PFOX’s Griggs Goes Off the Deep End

Timothy Kincaid

July 30th, 2008

PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays) claims to be a support group of parents and others that support and work for the interests of their ex-gay children and friends. However, a closer look at their activism reveals that they are comprised mostly of a handful of ex-gays, a few parents that wish their children were not gay, and some others who just want to “fight the homosexual agenda”.

And while there may be a place for an organization that fights for civil inclusion for those who identify as ex-gay, this group does not fulfill that function.

Ex-gays face discrimination and hostility in society – most of it based on perceptions and stereotypes. It is not unknown for ex-gay men to appear less masculine or ex-gay women to appear more so than social norms may expect. And while they may have religious objections to homosexuality, many of the employment, housing, and other protections that gay people seek would also benefit those ex-gays who may appear to be gender atypical. So any organization seeking to better the lives of ex-gays could find common cause with the LGBT community on a number of issues.

But PFOX has no interest in common cause. Or even in the civil protections of ex-gays.

PFOX pays but nominal attention to ex-gays and instead expends its efforts in seeking to restrict services and information for gay people, primarily youth. And they have a long history of showing little regard for truth, decency, or integrity in their efforts.

They have distorted the work of reputable scientists, made wild accusations against various schools and youth programs, manufactured “attacks” by gay activists, hurled vile insults against those who disagree with them, and, most recently mangled research to exploit suicide statistics for political positioning.

But now Regina Griggs, and PFOX, have bested themselves. They now have made a claim so phenomenally ridiculous, so homophobic (in the traditional sense of the word), that even anti-gays should be driven to mocking them.

As reported by the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow, Griggs opposes Gay-Straight Alliances and other safe spaces for gay teens:

Research shows that individuals often go through periods of gender and sexual confusion as they grow from children to teenagers to adults. Griggs wonders why, then, would schools opt to send children along a dangerous path. “Why are we allowing people to tell them, ‘Try it — you might like it?’ Over 70 percent of young kids 13- to 24-years-old, men having sex with men, are now HIV-positive,” Griggs notes.

Seventy Percent?

That claim is phenomenally stupid, even by anti-gay standards.

As Ed Brayton at notes:

According to the 2000 census figures, there are roughly 50 million people between the age of 13 and 24. Slightly more than half would be female, so let’s say conservatively that there are 22 million men between those ages. If 2% of them are MSM, that’s 440,000. The percentage of HIV positive MSM between 13 and 24 is more like 3.1%, a far cry from 70%. Okay, it’s probably a bit higher than that because there will be some men in that age group who were diagnosed before 2001, but at the absolute outside we’re talking 5%, not 70%.

I might calculate using different variables, but Brayton is right. HIV infection in gay youth, or even in sexually active gay youth, is FAR from 70%.

Griggs is either a wanton liar or a raging loon. Perhaps both.


I calculate around 0.7% of all gay youth aged 13 to 24 are now HIV-positive.

Samantha Davis

July 30th, 2008

Humanity: try it, you might like it!

Priya Lynn

July 31st, 2008

I can’t get over their hypocritical claim to be “friends of exgays and gays. I sent them a couple of emails simply asking them in what way they were the friends of gays and no response. I tried to call and pose that question to them as well but got an answering machine and they never returned my call. It’d be sweet to have a reporter pose that question to Griggs and watch her squirm.

Neil H

August 1st, 2008

The original OneNewsNow article has apparently changed: they’ve flagged the Griggs statistic with an “editor’s note” at the end of the article which reads (in very tiny print): “In June of 2007 the Centers for Disease Control stated that homosexual sex accounted for 71 percent of all HIV infections.” They don’t specify when or where the CDC supposedly claimed this, naturally.

Besides the obvious statistical ineptitude of misinterpreting “over 70% of HIV infections are from homosexual sex” as “over 70% of homosexuals have HIV” , I don’t see where the “13-24 year old” claim comes from at all, if this alleged CDC information is really the statistic that Griggs was misinterpreting. I personally doubt very much that it was.


August 2nd, 2008

Thanks to Box Turtle Bulletin for documenting these things. You know, when an individual makes a false claim against another individual, they can be sued for defamation of character or libel; when they make false claims against groups, there is no legal recourse. I think this should be changed. The Christian Right’s coffers could be emptied in a day if GLBT folks could sue for the lies they tell about us on a daily basis.

If PFOX (I mean Regina Griggs) took the sin of “false witness” seriously, she’d do her homework.

Do ex-gay groups really believe that LGBT people will buy that they truly “love” us? I guess love has a different definition to them, like the word “change.”

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