PFOX Prez Greg Quinlan’s dating criteria

Timothy Kincaid

July 21st, 2010

The Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-gays (PFOX) is tiny, but interesting, anti-gay group. They are mostly disapproving parents of happily gay people who, along with an ex-gay or two, somewhat pathetically fight against the rights and freedoms of their gay children. I’m sure it must make for interesting table conversation at Thanksgiving.

Their current ex-gay is Greg Quinlan, a rather colorful fellow, who serves as their President. Quinlan’s shtick is going about claiming to be abused, mistreated, and discriminated against because he’s ex-gay. His latest amusing – but decidedly wackadoodle – effort was a disastrously unsuccessful attempt to get Pepsi to change it’s non-discrimination policy to specifically include ex-gays.

Well PFOX doesn’t do much and can’t be too time consuming. And Greg has had plenty of time on his hands since his ex-lesbian wife divorced him three years ago after a short marriage. So he thought he’d go do a little companion shopping at the National Organization for Marriage’s grand tour of empty city plazas, where Courage Campaign’s video camera caught up with him.

Quinlan shows up at the 4:39 point.

My name is Gregory Quinlan, and I’m uh.. this is PFOX, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays. We advocate for the rights of former homosexuals.

If you can change from straight to gay, why can’t you change from gay to straight. That’s what I did nearly 19 years ago.

It’s a matter of choice. Now choices can be hard, choices can take a lot of effort. It did for me. But, it’s still a choice.

[videographer: Are you married?]


[videographer: Why did you make that choice?]

Well, uh the choice?

[videographer: of not being married?]

Of not being… oh, it’s not that I’ve made that choice. It’s just that if you know of anybody, send them my way. I live right here in Roxbury Township, up in North Jersey. I’ll give you my name and number afterwords, if you know of anybody who’s available.

[videographer: What does that person look like?]

Female. And breathing.

Yeah… good luck with that, Greg.

Jim Burroway

July 21st, 2010

That’s. Just. Sad.

Ben in Oakland

July 21st, 2010

female… and breathing?

as opposed to:

male, and breathing heavily?

Sad indeed it is.


July 21st, 2010

Female and breathing?

Why am I getting a mental picture of my friends cocker spaniel after a long walk?

Timothy (TRiG)

July 21st, 2010

I prefer my lovers to be female, human and breathing, but I’ll take two out of three in a pinch.

I can’t find the source for that one right now.



July 21st, 2010

Holy hell, that was almost painful to read! “Female. And breathing.” *double facepalm*


July 21st, 2010

That’s… SO sad. He sounds so lonely.

Pity aside, this part baffles me: “If you can change from straight to gay, why can’t you change from gay to straight. ”

But, um, Greg, that’s just the thing… no one can do EITHER of those.

I would LOVE to see these straight people who “chose” to be gay. Anyone know where they are?


July 21st, 2010

“female and breathing”

That explains the divorce.


July 21st, 2010

I think you should put “ex-gay” in quotes. Otherwise, it legitimizes their lifestyle.


July 21st, 2010

Sounds to me like Greg’s got something to prove here. Maybe to himself?

Timothy Kincaid

July 21st, 2010


My take on the ex-gay label is this (and it’s a bit controversial):

Gay does not strictly mean the same thing as same-sex attracted. It also includes a certain self-awareness and a certain sense of acceptance.

For example, while Larry Craig is probably homosexual (or at lease bisexual) in orientation, I wouldn’t call him “gay”. His perspective, life, view, values and behavior are so very far from other gay people that to include him in the same category seems wrong.

So for those same-sex attracted people who no longer want to be part of the community and who are struggling ever-so-desperately (and mostly unsuccessfully) to lose their natural attractions – or at least to live like a heterosexual – I’m OK with them calling themselves “ex-gay”. It’s certainly better than the completely false “former homosexual” phrase they were using for a while.

So, yeah, Quinlan is ex-gay. And he’s probably as homosexual as a three dollar bill.



