Former homosexual, now helping others overcome same-sex attraction, has some advice for parents.
Therapist Richard Cohen, a former homosexual who for years has been helping people overcome same-sex attraction, doesn’t believe that anyone can scientifically prove that people are born homosexual. "Biology says otherwise," says Cohen, whose 2007 book Gay Children, Straight Parents, was recently published in Spain.
He recommends "that parents welcome and embrace the feminine world of their sons just as mothers do the same with the masculine side of their daughters…. You will see how these children will naturally return to their sexual orientation according to their sex."
He spoke recently about his work and issues involved in leaving the gay lifestyle.
You said that healing homosexuality is not curing a disease. So is it a matter of helping the person to live out their sexuality better?
Indeed. There are different reasons why someone would feel attracted to the same sex. Therefore, if we help them identify those reasons and then solve each of these aspects, they will not have to suffer homosexual experiences after that process. We try to help resolve the causes so that they can become free.
On what basis do you hold that the natural condition of man is heterosexuality?
Simply by biology, which shows that men and women combine perfectly in the physical aspect. Any homosexual comes from a heterosexual couple. We know what causes homosexuality, so we can prevent those causes. In my new book Gay Children, Straight Parents (Libros Libres), there are 12 principles that families can follow to help their gay and lesbian children to change or to prevent these situations, because we are biologically designed to be heterosexual.
It was recently said on a TV show that a 2- or 3-year-old is aware of when their sexual orientation is different from their gender. What do you think about it?
I have seen, as a therapist and in the scientific literature on the subject, that if a child develops or acts not according to their sex, it means that a boy is very feminine or a girl is very masculine. We have found that there are three generations prior to the child in which the father-son bonds are either nonexistent or very weak. In this sense, the same thing happens with women, since it is in the fourth generation that a girl acts in a masculine way. In short, they are not born gay, lesbian, or transgender.
St. John records that when the disciples asked the Master who was responsible for the blind man’s condition, Jesus replied that neither [he nor his parents] was guilty. Rather, it is because the work and the mercy of God would be manifest through his illness.
Therefore, these children who act contrary to their sexuality are the blessing to restore the bonds of all their families. If the little boy likes to play with Barbies, the father has to join the world of the child and ask him what he likes about Barbies. The boy will say that he loves her blond hair, her pink dress, her heels… and the father will support him in these comments, by which he will be joining into the emotional world of the boy, who will feel welcomed and loved by his father as he is. Then the father will take the child to the world of masculinity and both will play with gadgets and more masculine sports.
Fathers who participated in the feminine worlds of their sons and mothers who have done the same in the masculine worlds of their daughters find over time that all these children naturally return to the sexual orientation that goes with their sex. In this way they are restoring a generational curse of at least three generations in which there were barely any bonds between father and son and between mother and daughter (George Rekers has published several studies on this issue).
Therefore, it is not true that a child is born gay or a girl is born a lesbian; and on the other hand, the family loses something very important: the blessing that it can be to have a boy or girl with those features.
You said that you were a homosexual. Did you feel uncomfortable having this kind of relationship?
I lived a gay life for many years. I had several boyfriends and lived with one of them for three years. After being raised as a Jew, the last one was a Catholic and loved Jesus. Through him, I ended up knowing and loving Jesus and realized that the Lord works in mysterious ways. At one point, we read in the Bible that God does not like homosexual behavior. I was really upset with that, because I did not want to stop. Later we decided not to have sex. I converted to Catholicism and asked God to take away my homosexual feelings. I was celibate for nine years, and then I met my wife and we got married, but that was a hell, because I had not resolved my attraction to people of the same sex. I had just repressed it.
How did you definitively leave your homosexual practices behind?
I was looking for documents, courses, seminars, therapists, priests all over the world who could help me, but no one understood the problem in all its complexity. That was 31 years ago. It was very painful and it took me a very long time to understand why I was attracted to the same sex. I also understood that during those years I had prayed wrongly, since I begged and prayed to the Lord: Take away my homosexual feelings! He could do it but he did not. So the prayer that I should have prayed was a different one: "Lord, teach me the meaning of my homosexual feelings, why I have them."
It happened that the Holy Spirit revealed to me one by one the reasons I was attracted to people of the same sex. So, I started to touch those points in therapy and received the approval and affection of heterosexual men. Naturally, my homosexual impulses disappeared. I asked God what he wanted of me and discerned that he was asking me to return to college, to get a psychology degree, and to seek out and help others who have unwanted same-sex attractions and to support their families. This was 27 years ago. So in recent years, as a therapist, I have helped thousands of people with unwanted same-sex attractions to become heterosexuals.
In recent years, many people have appeared declaring that they are homosexuals, as a result of political and media attention in developed countries. Do you see you other factors?
The book Opening the Closet Doors perfectly explains the history of the gay rights movement, which began in the U.S. in the 1960s, following the civil rights movement. Before they were rejected by their families, churches, and everyone. As is natural, they were resentful and hurt, got together, and decided on a strategy to gain acceptance from people. They developed a homosexual manifesto, which I summarize in the aforementioned book, where I explain their history, motivations, and strategy.
Wherever you go, they try to suppress your actions. Do you think homosexuals are afraid of you and so prevent the exercise of your freedom of speech?
The homosexual movement is like a building set on two pillars. One says, "We were born gay," and the other says, "Therefore, we cannot change." I appear, a former homosexual, married, with three children, and I have worked as a therapist for 25 years and helped many people, and I affirm that, scientifically, you cannot prove that people are born homosexual. Therefore, change is possible, which destroys their building, and they hate me for that.
You said that we have to respect the decision of those who want to continue with their homosexuality. Have you ever worked with people who were forced to continue their therapies?
No, we do not accept such people in our consultations. If there are parents who bring their children with that intention, then we work with them but not with the children. It is a family issue that concerns the entire family. If parents make the change, the children will too. Hence this book.
Could you explain briefly what your therapies consist of? Are they focused only on homosexual and bisexual groups?
Briefly, there are three steps to resolve an unwanted attraction. The first is to discover, identify, and understand the root causes of that tendency. Then to resolve, heal, and embrace each of those causes. The third is that gay men have to be cured by heterosexuals. That is, to feel loved, to be accepted as they are; and it is the same in the case of homosexual women, who must perceive that straight women appreciate and love them unconditionally. When this step is made, the homosexual feelings are reduced and heterosexual feelings begin to appear.
By our human condition, we all pursue a full life with meaning. Don’t you think this is the ultimate reason for trying new ways to achieve our goals?
Attraction to the same sex is a result of family issues, environment, and temperament. Second question: no one chooses to have a same-sex attraction: they are the result of wounds and the need to be loved. People have to have hope to move from attraction to the same sex to becoming heterosexual, because change is possible. This is the freedom of choice: to continue on this path or to explore the path of the possibility of change. It depends on you.