At the Table

Living with the belief that gay people have a place at the table of Christ.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Theresa, Dave and Dr. Card

It was 1978, a year after returning from my mission, when a friend introduced me to Theresa and Dave. They seemed like a happy, young LDS couple. A month later they were divorced. Theresa had found Dave's Honcho magazines and Dave left Theresa and the church to live the "gay lifestyle."

My friend encouraged me to date Theresa and help to cheer her up. Although we enjoyed being together and Theresa began to draw close to me, perhaps a little too fast, it was clear that I was not attracted to her. I sensed that nagging thought that I was, like Dave, also gay. I had ignored the feelings for many years, assuming that eventually, heterosexual attractions would develop as a natural part of aging. But there I was, 24 years old, still wondering what it was that I should find attractive in a female.

A bit devastated, when I broke off the relationship, Theresa nevertheless, put me in touch with Dr. Card, a Psychologist she and Dave had visited who specialized in the treatment of homosexuals.

As I sat in Dr. Card's office, he described the dilemma of the homosexual man lying in bed with a woman, with her breasts just standing out in all their majesty, and the gay man wanting to recoil in horror. Frankly, I didn't have a clue when it came to women's breasts. But I was relieved that Dr. Card offered treatment for the homosexual.

It all sounded very scientific. They connect electrodes to various body parts and expose the patient to pornography, zapping the patient when the undesired response is detected. That is what Dr. Card described. He seemed entirely positive about the treatment and spoke with a confidence that made me think that his patients regularly left his treatment entirely cured of their homosexuality. I made an appointment to begin the recommended therapy, and walked out quite excited to be getting help.

As a returned missionary, and a devout Mormon, I wondered about being exposed to pornography. Forget about electroshock therapy. Something about the hard core pornography didn't sit right with me, for some reason. So I prayed about it that weekend and clearly felt that something was not right. The answer was that I should definitely not go forward with the therapy. So Monday morning I called and canceled the appointment with Dr. Card.

Theresa, meanwhile, somewhat distraught at having fallen in love with two gay men in a row, met with Dr. Card for some psychological insight. He asked her what type of man she wanted for a mate. When she replied, his eyes opened wide and he leapt from his chair saying, "I know just the man you are looking for! It's MY SON!"

Theresa went on to marry Dr. Card's son and, I understand, is living happily ever after. I continued dating, praying, and generally, being an active, obedient church member. And waited for my heterosexuality to blossom. It never did.

1 Comments:

Blogger -L- said...

Howller, I do hope you know that I tease occasionally on my blog. You really are always welcome.

This story was very touching and tragic. I'm so sorry to hear you had a run in with aversion therapy, and I'm glad you listened to that feeling not to return.

Feel free to e-mail me or be in touch at any time. I have no doubt we see many things differently, but I will support you as you find your happiness.

8:32 PM  

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