Dean Bailey, 50, is not afraid to tell anyone he is living proof that ‘sexual orientation’ can in fact be changed. But he prefers to use the word ‘restored’ rather than ‘changed.’
Bailey remembers how from an early age he felt different from other boys. He felt he did not fit in and thought of himself as awkward, out of place. He remembers never feeling treasured or affirmed by his dad who was an alcoholic and who consumed pornography. Bailey believes this began a pattern of turning to other males to find the affirmation he never received from his dad.
When a new outgoing boy began to attend school when Bailey was in grade three, he remembers trying hard to become the boy’s friend. It was during a sleepover at the boy’s house that Bailey was introduced to sexual play, including streaking and oral copulation. The experience not only robbed him of his childhood innocence, but awakened in him a sense of sexual curiosity.
From here, Bailey became preoccupied with images of male nudity and with taking more daring sexual risks with different boys. As he grew older, the sexual acts Bailey performed with other boys became as a source of comfort to him, making him believe he was being loved and accepted. But while such acts would make him feel good for a while, he says they were never able to help him overcome the constant theme of emptiness and brokenness he felt inside. The sexual activities quickly became addictive.
When a schoolgirl refused to go on a date with him that seemed to signal to the now-teenage Bailey that he was not a normal guy. Then, a few years later, a sexually awkward one-night stand with a woman seemed to confirm to him that he did not have what it took to be a man.
Bailey was now a young man in the military. Although in the meantime he had gotten married, he continued to crave male intimacy and experience gripping same-sex attractions. An intimate but non-sexual encounter with a military male friend whom he greatly admired eventually led to explicit homosexual behaviors.
The encounter severely damaged the relationship Bailey had previously enjoyed with his wife as she felt she could no longer trust the man she had married.
Having experienced homosexual acts, Bailey now struggled inwardly with intense homosexual desires that could only be allayed through carnal gratification, or so it seemed to him. Feelings of insecurity only intensified these inclinations.
His previous homosexual experiences drove him to seek answers to his insecurities through further homosexual encounters. A downwards spiral ensued as Bailey attempted to satisfy his desires, but only saw them grow in intensity the more he indulged them. Looking back, Bailey now realizes how homosexual acts had become an addiction for him.
Bailey credits God for acting powerfully in his life to save him from himself, change his life for the good, and ultimately bring about his deliverance from homosexual attractions. God led him on a journey of trust that ultimately led to the heart of Jesus Christ. Here Bailey experienced the love, acceptance, and affirmation he had always craved.
To put it simply, says Bailey, he fell in love with the person of Jesus. He experienced Him through prayer and through reading the Bible. All Bailey wanted now was to become more like Jesus, more Christ-like. As he began acting more and more on this desire, Bailey noticed a transformation begin to take place in his sexual desires. The homosexual desires began to decrease. For the first time in his life, Bailey began to see himself differently, this time through the eyes of a Savior who — he now realized — loved him unconditionally.
Looking back on his past, Bailey says he now sees that he has been brought out of what he calls the “sexual confusion of homosexual behaviors” to a sexual clarity in mind and heart. He has left behind what he calls the “self-defeating environment of my own, very negative self-image” and moved into an unshakable understanding of his value and self worth as a beloved child of God.
Bailey wrote about his entire journey in his 2011 book titled “Beyond the Shades of Gray.” Most of the book is available online at his website. He speaks publicly about his struggle with homosexuality, telling audiences that homosexuality is a “sexual addiction and dependency,” not a condition to be socially accepted and celebrated. “It is merely one of the many evidences of the broken, spiritual condition of our human race,” he tells people.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews from Texas where he lives with his wife Della and his two college-aged daughters, Amber and Amanda, Bailey spoke about what he has gained by leaving behind the homosexual identity, the role of God in bringing about sexual healing, about his views on the Christian understanding of homosexuality, and about why stories like his are shunned by the mainstream.
The following interview has been condensed.
LifeSiteNews: What happens to someone when they abandon a gay identity? Is the pain, the loss of friendships, and the total switching of inner gears worth it?
Bailey: When a person abandons their inward belief that it was homosexual behaviors that define them as a person, then they must set out to rediscover what it is that actually does define their personhood. They must learn to embrace and give those higher human ideals a greater value and meaning within their own character and existence, than they gave to the homosexual addictions which they allowed to dominate their thinking and reasoning in the past.
