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Views & Voices

‘Former homosexual’ tells Joy Behar how he came out of the ‘homosexual lifestyle’

Friday, July 22, 2011

In an astounding interview, Joy Behar asks self described “former homosexual” Stephen Bennett, to explain how he came out of the “homosexual lifestyle.”

Though Bennett recognizes that being gay is “not a choice”, he states that he made a “choice to come out of the gay lifestyle” equating it with making a choice to come out of drug and alcohol addiction.

Stating that his homosexuality was a caused by a lack of a father figure, he also associates his former homosexuality with the negative influences of alcohol, bulimia, and drug addiction. Never-mind that all reputable scientific and medical organizations reject such a claim of “parental influence” over a child’s sexual orientation. The American Psychiatric Association, for example, states that such a view is based upon “misinformation and prejudice.”

He claims, with his wife sitting next to him, that it should be okay for a homosexual man to try to like women “like 97% of the men in this entire world.”

Bennett currently runs a ministry dedicated to providing “biblical and practical support and resources for men and women looking to overcome their unwanted same-sex attraction.”

One must only ask why individuals have unwanted “same-sex attraction;” could it be because society and religious organizations vilify and demean LGBT people, causing them to feel unloved and hated? One must also recognize that his “ministry” to those who are struggling with being gay is based upon the premise that being gay is abnormal and sinful, not a healthy biological variant of the human species (the latter a position which all scientific organizations take).

As his website, Stephen Bennett Ministries, states:

According to God’s infallible Word, everyone is created male or female. We are created in His image. Sexual relations are only to be between one man and one woman – a husband and wife – within the grounds and confines of biblical marriage, for life. Anything outside of this –- fornication, adultery, pornography or anything else –- is considered impure, immoral and sin according to God’s Word.

Biblical abstinence is to be adhered to until a man or woman enter the biblical covenant of marriage with a person of the opposite sex, as husband and wife. Biblical sexual purity is the ministry’s overriding and uncompromising message.

Though his “ministry” itself does not practice reparative therapy (a therapy that attempts to turn gay people straight), his website does give links to reparative therapy organizations like Exodus International and NARTH.

I am in no position to question his own life journey and the choices that he himself has made regarding his sexual orientation. But I can say from personal experience that the therapy and the position that he advocates has direct societal and psychological impacts on LGBT people all over the world.

Additionally, though “ex-gay’s” might feel “vilified” by the LGBT community, it is not based upon any hatred for these individuals, but instead because we recognize the harm that their ideology has on LGBT youth and adults, as well as the cover it gives to religious right organizations who attempt to use the “gays can change” mantra to deny us civil rights. It is for that reason why the “ex-gay” movement is so dangerous and must be called out for what it is — a movement not based upon science, but instead having roots in societal and religious stigma.

© Kyle Luebke.
For more by Kyle Luebke, click here to visit his blog.
Opinions and advice expressed in our Views & Voices columns represent the author's own views and not necessarily those of LGBTQ Nation. We welcome opposing views and diverse perspectives. To submit a article, column or video, contact us here. Due to the volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee publication.

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58 more reader comments:

  1. lies still gay

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:04am
  2. I like the quotation marks around “gay”. I Was ‘Gay’ = I AM ‘BI’ and decided to have a girlfriend instead.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:05am
  3. totally bi

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:06am
  4. And went straight into the closet.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:06am
  5. Bi n back n da closet!!!

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:06am
  6. Sure. And unicorns exist.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:06am
  7. Good for him so he can run around and act on his gay impulses on the sly.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:07am
  8. Each individual decides for themselves how they want to fuck up their lives. No one else is to blame. The sad subcontext of this story, though, is that homosexuality is somehow a sad condition when it’s not. Homosexuality wasn’t to blame for this guy’s alcoholism and bulimia. It was his own internal conflicts ove rit.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:07am
  9. I’m getting really sick of all these disgusting stories in the news… On top of tying their homosexuality to “drug, alcohol abuse”, etc.

    ABSURD!

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:09am
  10. To bad this shit bag didnt die from his drug overdose in 1987….I never heard such a load of crap from someone.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:09am
  11. I watched that interview…. he is seriously delusional! He used every stereotype of homosexuality out there, and then warped it around Christianity!

