Reading this first-person account from Patrick Muirhead — the British pilot who claims to have gone from “a most unimaginatively clichéd pattern of pubescent fumbling” as a gay teen to a sexually active gay adult who supposedly rebuffed the advances of activist Peter Tatchell, to being involved in a 10-year relationship with another man to … a straight guy who fancies the ladyfolk — has us thinking things like “self-hatred,” but also, “hey, whatever works for you, bud!”
Muirhead has all the markings of an ex-gay:
I wince when gays describe boyfriends as “husbands”, subverting a solemn institution created to provide stability for child-rearing. Besides, it seems highly perverse that gays should fight for freedom from the bonds of heterosexual morality and then set to copying their oppressors by creating similar contracts of their own.
I was never convinced of my sexuality. True, I never liked football or fighting and I do make a beautifully light Victoria sponge when the need arises. But I shamble like a bloke, I burp and fart without shame and I’ve never really got Barbra Streisand. There was a little voice, lost long ago in the drowning din of my homosexuality, that still called quietly; the smothered, smaller voice of a boy who liked girls.
And one of those life-changing moments:
And then, two summers ago, I met Olga. She was a knockout-looking Ukrainian, washed ashore as a waitress in a breakfast bar in Ocean City, Maryland, on the East Coast of America. I was working locally as a pilot. A group of aviators slouched in each morning for coffee, eggs and grits. She took a particular interest in my chopper.
We began an e-mail exchange and she would send me numerous pictures of the industrial city of Cherkassy, her hometown, where people who swim in its river find that they glow at night. I liked Olga. She was pretty. Nothing happened, though — I wanted more than a passport-hunter and children whose presence would send Geiger counters into a frenzy.
Pilots have a habit of attracting female attention, as the numerous airline captain/stewardess couplings attest. The phenomenon even has a name: pilotitis. So, when I became a helicopter instructor, I was ready for dilated pupils and blushes when I took female students skywards. OK, I must admit, I am still waiting . . .
And now he dreams of having a wife and kids.
We can hear your eyes rolling from here, dear readers. And that Muirhead’s story appears in Rupert Murdoch’s London Times will be enough to convince some of you this is all a sham, and that Muirhead is denying his own sexuality.
But if Muirhead — and those like him — live out their days in a, ahem, “lifestyle” that makes them happy, we’re not gonna judge. We find it a bit bizarre, sure, but if lying down next to your wife each night brings you peace and joy, well, that’s all we can ask for in our own lives. But just in case, here’s a lovely Soulforce video titled “Reflections from Survivors of Ex-Gay Ministries & Reparative Therapy.” It is long, and it is excellent.