Back to Part 5...
All else being equal, I would like to marry a man and raise children with him. But as much as I'd like to believe future generations won't have to face the choices or prejudices I have or that the dynamics and aspects of a male-male partnership and parenthood were exactly the same as those of male-female pairings, all else is just not equal, due to religion, social dynamics, biology, and legal ramifications, to name a few. Maybe same-sex couples aren't the first to wonder if society would ever accept them, but until things change, it's going to remain a big deal.
I also understand, firsthand, the reality of facing an apparent choice or tension between fighting for what the future can potentially be and saving myself the stress by living the best I can within the current bounds. Perhaps not everyone had the tenacity, energy, personal fortitude, or vision to be among the first inter-ethnic couples before society figured out such relationships can work, that accompanying differences of perspective can be beautifully and ably navigated for the personal growth of both parties, and that children raised by such couples are more stressed because of society's lack of understanding and acceptance of the couples. Perhaps not everyone can or even should be a social pioneer. So I reiterate that if certain practices work to make a same-sex attracted man's future marriage to a woman possible or current marriage better, and that's the option someone wants to pursue, as long as they're being honest and open and not hurting anyone, I want to support them in seeking happiness.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Yes, I wonder whether gay guys experience being "in love" as intensely or in as soul-animating a way with women as with guys (in at least 98.702% of cases, which statistic is great for those who find the right woman but not great for the rest), and I do think there are probably inherent, very personal and unique difficulties built into mixed-orientation marriages on top of the usual issues. But the more I expound on these ideas, the more I think it may sound like I'm saying my mixed-sex-married gay/SSA friends are living a lie for religious or social convenience, which is not what I mean to say. When it comes to people I know and love, I'm not comfortable making that assertion for their very personal, very sacred relationships. Let me be clear: I do not think my married friends are secretly unhappy or unfulfilled or fooling themselves about truly loving their spouses, I don't think their decision to marry a straight spouse is an inherently selfish decision, and I fully respect the straight spouse's right to choose. I believe that even the inherent additional challenges are often mitigated, if they've approached the marriage wisely, by an unusual level of communication and openness going into the marriage.
So I have this dilemma: I support and am happy for my friends who are married and having children as I've always dreamed of doing, and I believe they are genuinely happy, yet I believe that in most cases, were it not for religious and social paradigms which will likely change over hundreds of years, they would have chosen to be with someone of their same sex, but things haven't changed, or they do believe it's not allowed, or they did want biological children with a spouse of the opposite sex, so they had to act within their belief, and even if they wouldn't have chosen their spouse if same-sex relationships were an option, that doesn't detract from the fact that they're glad they did, and they wouldn't trade what they have for anything, and their spouses feel the same way...
I do think they're not "straight" or even, in any cases I personally know, truly 'bisexual', but since their sexual energy is now directed exclusively at their spouse of the opposite sex, and their thought processes on sexuality are far healthier than they used to be, I respect their right to reject labels which would downplay or distract from that focused love and whole-hearted dedication. I even think they are often more self-accepting than ever, which is something I think most anti-reparative people don't even recognize, let alone understand.
I fully hope for the success of my mixed-orientation married friends. In the cases of friends whose marriages are in challenging or rocky positions, especially where they have children, I fully hope they'll be able to work things out and have confidence that they can, in most cases, if they work at it and find the right ideas and support systems. Heteros have to weather tough times, too. The idea of having a wife of 6 years and two or three kids sounds pretty nice sometimes compared to facing a possible life of bachelorhood, I gotta be honest. So to my happily married friends, I say you have a beautiful, wonderful thing, and it may well be far better than anything you would have had either alone or with another man (or woman), and I hope it always remains so.
Marriage aside, though I think reparative theory is mostly bollocks, I still support my friends in doing what they believe works for their happiness, and I think some of the methods and practices can be very useful to many people in helping them identify and improve communication, cognition, and relationship skills and tools, in order to function as they wish to. I also think there are other ways to learn the same valuable lessons without the money, or the emotional baggage of theories of which I'm very skeptical, or the substitutes for cuddling explained as healing touch, or contrived "masculinity" (incidentally, some of my favorite decidedly hetero, self-assured, intelligent, and engaging friends are lacking popularly 'masculine' traits and don't seem bothered by it).
Did I think he was the smartest person I'd ever met? Nope. The most physically attractive? Nope. The funniest? Bah. The most accomplished? Who're we kidding? The most popular, athletic, confident, kind, refined, world-wise, happiest, or most creative and artistic? None of the above in the superlative, not even while I was the most emotionally invested, but all of the above to some degree or another in a combination I considered myself completely fortunate to find, and more than I felt I could ask for. He was (and, I imagine, very much is, in the most important ways) a great guy. I loved him because of who he was, even if a touch idealized, like heteros do.
But here's the real kicker, which probably requires more explanation than I have time to give right now (I know, why stop now, right?): I still consider, from time to time, going through reparative therapy or Journey Into Manhood. It's not because I actually think the theories are sound, it's not just to quell the "he hasn't even tried it himself" arguments (especially since I'd have to try 100% for at least 3 years to be considered a valid effort), and it's not just in case that whole eternal marriage thing is true. It's because if it could at least work to bring myself to a place where I'm more ready to consider or open to a heterosexual relationship, maybe it's worth wading through the muck to find the truths if it will open me up to more opportunities for happiness.
I don't know who else besides reparative types are willing to help a gay guy prepare for the challenges and dynamics of a relationship with a woman should that option become available and desirable. After all, if I can have a life without the social conflicts, denied rights, and inability to reproduce currently attached to same-sex pairings, maybe it's worth exploring the theories firsthand, giving them a real chance, and seeing if they apply more to my life than I ever realized while analyzing them from a bit of distance. Or maybe I just feel that broken, with nothing to lose...is that how they get us? Well, shoot...maybe I'm more free to 'be gotten', having gotten all of this off of my chest. Or maybe I have finally understood "desperation". Maybe I'm tired of defending myself and others and just want to quietly live my happy life...like heteros do...