(part 2 of 5) In part 2 of his interview, Rich Wyler, life coach and founder of People Can Change, describes how he finally found meaningful help with his sexual-religious conflict. Married, with children, he’d been to 12-step programs for sexual addiction, but he hadn’t found sustainable resolution for his homosexual feelings and his occasional slips into behaviors which required confession to his wife. He read LDS Church President Kimball’s The Miracle of Forgiveness, which stated many have been through this, but Rich yearned to know whom and how. He needed more than to be told again to fast and pray. He had only heard you’re either gay or straight, or that it’s sin or not sin, but it left him wondering what to do with the conflict and drive.

Through LDS affiliated-Evergreen, an organization for those who “want to diminish same-sex attractions and overcome homosexual behavior”, he found a therapist who knew the journey firsthand, and through years of therapy, Rich decided that his same-sex attraction had a meaning and message for him regarding needs for male intimacy. He felt he’d lacked male intimacy growing up, didn’t fit the image of what he thought a man was, and felt excluded from the “man club”, leaving him longing for close male connection. Now, he has broadened his definition of a real man, included himself, and embraced his own masculinity. He feels that while turning to certain expressions of same-sex attraction gave him some intimacy, it also created distress and problems for him. He concluded that, instead of suppressing his same-sex attractions, he would fulfill them in “brotherly” ways, and as this brotherly love increased, he felt his erotic same-sex attraction diminished.

See other portions of his interview: part 1, part 3, part 4, and part 5.

by Jay Jacobsen

(The views expressed in this interview do not necessarily reflect those of the producers of Far Between but are reflective of a part of what it means to be homosexual and Mormon today.)