Two years ago, I was in a small group at St. Aldate’s Church, Oxford, discussing Philip Yancey’s What’s so Amazing About Grace?
Yancey wrote about his friend Mel White who was a Christian gay man, “Mel felt homosexual longings from adolescence, tried hard to repress those longings, and as an adult fervently sought “a cure.” He fasted, prayed, and was anointed with oil for healing. He went through exorcism rites read by Protestants and also by Catholics. He signed up for aversion therapy, which jolted his body with electricity every time he felt stimulated by photos of men. For a while, chemical treatments left him drugged and barely coherent. Above all, Mel wanted desperately not to be gay.”
Mel had suicide attempts, Yancey continues to write, and, like Lonnie Frisbee, “wild swings between promiscuity and fidelity. Sometimes he acted like a hormone-flooded teenager, and sometimes like a sage.”
Finally, “Mel concluded that his options narrowed down to two: insanity or wholeness. Attempts to repress homosexual desires, and live either in heterosexual marriage or in gay celibacy he believed would lead to certain insanity. (At that time, he was seeing a psychiatrist five days a week, at a hundred dollars a session.) Wholeness, he decided, meant finding a gay partner and embracing his homosexual identity.”
Mel remained a Christian, and even [Read more…]