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A timely reminder about ex-gay awareness

Timothy Kincaid

September 16th, 2013

I know that it may have slipped the memory of some of you, so I thought it would be a good time to remind you that September is Ex-gay Awareness Month, an entire month of secret events, capped off by a dinner at an undisclosed location, all designed to make you more aware of the existence of people who identify as ex-gay. (Yes, I know it was supposed to be July, but a couple of the ex-gays had other conflicts and it’s best to pick a time when all of them are free).

One of the items offered by the event organizer, Voice of the Voiceless, and PFOX, the organization for disapproving parents of gay children, is awareness about the extent to which ex-gay books are banned. PFOX’s Regina Griggs says, “Kristin Pekoll, the librarian in charge of young adult books at the West Bend Community Memorial Library in Wisconsin, advocates for children’s books with gay themes but refuses to accept our donation of ex-gay books for children.” FOX News provides a list of the banned books.

Page 7 of Cohen’s “children’s” bookThey recommend that you read “an excerpt from an ex-gay book, video record it, and submit their video to the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out YouTube Channel”. To the best of my knowledge, there is only one ex-gay book for children, Alfie’s Home by Richard Cohen, and it looks like Cassie Levy beat me too it.

Personally, I don’t know many ex-gays, anymore. I know some former ex-gays, some people who acknowledge the direction of their attractions while choosing celibacy, and even some same-sex attracted people who have found a heterosexual relationship that works for them. But they tend to have dropped the “ex-gay” moniker and are being more accurate and precise with their language.

Ex-Gays, those who claim to have actually changed the direction of their attractions, are a rather elusive group that one encounters mostly on-line. And while they claim to speak for thousands, the number of actual ex-gays that we have seen in public tends to be quite a bit smaller.

But should you happen to be among the few who actually know any ex-gays, please be sure to smile and wish them a very pleasant ex-gay month. And if you’re feeling particularly creative, you might even work with them on a theme song.

I do have to warn you that they may be confused by your pleasantness. Most of those who still think of themselves as ex-gay are quite convinced that they are victims of severe persecution and attack. And if you don’t attack them, they sometimes feel compelled to try and incite a response (but during Ex-gay Awareness Month, try not to let that happen).

The important thing is that ex-gays are human and we should wish them happiness. I wish they were less inclined to say absurd and hurtful things about my community, less concerned about my “lifestyle” and more concerned with finding a life of integrity, and a whole lot less inclined to be a tool of a political and religious movement that seeks to impose doctrine into civil law. But, nevertheless, I wish them happiness and I’m doing my part to make you aware.

There, don’t you feel more aware?

(And no, I’m not going to discuss Unicorn Awareness Month, for those who identify as unicorns)

Comments

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TampaZeke
September 16th, 2013 | LINK

I’m glad you reminded me. I need to get out my ex-gay PRIDE flag and proudly mount it to the front porch. It’s so striking with its horizontal, perfectly straight, alternating Black and White stripes.

Kristin Pekoll
September 16th, 2013 | LINK

According to PFOX website, http://pfox.org/contact_us.html, her name is Regina GrIggs

Ben in Oakland
September 17th, 2013 | LINK

Zee, the stripes are vertical, not horizontal. The black stripes represent prison bars, the white te spaces n between, and the rectangular shape a mental jail cell.

Good job, Timothy. Snark is te sincerest and most vicious form of persecution.

Charles
September 17th, 2013 | LINK

Tim: This is just perfectly hilarious! I think that the most potent humor is that which observes our unique human ability to fool our selves into believing anything.

TampaZeke
September 17th, 2013 | LINK

Damn Ben, I’ve been hanging it wrong all this time! :)

Verna
September 17th, 2013 | LINK

Meanwhile thousands of Christians who struggle with SSA have found freedom and help from God to avoid turning their attractions into sinful behavior. The fact that you mock them reveals your true self.

Regan DuCasse
September 17th, 2013 | LINK

I wrote to one of their cohorts sites. Her comment thread didn’t have any other comments so I simply wrote:

Here’s a thought. Advocate for non discrimination laws for sexual orientation. That way, everyone is protected, regardless their orientation and this will strengthen anyone’s choice and ability to pursue their own lives without any restriction.

Any bets if any of them were honest, what they’d say to that?

Priya Lynn
September 17th, 2013 | LINK

Verna, those gay christians you mentioned haven’t found freedom, they’ve become slaves to long dead bigots who pretended to be your god.

