream; nothing feels real. Depersonalisation: Feeling outside your own body, watching yourself do things from a distance. Pain or body symptoms: For some people, physical pain or discomfort which does not appear to have a medical cause may be related to early abuse. These examples are less common, but do occasionally happen in response to trauma: Fugue: Traveling significant distances, sometimes over long periods of time, with no memory or knowledge of it. More than one personality: The experience of having different people living inside you. Known as dissociative identity disorder. Feeling-phobias As we discussed before, all these strategies work in pretty much the same way. The purpose of the strategy is to avoid the feelings which are attached to the memories of the abuse. Almost all these strategies result in an over-avoidance of fear. In one way, the fear of bad feelings is like a phobia. Phobias tend to get broader over time. For example, a man who is assaulted in a public place first begins avoiding that place, then over time any place where there are people like the ones who assaulted him, then any public place with people, then any place outdoors, and eventually he finds it difficult to leave the house. ‘Rewarding’ a phobia, by always giving in to the fear it generates, makes it grow. We sometimes call this ‘feeding the phobia’. This in turn leads to an ever-increasing difficulty in facing fear, anxiety, or stress. Most of the strategies we have described can lead to a person having a very low tolerance of stress, which in turn makes life more difficult, or shuts off options or opportunities which would otherwise be open to the person. Suicide Thinking about suicide is a strategy for trying to avoid present pain. There is more pain than the person knows how to deal with, and suicide can seem like the only way to escape it. It can be a fantasy or daydream about being free from terrible feelings. But it is a fantasy which carries a great risk. Suicidal thoughts can range from fantasies about dying as a way to be free of the present pain, to detailed plans to kill yourself. Even if your thoughts seems like they are ‘just’ passing ideas or fantasies, it is still important to find someone to talk to. The more detailed your thoughts and plans are about suicide, the more important it is to get help. If you think you might harm or attempt to kill yourself, call for help immediately. Reach out to someone you trust and ask for help. Tell them honestly how you feel, including your thoughts of suicide. If this is you, you can try this... Click on this link: Suicide Crisis Hotline Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time 24/7 for help. See also the Forum post "Suicidal Thoughts?" Just click on the post title here to go directly to the post. It is important to remember you do not have to go through this alone. We urge you to try talking to people about your thoughts. If you can’t or don’t want to talk to your friends and/or family, you can contact a crisis service specialized in hearing your difficulties. Try and share your thoughts with someone you trust or a professional who understands the impacts of trauma. We encourage you to get rid of anything you have obtained to hurt yourself with. And please reach out to us here! A general note on the impacts of childhood sexual abuse The impacts of any trauma experienced in childhood tend to be more severe than those experienced as an adult. If you are a man who experienced child abuse, we hope this page is useful to you. However, it is very likely that you will need much more support than an introductory article of this kind. We urge you to consider getting some professional help if you have not already done so. And we here want to support you! If you have sought help in the past and found it unhelpful, seeing someone who specialises in complex trauma may make a difference – not all professionals are well trained in this area. And finding a person here who has gone through sexual abuse like you have, can provide you needed help and support. RAINN is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. Perhaps they can help, too. Click on this link, https://www.rainn.org/ THERE IS HOPE! When you were a child, suppressing or avoiding the feelings about the abuse was the only way to cope. Now you are an adult, it becomes possible, slowly, to face and process these feelings. And this in turn will mean that the strategies you developed to avoid the feelings will no longer be quite so necessary or pervasive. The natural process of feelings is that you feel them, and then they pass. Feelings never last forever. They don’t even last for very long at a time – they tend to come, go, come back, and go again, until they are fully processed. The only feelings that stick around for long periods are feelings you are putting off experiencing out of fear. Remember, feelings can’t kill you. By definition, they are smaller than you; they are inside you, not the other way around. They can’t sweep you away or drown you. Having said this, facing and processing these feelings should be done carefully and slowly. We are not big fans of dramatic “emotional breakthroughs.” This work does not have to be done quickly. It is safer and less exhausting to do it slowly and in manageable chunks. The greatest permanent healing from sexual abuse is recorded in Isaiah 65:17 "For look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be called to mind, nor will they come up into the heart." Please enjoy this encouraging song about our hope of the new earth to come. Click on the song title, then the digital button to see the lyrics and hear the song being sung. Click also on the video button to see an accompanying music video. The New World to Come We can influence our thoughts by what we picture in our mind’s eye. This song helps us focus on the hope of the new world. Hope sustains me totally. Support is always here! Enjoy also the following song about hope. Click on the song title below this image. Our Strength, Our Hope, Our Confidence Follow the lyrics below. When life’s anxieties cause fears, God can be our strength, our hope, and our confidence. O Jehovah, you have given us a hope that we hold dear. It’s a hope we find so thrilling we want the world to hear. But at times this life’s anxieties are the cause of fears within, And the hope that burned so brightly has suddenly grown dim. (CHORUS) You’re our strength, you’re our hope, you’re our confidence. Whatever we lack, you supply. When we preach, when we teach, we have confidence because it’s on you we rely. .So Jehovah, please instill in us a heart that won’t forget, For you’ve always been our comfort when troubled times we’ve met. And these thoughts that lift and strengthen us can revive that dying flame, For they fill our hearts with courage to speak about your name. (CHORUS) You’re our strength, you’re our hope, you’re our confidence. Whatever we lack, you supply. When we preach, when we teach, we have confidence because it’s on you we rely.
