*** Post begun 1 May 2008, finished 28 Oct 2010 ***
In a discussion forum I don't frequent but dropped in on recently, gay LDS and former LDS people were discussing ex-gay ministries or organizations, and someone mentioned a new organization called North Star. They said it seemed to be different from others because they focused less on change and carried a more positive message with less shame.
Someone piped in, mentioning that the pictures of people on the web site were all happy, smiling faces, and the person asked, "So why do they need North Star and its support groups if they're all so happy and confident about their lives?"
I had never thought of people looking at it that way. After getting over my initial surprise, I balked a bit and thought, "You might as well ask why Affirmation exists, or Pride Festivals." Even if you're happy in your path and confident you're following truth, there's benefit in being among others who believe similarly and will walk that path with you. And sometimes, doing the right thing isn't easy and requires some love and support and friendship to see you through. On top of that, when the thing you believe is not necessarily popular in some ways, it's nice to find others who are similarly different and can walk with and reinforce you in doing something you fully believe in but which isn't necessarily easy.