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:10am
  12. They are both pathetic….GGAAAAGGGG, puke, I hate people like this.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:11am
  13. what a fucking dumb ass

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:12am
  14. Well, this is fucking stupid.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:12am
  15. Theres a few problems with this.
    1. He equated it to bulimia, drug addiction, and alcohol abuse. All of which have nothing to do with your attraction to other human beings.
    2. He brought religion into it. This is going to reassure the morons who think church can make you straight.
    3. You can repress your feelings, but you cannot rid yourself of them. He will always be attracted to men and at some point in his life, he may end up unhappy with his hetero lifestyle.
    And 4. Lack of father figure has nothing to do with it.. that’s just stupid. You went to school with males didn’t you?
    I grew up with a christian school education, having no idea what gay was and finding out as i got older that I was drawn to women because I am sexually attracted to them. Men are unappealing and I would never try to “reverse” that. I love being a lesbian.
    The end.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:13am
  16. This guy is just closeted. Anyone can pretend to be attracted to someone they’re not.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:13am
  17. Okay, people need to STOP seeing everything other than heterosexuality as an illness. I’m sure some people are 100% straight, just like some people are 100% gay, but there are SO many degrees and variances and it’s just unrealistic to say that everyone who’s not 100% straight is “sexually dysfunctional” or worse, mentally ill. There was a time when the Catholic Church decided that any position other than missionary (male dominance, much, lol) wasn’t allowed and to have sex any other way was to give in to lust, which was “dysfunctional”. Why do we listen to these assholes at all?!

    Mister Christ, I’m a big fan. So I have to ask — why are so many of your followers so stupid? A whole lot of them are awesome and really try to love everyone and understand everyone, which is admirable. So why do the others think you want them to hate people??

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:14am
  18. If it was that easy, I’d be all for it for people who want to! But it’s not. It’s dangerous.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:14am
  19. What a total self-betreyal!!!

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:15am
  20. omg catholic chrurch really decided only missionary was good lol???

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:18am
  21. so i just read this story and now im thinking wtf. i mean u got to be ur own person but comeon i dont understand how people can blame drugs, or bulimia or not havin a father in their life and saying thats why ur gay. its not a choice it just happens people cant help who their attracted too. if you want to try and be straight because you dont want people to judge u thats what it always comes down 2. so many peopleare judged because we are gay, bi, etc… i guess i dont see the poin

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:19am
  22. *point* its our preferences and i dont need no excuse to be who i am and the people who do obviously arent happy with them selves!

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:21am
  23. omg…..he’s nothing but an opportunist….his own ministry….comon!

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:21am
  24. Amen Kitty! Well stated.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:22am
  25. i agree with jordan hell probably end up with unfulfilled desires in his life which will cause a void in ur life why deny the inevitable? if u were once attracted to the same sex you most likely always will be. And as for bringing religion into this i believe that God made us the way we are so why would he want his followers to hate and discriminate against us?? thats just my thinkin

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:23am
  26. WHAT a load ! I do not care if you are gay, straight, black, white, crooked or square ! As a Pastor and counselor I am telling you GOD/GODDESS or whatever name you use is all about love.

    Loving and being true to your own self and others. We are made in our creator’s image male and female ! Anyone who attempts to make a person feel ashamed or less than in front of a mirror, parents or GOD are not people of God !
    You are loved and you are unique and never let anyone convince you otherwise !

    Stay away from broken individuals folks who try to change you for whatever reason. Let their insecurities be their and only theirs.
    You do NOT need to be part of it or ANY fear tactics esp., fearful of going to some man-made hell created by organized religion for the purpose of control and power over others.

    Have power and control over your own minds, loves and lives and deal directly with your God as you understand God to be.
    If you have no God, than just be at peace with your life and own self ! Now, can I get an AMEN !

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:24am
  27. I cant believe this guy thinks he was able to make a choice to be straight… The choice he made was to ignore his feels..It is unfortunate that he is getting this type of media attention..As Dr.Drew said i am worried about how this will affect young people who’s trying to deal and come to teams with there sexual orientation.Further more what will happen to the people who have accepted the fact that they are attracted to people of the same sex and try to come out to lets say the parents..?? The parents can now tell the child that he/she choose to be that way.When we all know its not a choice…
    a few seconds ago · Like

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:42am
  28. I feel so sad for him. To choose to live a lie to make other people happy, will lead to his own demise.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:45am
  29. Oh man, nice, blame your mom.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:49am
  30. it was a phase for him then.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 7:46pm
  31. da fuck?

