We love Humans of New York, especially when they feature an LGBT story that really speaks to our community. Photographer Brandon Stanton is the man behind the blog and book. He featured this one gay man’s heartbreaking struggle of coming to terms with his sexuality while trying to uphold his relationship with God.
In the caption for the snowy photograph, the man tells a story that many people in our community know all too well. “If I could have taken a pill, I would have,” he says. “I joined the ministry. I got married. I told my wife that I’d had experiences with men, but I convinced both of us that I could choose to be different. I wanted to be normal. I wanted kids. I thought it was just a matter of commitment.”
What he did next was try conversation therapy, which we all know has detrimental effects on the people who are subjected to it. Unicorn Booty’s Daniel Villareal wrote, “Pretty much every American psychological association calls conversion therapy harmful. But despite President Obama’s support for a nationwide ban, it’s still legal in 92 percent of the U.S.”
“They tried to teach me that homosexuality wasn’t real,” the Humans of New York subject reveals. “They said that I’d just had an overbearing mother. But I couldn’t change. I kept slipping up. I couldn’t give my wife what she needed.”
While this one man’s story is unsettling, it does have a happy ending.
“But after some time, I finally realized why [God] wouldn’t change me. He never felt like he needed to.”