To the editor:
Hope is a gift that we can share with every person. Most honest people would agree that we each suffer from some disordered passions that make us want what is a very real desire but acting on that desire interferes with making us the best version of ourselves. It is always easier to see this in others than in ourselves.
A person who is ready to conquer a disordered passion needs hope. This person realizes that they need to master a passion for food, sex, gambling, alcohol, smoking, or shopping, etc. Other people can offer hope to the person, whether they have experienced the same journey or not, by assuring them they will be loved as a person if they fail but encouraging them to proceed with their purpose.
The Journal of Adolescent Health 2002; 31(4):305 carried an article titled "Suicidality in a venue-based sample of young men who have sex with men". This study was carried out in Minnesota and it concluded that previous research that noticed increased rates of suicide attempts for young men who have sex with men was indeed accurate. Hopelessness was one of the common symptoms these young men gave as a reason for attempting suicide.
Courage comes from having hope. Courage is also the name of an organization of persons dedicated to helping those who wish to overcome their suffering from a disordered passion to act harmfully on their attraction to other members of the same gender. This community of persons understands the challenges that people with this passion face and assists them and their families in the virtuous challenge of living a life of passions ordered to the best version of themselves.
Sexual addiction of any type can keep someone from being the best version of himself or herself and it takes great courage for someone to admit a problem and the need for help. But real hope can give a person their life back.
James J. Joyce