Dean Bailey, 50, is not afraid to tell anyone he is living proof that ‘sexual orientation’ can in fact be changed. But he prefers to use the word ‘restored’ rather than ‘changed.’
Bailey remembers how from an early age he felt different from other boys. He felt he did not fit in and thought of himself as awkward, out of place. He remembers never feeling treasured or affirmed by his dad who was an alcoholic and who consumed pornography. Bailey believes this began a pattern of turning to other males to find the affirmation he never received from his dad.
When a new outgoing boy began to attend school when Bailey was in grade three, he remembers trying hard to become the boy’s friend. It was during a sleepover at the boy’s house that Bailey was introduced to sexual play, including streaking and oral copulation. The experience not only robbed him of his childhood innocence, but awakened in him a sense of sexual curiosity.
From here, Bailey became preoccupied with images of male nudity and with taking more daring sexual risks with different boys. As he grew older, the sexual acts Bailey performed with other boys became as a source of comfort to him, making him believe he was being loved and accepted. But while such acts would make him feel good for a while, he says they were never able to help him overcome the constant theme of emptiness and brokenness he felt inside. The sexual activities quickly became addictive.
When a schoolgirl refused to go on a date with him that seemed to signal to the now-teenage Bailey that he was not a normal guy. Then, a few years later, a sexually awkward one-night stand with a woman seemed to confirm to him that he did not have what it took to be a man.
Bailey was now a young man in the military. Although in the meantime he had gotten married, he continued to crave male intimacy and experience gripping same-sex attractions. An intimate but non-sexual encounter with a military male friend whom he greatly admired eventually led to explicit homosexual behaviors.
The encounter severely damaged the relationship Bailey had previously enjoyed with his wife as she felt she could no longer trust the man she had married.
Having experienced homosexual acts, Bailey now struggled inwardly with intense homosexual desires that could only be allayed through carnal gratification, or so it seemed to him. Feelings of insecurity only intensified these inclinations.
His previous homosexual experiences drove him to seek answers to his insecurities through further homosexual encounters. A downwards spiral ensued as Bailey attempted to satisfy his desires, but only saw them grow in intensity the more he indulged them. Looking back, Bailey now realizes how homosexual acts had become an addiction for him.
Bailey credits God for acting powerfully in his life to save him from himself, change his life for the good, and ultimately bring about his deliverance from homosexual attractions. God led him on a journey of trust that ultimately led to the heart of Jesus Christ. Here Bailey experienced the love, acceptance, and affirmation he had always craved.
To put it simply, says Bailey, he fell in love with the person of Jesus. He experienced Him through prayer and through reading the Bible. All Bailey wanted now was to become more like Jesus, more Christ-like. As he began acting more and more on this desire, Bailey noticed a transformation begin to take place in his sexual desires. The homosexual desires began to decrease. For the first time in his life, Bailey began to see himself differently, this time through the eyes of a Savior who — he now realized — loved him unconditionally.
Looking back on his past, Bailey says he now sees that he has been brought out of what he calls the “sexual confusion of homosexual behaviors” to a sexual clarity in mind and heart. He has left behind what he calls the “self-defeating environment of my own, very negative self-image” and moved into an unshakable understanding of his value and self worth as a beloved child of God.
Bailey wrote about his entire journey in his 2011 book titled “Beyond the Shades of Gray.” Most of the book is available online at his website. He speaks publicly about his struggle with homosexuality, telling audiences that homosexuality is a “sexual addiction and dependency,” not a condition to be socially accepted and celebrated. “It is merely one of the many evidences of the broken, spiritual condition of our human race,” he tells people.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews from Texas where he lives with his wife Della and his two college-aged daughters, Amber and Amanda, Bailey spoke about what he has gained by leaving behind the homosexual identity, the role of God in bringing about sexual healing, about his views on the Christian understanding of homosexuality, and about why stories like his are shunned by the mainstream.