Is it all worth it? I would answer with an emphatic “Yes, of course it is!” But not everyone will agree with me.
Gay activists, for example, vehemently insist that this journey I've taken is harmful. They have even managed to get bills passed in California and New Jersey which outlaw counseling for persons desiring help toward becoming free from their homosexual behaviors and addictions.
I freely admit that this freedom I've found is a journey that could very well involve a lifetime, rather than a simple transition of just a few short years. “We didn't end up in this mess overnight, and we shouldn’t expect to remove ourselves from it overnight, either,” I will often tell people.
I also acknowledge that this journey will cause some inward conflict, pain and emotional discomfort at times, even when it is chosen as a path. But I do believe that sexual restoration is ultimately a very healthy choice in the end, and not a harmful one. Nothing of extraordinary value is ever going to be easy to achieve, after all. So it is on purpose that I call this journey a “restoration” rather than a change or a conversion.
There is no way to fully comprehend or predict the personal cost, effort and sacrifice involved for any individual, until that person embarks upon this journey by personal choice, by his or her own free will. Society should not be expected to make any accommodations for those who therefore refuse to take this journey, and remain trapped in the self-serving cycle of their own dysfunctional sexual behaviors. Nor should responsible parents be denied the lawful ability to seek out the professional help that their children may desperately need and desire. The reality of this entire issue is that homosexuality is a harmful behavior pattern, and not a human identity or a human “right.”
People often wonder why would the gay activists be trying to outlaw professional means of therapy and counseling for the pursuit of freedom from unwanted homosexual behaviors, if they truly embrace the “tolerance” that they preach? What is it that they are actually so afraid of? I will tell you that what they fear the most is the breakdown and destruction of the inward lies that form the foundation of their own “gay” identity, and everything that the “gay rights” movement has been built upon. That is why gay activists will always insist that this form of dysfunctional sexual behavior is “who” they are. It is the only way for them to remain secure in the falsehood.
LifeSiteNews: What does someone who leaves the gay lifestyle have to look forward to in the years to come? What have you gained the most?
Bailey: I see myself differently. I see other people differently. And I see the world around me quite differently. That doesn’t mean that everything in my life is now blissful and stress-free. And it doesn’t mean that I don’t still feel the human pangs of loneliness and depression on occasion.
But I see my insecurities as identifiable weaknesses that can all be understood and overcome with time, in light of my own proper acknowledgement and truthful recognition of my individual human weaknesses. I now understand that homosexual behavior is not the legitimate answer for the pain that I may still feel inside of myself during rough or low times.
Every human being goes through challenges and pain. But the homosexual ideology seems to reason that this particular challenge makes a person different from everyone else in some way, in much the same way that a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder will often see the world around them as the real problem — rather than themselves — and choose to stop taking their prescribed medication because of that false and distorted reasoning. That is where this whole “gay identity” thought process evolved from.
LifeSiteNews: Your journey seems inherently linked to discovering the person of Jesus Christ in Christianity. People in the culture will tend to write you off as a Christian nutcase because of this. What role has Jesus played in your journey away from same-sex attraction? Do you think Jesus has a role to play in the life of anyone seeking to leave the gay identity behind?
Bailey: Most people assume that, because I do support counseling and professional “conversion therapy” as avenues to consider within this journey, I myself have been through some sort of therapy. But that is not the case. Jesus Christ was my counsellor in every aspect of my own journey. After all, he is referred to as “Wonderful Counselor” in the biblical writings that tell us about him.
God desires to have a personal relationship with me — with each of us — and to become involved in every intricate detail of our lives, in our daily walk and fellowship with him. Christianity is a way of life that reveals God as a loving Father who deeply cares about all that we do as his children in this earth.
I credit Jesus with lifting my spirits during the low points of my journey, and with sustaining me through the high points of it. I credit him with sending the right people into my life at just the right time, so that they could love and support me along the way. I credit him with leading me to the right places when I had inward questions and confusion that I could not overcome with just the faith of a simple “Christian” prayer – and, by the way, I do believe that Jesus wants to know our deepest questions.