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plapjc
May 25, 2021
In Welcome to the Forum
What to do if you’re a gay male with body image issues? If you’re a gay male with body image issues, you are not alone. Do an image search for the term “gay men” and you will find mostly naked, muscular and white men. Therefore, that is what society is telling gay males what they need look like. What happens if you fall outside that box? A negative image of your body can lead to all sorts of problems and serious conditions, including but not limited to eating disorders depression , withdrawing The research According to research done by Feldman in 2007, 15% of self-identified gay males have an eating disorder. While 5% of heterosexual males report the same concern. (By eating disorder, the study was referring to anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder.) In addition to eating disorders, which can be life-threatening, a number of gay and straight men deal with body dysmorphia. Body dysmorphia is a general intense dissatisfaction with one’s body that can lead to depression and other mental health conditions. Why is it so hard for gay males to love their bodies? As gay males, we learn at a young age that we’re different and we need to hide parts of ourselves. Suppose you grew up in a totally supportive family or school environment, there still might be cultural and media messages that men and boys should be a certain way. If you differ from that idea of what an ideal man should be, you can suffer a great deal. Do you struggle with your body? There are a number of questions you can ask yourself to determine what your relationship is like with your body. Are you uncomfortable with your relationship to food? Do you overeat and feel guilty about it? Do you under-eat and feel irritable or fatigued? Food is meant to provide energy and life. If you’re feeling guilt, shame or embarrassment about your eating habits, seek support. (And we’re here to help!) Do you feel uncomfortable naked? If you find yourself hiding parts of your body when you’re naked or ashamed to put on a bathing suit, seek support. (And we’re here to support!) Does the way you feel about your body make you avoid certain situations and withdraw from them? Are you ashamed of the way you look? Are you scared of how others will see you? If so, seek support. (And we’re here to support!) Other signs you may struggle with your body Binge/purge eating patterns Over exercising Drugs Alcohol Depression Self-hatred Low self-esteem Self-harm Self-medication through drugs or alcohol What can you do if you’re a gay male with body image issues? One of the best things you can do is work on loving your body, exactly as it is today. Period. Here is a list of ways to begin accepting your body as it is today. This list was inspired by a resource on The National Eating Disorders Association website. Under inspiration from this list of 10 Steps to a Positive Body Image, this list was created. While this list may be helpful, it is not meant as a substitute for counseling or professional support. If you or someone you love is struggling from an eating disorder, please call the hotline at the National Eating Disorders Association for support and guidance. 800-931-2237 One list cannot automatically tell you how to turn negative body thoughts into positive body image, but it can introduce you to healthier ways of looking at yourself and your body. The more you practice these new thought patterns, the better you will feel about who you are and the body you naturally have. Appreciate all that your body can do. Every day your body carries you closer to your dreams. Celebrate all of the amazing things your body does for you—running, dancing, breathing, laughing, dreaming, etc. Keep a top-ten list of things you like about yourself—things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like. Read your list often. Add to it as you become aware of more things to like about yourself. Remind yourself that “true beauty” lies under the skin. When you feel good about yourself and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance, and openness that makes you beautiful. Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body. Look at yourself as a whole person. When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind, choose not to focus on specific body parts. See yourself as you want others to see you — as a whole person. Surround yourself with positive people. (You'll find them here!) It is easier to feel good about yourself and your body when you are around others who are supportive and who recognize the importance of liking yourself just as you naturally are. (Find them here!) Shut down those voices in your head that tell you your body is not “right” or that you are a “bad” person. You can overpower those negative thoughts with positive ones. The next time you start to tear yourself down, build yourself back up with a few quick affirmations that work for you. Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you feel good about your body. Work with your body, not against it. Become a critical viewer of social and media messages. Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Protest these messages: write a letter to the advertiser or talk back to the image or message. Do something nice for yourself — something that lets your body know you appreciate it. Take a bubble bath, make time for a nap, or find a peaceful place outside to relax. Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying about food, calories, and your weight to do something to help others. Sometimes reaching out to other people can help you feel better about yourself and can make a positive change in our world. This song helps you to see the good feeling we get when helping others and being helped. Click on the song title "The Best Life Ever" to follow 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. We all benefit, the one giving help and the one receiving help. The Best Life Ever Helping and encouraging others gives us the best feeling ever! I want to help you. 5 tools to help you start to love your body 1. Create a list of your strengths and assets. Draft a list of 3-10 things about yourself that you admire or appreciate. Are you kind? Perhaps you’re a good friend. Do you make a mean vegan meatloaf? Keep the list handy and read it daily. 2. Look at yourself through a wide-angle lens. Pan out and take it all in. We can get so fixated on picking apart our appearance bit-by-bit. “My stomach is too big. My hair is too thin.” Chances are when you look at someone else you are not picking apart the qualities that you dislike about them. Be as kind to yourself as you would be to a stranger. 3. Support. Support. Support. Surround yourself with a handful of people who inspire, motivate and nourish you. The world can be a cruel place, but if you have a strong inner circle you can tackle most challenges that come your way. (We are here for you!!!) 4. Try to wear clothing that makes you feel good about yourself. Chances are, even if your negative self-talk is very strong, there is at least one outfit you feel comfortable in. Start there. Build a new wardrobe based on the concept that you deserve to feel good in everything you wear. Then, overtime you can challenge yourself to try new clothing. Until then start off with something that feels good. 5. Stand up to hate. Feeling disempowered usually contributes to feeling bad about yourself. Protest and resist negative images that come at you from the media and our culture at large. Protest the advertisers themselves or just talk about your frustration with a close confidant. (You’ll find one here!) The simple act of doing something to protest can have monumental positive effects on your outlook. New way of thinking What would it be like to love your body exactly as it is today? No matter how unhappy you are with the way you look. No matter how many goals you have yet to reach with diet or exercise. What would it be like to accept yourself exactly as you are today? But I’m goal oriented Great! There are areas in your life where it’s important to set goals and work toward them. The way you feel about your body is not one of those areas. Strive to make the love for your body unconditional. We’re going to change, grow and age throughout our lifetimes. As corny as it sounds, the relationship that we have with ourselves is lasting and permanent. We need to nurture it. Gay males can love their bodies As gay males, let’s start the process of loving our bodies, exactly as they are today. Think about how you treat other gay males and yourself. Can you be kinder? Are there ways to be more supportive? We face enough adversity out in the world at large, let’s nurture kindness and compassion, with ourselves and others. Such support is here, unconditionally! A helpful and encouraging article and video; simply click on the titles to read first the article, then on the second to watch the video: Article: Am I obsessed with my appearance? Video: Are you obsessed with body image? To be sure, I love myself!
Obsessed With Body Image? content media
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plapjc
May 24, 2021
In Welcome to the Forum
Here are some questions people sometimes have. Can gay, lesbian, and bisexual people get some kind of treatment to change their sexual orientation? I can't change, even if I tried, even if I wanted to. No. Like heterosexuals, gay, lesbian, and bisexual people don't feel they can choose their sexual orientation. Most are satisfied to be who they are. They would not wish to become heterosexual. NO "treatment," repeat, no treatment has been shown to change a person's sexual orientation. There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles. Click also here on the Forum post The Dangers of "Reparative" or "Conversion Therapy" Please don't make me! 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 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 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. Click on this link to read the article. As gay Jehovah's Witnesses, there are things we must take into consideration. 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? It 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 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. So then, 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 to go directly to the post) Consider this, too. If a person by nature, meaning as a result of inborn or inherent qualities " is "prone to anger," can he give free rein (unrestricted freedom of action) to his anger and still be pleasing God? What are a few things fits of anger can lead to? 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 homosexual must control his gayness, even if there is a biological factor as to why he is gay, and not give in to homosexual acts. Everlasting life is at stake. A life of self-control How do you develop self-control? Click on the article title. Remember that "sexual immorality" includes homosexual acts - see the discussion of Paul's words at 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 in this Forum post: Click on the Forum post title "General Discussion of Gay Topics." 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 intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, and masturbating another person. But then, how could it be a sin to commit homosexual acts if someone is seemingly 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 (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 self-pity, 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 desires and acting upon them, 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 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; Ephesians. 2:1–10). In the final analysis, regardless of the cause or causes of homosexuality, 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 to go directly to the post.) . Why do I have homosexual feelings? Click on the question to read the article on this. Can I Make Gay Feelings Go Away? Click on the question to read the article on this. Should a gay person be discriminated against or ostracized? No. There have been people in all cultures and times throughout human history who have identified themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Homosexuality is not an illness or a disorder, a fact that is agreed upon by both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association. Homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association in 1974. Being gay is as much a human variation as being left-handed - a person's sexual orientation and gender identity are just another piece of who they are. Can't homosexuals just force themselves to become heterosexuals? Again, I can't change, even if I tried, even if I wanted to. No. Efforts to do so aren’t just unnecessary – they’re damaging! Religious and secular organizations do sponsor campaigns and studies claiming that gay people can change their sexual orientation or gender identity because there is something wrong. These studies and campaigns suggesting that gay people can change are based on ideological biases and not peer-reviewed solid science. No studies show proven long-term changes in gay people, and many reported changes are based solely on behavior and not a person's actual self-identity. The American Psychological Association has stated that scientific evidence shows that reparative therapy (therapy which claims to change gay people into heterosexual persons) does not work and that it can do more harm than good. Again, click on the Forum post here to go directly to the post The Dangers of "Reparative" or "Conversion Therapy" Can a homosexual leave his homosexual acts and way of life? Gay, but celibate But here's an interesting point about what Paul wrote. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11: "Or do you not know that unrighteous people will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Do not be misled. Those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts, men who practice homosexuality, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners will not inherit God’s Kingdom. 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." So how can and does a homosexual change? No one should think that he can make a complete change to a Christian way of life in his own strength. He must look to Jehovah God for help. Jehovah has given the Christian congregations of his Witnesses to assist any person who genuinely desires to lead a morally upright life. This Website was created to help gay persons leave off their homosexual way of life and homosexual acts, and to help gay Jehovah's Witnesses to get support to continue putting up the struggle to avoid homosexual acts and a homosexual way of life. God has also given his holy spirit for those who want to clean up their lives. Even if on occasion a person has a temporary setback in his struggle to overcome a habitually ingrained practice like homosexuality, we have God’s assurance that His spirit will sustain him if he honestly keeps trying to do what is right. Like the sinner David, who was a king of Israel, such a person can pray, confident that Jehovah hears him: Psalm 51:7, 9-11 states: "Purify me from my sin with hyssop, so that I will be clean; wash me, so that I will be whiter than snow. Turn your face away from my sins, and wipe away all my errors. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and put within me a new spirit, a steadfast one. Do not cast me out from your presence; and do not take your holy spirit away from me." As a person works to change his thinking, he will want to show good sense and make certain practical adjustments in his way of life. For instance, depending on his case, he may choose different employment, or a new location in which to live. He may also find it advantageous to adjust his clothing and grooming as well as the way he acts, talks and walks.​ In some cases, owing to the nature of a person’s past, it is conceivable that the total emotional, physical, and social effects of homosexuality will not be wiped out for many years, maybe not ever in this present system of things. But a person should never give up his fight. If progress sometimes seems slow, persist and rely on Jehovah’s spirit and trusted confidants, ones you can find here on this site; this will in time yield good results. A potent question before a gay Jehovah's Witness is: Do I really want to change and will I accept the challenge of doing so? Will I accept the support needed so that I can say, 'That's what I was, but I have been washed clean, and I have changed'? Imagine how concerned and loving a real comforter will be! How will you react? Will you stick to the comforter, be appreciative, and thankful? Will you be humble to accept help and support? When you find a sincere, consoling comforter here, don't let this sympathetic, empathetic reaching out to help and support you pass you by! DON'T QUIT AND GIVE UP!!! By all means, welcome it!!! Sincere brotherly love is fully in action on this site. How will you respond? How does someone know they are gay? Some people say that they have "felt different" or knew they were attracted to people of the same sex from the time they were very young. Others do not figure out their sexual orientation until they are adolescents or adults. Often it can take a while for people to put a label to their feelings, or people's feelings may change over time. Understanding our sexuality can be a lifelong process, and people shouldn't worry about labeling themselves right away. However, with positive images of gay people more readily available, it is becoming easier for people to identify their feelings and come out at earlier ages. People don't have to be sexually active to know their sexual orientation - feelings and emotions are as much a part of one's identity. The short answer is that you'll know when you know. Should I talk to a loved one about his or her sexual orientation before the person talks to me? It’s seldom appropriate to ask a person, "Are you gay?” Your perception of another person’s sexual orientation is not necessarily what it appears. No one can know for sure unless the person has actually declared that they are gay. Some people, especially gays themselves, claim to have effective "gaydar," that is, intuitively able to detect another's sexual orientation. Click on this link for an example of a study on gaydar, The Science of “Gaydar”: How Well Can We Detect Other People’s Sexual Orientation? Although some studies suggest gaydar is accurate 60% of the time, there is then a 40% inaccurate rate. The above advice is best followed: "It’s seldom appropriate to ask a person, "Are you gay?” Your perception of another person’s sexual orientation is not necessarily what it appears. No one can know for sure unless the person has actually declared that they are gay." How do I come out to my family and friends? to my family to my friends There are many questions to consider before coming out. Are you comfortable with your sexuality? Do you have support? Can you be patient? What kind of views do your friends and family have about homosexuality? Are you financially dependent on your family? Make sure you have thought your decision through, have a plan, and supportive people you can turn to. Just as you need to experience different stages of acceptance for yourself, family and loved ones may well need to go through a similar process. Your loved ones will need time to adjust to your news, the same way you may have needed time to come to terms with yourself. However, true acceptance is possible and happens every day, especially with education and support. How can I reconcile my or my loved one's sexual orientation with my faith? This is a difficult question for many people. Learning that a loved one is gay can be a challenge if you feel it is at odds with your faith. However, being gay does not impact a person's ability to be moral and spiritual any more than being heterosexual does. Many gay people are religious and active in their own faith communities. A gay's religious beliefs should take precedence over whether to act on gay desires or not. Are people born gay‚ or do they choose to be gay? The answer is more complicated than this “either/or” question allows. At the same time, most people do not overtly choose to have homosexual attractions, no more than anyone “chooses” to be attracted to brunettes or people with green eyes. Studies and