A multi-part video interview series with Michael Bussee, co-founder of Exodus International turned critic.
May 18th, 2010
Yesterday we looked at Michael’s regret for teaching the idea that if you worked hard enough in an ex-gay program you would be changed.
Today Michael shares his other regret, teaching that bad parenting causes a person to be gay. Michael talks about the division in families that can cause and his own process of later reclaiming the belief his father was actually loving, giving, encouraging and self-sacrificial.
(transcript below the jump)
I’m Michael Bussee, I’m one of the original co-founders of Exodus International. I left the program in 1979 and have since reconciled my spirituality and my sexuality and now I’m a vocal critic of reparative therapy programs and of Exodus International.
[title: “I Regret Teaching That Gayness Is The Result Of Bad Parenting”]
I regret teaching that if you were gay that there must be… that there was something wrong with your family, something wrong with your parenting. That’s a very common belief that’s reinforced by the organizations like NARTH or Exodus that gayness is the result of bad parenting.
And when you believe that you look back over your childhood for examples of bad parenting and low and behold you find it because every parent has good and bad. There were times when my dad was insensitive and there were times when my dad was very loving and encouraging. But if you’re taught you’re gay because your parents were bad parents you focus on the bad, you look for the bad, and you blame them. And I think by teaching that we create a terrible division between people who are struggling with their homosexuality and their parents and it took many years for that to heal, for me to reclaim that my dad wasn’t a bad dad, that he was a very loving and giving father, a very self-sacrificial dad, and encouraging dad, a strong one you know a disciplinarian and there were times that he disapproved of me but he didn’t cause me to be gay.
And teaching teaching that and reinforcing that I think does great harm so yeah I regret teaching that. Because that’s just not true.
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Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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