"Jake Taylor: The Diary of an Ex-gay Man" Foreward by David H. Pickup, MA, LMFT
Who Is Jake Taylor?
Is he real? Is he some professional who has written a psychological fantasy? Is he some politically motivated character pushing his agenda? Or, is he truly an authentic Ex-gay man and now heterosexual? I can tell you exactly who he is. He is many men throughout America and the world. And, he is me.
Jake Taylor, a pseudonym, is indeed a real man. He lives in London, England. He wrote a 2-year blog several years ago that chronicled the path of his change from homosexuality to heterosexuality. This blog has now been published in book form. In his daily life, he summoned the courage to stand up for his authentic Self while going against the grain of popular and scientific opinions that have informed the world over the past 50 years that homosexuality is inborn and cannot be changed. He has elected to keep his identity confidential for reasons that will become apparent later in this Foreward.
Nevertheless, Jake personally gave the copyright of this blog to an outside organization so that his story could, as he would most likely put it, tell the truth about himself and many men’s similar experiences.
Many people who read this book may react negatively and incredulously that such a story could be true. However, I invite you to read at least Part 1 of this story. I believe you’ll be hooked by it’s unmistakable sound of authenticity and its remarkably deep understanding of psychological issues that Jake was able to apply directly to his experience of change.
There are individuals and organizations in America that are spearheading well-funded efforts to force (I do not use that word lightly) the world to believe that homosexuality is naturally inborn and immutable, and as such, homosexuality should be protected via national laws and mandatory cultural changes. In the end, their mission is for homosexuality to be fully accepted into the fabric of every society on the planet. I invite you to remember the following statement from this day forward:
They will stop at nothing, nothing to achieve this goal.
These organizations include the American Psychological Association’s Gay Caucus, active since 1972; the American Psychiatric Association, who along with the other American Psychological Association are seen by the world as the primary resources for sound psychological research; Equality California, a gay law firm who has helped to force the first legal statewide ban of Reparative Therapy in the world; the Southern Poverty Law Center, who is helping to bring similar legislation to other states in America; gay politicians who are most prevalent in California and northeastern states; gay-affirmative therapists; major American public media companies, and many other gay political organizations who have raised vast monetary resources to support their agenda.
Of particular note are the gay men and women who have exhibited vociferous opposition to change therapies and stories of change on some of the most popular news shows such as CNN, Dr. Drew, Anderson Cooper, Fox News and many local television news shows and newspapers throughout the country. The level of animosity exhibited by these activists would be understandable if the only story worth telling was that gay men and women have been persecuted for simply being gay.
However, there is an increasingly sequestered story behind this one and the like. Here it is. Psychologically speaking, the level of animosity has become so high that it is possible to see that the shaming and persecution experienced by these Gay persons are being displaced onto others with whom they do not agree in matters of sexuality. It is a common human occurrence that people with Shame issues, consciously or unconsciously, sometimes take it out on people who they perceive to be punishing them just as they were in earlier days.
For example, in my interview on the Dr. Drew Show in 2012, my gay colleague began to use highly dramatic, volatile and accusatory language concerning my statement that Reparative Therapy does work, and a ban on this therapy for children who truly need it would abuse them. Because of his extreme language, I can certainly imagine the shame perpetrated on this man in his earlier years.
It also appeared that Dr. Drew and his producers “stacked the deck” since I was the only panel member voicing an opinion against banning Reparative Therapy. There were two in favor of the ban, as well as Dr. Drew, who I find it hard to believe would not be in favor of the ban lest he risk the demise of his TV career.
Apparently, Dr. Drew and his producers had also selected (or invented) a call-in guest who was one of the most typical examples of right-wing, religiously bigoted people (complete with hyper-southern accent) who are frequently used to give the impression that those who oppose gay-affirmative ideas are hateful and worthless. (I will spare this audience the speech about high ratings being the bottom line.)