Gayness harms no one and as such is not a wrongdoing.

Timothy Kincaid
September 17th, 2013 | LINK

Kristin – thanks. Typo fixed.

William
September 17th, 2013 | LINK

Verna, I do hope that those thousands of Christians whom you mention have found help from God to express their attractions in loving gay behaviour.

Richard Rush
September 17th, 2013 | LINK

Regan, you’re exactly right.

For example, suppose an “ex”-gay man decides to marry a straight woman, and then they go to a baker to buy a cake. But the baker says he won’t sell them a cake because he doesn’t approve of homosexual men marrying straight women. I would expect that the baker could be sued for violating an anti-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation.

And, legalization of same-gender civil marriage could also benefit “ex”-gays. If an “ex”-gay ever decides to accept the reality that s/he’s still gay, then s/he would have the civil right to marry a person of the same gender. So, the prudent thing for “ex”-gays to do is actively campaign for same-gender marriage. It’s a lot like Pascal’s Wager.

Richard Rush
September 17th, 2013 | LINK

Verna, I think you should have said “bondage,” not “freedom and help.”

In Christianese, “freedom” means the freedom of Christians to decide how others must live their lives. And Christian “love” (and “help”) means that Christians love/help so much that they are willing to shame, degrade, and threaten the objects of their “love” until they submit to sinister behavior.

Ben in Oakland
September 17th, 2013 | LINK

Verna, dear one let me quote Alan chambers, who knows far more about the subject than you do.

99.9% of the people who ask god to help them change, DON’T.

Do you have some special knowledge that Alan chambers, who spent decades making money off the misery of there’s, who has apologized for it, who has admitted that HE HASN’T CHANGED, doesn’t have?

If you do, please tell us what it is. If you don’t have that knowledge….

PLEASE SHUT THE HELL UP…

Because you are either lying, deluded, or bearing false witness.

Blair Martin
September 17th, 2013 | LINK

I’m a unicorn and feel oppressed you won’t discuss our month of being visible and free… *sniff*

“Don’t you oppress me!” Stan/Loretta (Eric Idle) “Monty Python’s The Life Of Brian”

(speaking of mocking religion, Verna)

Verna
September 18th, 2013 | LINK

You all really should do something about your hatred. Its quite unbecoming.

Not to mention your fallacious theological view of sexual behavior. So sad.

Ben in Oakland
September 18th, 2013 | LINK

Waaaaaah. I’m a victim. You’re persecuting me.

So sad.

William
September 18th, 2013 | LINK

Verna, you really should stop trying to push the “ex-gay” fraud. So sad.

Nathaniel
September 18th, 2013 | LINK

I’m sorry, but I missed the part where anybody was mocking those “with SSA… [who] avoid turning their attractions into sinful behavior” (I’ll ignore the fact that many Christians don’t accept that there is anything particularly morally reprehensible about engaging another person of the same sex in a loving, committed relationship). Indeed, I believe Timothy specifically mentioned people he knows and likes who ‘avoid sinful behavior’, as you define it, while still being truthful about the nature of their orientation. I am sure we can even all agree that there is that rare individual who, through some trauma, has some very confused ideas about sex and sexuality and has been helped through therapy.

Rather, what we are mocking are those “with SSA” who have found, through the power of the Almighty Dollar, the power to turn their sexuality into the sinful behavior of lying. We don’t object to the bisexual people who find happiness with people of the opposite sex. We don’t object to the gay people who choose abstinence. We only have sorrow for those poor people who have suffered unthinkable traumas. But we have little patience for gay people who claim they aren’t gay and offer themselves as evidence to support the oppression of gay people who aren’t afraid to own their orientation.

Priya Lynn
September 18th, 2013 | LINK

Verna, you’re seeking to enslave innocent people into your fallacious religious view – you deserve to be hated, you shouldn’t expect not to be hated. I despise your kind with all of my heart and rightfully so.

Timothy Kincaid
September 18th, 2013 | LINK

Verna,

Priya Lynn may hate or despise you. Most of us do not.

I find it sad that you are so certain in your presumptions, so sure of you righteousness, and so arrogant in your presentation that you find it necessary to come make statements about which you either know very little or have far too much gullibility.

I pity you. I’m certainly not fond of the Church Lady attitudes that you came displaying and I find your self-righteousness annoying.

But I don’t hate you.

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