Who is Brothers Road

The Truth About Who We Really Are (Vs. What Critics Say)

Sometimes, opponents deliberately malign and misrepresent us for their own political purposes and claim that we believe, do and teach things that we do not.

Interestingly, these opponents are rarely ever people who have actually participated in our programs. (We know of only about 10 out of some 3,000 participants in our programs over the past 17 years who have ever spoken out publicly against us.) Critics seem to speak almost entirely out of misunderstanding or prejudice against anyone who might be dissatisfied with their homosexual attractions or against men who might choose to seek to minimize or manage their erotic or romantic responses to other men.

As men who choose to put our faith and values first, above our sexuality, we are one of the few remaining sexual minorities that it is still socially acceptable to hate and malign.

Here is what you should know about who we really are (and who we are not):

  1. We provide peer support to self-motivated adults. We are an interfaith self-help fellowship that co-creates safe, compassionate communities primarily for men who wish to voluntarily address incongruous same-sex attractions (SSA) in affirming ways that align with their personal faith, values, morals and life goals.

    • We don’t serve minors. The minimum age to participate in Brothers Road programs is 21. The average age is 36. Complaints directed at us over alleged harm to gay youth are entirely fabricated, since we neither serve youth nor make any effort to reach out to them.

    • We don’t provide therapy. Brothers on a Road Less Traveled does not offer “conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy,” “sexual reorientation therapy” or any other kind of therapy. We are not a therapy group, mental health clinic, or counseling organization.

    • We do support self-discovery, understanding, authenticity, personal empowerment and affirmation. We co-create supportive, affirming, peer-led opportunities for men in our community to better understand themselves, explore underlying issues, and work toward a peaceful resolution to internal conflicts.

  2. Our work is about finding peace as we work to address our same-sex attractions in ways that are most authentic for us.

    • It’s not about “turning straight.” Heterosexuality is not the real goal. It can’t be — because efforts to transform one’s basic sexuality can never be assured of success. Besides, heterosexuality itself can never ensure happiness!

    • Our work is about self-acceptance, releasing shame, and loving self. It’s about creating brotherhood and community. It’s about putting faith and values first in our lives, firmly above our sexuality or our particular temptations.

    • Yes, for some of us, doing this work has resulted in a shift in the nature of our sexuality or in how we experience it, and sometimes in a decrease in the intensity of our same-sex attractions. But when these shifts do occur, they tend to be byproducts of doing other personal-healing or personal-growth work, rather than the focus.

  3. We believe in placing our faith, values, morals and life goals above our sexuality. We refuse to define ourselves primarily by our sex drives and personal temptations. This does not make us homophobic or self-hating. On the contrary, we find it makes us anchored, principled, balanced, authentic, and self-determined. Our lives are driven by our values and goals, not cultural demands or expectations.

  4. We strongly object to shaming, coercion and discrimination. Contrary to mischaracterizations deliberately aimed at maligning us, we believe in:

    • No coercion. We unequivocally reject any attempt to coerce someone into attempting to change their sexual orientation, or to be dissatisfied with their sexual orientation if they are content with it. No one can force or shame anyone else into changing anything about themselves, much less their sexuality!

    • No shaming. We reject any form of shaming, rejection, discrimination, threats, harassment, abuse, aversion-therapy techniques, or anything that disrespects an individual’s inherent value and worth.

    • No rejection. We condemn any rejection by family members, religious communities, or societal groups of someone based on his or her stated or expressed sexual orientation.

    • Self-determination. We embrace and uphold every individual’s right to self-determination. We do not believe anyone simply chooses his or her sexual orientation. We do believe, however, that everyone, regardless of sexuality, can choose how to respond to his or her attractions or feelings.

  5. Homosexuality is not a mental illness. We categorically reject any notion that homosexuality is a mental illness, mental disorder or disease. We concur with the many health and mental health authorities who recognize that “homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, reliability, or general social and vocational capabilities.”

    • We strongly object to the notion of “cure” — and to the word itself. To suggest that homosexuality is something we think can or should be “cured” is extraordinarily offensive. Homosexuality is not a disease or sickness. We are in no need of a “cure.” Yet our opponents paint us with that word to suggest that we believe something that we don’t.

  6. We are a non-profit, charitable, educational, interfaith fellowship. We don’t profit from what we do. When we charge for our programs and services, it is to recoup our expenses to run them, and to pay the bills that keep the organization going. We have no full-time employees (although we do pay certain contractors conservative, reasonable fees for their part-time services).

  7. It’s our life, our choice. As mature adults, we unconditionally affirm our own right to self-determination, including our right to:

    • Our own goals. We have the innate right to address our distress or dissonance around same-sex attractions in ways that affirm our inherent worth and that align with our core identity and foundational values.

    • Decide for ourselves. It’s our right as adults to freely choose to participate in programs and therapies that support us in our efforts to minimize (to the extent possible) or at least manage our same-sex attractions.

    • Freedom of religion. We have the right to believe what we believe, to live our lives in accordance with our faith, to practice whatever religion we choose without harassment, and to put our faith, morals and values first in our lives, above our sexuality and cultural pressure.

    • Free assembly. We have the right to assemble and associate with others who share like-minded goals, including in paid workshop or group settings, if we so choose.

    • Free speech. We have the right to speak freely, openly and respectfully about our own experience.

  8. We believe in authentic diversity and real compassion. We respect gays and equal rights. We respect the rights of others to pursue different paths to peace. We believe in civil discourse and in mutual respect, even — and especially — when we disagree.

We call upon all members of LGBT communities, as well as society generally, to support our right to express our love, faith and individuality as we see fit, and to be true to who we really are.

For more: See “Who We Are” on our home page. See also: Our Mission & Vision

 
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(C) 2018 Brothers on a Road Less Traveled. All rights reserved.
P.O. Box 412, Ruckersville, VA 22968  |  434-227-9346  |  richwyler@brothersroad.org