individual testimonies demonstrate there are a variety of roads into homosexuality, and the specific route is different for each person. Homosexuality may result from a combination of factors, including genetics, personality, relationships, trauma, developmental issues, and cultural influences. Some people with same-sex attractions are able to point to early childhood experiences or family dynamics that contributed to their feelings. Choice becomes very important when a person is deciding how to handle same-sex attractions. Will they choose to seek the help of God and others to follow God’s design for human sexual expression? Will they seek healing, forgiveness, and undeserved kindness from God? Will they choose to place their confidence in and follow Jesus Christ? Those choices are significant, indeed, but they are the choices we all face. Can people turn from gay to straight? First, let’s look at the idea of “being gay.” Over time, the definition of homosexuality has shifted from being a behavior to a condition to an identity. In the Bible, for example, the focus is on the behavior. Scripture says don’t engage in gay sex. As Christians, we don’t want to define people by their attractions or struggle. We should look beyond homosexuality to see a person as a sacred human being created in the image of God. “Being straight” or “being gay” may be the way the culture likes to label people; however, it’s not how God determines our identity or worth. God bases our worth on His unchanging, unfailing, eternal love for us. Human feelings, actions and identity can change, however. God brings redemptive transformation to many areas of a person’s life, including our motives, thoughts, beliefs, and identity, as well as our relationship with Him, relationships with people, decisions, and feelings. God uses many means to bring about change, including healthy relationships, counseling, Scripture, spiritual disciplines, the holy spirit, obedience, and prayer. It may not be an easy road, but many people have moved away from homosexuality, some into Biblical marriages and others into fulfilled chaste lives, all dedicated to serving God and others. Some people who claimed to be “ex-gay” have gone back into homosexuality. In fact, some say that no one really changes‚ is that true? There are a number of things that help people with unwanted same-sex attractions. Yes, some people have gone back into homosexuality or have claimed that no one really changes. We find this very sad, and grieve over these decisions and statements. BUT, that just underscores the failure of reparative or conversion therapy and what feelings and desires a gay person deals with. Therapists admit: Conversion therapy, sometimes called “ex-gay therapy” or “reparative therapy,” is the pseudoscientific and often religious practice that purports to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The contentious practice has been condemned by nearly every major medical association and has been associated with increased rates of suicide attempts. There is no question that because of such therapists' work, gay victims of this flawed reparative, conversion therapy have truly been scarred, emotionally scarred, Gay feelings and desires can remain for the gay Jehovah's Witness' entire life span, and such a person may succumb to homosexual acts. The gay Jehovah's Witness may have a lifelong struggle to suppress those feelings and desires if he wants to remain pleasing to Jehovah. OK, so the gay feelings and desires remain deep within the gay Jehovah's Witness, but is self control and change nevertheless possible? The good news is, however, that many gays do change and these stories of people going back don’t represent everyone who leaves homosexuality. This kind of transformation is mentioned in the Bible, as the apostle Paul specifically mentions individuals in the first century congregation who turned from a homosexual lifestyle and homosexual acts, followed Christ, and left homosexuality. Here's what the apostle Paul wrote to the ancient Corinthian Christians at 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 "Or do you not know that unrighteous people will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Do not be misled. Those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who submit to homosexual acts, men who practice homosexuality, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners will not inherit God’s Kingdom. 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." For almost 2000 years, people have been leaving homosexuality through the undeserved kindness of Jehovah God. Jehovah's Witnesses have helped people with unwanted homosexuality with strong success. And, many of these have stayed out of homosexuality for many years. Click on the Forum post here to go directly to the post. "General Discussion of Gay Topics" for an in-depth discussion of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Why didn't Jesus specifically talk about homosexuality? Well, to start with, those who so argue ignore the fact that the Bible refers to the words of Paul as part of ‘Scripture’ and thus beneficial for “setting things straight.” (2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Pet. 3:15, 16) But an honest examination of the words of Jesus shows that he, too, did indeed speak against homosexuality. He said, as recorded at Matthew 19:9 according to the Revised Standard Version (RSV): “Whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery.” The Greek word for “unchastity” that Matthew here employs in penning Jesus’ words is por·neiʹa. Por·neiʹa is related to the verb por·neuʹo, meaning “to give one’s self to unlawful sexual intercourse.” The best way to understand what is taken in by these terms is to find out how they are used in other places. A similar word appears in the Bible at Jude 7 in describing the sin of certain ancient cities: “Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally [an intensive form of por·neuʹo] and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.” (RSV) For what type of ‘immorality’ or por·neiʹa were those at Sodom and Gomorrah condemned? The Bible narrative at Genesis 19:4, 5 answers: “The men of Sodom, surrounded the house, from boy to old man, all the people in one mob. And they kept calling out to Lot and saying to him: ‘Where are the men who came in to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have intercourse with them.’” These men of Sodom and Gomorrah were homosexuals. In fact, the English word “sodomy,” which particularly means ‘intercourse between two men,’ is drawn from the name of the city of Sodom. The Bible would call their sin por·neiʹa. Jesus said por·neiʹa was so wrong morally that it was a basis for severing the marriage bond. Further, remember that Jesus was a Jew living under the law of Moses. His use of por·neiʹa, says Edward Robinson’s Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament, apparently includes ‘all intercourse interdicted by the Mosaic Law.’ That Law included among its injunctions: “Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence.” (Lev. 18:22, The Torah, The Five Books of Moses, by the Jewish Publication Society of America) Por·neiʹa, the word used by Jesus, obviously embraced this command of God. Author Kevin de Young in his book, "What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?" stated: To insist that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality is not really accurate. Not only did he explicitly reaffirm the creation account of marriage as the one-flesh union of a man and a woman (Matt. 19:4–6; Mark 10:6–9); he condemned the sin of por·neiʹa( Mark 7:21), a broad word encompassing every kind of sexual sin. The leading Christian Greek Scriptures lexicon defines por·neiʹa as “unlawful sexual intercourse, prostitution, unchastity, fornication.”2 Likewise, Christian Greek Scriptures scholar James Edwards states that por·neiʹa “can be found in Greek literature with reference to a variety of illicit sexual practices, including adultery, fornication, prostitution, bestiality, and homosexuality. In the Hebrew Scriptures it occurs for any sexual practice outside marriage between a man and a woman that is prohibited by the Law of Moses, it should be noted that homosexuality had been condemned by God before the law of Moses was even given. The account about Sodom and Gomorrah, referred to earlier, proves this fact; those cities were destroyed by God over 400 years before the law of Moses came into existence. Jesus was aware of that.​—Luke 17:28, 29, 32. Jesus didn’t have to give a special sermon on homosexuality, nor for that matter on bestiality or incest, because all of his listeners understood that same-sex behavior, as well as bestiality or incest, were prohibited in the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Bible), and reckoned as one of the many expressions of sexual sin (por·neiʹa) off-limits for the Jews. Besides all this, there’s no reason to treat Jesus’s words (all of which were recorded by someone other than Jesus) as more authoritative than the rest of the Bible. He affirmed the abiding authority of the Hebrew Scriptures (Matt. 5:17–18) and understood that his disciples would fill out the true meaning of his person and work (John 14:25–26; 16:12–15; cf. Luke 24:48–49; Acts 1:1–2). Again... Beyond doubt, therefore, Jesus did in fact condemn all such ‘unchaste’ practices as homosexuality. As reason would indicate to us, the Bible is consistent on this matter. Paul’s words at 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 are backed up by the authority of the Son of God. Should Christians hate gay people? Please see this article: Should Christians Hate Homosexuals? Just click on the title of the article here to read it.
Questions Frequently Asked About Homosexuality content media
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plapjc
May 22, 2021
In Welcome to the Forum
At 1 Corinthians 7:9 the apostle Paul wrote: "But if they do not have self-control, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to be inflamed with passion." That was good counsel from Paul to the Corinthians. Corinth was a decadent city rampant with sexual immorality. No doubt that could have presented many temptations to the Christians living there. So in marriage they could properly find an outlet for their inflamed sexual passions. But what about homosexuals, especially male homosexuals, who are the ones that have to perform sexually? Many, if not most, just couldn't marry, couldn't have sex with a female. What were they to do? Sex with a female? No way! Compare this question, "To masturbate or not to masturbate?" in the Ask Anything post. Click on the Ask Anything post title here to go directly to the post. Today we live in a world filled with sexual immorality. Pornography is everywhere and easily accessible, stirring up sexual passions. A gay brother once said, 'You know, a person could be an amputee but could still marry and experience love and have sexual relations to help satisfy his sexual passions and fulfill that need for emotional intimacy.' Not being able to experience marriage where love and sexual intimacies can be enjoyed, many gays feel unloved and unlovable. Some gays feel they are unloved and unlovable even by Jehovah. What can help such gays? Well, there's a posting here in the Forum post, God's View of Homosexuality, (Click on the title here to go directly to the post), and it addresses what gays can do if their homosexual desires don't go away, that their homosexual desires were not just a passing infatuation. The topic is helpful even though our complex dilemma may defy a solution, plus our circumstances as gay Christians can vary greatly one from another. OK, so we can't experience eros. That means, incredibly sad as it may be, that we can't experience, as the Branch explained, that bond of the pleasure of sexual intimacy along with a close emotional connection. In the end then and, regrettably, our lot in life in this system is celibacy. But what about the other loves mentioned in the Bible? agape, principled love phileo, brotherly love An encouraging song about brotherly love. 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. Brotherly Love Spiritual gay brothers will always be there to comfort, encourage, and reassure. and storge, familial love. Just click on the song title to play the song. The digital edition button gives you the lyrics to the song being sung. Then click also on the video button to watch a music video accompanying the song. We Won’t Forget You We are a world-wide family. Could we concentrate on those loves? There is a great article on these four loves here. Just click on the title to read the article: Eros, Phileo, Storge, and Agape And the article talks about God's love of us. Wouldn't that be the greatest feeling of being loved and being lovable?! Here's an encouraging song about love. Click on the title, then the digital edition button, to see the lyrics and to hear the song being sung. Love Intensely From the Heart What we owe gay Jehovah's Witnesses An encouraging song about Jehovah's love. 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. Unfailing Love Love from Jehovah never fails. It brings us joy and comfort. The love of gay brothers will also never fail. Here we can experience in abundance brotherly love, and when we become a close "family," couldn't we also experience storge, "familial love"? Let us give love and as the Bible says at Hebrews 13:1- “Let your brotherly love continue.”​ And at Philippians 1:9 - “This is what I continue praying, that your love may abound still more and more.”​ What do you think?
