Many expect change for a person who experiences same-sex attractions to be a 180-degree turnaround in their sexual orientation, i.e., from homosexual to heterosexual. However, actual change can represent different things for different people as:
- Change can take a long time, depending on the approach and complexity of the issue.
- Change can take various forms, such as in sexual behaviour but not sexual orientation.
- Change may take place in degrees rather than a complete elimination of all homosexual attractions, with heterosexual desires awakening and homosexual ones diminishing.1
Just as a person addicted to pornography may still be tempted or even “relapse” after therapy and counselling, the same applies for homosexuals. Christians who continue to struggle with same-sex attraction (SSA) may have been through repeated, varied and prolonged “ex-gay” therapy and deliverance, but with little satisfaction of having their SSA dealt with. It is not uncommon for them to question if God had actually made them homosexual and become resigned to the fact that “once gay, always gay”.
Homosexual people who have been treated insensitively or inappropriately during therapy and counselling are more inclined to re-embrace homosexuality and criticize sexual orientation change efforts, sometimes identifying with or supporting efforts like Beyond Ex-Gay, Soulforce and the Gay Christian Network.
Nonetheless, the many success stories from ex-gays and post-gays2 (those who accept their homosexual orientation but choose not to act on it because they believe that their sexual identity and behaviour are neither defined nor dictated by their attractions) prove that it is at least possible for a person with a homosexual orientation to change his/her sexual orientation.3