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I Wanna Hold Your Hand

The first time I experienced the power of touch to combat homosexual desires was the first time I ever met another person who had struggled with those desires. Until that point in my life, most of the hugs I had been given from other men were very short. “Ever straight” men, as my friends and I call them, don’t always give the most potent hugs because they fear that if they hold on too long, people might think they’re gay. So I had never really been given the kind of hug that I longed for: a long, warm embrace that I could fully internalize as affirmation from another man.

Another crucial ingredient in my healing process has been camaraderie with my male peers, especially those with whom I can identify. When I see aspects of my personality in other guys my age, it’s almost like my masculinity finds a harbor. I have found that even casual relationships with other guys with whom I can identify create an intense sense of reconciliation between me and my masculinity.

Nonsexual affirmation, when properly internalized, will devour homosexual attractions. But homosexual strugglers require a constant stream, not a single dose.

CHAD W. THOMPSON
Loving Homosexuals as Jesus Would (2004) Brazos Press: Grand Rapids, Michigan

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