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May 20, 2021
In Welcome to the Forum
Gays are often bullied, discriminated against, and even ostracized. This can lead to severe loneliness. If these issues affect you, how can you combat loneliness? Click on the articles in the boxes and the videos in the boxes. Article: "What If I'm Lonely?" Whiteboard video: "From Sad to Glad" Whiteboard video: What is a real friend and how do I find real friends? What do you think causes you to feel lonely at times? What suggestions did you like? Create a plan to combat loneliness. Use this worksheet: "Working Through Loneliness" On this site know that no one will be lonely! You won't be forgotten, bullied, discriminated against, or ostracized here! Here you'll be loved intensely from the heart. May your loneliness disappear! May you find comfort in this original song, "Never Alone" Click on the following song title and 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. Never Alone When we have Jehovah and fellow gay brothers, we are never alone! Often when we feel alone, we can get afraid. May you find comfort in this original song, "Do Not Be Afraid." Click on the following song title and 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. Do Not Be Afraid When life gets hard, we need to remember we’re not alone. I'm so afraid. What can remove our fear? Please see the lyrics and hear the song being sung, "With Eyes of Faith." Click on the song title, then the digital button to see the lyrics and hear the song being sung. Click also the video button to watch a music video that accompanies the song.. With Eyes of Faith With eyes of faith there is nothing to fear. Jehovah is always near. Another beautiful music video accompanies this song as well. Produced by the Watchtower, Bible, and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. Click on the arrow to watch the video.
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May 20, 2021
In Welcome to the Forum
If so, ? Your homosexuality? Lack of help and support? Weighed down with a life full of troubles, anxiety, depression? Drifted away? Challenges? Weaknesses? Disagreements with teachings or brothers? Deceptive apostates? Stumbled? Guilt? Family problems? Divorce? Disciplined? Resentment? Hurt feelings? Interest waned? Lack of motivation? Lack of forgiveness? Wrongly accused? Actions misinterpreted or misjudged by elders? Committed grievous sins? Disassociated? Disfellowshipped? The hearts of Jehovah, and of his Son, and of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses go out to you. So the Governing Body has lovingly prepared this brochure especially for you. May it bring you comfort, encouragement, and reassurance. Click on the brochure in the box. Please listen to this comforting, encouraging and reassuring song. Click on the song title, then click on the digital edition to listen to the song being sung and read the lyrics. Then click on the video button to watch the accompanying music video. I Can Get Back Up When we're down, we can still get back up. And we here offer our helping hand of full support. We all care about you and love you! Allow Jehovah and us to comfort and soothe you. You can regain your peace despite that your gay anxiety remains; and, yes, problems associated with your gayness can still persist. But nothing can stop Jehovah from soothing your troubled heart. Jehovah will never forget you, and sooner or later he will reward your perseverance and faithfulness. Are you disfellowshipped, or recently reinstated, or inactive? Please click on this article: Rebuilding Your Friendship With Jehovah Remember, we are here to help! Please listen to this comforting, encouraging and reassuring song. Click on the song title. Click on the digital edition to listen to the song being sung and read the lyrics. Then click on the video button to watch the accompanying music video. Jehovah Welcomes You Home Jehovah and we brothers here will shelter you. We will welcome you back home! Also an encouraging song about gaining Jehovah's friendship. Click on the song title, then the digital edition button, to see the lyrics and to hear the song being sung. "Gaining Jehovah's Friendship" Jehovah's hand of friendship is always extended. Here's an encouraging song about what Jehovah will do for you.. Click on the song title, then the digital edition button, to see the lyrics and to hear the song being sung. "He Will Make You Strong" Come back to Jehovah and he will make you strong. Please listen to this very encouraging song, "Where I Belong." Click on the song title, then the digital button to see the lyrics and hear the song being sung. You can also click on the video button to watch a music video that accompanies the song. Where I Belong Jehovah looked into your heart and he drew you to His people. He knew this is where you belong. We WILL help you. . Please enjoy this video drama. Click on the video drama's title: The Prodigal Returns And in the end, if you were truly and deeply hurt by someone, maybe even stumbled, how best to react? Consider the words to this song. Click on the song title then the digital button to see the lyrics and hear the song being sung. Click also on the video button to watch an accompanying music video. Forgive One Another The same that we want others to do for us
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May 20, 2021
In Welcome to the Forum
Gay Jehovah's Witnesses can get depressed. If you do, how can you fight depression and deal with your gayness and life's anxieties? Depressed? Why? What Can Help? Can the Bible Help Me If I'm Depressed? Click on the articles in the boxes to read them. Click on the article titles to read the articles, and the video title to watch the video. Depression - How Does It Feel? Depression - How to Treat It? Help From 'the God of Comfort' Please enjoy this encouraging song. Click on the song title, then the digital button to see the lyrics and hear the song being sung. Click also on the video button to see an accompanying music video. Jehovah's Always by Our Side Jehovah is always willing to hold our hand. Whiteboard video : "From Sad to Glad" Here's an encouraging song about dealing with anxieties. Just click on the song title and see the lyrics and hear the song being sung. The digital button gives you the lyrics to the song and the song being sung. Then click also on the video button to watch a music video appropriate to the song. Each Day Has Its Own Anxieties We can find peace and joy despite our burdens. O dear Jehovah, why am I gay? Help me, please! We are here to help. Reach out to us. Pour your heart out. Get that needed listening and sympathetic ear, that mutual support. Be comforted from us who truly understand and care about you. Jehovah loves you. We love you. I'm listening, brother! I'll help you! I'll support you unconditionally! If you need a listening and sympathetic ear, I'm here to listen, help, and support. John at plapjc@yahoo.com Text or call me at 239-245-2995 USA country code is number 1 All ears here! This song shows how we feel about one another. "You Can Count on Me " Through our ups and downs, we can count on true friends. 