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No Exit?

As a boring and somewhat naive heterosexual suburbanite, I wade into this debate a week late after reading the responses in the latest issue as well as the article on the Web site (“Exit Strategy,” 11/26) to pose some questions that may not be well received, but that are asked only in a spirit of inquiry and a search for the truth.

What is the possibility, however remote, that both the pro-gay and anti-gay factions are right? If the pro side is correct by stating emphatically that a certain number of people in this world are (for a lack of a better phrase) “born gay” either because of a gene or another biological cause, could it also be emphatically correct that a certain number of people (even if it is a small number) come into life believing they are born gay only to discover later that they are not? That is, what if, for a small group of people, it is possible to make transition or “conversion” from a homosexual to a heterosexual orientation?

Last year, I did a short research project on this very controversy and learned there is much about sexual orientation that we do not or will not let ourselves understand. I also learned that the “conversion” method is a very bad idea for the majority of people. Yet I also observed how it might have some currency for others. The gentleman featured in the article, Anthony Falzarano, definitely seems to be a fanatical and troubling example of an ex-gay. But what if there are some people in the world who are legitimately ex-gay? Could the gay community accept that? Could the heterosexual community accept it? And what about the Christian community?

As with abortion, it seems we cannot conceptualize a middle ground to the sexual orientation question, and I just wonder if there is one out there that is unseen by us because we are all too invested in our individual experiences. Again, after my project, I do not foresee that I would recommend the conversion ministries to anyone, but if Masters and Johnson are right, perhaps human sexual orientation is a continuum and not an absolute.

Greenbelt, Md.