July 21st, 2010

High standards, yes?

That is really sad. But given that reaction, I wonder if he was any more successful as a gay man. I guess not.

John in the Bay Area

July 21st, 2010


Most Americans view the words gay to mean attracted to members of the same sex. The ex-gay movement has worked diligently for years to try and make gay mean something more than being attracted to the same sex. I don’t think it is in our interests to somehow lend credibility to their claims or to use their language (same sex attracted).

As for those like Larry Craig, I think most Americans would view him as a closeted, married gay man which would be as accurate a description as any for his situation.

I am not opposed to the term ex-gay, though I view it as a political and religious orientation, having nothing to do with actual sexual orientation.

Timothy Kincaid

July 21st, 2010

Oh, I agree that ex-gay is not a sexual orientation at all. It’s a label.

Timothy Kincaid

July 21st, 2010

Just like “gay” is a label as well. Most homosexuals are also gay, so the terms are often interchangable in common usage.

But when we say “gay people want…”, we really don’t include those homosexuals who are self-denying or repressed or deeply closeted. Those homosexuals don’t want what us gay folk want.

Priya Lynn

July 21st, 2010

“Ex-gay” and former homosexual mean the same thing to the general public.

Fred X. Quimby

July 21st, 2010

Shouldn’t it be PaFoXGaG or, as we like to call it, Pennsylvanian Fox Gag? I’d go with “formerly gay” because X-GAY is going to be a awesome comic book!


July 21st, 2010

Something with the way the video is linked is messing up in Safari/Chrome browsers (Firefox and IE show up fine). This doesn’t happen with your other YouTube embeds. Very odd.


July 21st, 2010

Timothy said: “I’m OK with them calling themselves “ex-gay”.

That confuses the hell out of the public, Timothy. I’m NOT OK with it.

“Ex-gay” should mean not gay any more, not that they still “struggle” with same-sex attraction, not that they have to avoid certain situations because they can “fall,” not that they have to avoid certain friends, not that they still look at the same sex and become aroused. It should mean they are not homosexual in orientation, but have become heterosexual. They need to be held to accountability in their use of the term, because they are hurting so MANY gay men and women who, for whatever reason (usually religious guilt) don’t want to be gay any more. They are told they too can become ex-gay, but they aren’t told that ex-gay means still gay.

It’s like this: I used to be a coke fiend first class. I once went on a 2 YEAR every day, nonstop bender of coke and crack and heroin and everything else I could get ahold of. I was addicted as I could be. And I stopped, just got sick of the whole thing, and quit. Everything. No rehab, no support, no nothing except I gutted it out and stopped using drugs. Yeah, I did it. Shit happens.

Now, if after 15 years I still think about drugs all the time, can’t go certain places because I might do drugs again, have to avoid people because I might do drugs again, and constatntly “struggle” with the temptation of doing drugs, I am NOT an ex drug addict, I am STILL a drug addict. I’m only fooling myself by claiming to not be an “ex-addict,” no matter how much I claim the title. (And no, I have no desire whatsoever for any of that crap. The very concept bores me to tears.)

But it’s the same for “ex gay:” if they still “struggle” with the tempation, then they’re still gay. And they need to quit conning the public, in general, and desperate gay people, in particular, that “ex gay” means “not gay anymore.”

Ex gays are not, and never will be, straight. Straight people don’t “struggle” with gay desires. If they do, they’re not straight.

& isn’t it amazing how I could quit a severe drug habit, even quit a 3 pack a day smoking habit, but after roughly 35 years of trying everything possible to not be gay and then finally accepting who I am, I am still as queer as I can be? I was told I just don’t have enough willpower to become hetero. Yeah, whatever. & that was from a person who has tried to quit smoking 25 times with no success at all.

The entire “ex gay” industry is built on a lie and harms people to make their “ministries” money. They need to be held accountable for what they say and do.

Rant ended, thanks for your time.


July 21st, 2010

I wish I could think of a single example of someone claiming to be ex-gay who wasn’t earning his living from it in some shape or form.

Jim Burroway

July 21st, 2010

I’m not going to start putting “ex-gay” in scare quotes, because then you would have to ask yourself where does it end.

They call themselves ex-gay, the movement is known far and wide as the ex-gay movement, even though everyone knows that there’s no such thing as a “formerly homosexual person.” Heck, even some ex-gays say they don’t like the label either because they know it’s not true. But it’s the one we have.

As a matter of style for this web site, we will not be putting scare quotes around ex-gay. If we did that, we’d be putting scare quotes around just about everything, and I’m not interested in playing games like that. That’s style over substance. I’d rather we focus on the substance.

Jim Burroway

July 21st, 2010

In fact, we don’t use scare quotes at all. Except I do have to admit that I like to write about the Family “Research” Council, but that’s my own way of mocking them, just for fun because they are so incompetent at it. But as a matter of policy and style, we don’t use scare quotes.


July 21st, 2010

Likewise my use of quotation marks in “ex-gay” is mockery.


July 21st, 2010

That poor soul. I feel so much pity for those who’ve rejected themselves . In his favor he doesn’t seem like a thorough lunatic. Fishing for a heterosexual breathing wife is pretty pathetic, on the other hand.


July 22nd, 2010

Manawolf captured my thoughts exactly.


July 22nd, 2010

Timothy, I completely share you’re opinion on the meaning of, and difference between, “gay” and “homosexual”. I’ve been arguing the point for years.

I will disagree with you on one point. I don’t believe that MOST homosexual people are gay. I honestly believe that most homosexual people are not out, open and proud. When I see all of these people caught in parks and public restrooms and anti-gay preachers and politicians and I hear about bath houses and read hook up ads on the computer, I’m convinced that most homosexuals are closeted and that we would be astonished if we really knew who around us is bisexual, homosexual or mostly homosexual.


July 22nd, 2010

Carol Channing is female and breathing. I also think she is single. Who else…. Olivia DeHaviland…Elizabeth Taylor…Doris Day…. better hurry though…

Priya Lynn

July 22nd, 2010

TampaZeke, the general public does not share your opinion, to them gay and homosexual mean the same thing and when people take up anti-gay talking points and refer to self-loathing gay people as “ex-gay” or “not gay” they are spreading the idea that being gay is a choice and gay people can choose to become heterosexual. Its a shame that some are willing to sacrifice gay progress for the short-term sake of feeling clever in their word-play.


July 22nd, 2010

You keep calling them scare quotes as if that is the only purpose of quotes in such an instance as this.

They can also be used as “mockery” quotes or “misnomer” quotes. I can see where both uses could be valid when referring to the “ex-gay” myth.

The fact that they are using the term “ex-gay” to mean “straight” or “celibate” or “having sex with a person of the opposite sex that I’m not sexually attracted to while still sexually attracted to men” or “still having sex with men while claiming not to and preaching against the sins of homosexuality” seem to me to be a very valid reasons for using “misnomer” quotes.

When I call President Obama a ‘”fierce advocate” for the gay community’ I’m not using “scare” quotes, I’m using “mockery” quotes. Likewise when I describe him as a ‘”fierce” advocate of the gay community’ I’m using “misnomer” quotes.


July 22nd, 2010

Though I understand your point and support your choice to not use quotes around “ex-gay”.

Not that my opinion or support matters one way or the other. :)

Timothy Kincaid

July 22nd, 2010


I appreciate your point about the ex-addict who still craves the stuff. But I’m sure you’ll agree with me that we can’t really just call them an addict either; that would suggest that they are still using.

I think ex-addict and ex-gay are good comparisons (not in behavior or damage or whatever but in linguistics). Many ex-addicts reach a point where they don’t crave on a regular basis and don’t really think about it that much and only in times of stress or loneliness or tension find themselves thinking about using. For all practical purposes they are, mostly, ex-addicts.

