Question: Why did you participate in the film? What are your hopes for the film?

Short answer: I always wanted to help other people who have had this problem, and I saw this as an amazing opportunity to do so.

Long answer:

My therapist approached me in 2018, saying that one of his acquaintances wanted to make a movie about “conversion therapy” (See my entry “How Long?” which explains that the therapy I go to is not “conversion therapy”). The original concept centered around hiding behind a mask: Each person who gave their testimony would wear a different mask, and they would also describe why they chose this particular mask. I didn’t really want to wear a mask, so during the pre-interview, I suggested that I would wear a simple black mask similar to the one seen in the movie The Incredibles:

As time went on, not many other people volunteered to be in the film. In fact, I believe it was just Ben Zilberman and me. With only two people, they decided to drop the mask concept and both participants would be shown completely.

Was I afraid that my family would be embarrassed by my “outing”? No. I had given it some thought, and while my logic has holes in it, it made enough sense at the time for me to go forward. I’ll try to explain delicately so the parties involved don’t get outed again – even though this is all public information and with the correct search terms you can find it all on the internet. We’ll just say that a relative/acquaintance was told by the local Beis Din (religious court) that due to his actions with other married ladies, he would no longer be welcome in the neighborhood. So with that hanging over my family, I felt that my participation in an SSA documentary would not noticeably soil the family name.

Now that we have a brief history, why did I still decide to go through more than 60 hours of filming over close to 20 sessions? I did this because I wanted to show my story and inspire others to seek help to overcome their unwanted same-sex attractions. I wanted to also show that the therapy I am in has nothing to do with what the press says.

What are my hopes for the film?

I would like people who are in similar situations to me to see that it is possible to work on themselves to overcome this problem. It isn’t a “cure” or a “conversion”. Instead, it is a set of tools to use to learn how to navigate through life. It is learning to change behaviors that improve your character.

I might still have attractions to other men, and I will notice when certain men are handsome. But I will control those feelings – and not let those feelings control me!

I was married two times and enjoyed having a wife, both as a companion and also intimately. I went through some trauma when both marriages ended, so I am still scared to get married to a third wife. But I can testify that a person with SSA can get married; can have marital relations that are enjoyable; and can have a meaningful relationship with a spouse of the opposite sex. I did it. I don’t regret it.

I hope that others will see what I have done and perhaps they will be inspired.

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