We wonder why?
MONROE, Va. — TheFormers.com, a new Web site devoted to helping people who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction while separating fact from fiction in the gay culture war, is getting predictably mixed reviews from homosexuals and those who have walked away from that lifestyle.
TheFormers¹ founder, Debbie Thurman, who overcame a significant battle with same-sex attraction, has been busy answering questions and blogging in the site’s forum while responding to charges by gay activists that she is “doing harm” by promoting the hope of change. She continues to encourage Christians
to be more loving and redemptive to homosexuals, whether or not they are conflicted.
“It has been quite interesting to see the varied responses to me and the outreach I have launched,” said Thurman. Former homosexuals are delighted to have the company, but confirmed gays and lesbians — many of them professing Christians — have been highly critical for the most part, she says.
“I take much of the standard criticism with a grain of salt, but I have listened to some sincere critics and found several comments to be of genuine concern. I actually made a few adjustments to some of the content on the site because of that,” Thurman said.
She notes that a few homosexual Christians have had some nice things to say.
“I appreciate that.”
The biggest challenge, Thurman says, is getting people to honestly evaluate TheFormers rather than making the assumption that it is “just another ex-gay ministry.” “Some folks are surprised when they really read the content, especially the forum discussions,” she said.
Acknowledging that it can be difficult to find common ground in dialoguing with homosexually identified men and women because of differing worldviews and even biblical views, Thurman maintains that such attempts at coming together are important, nevertheless. “It is my hope that we can begin to do
away with the old, divisive talking points and truly get at the heart of some issues that we can work toward improving,” she said.
One of those problematic areas, Thurman says, is the public health risk raised by young gay men¹s unsafe sex practices, especially in some minority cultures. “A partnership among schools, churches and gay community centers could go a long way in improving those risky behaviors,” she said.
Thurman is a
truly goes out to those Christians who are desperate to reconcile their gay identity with their faith,” she said. “I have been one of them, and I know the struggle.”
Thurman plans to add more content and features to TheFormers, including weekly podcasts in the near future. She continues to facilitate a weekly recovery group for women with unwanted same-sex attractions at Lynchburg, Va. “Our church is one of those that gets it,” she said.in