The name has changed over the years, but the purpose stayed the same - to help men with unwanted same-sex attractions deal with their attractions. To be more comfortable with themselves and their sexuality, whether they completely change, or just find greater peace with who they are.
In 2000, Rich Wyler founded the group People Can Change, which later changed its name to Journey Into Manhood and just recently changed its name again to Brothers on a Road Less Traveled.
During the past 15 years, the non-profit organization has expanded to have taken place in thirteen U.S. states and three countries. Today more than 2,500 men from 48 states and 50 countries have participated in the program.
What really happens during a Journey Into Manhood weekend stays a secret for the men who have participated, but they describe the program as a ‘’peer-led, experimental weekend of self-discovery, brotherhood, personal growth and inner healing work.’’
Men from around the world have pursued changed for many different and personal reasons, some have a desire to get a wife and be a father — some are already in a marriage with kids and want their life to stay like that. Others have experienced a childhood with sexual abuse, which has led them to a homosexual lifestyle, which they just never felt was right for them. Yet another reason for some men to join the program, is because they want to live the life they feel is aligned with God’s will.
Everybody has their own motivation to pursue a change. But is it possible to change what sex you are attracted to?
Brett Glover, 35 years old, grew up in the small town Clayton, Alabama.
The first time he ever experienced same-sex attractions was for two of the boys from his school back in 5th grade. But, not before his early 20s did he act on his attractions.
It was the same time he told anyone for the first time, that he was gay. Before he had only told people in chatrooms about his feelings. But, when a girl had a crush on him, he told her he was bisexual— to ease the blow, but when that didn’t make her give up on him, he told her, that he was gay.
This was the beginning of the 10 years where Brett lived as a gay man. During this time he had several longer relationships with men, without telling his family about it. Even though he had told friends about his sexuality, it was still a secret for his family back in Alabama. When he lived with a boyfriend, it was always just a roommate or friend.
Not before a serious breakup with his last boyfriend in 2012 did he tell his mom the truth. To this day, he still hasn’t sat down with the rest of his family and told them everything about those years of his life. Brett though is almost sure that most of them know about it, but it’s not something they talk about.
‘’My family needs to grow spiritually before I feel comfortable telling them more of my story. They need to be in a place there it wouldn’t be such a big deal for them,’’ he said.
Growing up Brett went to church with his family, but during those ten years, he didn’t have a relationship to the church and God.
Since Brett went to Journey Into Manhood in 2015 his feelings for men has diminished, but they are not completely gone. He hopes that when he finds a wife, the same-sex attractions will be gone.
Recently he has dated two girls for a shorter amount of time, but it never turned into anything serious. He hasn’t had sex with a girl yet, as he says, ‘’hopefully I’ll only ever have sex with one girl.’’
One of his wishes for the future is to get a wife and kids, he wants a family that serves the lord.
‘’If God is making the plan, everything is going to work out so much better. I’m waiting for him to introduce us,’’ he said.
Map over the nationalities of men who has been through Journey Into Manhood
Throughout time a lot of people have tried to narrow down the explanation for a person’s sexual orientation. Are you born homosexual? Can your sexuality change over time?
Alfred Kinsey, American biologist, and sexologist was one of the first in the field. He developed the Kinsey-scale — or Heterosexual-Homosexual rating scale as it’s also referred to. The scale is used to describe a person’s sexual orientation and as Kinsey stated in his research, ‘’an individual may be assigned a position on this scale, for each period in his life,’’ suggesting that it doesn’t necessarily stay the same throughout your life.
The scale ranges from 0, for people who identify themselves exclusively heterosexual without any desire or previous sexual experience with the same sex as themselves. At the other end of the scale, 6 — for people identifying themselves homosexual.
Fritz Klein, an American psychiatrist, and sex researcher has since expanded upon Kinsey’s work and developed the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid — a multidimensional grid to describe sexual orientation taking the past, present and future in consideration — suggesting that one’s sexual orientation can change over time.
Kinsey and Klein’s are just a few of many systems, scales, and grids that have tried to describe a person’s sexual orientation.
Today their work is still recognized — but sexologists today suggest that it’s not complete enough to cover sexual identity issues. A person’s biological sex and gender identity should be taken into account as well.
Simple tests build upon the research of Alfred Kinsey and Fritz Klein is available through the following links: