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Regina Griggs: Ex-gays “Most Bullied and Maligned In America”

Jim Burroway

October 14th, 2008

Regina Griggs, past LaBarbara Award winner, has out out another press release under her PFOX banner, announcing that they are suing the Washington D.C. Office of Human Rights for “failing to protect former homosexuals under its sexual orientation anti-discrimination law.” And get this:

The ex-gay community is the most bullied and maligned group in America, yet they are not protected by sexual orientation non-discrimination laws,” said Regina Griggs, PFOX executive director.

“Former homosexuals and their friends have been fired from their jobs, repeatedly ridiculed, assaulted, and intimidated. This harassment is most often perpetrated by the same groups who demand protection under sexual orientation laws but work to deny ex-gays the same respect.”

Really? The ex-gay community is the most bullied and maligned group in America?

Really, Regina? Are you serious?

Chutzpah isn’t a strong enough word to describe this outrage. I am truly at a loss for words. I’ll let you take over in the comments.

Please provide examples of LGBT people and/or ex-gays being bullied, murdered, or fired from their jobs. I’m all ears.

[Hat tip: Stefano]

Comments

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Scott
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

Well Anthony Falzarano was fired by PFOX for not towing the party line on gays so I guess Regina has a point :)

GDad
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

PFOX doesn’t strike me as an organization that puts verifiable facts as one of its priorities.

Stefano A
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

What I find (among the many things Regina asserts) to be so bizarre about this suit is that the DC Human Rights Act already prohibits discrimination based on “sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression”.

It doesn’t designate “homosexuals” but “sexual orientation”.

So, as with hate crime or any other anti-discrimination designation, nowhere are specific races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, etc., singled out and designated. Which is what makes claims that certain groups are receiving special treatment with regard to legislation so fallacious. It’s that wording for reasons of xxx — not designations of a specific race, religion or ethnicity or orientation for example — which allows for the equatability of application to be maintained regardless of what specific demographic group one belongs to.

This is one of those law suits that should be refused to heard for being frivolous as they’re already encompassed by the inclusion of “sexual orientation”.

Stefano A
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

I mean, what designation does she want to be added exactly, one for the “sexually conflicted”?

Tim Hulsey
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

Call the thought police on me if you must, but I suspect Griggs has a valid point here. Ex-gays in America face all the hardships (and then some) of being openly gay, while foregoing most of the psychological benefits.

First of all, ex-gays can hardly be described as closet cases. They’re quite open about their sexuality (or would the proper term be ex-uality?), and their frankness makes them subject to the same harassment, discrimination and contempt that other gay and lesbian people face. What’s more, ex-gays don’t necessarily have the option most gay and lesbian people have of simply avoiding those people who would subject them to harassment, discrimination and contempt. Nor can they move to more gay-friendly climes without running the risk of becoming “ex-ex-gay.”

Most ex-gays don’t have the institutional (not governmental) support systems that gay and lesbian people have built for themselves. There are no ex-gay bars (for obvious reasons), no charities where ex-gays can meet each other, and not even many ex-gay support groups. Even the relative handful of fundamentalist churches which host ex-gay support groups, tend to look upon ex-gay members with disdain and distrust.

Given the difficult, lonely lives that ex-gays often lead, it’s easy to see why Griggs might be feeling aggrieved.

Tavdy
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

Wikipedia is a wonderful thing!

Murdered:
Rev. Bill Larson + 31 others; The Upstairs Lounge arson
Harvey Milk
Robert Hillsborough
Terry Knudsen
Les Benscoter
Declan Flynn (Ireland)
Charlie Howard
Rebecca Wright
James Zappalorti
Julio Riviera
Paul Broussard
Unnamed victim of Bård Faust (Norway)
Brandon Teena (transman)
Scott Amedure
Roxanne Ellis & Michelle Abdill
Jeff Whittington (New Zealand)
Andrea Dykes (heterosexual) Nick Moore, John Light & Mrs. Dykes’ unborn child; further 79 injured including Mrs. Dykes’ husband; Admiral Duncan bomb, (UK)
Pfc Barry Winchell (straight partner of transwoman Calpernia Addams)
Gary Matson & Winfield Mowder
Steen Fenrich
Arthur Warren
Danny Overstreet in Ronald Gay shooting
Aaron Webster (Canada)
Fred Martinez (trans)
Nitzah Morris (transwoman)
Gwen Araujo (transwoman)
Sakia Gunn
Richie Phillips
Nireah Johnson & Brandie Coleman
Glenn Kopitske
Brian Williamson (Jamaica)
FannyAnn Eddy (Sierra Leone)
Daniel Fetty
Ronnie Paris (3 years old)
Jason Gage
Jody Dobrowski (UK)
Gisberta Salce Júnior; tortured and raped for three days (Portugal)
Michael Sandy
Roberto Duncanson
Sean William Kennedy
Michael Marcil (Canada)
Osvan Inacio dos Santos; “Batingas Miss Gay” winner (Brazil)
Craig Gee (Australia)
Unnamed victim of Jan 2008 Mandeville attack; 2 others injured (Jamaica)
Alexandre Peixe dos Santos; gay rights activist (Brazil)
Lawrence King
Tony Randolph Hunter

Assaulted or injured:
Tennessee Williams
Rick Hunter & John Hanson; beaten by Minneapolis police
Julian Dykes (husband of Andrea Dykes, see above) + 78; 3 killed (4 including Mr. & Mrs. Dykes’ unborn child) “Admiral Duncan” bomb (UK)
Bertrand Delanoë; Mayor of Paris and possible future French president
5 in Otherside Lounge bomb
2 in
Blah Bar bomb (South Africa)
6 in Ronald Gay shooting
Unknown number; Serbian gay pride riots
3 in Yishai Shlisel/Israeli gay pride stabbings
Lauren Harries (transwoman) and her father & brother (UK)
3 in Jacob D Robida shooting
Richard Jefferson & Ryan Smith; US TV producers (St. Maarten, NL)
Kevin Aviance
6 in San Diego Gay Pride beatings
Gareth Williams + 3 (Jamaica)
up to 150 in Mandeville Stoning (Jamaica)
30 in Gay Pride beatings (Croatia)
2 in Jan 2008 Mandeville attack; one other killed (Jamaica)
Duanna Johnson; beaten by Tennessee police (transwoman)
Lance Neve
Stephen Parrish

Incidentally, I googled “heterophobic attack/assault/murder” and could find no news reports regarding LGBT people attacking straights because of their sexuality. The closest instance of which I know is the beating of a straight man on the south coast of England a few years ago; the attack was in response to homophobic signs and slogans.

Timothy Kincaid
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

Tavdy,

PFOX has a total of:

Mary Stachowicz – was murdered by Nicholas Gutierrez in 2002. She was pressuring him to become ex-gay. While she wasn’t killed for being straight, PFOX could argue that she was killed for being a “friend of former homosexuals”

There is also one example of a reported scuffle where someone at a PFOX booth was pushed (or possibly hit) by someone who disapproved of their literature.

And to the best of my immediate recollection, that’s it.

There are certainly some other heterosexuals who were harmed or killed by gay persons, but there is no ready evidence of any gay persons killing or harming straights because of their sexual orientation. I suspect it may have happened, but certainly not in any frequency similar to your list.

Priya Lynn
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

Tim Hulsey said “First of all, ex-gays can hardly be described as closet cases. They’re quite open about their sexuality.”.

Actually, many if not most “ex-gays” are closeted, that’s why researchers have such a hard time recruiting them for studies. The “ex-gays” that are open are typically those that are political operatives seeking to deny gays equal rights.

Tim Hulsey said “There are no ex-gay bars (for obvious reasons), no charities where ex-gays can meet each other”.

Of course there are. If you don’t want to meet gays you go to a straight bar or charity group. The whole idea of being “ex-gay” is that you seek out heterosexual activity if you don’t deny yourself a sexual relationship altogether. The pool of potential partners for “ex-gays” is all straight people, not just other “ex-gays”.

Tim Hulsey said “Even the relative handful of fundamentalist churches which host ex-gay support groups, tend to look upon ex-gay members with disdain and distrust.”.

“Ex-gays” are looked down upon because they retain the stigma of being associated with being gay, not because they are supposedly no longer gay. In those fundamentalist churchs they are far more accepted as “ex-gays” than they would be as gays. The disdain and distrust comes from the fundamentalists not truly believing their claims to be “exgay”.

Legolas
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

It’s obviously a ridiculous claim on the face of it, but what I don’t understand is why the Office of Human Rights is claiming ex-gays are not covered by the non-discrimination statute, or at least why PFOX is claiming such.

Ben in Oakland
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

Now this is a case of severe delusions of grandeur. no one has ever heard of ex-gays, outside of the anti gay industry and these blogs. No wonder she’s paranoid.

Evan
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

Wait, I thought they were “straight.”

Are straight people consistently discriminated against for their sexual orientation?!?!?!

What a harpy that woman is.

Priya Lynn
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

Legolas said “why the Office of Human Rights is claiming ex-gays are not covered by the non-discrimination statute, or at least why PFOX is claiming such”.

The Office of Human Rights is not claiming that. The anti-discrimination law covers people on the basis of sexual orientation. That means whether your orientation is gay or straight the law prohibits discrimination against you on that basis. Whether “ex-gay” is considered an orientation seperate from straight or not, discrimination on that basis is still prohibited. PFOX is lying in an effort to foster the image that gays are not discriminated against unless they reject their gayness.

Timothy Kincaid
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

I do feel compassion for ex-gays.

As was mentioned above, they are in the least desireable of positions. They are fighting against a natural instinct, one that is intrinsic to their nature.

And they have few allies.

Those heterosexuals with whom they worship do not consider them to be equal. The “strugglers” are not viewed the same as heterosexuals – just see what would happen if they volunteered to participate at the youth camp out.

Gay folks don’t really understand them. While most gay people are fine with those who do not wish to be sexually active, few folks of any stripe want to socialize with others who a) think you’re immoral, and b) think that they are more holy than you.

And parse it any way you like, many (if not most) ex-gays very much need to believe that their celibacy and striving towards heterosexuality is more holy. It’s even the mantra of the ex-gay movement: “the opposite of homosexuality is holiness”.

So really the only folks that “get” them are the ex-gay groups.

And unfortunately most ex-gay groups are far more interested in two things: encouraging heterosexual striving, and using ex-gays as tools in an anti-gay political effort.

And let’s face it, ex-gay groups only respect and promote those who are advancing to heterosexuality.

Imagine yourself as an ex-gay. Heterosexuals are suspicious of you, gay folk find you arrogant and self-righteous, ex-gay groups are the only ones decent to you and they are using your life example to try and harm people whom you used to call friends. And any slip up can cause your only buddies to disrespect you.

And you know that if you leave the ex-gay group you will have no one. It takes time to find new friends and recovery from ex-gay programming can be time consuming and mentally draining.

I pity ex-gays.

But I no respect whatsoever those like Regina Griggs who heartlessly exploit them to try and harm me.

cowboy
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

I wouldn’t hesitate in giving a hug to an ex-gay if he/she wanted one…I’d even support a National Hug an Ex-gay day.

Stefano A
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

To add to Tavdy’s list of LGBT victims from my own personal records . . .

Murdered:
Bashar (the 17th Iraqi LGBT leader to be killed), machine gun assassination by Iraqi death squads — To date, Iraqi LGBT’s network of underground gay activists has been able to assemble documentation of 487 deliberate murders of Iraqis targeted by the death squads because they were known or believed to be gay, lesbian, or transgendered.)

Satendar Singh – Sacramento, CA
James McGee – Cincinnati, OH
Alexio Bello – FL
Levi Rollins – FL
Ryan Skipper – FL
Simmie Williams Jr – FL
Kenneth Cummings – Houston, TX
Weston “Tony” Verrette – LA
Steven Parrish – MD

Robert Whiteside – TX (may not have been a hate crime, but robbery as motive)

Kellie Telesford – UK (14 August 2008)
Michael Causer – UK (4 August 2008)

Hilario Nava-Samoza – Grand Chute, WI (straight, but murdered by Galvan-Gomez because Gomez believed Samoza & a co-worker were spreading rumors yhat he was homosexual)

Assaulted or vandalized:
Trevor Cartor (The man who was with murder victim Tony Randolph Hunter)
Cary Anderson and Richard Delaunay (companions of murder victim Paul Broussard)
2 Unidentified victims at Pride in the Pines festival – AZ (23 June 2008)
Shawn Nusum – Bermuda (victim of machete attack) (6 Jully 2008)
2 Unidentified men attacked at Sacramento gas station (19 May 2008)
Jordan Smith – Canada (28 Sept 2008)
Ryerson University, Toronto: Homophobic vandalism (19 March 2008)
Nima Daivari – Colorado (15 Sept 2008)
Melbourne Brunner and Mitchell Mart – FL (27 Feb 2008)
Wilton Manors homes – FL (18 July 2008)
College Park Episcopal Church – GA (1 Sept 2008)
Gay Holocaust Memorial – Germany (vandalized) (16 August 2008)
Fort Wayne AIDS Memorial vandalized – Fort Wayne, IN (25 April 2008)
Kyle Flood – Ball State University Muncie, IN (13 May 2008)
Mob attack on gay men in Maghera, County Londonderry Northern Ireland (15 September 2008)
Several gay men in Tel Aviv’s old central bus station by 4 attackers in 2007
Mob Ransack of the Rome Gay Center (18 April 2008)
Unidentified (due to age) teen beaten on suspicion of being gay – Greeley County, KS (18 September 2008)
LZ Granderson (senior writer for ESPN The Magazine) during NBA All-Star Weekend (Feb 2008)
Unidentified victim, Howard Street, Baltimore, MD (24 Sept 2008)
3 men, 1 woman attacked (unidentified at victims request) Columbus Ave, Boston, MA (28 Aug 2008)
New England Blade newspaper boxes vandalized (9 Aug 2008)
MIT Sloan LGBT student group threatening e-mail (12 April 2008)
Wayland Union High School Michigan bashing of teen lesbian (13 June 2008)
Unidentified (victim’s request) Minneapolis, MN (30 Spet 2008)
Mike Du Pree, Netherlands (6 June 2008)
Timothy Carter and Peter de Vries (continued harassment by firefighters at neighboring firehouse — awarded $2.84M in 13 June 2008)
Staten Island New York attack (20 August 2008)
David Campeas – NJ (12 Aug 2008)
Lance Neve – NY
Rev. Louis Braxton Jr (9 July 2008)
Wished to remain anonymous) – NC (11 July 2008)
Edward “Eddie” Makar (beat with baseball bat) – Cleveland, OH (11 Sept 2008)
Freedom Valley Campground owners (vandalized, threatened) – OH (7 Feb 2008)
Jon Brittain – Cleveland, OH (23 Aug 2008)
Robert Stotler – OK (18 July 2008)
Hate crimes at EuroPride (30 July 2008)
Neal Moffitt Anthony (ongoing home vandalism, threats) TN (11 April 2007, was still ongoing in May 2008)
Smith, Widner, and Onks – TN (22 Aug 2008)
Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church (27 July 2008)
Jimmy Lee Dean – TX (25 July 2008)
Alexander Lee – UK (15 July 2008)
Malcolm Bryan (died of a heart during a homophobic confrontation in September 2006) – UK
“Olly” (severe stabbings left him permanently paralyzed) – UK (4 Sept 2008)
St Helens UK man attacked (8 Sept 2008)
St Mawes Ferry attackes – UK (20 Aug 2008)
Upper St. James St., Kemp Town, Brighton UK attacks (30 Aug 2008)
Churchill Drive, Salt Lake City beating of unidentified victim – UT (4 Sept 2008)
Adams Morgan area, Todd Metrokin – Wash DC (30 Sep 2008)
Canal area, Georgetown attack (4 Oct 2008)
Club 5 patron(s) attacked – WI (17 Sept 2008)
Greg’s Place patron – Indianapolis, IN (23 June 2008)
Attack on member of Changing Attitude Nigeria, Port Harcour, Nigeria (22 March 2008)
Lee Simpon (committed suicide due to homophobic bullying) – UK (9 Oct 2008)

And these don’t include my list of asylum seekers.

