Hair You Can Straighten, Gays Not So Much

Daniel Gonzales

November 6th, 2008

Colorado-area and national groups Beyond Ex-Gay, Soulforce, Truth Wins Out, the Colorado Queer Straight Alliance, PFLAG, the GLBT Center of Colorado, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, the Religious Society of Friends and more have been working the past few months to organize a public response to this weekend’s NARTH conference.

NARTH, the National Association for the Research and Treatment of Homosexuality, is an anti-gay “secular” group that believes that being gay is a sickness that can and should be cured. Wait, have we traveled back in time to the 19th Century???

We have planned a series of events under the banner, “Ex-Gay Exposé: Exploring Practices and Harm in Reparative Therapy.” As former clients of NARTH and NARTH-inspired ex-gay therapy, we speak directly to destructive nature of theories and therapies designed to change and suppress gay and lesbian orientation and gender differences.

In addition to standing up as public witnesses to counter the false and misleading messages of NARTH, we will meet with ex-gay survivors to explore our ex-gay experiences and look at ways in which we have creatively sought to recover from them and integrate our sexuality as part of our healthy development. We will also convene a team of mental health experts for a summit to consider treatment plans and best practices designed to help ex-gay survivors overcome from the harm we have experienced at the hands of anti-gay practitioners.

Lisa M. Diamond, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah, speaks out in this video about how NARTH distorted and misrepresented her work in order to push their anti-gay agenda. (hat tip to Wayne Besen and Truth Wins Out)

Weekend Schedule

Friday, Nov 7th

7pm: Doin’ Time with Peterson Toscano. Well-known ex-gay survivor Peterson Toscano, as seen in The Advocate and LOGO’s “Be Real,” will be on hand to perform excerpts from several plays inspired by his years spent in the ex-gay movement. Location: Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (915 E 9th Ave, Denver. An affirming congregation)

Saturday, Nov 8th

8:45-10am: Rally at NARTH Conference site, Renaissance Hotel (3801 Quebec St, Denver). Meet outside to the south of the hotel.

11-4pm: Ex-Gay Exposé Gathering. Gathering for ex-gay survivors as well as allies who wish to learn more about the ex-gay movement. Location: Moutain View Friends Meeting. (2280 S Columbine St, Denver)

6-8pm: Mental Health Professionals workshop, part 1 (What is the ex-gay movement? What are common needs of ex-gay survivors?). Location: GLBT Community Center. (1050 Broadway, Denver)

Sunday, Nov 9th

9am-12pm: Mental Health Professionals workshop, part 2 (Exploring best practices for treating ex-gay survivors). Location: GLBT Community Center (1050 Broadway, Denver)

7 pm: Transfigurations: Transgressing Gender in the Bible. Written and performed by Peterson Toscano. Location: Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (915 E 9th Ave, Denver. An affirming congregation).

If you’re interested in attending any of these events, please fill out the information on this signup page and we’ll email you as needed.

Timothy Kincaid

November 6th, 2008

People can change.

Just yesterday I heard Dr. Laura advising a man whose wife was having an affair with another woman.

She told him to let her go. Some people marry out of denial or hope or religious conviction or some belief that they can change. But people are who they are and to stay married won’t make either of them happy.

This, from a woman who in 2000 wrote the forward to Richard Cohen’s book Coming Out Straight.

Which all goes to show, people can change. Orientations, not so much.

Mark C

November 6th, 2008

Given the involvement of the Mormon Church in California’s Prop 8, I think it’s important to note their involvement with NARTH, as well.

Dean Byrd, NARTH President and advocate of conversion therapy used to be with the LDS Church’s Social Services, and in particular with their area of “homosexual concerns.”

Here is a link with some information about Byrd:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._Dean_Byrd

When you start connecting the dots, you can see just how involved the Mormon Church is with denying and/or taking away rights for LGBTIQ folks. Their weakness, however is they hate negative publicity, so it’s time we all ramped that up – whenever and wherever we can.

Just my two cents’ worth.

Joel

November 6th, 2008

“Their weakness, however is they hate negative publicity, so it’s time we all ramped that up – whenever and wherever we can.” *nod… and its not like their in that goo dstanding.

Ppl still associate LDS with polygamy.

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