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. This is what true friends are for - listening, communicating, regularly following through. and supporting. What then can you do with all those burdens of depression and anxiety? Can you relate to this drawing? May this song with its lyrics and the accompanying music video encourage, comfort, and reassure you. Just click on the song title. When the song comes up, click on the digital button to see the lyrics and to hear the song being sung. You can also click on the video button to watch a music video that accompanies the song. Roll It on Him May this song with its lyrics and the accompanying music video encourage, comfort, and reassure you. Just click on the song title. When the song comes up, click on the digital button to see the lyrics and to hear the song being sung. You can also click on the video button to watch a music video that accompanies the song. Our Thanks Go to You Jehovah comforts us with peace of mind. Click on this link of a post in the Blog on the Home page. It contains information to help with depression, especially depression stemming from guilt. Jehovah's Comforting and Reassuring Words Through Ezekiel
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plapjc
May 15, 2021
In Welcome to the Forum
I have come out to quite a few brothers and sisters and non-Jehovah's Witnesses. I got mixed reactions. In most cases, though, relationships cooled, and even ended. I even had one Circuit Overseer say, "I can think of nothing more disgusting than homosexuality." Another CO said that when he made his next visit he wanted to talk over a cup of coffee. Never happened. Even one who is a close friend that I even studied with is "supportive," but just keeps quoting Scriptures and telling me to pray, As James wrote at James 1:15 and 16: "If any brothers or sisters are lacking clothing*and enough food for the day, yet one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but you do not give them what they need for their body, of what benefit is it???" To us James 1:15 and 16 could read: "If any gay brothers or sisters are lacking the proper sexual orientation, yet one of you says to them, “Go in peace; read the Bible and pray, Jehovah can even make you heterosexual,” but you do not give them what they need for their mind and heart, and do not reach out to them as Jesus did saying "I want to" and asking questions like "What do you want me to do for you?" "How may I help?" "What's been happening in your life?" "How can I help you?", OF WHAT BENEFIT IS IT???" Compare it to this scenario. When we come out or seek help and a listening and sympathetic ear, it's like we're drowning and desperately need help. We reach out in all sincerity. The onlooker doesn't throw us what we need to help save our life. Please click on this post: How to help gay Jehovah's Witnesses? How to comfort, encourage, and reassure them? How do I come out to my family and friends? There are many questions to consider before coming out. Doubtless you're sure about your gay sexuality? Will you have support? Can you be patient? What kind of views do your friends and family have about homosexuality? Are you financially dependent on your family? Make sure you have thought your decision through, have a plan, and supportive people you can turn to. Just as you need to experience different stages of acceptance for yourself, family and loved ones may well need to go through a similar process. Your loved ones will need time to adjust to your news, the same way you may have needed time to come to terms with yourself. However, true acceptance is possible and happens every day, especially with education and support. to my family to my friends I came out in some videos on youtube. Click on the titles to watch. Tour of the Website "Support for Gay Jehovah's Witnesses" Coming out video - English version Coming out video - French version Coming out video - German version it's not always easy to come out. May you find comfort in this original song, "Do Not Be Afraid." Click on the following song title and 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. Do Not Be Afraid Coming out can evoke fear. It can be terrifying and make a gay Jehovah's Witness become petrified. But at such a time you'll find here a comforting confidant, and a listening and sympathetic ear. I offer my listening and sympathetic ear. Contact John at plapjc@yahoo.com Call or text me at 239-245-2995. For USA use the county code number 1.
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May 14, 2021
In Welcome to the Forum
Jehovah’s Witnesses—Who Are We? We come from hundreds of ethnic and language backgrounds, yet we are united by common goals. Above all, we want to honor Jehovah, the God of the Bible and the Creator of all things. We do our best to imitate Jesus Christ and are proud to be called Christians. Each of us regularly spends time helping people learn about the Bible and God’s Kingdom. Because we witness, or talk, about Jehovah God and his Kingdom, we are known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Explore our site. Read the Bible online. Learn more about us and our beliefs. Here is the official Website for Jehovah's Witnesses. It is the most translated Website on the Internet, available to date in 1,029 languages! Just click on the title to visit the Website. Official Website of Jehovah's Witnesses We study the Bible with interested persons totally free of charge. It can be virtual, via email or telephone, and in person, at a time convenient to you, and, if in person, at a place you choose. Here is a link to see what the interactive Bible study course would be about. Click on the boxes to read text and watch videos. Why study the Bible? What happens at a Bible study? If you would like to study the Bible, just email me, John plapjc@yahoo.com You can also call or text me at 239-245-2995. The USA country code is number 1. We can study over the phone, email, here on Members Chat, or Zoom, however, wherever, and whenever you want. No charge, it's free, and no obligation. At Matthew 10:8 Jesus said: "You received free, give free."
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