Kith
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

A person who has moved out of homosexuality faces little to any pressure. They may have a few friends and relatives who comment, but that is usually as far as it goes in regards to their new found heterosexuality. Any fear of their past being exposed isn’t a fear born out of their new heterosexual identity, it is a fear born out of someone discovering they where “Gay” it is fear of the hatred and confusion surrounding gays. How much stress does a 40 something married with children really face over their “Gay” phase in college? Some mean spirited ribbing at the moose hall or an awkward silence at the ladies tea. How much flack does someone in their mid 20s get when their “experimentation” in high school is brought to light? Some teasing from their friends and a few acquaintances distancing themselves. Unless these people lived a life of excess it is usually brushed off with some hand waving and forgotten about. Of course when something does explode it comes back to the stigma attached to having been “gay”, it has nothing to do with their new role as a heterosexual, it is still falls under the heading gay bashing, it still falls in the realm of gay hate and gay distrust. There lives are not torn asunder because they are “no longer gay”, their lives are torn apart because they “where once gay.” Of course I am sure the subtle differences in those two states is lost on quite a lot of people. Yet if the gay distrust and the gay hate go away, when righteous groups stop trying to undermined the rights, liberties and dignity of gays, then there will be no stigma attached to having been gay, and people who are no longer gay will not have to fear that part of their past coming out.

Any life altering transformation (And I don’t care what it is, losing/gaining lots of weight, finding God, losing God, changing gender, suddenly being wheel chair bound, even something as minor as changing your hair color) will be met with rude curiosity, this will even bleed out some lashing out in confusion, of course that is the natural price that comes with altering your very identity and is not unique to moving out of homosexuality. To try and compare to systematic bullying and institutionalized discrimination is wrong.

Of course after typing all that I realize that what most people mean when they use the term “Ex-gay” isn’t a person who has moved on from homosexuality. It is something in between heterosexual and homosexual, something attached to an industry and a movement. An industry and movement working very hard to diminish the dignity of gays, working very hard to malign the very types of people they were and are trying so hard not to be.

Tim Hulsey
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

Priya Lynn seems to have confused “ex-gay” with “straight.” This is a common error, one which the vast majority of ex-gays do not make.

Contra Priya, the ex-gays I’ve spoken with — none of whom were political operatives — have stated that “coming out” to friends and family is a vital part of standard ex-gay “therapy.” Because many of them never came out as gay, the revelation of their “ex-gay” identity tends to come as a bit of a shock. The irony, of course, is that many of these people are more “out and proud” as ex-gays than they ever were when they identified as gay or lesbian.

One would think that fundamentalist congregations would be more welcoming toward ex-gays than toward gay and lesbian people. That’s what they keep telling us at any rate. Alas for ex-gays, fundamentalists seldom consider themselves under any obligation to practice what they preach, especially where sex is concerned. Truth to tell, most religious conservatives would prefer that homosexuality and its attendant social issues simply vanish from the public sphere — or at least from their neighborhood. For them, the presence of known ex-gays in their church is as potentially troublesome as a Pride parade.

To cowboy: I have hugged my share of ex-gays, and I do not recommend it.

Priya Lynn
October 14th, 2008 | LINK

Tim Hulsey I haven’t confused “exgay” with straight, I know the vast majority of “exgays” are gay or bisexual. I do however acknowledge that the term “exgay” itself is taken as a claim to be straight by most people and that is the basis upon which I discuss “exgays”.

Tim Hulsey said “For [religious conservatives], the presence of known ex-gays in their church is as potentially troublesome as a Pride parade.”.

I don’t buy that at all. Every religious conservative I’ve ever encountered has an overwhelming preference for “exgays” over gays even though they prefer straights above all. Under no circumstances would religious conservatives find someone who rejects their gayness as troublesome as a pride parade.

Lynn David
October 15th, 2008 | LINK

*yawn*

They started this when they faked up the charge of an attack at that fair in 2007. Just to have a beef at ENDA. Now they don’t even understand the meaning of the words/phrases, gender or sexual orientation. How stupid can you get, just for more publicity? And what dunce of a lawyer did they get to file their frivolous lawsuit?

*yawn*

Gregory T. Kopitske
June 10th, 2009 | LINK

Among those listed as being murdered for being gay on this site is my younger brother Glenn Kopitske.
All claims that Glenn was gay are false.
His murderer attempted a gay rage defense and all of his claims are utter nonsense. Glenn was straight. He was bi-polar which led to his living an isolated existence.

Scott
March 22nd, 2010 | LINK

There is no such thing as ex-gays. They are simply brainwashed into living a lifestyle that is more acceptable to others who are too selfish to accept people for who they are. An ounce of pretention is worth a pound of manure. It’s better to be hated for who you are, than loved for who you are not.

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