What practical help can I offer someone struggling with unwanted same-sex sexual attraction?

Many who struggle with same-sex sexual attraction have experienced rejection, whether intentional or otherwise through careless words and attitudes. Peer friendship and mentoring is the best and most practical way you can help your friend who is struggling with same-sex sexual attraction, desires and feelings.1

  • Read together a relevant book on homosexuality sexuality or identity. Help them think beyond human sexuality in your discussions about their involvement in homosexual activities. The issue is not homosexuality per se but God’s overarching design for humanity and His unique plan for the individual.
  • Take time just to enjoy life and one another’s company. Have lunch or coffee together, catch a movie, go shopping, hang out with the guys/gals. Spending all your time together working on the “issue” will exhaust both of you.
  • Spend time together with other people of the same sex, e.g., through social, community or bible study groups.
  • Affirm their worth, that it is more than their sexuality or gender identity. Recognize and celebrate their positive qualities, and acknowledge how you appreciate their presence in your life.

How Men Can Help a Struggling Lesbian

A disproportionate number of lesbians have been sexually abused, often by men. Hence you need to be especially sensitive to how you interact with them.

  • Give her time to trust you as a person and for the friendship to grow. This may take a long time.
  • Respect her physical boundaries, especially because you are a male. She may recoil if you attempt to hug her, and may even be uncomfortable shaking your hand or receiving a friendly pat on the shoulder. When the friendship is more developed and she is more open, a friendly arm squeeze around the shoulders may be appropriate. But always ask first. If she hesitates or flatly declines, don’t pressure her.
  • Avoid treating her like a “buddy”. She would be more comfortable relating to you in this fashion but you can help her by not feeding into her past patterns.
  • Model godly masculinity and affirm her as a woman in non-sexual ways.

If, as a single man, you find yourself romantically attracted to her, assume that she’s not at all interested. A woman overcoming lesbianism cannot enter into a successful heterosexual romance until she has resolved her lesbian issues. Ultimately, a lesbian needs to reconnect with her feminine side through healthy relationships with both women and men because both sexes affirm her gender identity in critically different ways.

Endnotes
1. Mike Haley, 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality(Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2004)