James Parker, International Business TImes
I guess I became straight by accident. It was never a grand plan; the therapy was an attempt to resolve commitment issues, rather than sexual identity. I never had any desire to change my sexuality. But that’s what happened – in fact I changed everything.
Having had hundreds of homosexual partners, I eventually married a woman and had a child. And my whole outlook on life changed. I grew from a loud and arrogant person, trying desperately to mask my deep insecurities in group situations, into a strong, assertive guy who loved sports and war films. At the age of 46, I’ve never felt better in my own skin.
But before we get into the details of my conversion, let’s go back to the beginning.
I knew I was gay at about 10 or 11. My cousin himself had come out and I realised my own attractions were the same. At the age of 10 or 11 boys start getting interested in girls, but I was only interested in boys. I was definitely a number six on the Kinsey Scale – an exclusively homosexual male with no heterosexual desires whatsoever.
Teenage years were hell. I often thought of suicide, occasionally self-harmed and had a growing problem with alcohol and gay porn. I came out to my parents when I was 17, in floods of tears. But mum and dad were amazing; they said they had known I was gay and then affirmed their unconditional love for me. My mates at school also told me they had known for some time and supported me. The ‘coming out’ process wasn’t tortuous or traumatic.
At 18 I moved to London from the north of England and fully embraced my gay identity. I became the first person to live openly as a gay man in the section of the university I attended, and even established an LGBT group for other students, actively preaching against those who suggested that being gay was somehow a choice, or even wrong.