I want to discuss this, but first let me explain that in MY view, the term "mental disorder" or "disorder" is not intended as an insult or a shaming statement at all. In fact, for me personally, it was a huge relief of shame - because I finally realized and was affirmed in the fact that my Same-Sex Attraction was not my fault and was not a "choice" nor was it simply a spiritual problem that I "just hadn't prayed enough."
I also want to point out that for something to be a "disorder" does not necessarily mean that there is an easy "cure." Many physical and mental challenges are not "curable" and most that are today were not even treatable a few hundred years ago. The effectiveness of therapy or other remedies is something I can discuss later in an other post. It is not relevant to the question of whether Erroticized Same-Sex Attraction or Gender Dysphoria are or are not "disorders."
When I started Joel 2:25 International (Facebook.com/Joel225International) I consulted with over 200 psychologists, psychotherapists, and licensed professional counselors who assist individuals like myself with healing from Same-Sex Attraction Disorder. Most of them are also members of the APA - even though they publicly disagree with some of the APA's current positions.
The difference between their views and the APA is a philosophical viewpoint. The APA has adopted a Social Constructionist philosophy and rejected the original Essentialist philosophy.
Here is a perfect example of the Social Constructionist philosophy at work in the mental health field:
Miss Shuping went to an psychologist who ascribes to the APA's current philosophy of Social Constructionism. This APA-approved psychologist gave her eye-numbing drops and then sprinkled drain cleaner into each pupil - which caused her to go blind.
If she had gone to one of the 200 psychologists that I identified, who subscribe to the Essentialist viewpoint, they would have focused on treating her "Body Identity Integrity Disorder" and at least attempted to help her accept her own body and he own eyesight while working to resolve whatever emotional traumas or wounds may have caused her to desire to be blind.
We believe that gender identity and sexual orientation are grounded in biological reality. Our body tells us who we are.. I believe it is harmful (and an act of Shadow) whenever we attempt to construct or assemble/ disassemble a different reality in which gender and sexual identity are out of synchrony with biology.
"John," a teenager in California, says that he believes he was born to be a coffee table and that he desperately wants to be a table. He goes to a therapist for "help."
An Essentialist therapist would get to work to understand what led him to this and what wounds or traumas he has that may need healing.
If a man has male genitalia and male chromosomes (XY) and yet believes that he was born to be a female, he has a disorder. I believe he needs compassion and it is likely he has suffered a LOT of emotional pain in his life which has led to this. I do not know if there is a "cure" but I do know that injecting hormones and mutilating his body is not the answer. It is also the opposite of compassion to send him to the Ladies' restroom. There is nothing compassionate about that. What he needs is real compassion and to eventually accept the reality that he is a man.
"what is exotic - that is, mysterious - to a boy in childhood is what will become erotic to him in adulthood."
"When a man finds masculinity mysterious and exotic, and seeks it outside himself, we believe he is living in a false self and something is not working.”
I realize what I've said here will offend many people. This is more than an abstract argument or judgement. In addition to looking at 5,000+ years of human experience, I also came to this conclusion after examining all of my own past relationships and that of everyone else I had observed over several years. These included (most especially) those "long term gay couples" who had stayed together for 20+ years. They seemed even worse off than the individuals who simply "hooked up" randomly. The emotional harm from this arrested state of development was really pronounced in every aspect of their lives.
The viewpoint that humanity is designed for heterosexuality is not a phobia or pathological fear and it is not bigotry. Natural Law philosophy says that this view derives from humankind's collective, intuitive knowledge - a natural instinctive conscience.
Social Constructionism in the Religious Context
When I was in my teens and 20's, I went to several "gay friendly" churches and tried to convince myself that they were right. All of them attempted to explain that (in their interpretation) the scriptures were not really referring to homosexuality or at least not "committed monogamous gay couples."
Even though they seemed to convince themselves that the behavior was not a "sin," they never even attempted to explain how this was some new kind of "vocation" or calling and/or that it was part of God's plan. The best they could do was make the assumption that God just didn't have a plan. They were applying the same Social Constructionist logic to the divine and this manifested itself in several areas.
The "gay friendly" churches I attended all initially seemed to be like a normal mainstream Christian church with the only exception being their "enlightened" views on homosexuality. In a very short time though, I began to notice many other changes. In one church, for example, they began skipping over large sections of the Bible within our bible study groups. In another, they initially had been ending their prayers by saying "in Jesus name we pray" and then changed this to "In your many names, we pray."
At the root of Social Construction and the attack on Essentialism is the denial of the existence of absolute Truth. Atheist Richard Dawkins repeatedly refers to Essentialism as a "moralistic infection." In a 2014 article here he argues for why Essentialsm should be forceably "retired:"
"does an embryo become a 'person'? Only a mind infected with essentialism would ask such questions. An embryo develops gradually from single-celled zygote to newborn baby, and there’s no one instant when 'personhood' should be deemed to have arrived. It would be better—though still not ideal—to say the embryo goes through stages of being a quarter human, half human, three quarters human . . .
Abortion would no more be 'murder' than killing a chimpanzee—or, by extension, any animal. Indeed an early-stage human embryo might defensibly be afforded less moral protection than an adult pig, which is clearly well equipped to suffer. The essentialist urge toward rigid definitions of 'human' (in debates over abortion and animal rights) and "alive" (in debates over euthanasia and end-of-life decisions) makes no sense in the light of evolution and other gradualistic phenomena."
- atheist Richard Dawkins, author of The God DelusionSince Social Constructionism elevates human will above physical reality and even God's will; it does not take long before it attempts to deconstruct monotheism in its entirety. I have personally come to the conclusion that to believe people are "born TO BE gay" really requires a fundamental denial of the existence of God.