The fact is that I don’t know that I could have made such a journey without Jesus walking beside me through it. And I am still on that lifelong journey with him, in spite of what criticisms people will choose to make toward that statement. But I will say this: Jesus has kept the promise he made his disciples, that he would never leave them alone in the journey. I may have felt alone at times. But looking back, I see today that I was never alone.
LifeSiteNews: How do you now see Christian/Catholic teaching on homosexuality? Is it hateful, discriminatory? Is a Christian being a bigot when he says he loves the same-sex attracted person, but hates what he does when he acts on those desires?
Bailey: If by “discriminatory,” you mean, “to be selective in such a way that maintains the Christian integrity of our faith,” then yes, we are certainly “discriminatory.” In fact, I believe that we are called to be discriminatory in that way. But what we are not is hateful—and certainly not as the gay activists regularly accuse and imply to their own, and to the rest of the world, that we are hateful.
We live in a world today where avoiding offense is given a higher standard than the concept we have of love itself. But that is because we have lost our biblical understanding of love, and we mistakenly think that if we truly “love” people, then we will not risk offending them. And many well-meaning, “born again” Christians have adopted the world’s view of making this mistake within their human reasoning.
The gay activists know all of this, of course, and they play upon it well to further advance their movement. They demand “tolerance,” for example, but then they self-justify their own vehement intolerance of Christian beliefs and views by comparing our Christian beliefs to bigotry, and bringing lawsuits to force Christian business owners to support homosexual events in ways that blatantly violate their faith and beliefs within their Christian business ethics.
What Christians do is point to the truth of our broken and sinful human nature, not out of condemnation but because of the depth of Christ’s love within us. Christians can look to Jesus for an example. Was Jesus suddenly being unloving toward the woman caught in the sin of adultery, for example, when he plainly told her, “go now, and sin no more” (John 8:11)? The truth will not always be pleasant to hear or to stomach. But that does not make us bigots for pointing out the obvious.
People need to better understand what biblical “love” actually is. And, as Christians, we need to also offer the solution. We can’t just say, “Homosexuality is a sin,” and then leave it at that. To be honest, I believe that every homosexual already inwardly knows that what they are doing is inherently contradictory to “who” God created them to be. But they need to be reminded of that fact along with the genuine hope that Christ also offers to each one of us, as we turn to him to overcome all of our human weakness and brokenness, not just the homosexual brokenness.
LifeSiteNews: What is the one thing faithful Christians need to keep in mind when dealing with the issue of homosexuality?
Bailey: Christians need to know that this is by no means an uncomplicated issue. But that is no reason to fear engaging it purposefully and directly either. This idea of “live and let live” is not how Christ was in the business of loving people. He engaged them directly, and he never avoided talking about the real “issues” that were involved.
For those people like myself who see the clear distinction between what we were doing, and “who” we are or desire to be, there is a very present guilt and fear of rejection when turning to ask people in the Christian community to help us — to help us to understand our own brokenness and sin in a biblical way that leaves a person feeling loved by Christ, rather than condemned by his followers.
Christians should do this by realizing that homosexuality is just another human brokenness, just like our own individual brokenness in so many ways. There should not be this stigma where some “sins” are acceptable to talk about openly and deal with, while things like homosexuality are not. The Body of Christ should be a place of healing for issues like homosexuality, not a place of fear.
LifeSiteNews: Why do so many people — especially those engaged in the gay lifestyle and those representing left-leaning media — loathe to hear about people like yourself who have left same-sex attraction behind? Do they fear something about your experience? What?
Bailey: What they fear about people like me is that our existence and credibility only destroys the very foundation of their own beliefs about themselves, and the reasons behind their own immoral behaviors.
LifeSiteNews: What do you think is really at the heart of the push for homosexual “marriage.” Who is behind this push? Is it really same-sex attracted persons fighting for ‘equality’ or do you think this group is being used by someone else for some other purpose?
Bailey: It is clear to me that a seeming majority of homosexuals actually do believe and adhere to a personal inward ideology that they are fighting for some sort of distorted “equality.” Albeit, their idea of equality could more accurately be described as homo-fascism, because of the way it has become an agenda of forced acceptance and inclusion within our society.
Spiritually speaking, however, I believe that Satan is the ultimate deceptive force and mastermind behind not just the marriage aspect of their agenda, but also behind the entire distortion that somehow managed to turn a dysfunctional human sexual behavior into a “civil rights” cause.