I am married and love my wife more than anything, but I have these feelings of being attracted to guys too. I just want them to stop. I have prayed every day for 12 years and they are still there. What should I or can I do?
Clearly you’re going through a very difficult and distressing time, loving your wife while at the same time having feelings of being attracted to guys. It sounds like the feelings for guys have been with you for a long time and though you’ve tried to stop them with prayer, they’re still with you and causing you to feel very upset, anxious and stressed. I’m sure it took a lot of courage to write to Dear Trevor about your feelings and I’m glad that you did.
Some people are sure of their sexuality as children, others as teens, while others continue to question this as adults, so you are definitely not alone in what you are going through. It sounds like the feelings you're having for guys has been very disturbing and upsetting for you and this may be because you’ve heard negative things about gay or bisexual people from family members, friends, people in your community or from religious leaders. Please know that a guy having feelings for other guys is absolutely natural and normal. Your feelings are real and a part of who you are, and as you’ve experienced, can be difficult to push away. When you ask what you should or can do, remember that you have choices. You can continue to try to push away your feelings for guys but this doesn't seem to be working for you. Another option would be to work with a therapist or counselor, someone who you can speak with in confidence to share and understand your feelings and who can help you figure out what, if any, course of action you’d like to take. You could ask your doctor for a referral to a therapist/counselor. You could also contact the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists at www.aglp.org or 215-222-2800 to find a therapist in your area.
Sometimes, people have negative feelings about same-sex attractions and relationships because of lack of information or misinformation and it can help to learn more about such attractions. PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays) is an organization that works to support LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) people and helps parents and others become more understanding and supportive of their loved one's sexual orientation. On their website at www.pflag.org click on "Get Support" where you'll find a pamphlet entitled "Frequently Asked Questions About GLBT People" which may help to better understand your feelings.
You mentioned that you've prayed for 12 years for your attraction to guys to go away. If your religion is an important part of your life and you've heard negative things about same-sex attractions from your religious leaders, you might visit the website www.religioustolerance.org. On the section marked “Hot Topics” click on homosexuality where you’ll find some excellent information about how different religions view homosexuality. Though you may have heard negative things about homosexuality from religious leaders or from your religious community, please know that many people of all religions believe being gay is natural and normal and that God loves people of ALL sexual orientations.
It might also be helpful to share what you are going through with other people who might be experiencing similar feelings. You can join TrevorSpace at www.trevorspace.org, the Trevor Project’s safe online social networking site for LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24, their friends and allies. It's a great, supportive community where you can connect with other young people who may be experiencing a similar situation as you.
If you’d like to talk more about this, you can also call the Trevor Helpline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR 24 hours, 7 days a week. Our counselors are empathetic and caring people who are here to talk with you about your feelings and the concerns that they're causing you. Please remember that you don’t have to go through this alone and that we’re always here for you at the Trevor Project.