Now, let me be clear. No one with a clear conscience or a compassionate heart wants to bully, shame or visit violence upon men and women who claim a gay identity. In fact, I fully support legislation that protects the right of all persons to lead safe, self-determined lives. However, I also support the right of free speech of ALL persons, especially in matters of homosexuality about which even the psychological profession has admitted there is no gay gene. At the very least, those for whom homosexuality does not represent their true selves do have a voice. One of those persons, Jake Taylor, has given us an authentic voice of how homosexuality was a false mirror image of healthy male gender identity and sexuality.
Jake’s story is full of confusion, heartache, pain, unfulfilled needs, shame-based gender identity, endless dysfunctional gay relationships, and ultimately the kind of emotional change and victory that became a story of certain success. However, there are profound and hidden reasons why stories such as these have never been told. I know these reasons first hand because of my own experience and because of the extraordinary amount of anecdotal evidence from therapeutic clients and gay acquaintances I have known for the past two decades.
Be mindful readers; many of you will not like what I am going to say. The reasons why many “Jakes” stay out of sight are endemic to many groups and organizations in our society, and these reasons have existed for at least 100 years.
First, I believe that men and women have an innate sense of feeling confusion or embarrassment when experiencing gender/sexuality confusion, either in themselves or in other people. Unless we are considering spiritual issues, what greater issues of personhood are there than issues of Being, gender and sexuality? People such as Jake will hesitate to speak up because of the potential exposure of these innate fears. Second, especially in terms of modern man, there is nothing men are more afraid of, with the possible exception of death, than not being man enough or not experiencing the fullness of manhood.
There are other reasons. Churches, having held much too long onto the trappings of Victorian moral structures, still hide from deep issues such as homosexuality in order to sincerely maintain a standard of righteousness. In the end, incredulously, all this has given them is a kind of “false self” in which dark issues are repressed to simply arise another day. In this way, unintentionally, churches have produced a prevalence of the sin/forgiveness/sin-again cycle that defeats the very standards they try so desperately to hold onto.
For the past 100 years or so, society has done the same thing. It seems around the turn of the 19th century, something happened over a few decades that forced society to banish the subject of healthy gender identity lest they be forced to talk about the embarrassment of gender identity inferiority. During this period the definition of manhood changed.
From at least the early 1800’s to around the 1910’s, male gender and sexual identity were not often publicly addressed, and they did not need to be in this country because men were more comfortable within a less strict definition of manhood. However, another version of manhood appeared, which continues to a great extent to this day.
Did you know that many men in the 19th century were very affectionate and demonstratively loving with each other? There is even photographic and written proof of this in the many thousands of formal studio pictures of men together holding hands, legs draped over each other, and mutual looks of love, as well as many letters of everyday men who expressed the kind of devotion and love for each other that in today’s world would be unquestionably defined as homosexuality. (There is the same type of evidence within female relationships as well.) If you were able to indicate to one of those men of yesteryear that they were a homosexual, you would have had to physically fight them for their honor.
Ah, gone are the days when men were more balanced, exhibiting secure manhood, a fighting spirit when necessary and an undying love for their comrades!
In the late 19th century, with the strong advent of the field of science making its mark in the world, including the naming of everything they could possibly study, the term homosexual and heterosexual first came into being. About this same time, one of the most scandalous and frightening events to occur in the modern world of the 1890’s was the infamous trial of Oscar Wilde. He was tried and convicted in London for sodomy, and he spent two years in jail for it. He was so famous as a celebrated playwright and essayist, that when the story broke, newspapers revealed many details about his homosexual acts to the entire world, the like of which had never been revealed before. Wilde’s trial was accompanied by incidents of public hysteria.
Suddenly, homosexuality was being discussed, (or repressed), and no man in his right mind would dare to do anything that might associate himself with homosexuality. Later trials involving men in the armed services would further drive this effort to disassociate men from anything that might appear unmanly. Manly, affectionate love largely went out the proverbial window.
