Can I be cured of my same sex attraction?
No. But I will qualify that. In some cases (especially more so with women) there have been complex emotional issues related to abuse and trauma that have led to fear of the opposite sex and finding intimacy needs met in a partner of the same sex which can become sexualised. As people experience true unconditional love and acceptance and the underlying needs are met and issues resolved, sometimes, the attraction to the same sex can fade. These however, are rare cases. Most LGBT people will never experience a change of core sexual/gender identity.
But what about the ex-gay movement and their claims of healing?
Most of these people are very sincere and have only wanted to be free of something they have been told is sinful. Many learn to live a heterosexual lifestyle through repressing their core natural sexuality/gender identity using intense self discipline and distraction with “hyper” spirituality – often involving obsession with ritual, self denial and religious activity. There are also those who were never strictly “gay” in the first place and are more fluid or “bisexual”, who can “choose” to repress one side in preference to the other (see Genderbread Person below).
Is there a difference between sexual orientation and gender identity?
Absolutely! They are completely different things. There are many expressions of our sexuality and gender. For example, some guys are attracted to to women but also feel like they are very feminine themselves. Others may be attracted to the same sex but feel very masculine. The combinations are endless because how we feel about our sexuality and gender is unique to all of us. This variable spectrum explains everything from butch gay guys to cross dressers to transgender and everything in between.