An App Shall Set You Free

6.21.2013

By Jeff Nishball

What if a computer program could turn you straight? Here's one way it could potentially turn out

Dear Diary,

Great news. I’ve decided to go straight. I don’t mean I’m giving up my life of knocking off convenience stores. That’s just easy money. I mean, heterosexual.

Setting Captives Free is a phone app that claims to have the ability to turn a person from gay to straight, and in just 60 days. Which is perfect, because I have a friend’s wedding coming up in two months and I’d love to be able to hook-up with some of the hot chicks there (I’m testing out the lingo already). Unfortunately, Apple has taken down the app from their app store. But those with Android still have a shot at being straight. So I ran to Verizon and chucked my iPhone in favor of a brand new Samsung Android, and I'm downloading the app right now.

The creator of this wonderful app (a self-proclaimed former sinner himself) follows the spiritual teachings of love and acceptance. He just wants gays to be the best possible straight people they can be. Now, no longer do I have to accept myself the way I am by saying, that’s just the way God made me. Because, according to the app, I completely misunderstood God.

Anyway, I’ve been feeling a little antsy lately so I’ve decided to shake things up. Change is good. People change cell phone carriers, why not sexuality? So I'm giving it a shot. What have I got to lose? Except perhaps my ongoing 16-year relationship with the same wonderful man. Oh well, maybe he’ll eventually go straight too and we can double date.

Day 1

Dear Diary, 

My first day toward becoming hetero. Today's lesson involved reading bible teachings from the app and contemplating my “wicked” ways. Most importantly, I learned from the app that, “Neither Adam nor Eve was homosexual. God created Adam and Eve—not man and man or woman and woman.”

Wow! I always had my doubts about evolution, anyway. And this proves it. I can feel the gayness melting away already. I’m so looking forward to tomorrow’s lesson.

P.S. I think Dear Diary might sound a little too gay. So tomorrow I’m changing it to Dear Journal.

Day 2

Dear Journal,

Today’s lesson instructed me to use the words “wicked” and “evil” when referring to homosexuality (which are the official “biblical terms”) as opposed to saying an “alternative lifestyle.” But, honestly, I don’t know anyone who has ever used the term “alternative lifestyle,” so that was an easy one. Now I just have to get used to calling myself wicked and evil. Ugh, dredging up that old 16-year-old self hate again. I guess self-love is one of the benefits of being straight. Something to look forward to.

Day 3

Dear Future Straight Me (I’m being positive already),

Today I learned that I am like a mushroom. The app said that homosexuality, like fungi, grows best in the dark, dank, humid places with lots of shade. And that “anyone involved in homosexuality lives in constant fear of exposure" and "to be truly free from the chains and bondage of homosexuality, you must come out from the shadows and admit your sin.” 

So I guess today’s lesson is really just about coming out of the closet. But I already did that 19 years ago. (Ellen did it 16 years go, and it got her the cover of Time magazine and Portia de Rossi.) OK, well, here goes, again…I’m gay! Kind of anti-climatic the second time around. Though, I do feel the shackles loosening even as I write this.

I’m actually feeling more attracted to women every day. I even checked out a woman’s breast today. Admittedly, I was also thinking that the neckline really wasn’t flattering on her. But I’m going in the right direction. Tomorrow’s a big day. I plan on checking out a woman’s ass.

Day 4

Today, the app, which calls me “friend” by the way (isn’t that pleasant?), told me to beware of any teaching, program, or method of finding freedom from my homosexuality that does not have Jesus Christ at the center of it.

Uh, oh. There’s a small problem here. I’m Jewish. Does this mean I have to convert my religion now, too? My mother was OK with me being gay, but I think it would kill her if I became a Christian.

I also learned today that “Homosexuality hardens your heart and causes you to eventually hate God.” I found this perplexing since I know many religious gays. And what about openly gay clergy like Bishop Gene Robinson who’s been with the same man for 25 years and finally married his husband in 2008? I guess he's not a very good homosexual or a very good Christian. This gets more confusing every day.

*Check Frequently Asked Questions.

Day 5

Today I am officially one-twelfth straight. Woo Hoo! And on this momentous day, I learned that homosexuality is a “broken cistern,” that it will not hold water, and will NOT quench my thirst. I'm not too sure about that. That Spanish guy I met on the gay cruise back in ’97 certainly quenched my thirst. Sorry, a minor relapse. The app tells me that’s to be expected.

OK, now the big news. I had a date tonight! I met a woman while standing in line for tickets to the Broadway musical Kinky Boots. Her name is Patty, and we had so much fun together. We talked about Broadway theater; the cancelation of the TV show Smash, which devastated us both; the new Punk fashion exhibit at the Met. I think this could really work out. This app is really helping me.

And I came up with a great idea today—my way to give back to the gay-to-straight community. I was inspired by Grindr (the location-based social/sex-seeking network for gay men). I’m developing a new app to help all these formerly-gay, newly-straight men to find women. I’m calling it Grind-her.

Day 6

The app was quite stern today. It warned me, "Those who continue pursuing homosexuality will find that their lives will come crashing down to the ground and be smashed to pieces." It said, "Homosexuals will find themselves old, forgotten, and alone in their declining years.”

Wow, good thing I ended my seemingly-thriving-though-apparently-soon-to-be-doomed 16-year relationship with a man to follow the wise teachings of this app and to be with Patty. Otherwise, I’d end up alone and forgotten. Now I can avoid that horrible fate. Whew!

Day 7

The app says I have to avoid all triggers: block access to the Internet, avoid television, end my association with certain friends, stay away from the gay parts of town, stay out of public parks, and away from stores and restaurants frequented by gays. Pretty much everything except the app. But I live in New York, in the middle of Greenwich Village, so becoming straight is more difficult than I thought.

The app gave a powerful example from a “reformed sinner” who said that he had to give up his subscriptions to fitness magazines because the pictures were causing lustful thoughts. I completely understand. I had the same thing when I was 12 with the bathing suit section of the Bloomingdale's summer catalogue.

I must admit to feeling a bit confused. Does this app cure homosexuality or just show how to repress it?

*Check Frequently Asked Questions.

Day 8

Dear Diary,

Don’t judge me. Last night I went to a Lady GaGa concert and then fell off the straight wagon and right onto a dance floor with 200 shirtless men. This app seems to have had the opposite effect on me. I'm even gayer now than I was before.

I ended it with Patty. Told her we actually have too much in common. And this morning I went to Verizon and switched back to the iPhone.

Now I’m off to Fire Island. More soon!

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