That is true also of some of the ex-gays I talk to. They aren’t straight and they aren’t attracted to the opposite sex, but they also don’t really think about it constantly and have themselves trained so that they don’t respond much to anyone at all in a sexual or emotional attraction way.

I know that we think of ex-gays as in a constant struggle – and some are. But there are also those who live in a mostly peaceful kinda-asexual existence.

Priya Lynn

July 22nd, 2010

Many “ex-gays” claim to no longer be same sex attracted but whether or not they actually still are is an open question. Certainly many of those who’ve made that claim at later times have come forward and admitted they were lying. That none are willing to confirm this “change” with a plethysmograph speaks volumes about the truth.

Richard Rush

July 22nd, 2010

I think Priya is correct about the general public’s (GP) understanding of the words gay and homosexual. And thus the GP would presume that ex-gay literally means not gay or not homosexual anymore. People within our community can impose all the nuance they want, but then don’t be surprised if that nuance hasn’t migrated into the understanding of the GP.

Of course language is fluid, and today’s widespread use of the word gay testifies to that, but often the nuances of word use in specialized fields don’t make it into the GP’s understanding. For example, the GP has a general understanding of “theory,” but not necessarily in the context of a scientific theory.

I think the term ex-gay was coined as a deliberate deception, and now we seem to have fallen into their trap and are willing to use the term without modifiers. I think that is a mistake because then the general media will do the same thing.

I also agree with TampaZeke’s comments about the use of quotes. I never understood why so many people automatically referred to them as “scare” quotes.

Regan DuCasse

July 22nd, 2010

“…if you can change from straight to gay…”

And how, pray tell, does anyone do THAT exactly?
Especially if you’re a grown assed man or woman and you’ve known you were hetero from the git?
Passing for straight. Relying on deception and ignorance and the unreasonable expectations that all that entails, is what’s in effect.
Not changing FROM straight to gay.

This is why the ex gay issue is so damaging. It creates distrust or makes straight people have the most immovable, unobtainable and double standards for gay people ever known.
To say nothing of expectations that they themselves won’t contemplate, let alone ATTEMPT.
Like TRYING to be gay, or living a celibate life with no adult relationship to test the outcome of that attempt.

Can’t anyone even bother to analyze that on it’s face?
Once the question is put to any straight person of what it would take to make THEM want or try to be gay.
Or at the very least compare notes on experience about when you knew you were aware of what your attractions were, there wouldn’t BE a question or challenge to the veracity of the gay experience.

So true.
Ex gay is a LABEL, not an orientation.
I, as a straight person extremely frustrated with this bullshit, would prefer that anti gay straight people shut up and quit dominating the ENTIRE issue.
Even down to arguing and challenging on who should change whose orientation for the truth to really be known.

Regan DuCasse

July 22nd, 2010

Someone can correct me for being, shall we say so insensitive and oh…intolerant.

But I’m not impressed by human puppets and trained monkeys for the anti gay cause. It’s pathetic. As several of you have expressed.
Some days I really wish I could take them aside and tell them how they are trying too hard and are more a caricature of a straight person.

Heteros don’t strain themselves that way, and don’t have to.
They don’t have to actually BE moral to be thought of that way with no effort or sacrifice.
It’s the most ridiculous pageant, and frankly straight people that act like it’s something so special and heroic to be hetero is embarrassing.

Whether we LIKE being who we are, gay or not, is the difference. And forcing someone to HATE being anything they haven’t chosen or had the ability to enjoy freely, is never something that our culture can claim is moral to do.


July 23rd, 2010

If the alternatives to being gay are heterosexuality and/or becoming a Greg Quinlin, I can (and will) happily engage in ‘sodomy’ for the rest of my life.

I can not fathom the self-hatred this man lives on a daily basis.

Because I was wise enough to cast off the heterosexually mandated shame of being gay just as soon as I was old enough to know better.


June 3rd, 2011

He looked so sad at the end of the video and lonely.

I can only hope he embraces and finally accepts and loves himself for what he is.He will be so much more fulfilled and actually happy if he does.

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