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 7:48pm
  32. I can translate this interview very quickly-i’m bisexual, but I was scared how others treated me so I repressed my attraction to men, decided to date a woman and ran back to Narnia with my tail inbetween my legs

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 7:50pm
  33. “its just a phase”

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 7:52pm
  34. Bending over is still gay.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 7:52pm
  35. It’s all BS

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 7:53pm
  36. My father and mother were married for 43 years, he came out less than a year after they married… You can live a lie if you really want to.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 7:54pm
  37. that article makes me laugh. he will definitely go back to gay once he tasted it once, always return.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 7:55pm
  38. He is lying

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 7:55pm
  39. It’s like asking a balloon to be flat instead of round. You can make it flat, but you have to pop it first.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 7:57pm
  40. That’s not new that someone thinks Homosexuality is an addiction, which is ludacris. Other wise Heterosexuality would be an addiction too. Really such utter rubbish some people think. Or are brainwashed to believe. Come on out of your closets and join the 21st century.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 7:57pm
  41. actually.. the original definition of the term heterosexual.. was *One who has an unhealthy attraction/obsession with members of the opposite sex*

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 8:00pm
  42. He’s just in a phase of denial. One day, he’ll be caught with a male prostitute, it will make the news, and he claim(once again) it was his absentee father’s fault, or claim is was Satan’s temptation. He’s obviously full of shit, and has been brainwashed. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: Society sucks!

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 8:08pm
  43. ^Just a premonition.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 8:08pm
  44. As an ex-ex-homosexual, I can tell you that you can date a woman for 4 years, be faithful, and then be married to her for 16 more years. However, that does not mean you are no longer homosexual. I feel sorry for Bennett.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 8:09pm
  45. Either he was never gay. Or he is fooling himself.. Time will tell.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 8:09pm
  46. And, as a male, if you have to TRY to like women, you’re gay.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 8:10pm
  47. HAHA, I pity that poor fucker.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 8:17pm
  48. I am not going to be surprised if a male love pops out of the closet soon..

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 8:22pm
  49. He sounds gay. I never met a fem straight guy. Never…

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 8:24pm
  50. Haha he’s a dumb fuck. Let him be fake for the rest of his life

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 8:25pm
  51. BOOHOCKEY!!!

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 8:31pm
  52. this guy is full of SHIT!!!! WTF is he fooling?…oh,that’s right,himself! LIVE YOUR LIFE STEPHEN!!!F&CK what everyone else thinks,none of this shit will matter in the end!

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 8:31pm
  53. What about men who had the same childhood that he did? And they are straight as arrows. There five of us. 4 boys and one girl. The oldest is straight and my sister is straight. And my little brother is straight. I am gay and well the verdict is still out on the other one. And my mother and my Grandmother was the one whom raised us. And my father was never really there for any of us. None of us ever got a hug or a kiss from my father. Never any affection. And the abuse??? was bad. Soo you know. I don’t think this guy is really being honest with himself. That’s what i believe. You can lie to yourself about anything.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 8:34pm
  54. It does not make sense to me that pray make Gay go away..
    HOW??? because I am very happy Gay Life and I still pray,
    God KNEW that I am happy Gay Life…
    Pray will not make Straight, Lesbian and Gay go away
    because Straight, Lebian and Gay are Spirit Being…
    ~ Thank you ~

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 8:41pm
  55. Going to church doesnt make you a christian, this couple are in for a rocky road……would be good to see them both in 5 years or so……..actually I give it 2years at the most.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 9:18pm
  56. Fu…ed up much

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 9:35pm
  57. Unicorns did exist at one the Bible says so before it was cut out…though with this ‘Gay’ he should realize that just say Bi if you have attractions to both men and women.

    Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 11:02pm
  58. When I was younger, I ate macaroni and cheese even though I didn’t like it, because that’s what everyone else liked to eat and the kids on TV seemed so happy eating it. I ate macaroni and cheese at least once a week for years and years, hating every minute of it. One day I couldn’t do it anymore and I vomited at the dinner table. My mom asked me why I didn’t just tell her I didn’t like macaroni and cheese. The answer? Because that’s the only option I thought I had. I don’t eat mac n cheese anymore. I decided that eating something that made me sick just because that’s what I was supposed to eat didn’t make sense anymore. I don’t judge people that do. I just can’t stand the stuff. Oh yeah, I’m 20 and I don’t have sex with men anymore just because the focus on the family commercials tell me that that’s the only way to be happy. I’m finally happy not eating MacNCheese and being engaged to the woman of my dreams. Oh dear Mr. Bennett, one day you will vomit up your MacNCheese and realize it doesn’t give you the fulfillment that it was supposed to.

    Posted on Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 2:17pm