Something else happened within 20 or so years. The movies were born, and in those first years were filmed some of the last vestiges of affectionate manhood before the tough, hyper-macho, emotionally detached version of masculinity began to take over in the 1930’s. This version of movie manhood mirrored the new masculine sensibility that arrived with the pinnacle of the powerful industrial revolution. For the first time, boys and men, fathers and sons who were connected on a daily basis did not come from American farms, but lived primarily in the new American cities that began to produce the “rough and tough,” relationally detached males.
In short, manhood became out of balance and, in part, was experienced as a reaction to a repressive structure. With the rise of the USA as the primary world power, most men seemed to have no choice but to introject this version of manhood or else “lose” their masculinity in a society built on the ultimate phallic power.
During these years and the following decades, frightened men and women would label homosexuality as a prosecutable offense, a medical illness, a mental illness, and a way of feeling that could not be discussed in the majority of American households, institutions, or churches…until the 60’s and 70’s. During this period, psychologists of the day tried to come to terms with homosexuality without truly dealing with it. They bowed to political pressure and, without rigorous research, threw out their suppositions that there might be an environmental cause of homosexuality. It is apparent that not one of them ever thought that redefining the nature of homosexuality for a small percentage of Americans would ever result in the current introduction of laws that would elevate homosexuality to the status of equality and normalcy of human existence via laws allowing same-sex marriage.
In short, we have no one to blame but ourselves for producing the most prevalent and life-altering issue of society in recorded history. I say this because not even the ancient Greeks and Romans ever vaulted homosexuality to this height of existence within marriage, in spite of their accepted prevalence for man-boy pederastic relationships.
Homosexuality has therefor become the most crucial issue of this or any society in history. This is only one profound reason that the story of “Jake Taylor” is of such high importance. Jake’s story is an event, a revelation, an unmistakable indication that gender and sexuality have careened out of balance.
However, the truth can still be seen as evidenced by this man’s story of unfulfilled inborn needs, almost unsustainable loss, betrayal by those who should have known better or should have been taught better, and a heartache that should have only been fulfilled by God’s original design of male affirmation, approval and affection. But this is also a story of so many men that are still loath to discuss their issues today for fear of being shamed by their families, their peers, their churches (!) and by militant gay persons who will stop at nothing to see their belief systems forced onto society.
Jake’s journey is one of personal and individual integrity in working victoriously through extraordinarily difficult issues with very low odds of success if it were not for his ultimate ego strength and the love and wisdom of therapists who are certainly Shamans of the modern age.
To understand this story, you must be able to see Jake’s progress from his point of view, through his eyes, his pain, and see that he refused to give up his definition of identity to anyone. Jake represents the current modern man who inspires us, not to deconstruction, not to false sacrifice of the authentic self for the good of many, and not to the shame-based beliefs of the modern age; but who inspires us all to feel and deal with our wounds, our faults, our pain; and in this way to rise above those realities to reach a balance that has always been our birthright from the beginning.
Out, out the devil’s compromise in conformity to darkness! Join Jake as he walks, runs, trips, falls and rises to his own individual achievement of the joy of manhood.
To my gay friends whom I love with all my heart; like you, I must stand for what I believe. I expect that you will do exactly the same, and I understand why. I do not shame you and I refuse to sit in judgment of you. I also know that our country is full of strong people of faith who are certainly weak in facing these issues and who simply do not understand you and many who do not want to.
If you have read this Foreward, most likely, you are feeling pain, shame or rage. If you believe in your beliefs, then I invite you to share them with an effort that exhibits wisdom and understanding, which would include room for all voices to be heard. Heaven knows that I have consciously tried to love you in this same way. I have hugged you and cried with you. I wish there were an easy answer. There is none. As I told one of you just recently, (you know who you are), regardless of how the world spins, no matter what comes, I will always love you.