Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for October, 2009

Growing Up Gay Attending Coastline Bible Church, Day IV of IV

"Gender Conformity And Giving In To Peer Pressure" and "The Teaching That Lead To The Loss Of My Faith"

Daniel Gonzales

October 9th, 2009

Here is the final installment of my daily series looking at my childhood church’s harmful teachings which ultimately lead me to seek out ex-gay therapy.

I generally blindly accepted everything I was taught in my church’s youth program but their teaching on gender expression was so blatantly hypocritical I didn’t fully buy into it even at the time.  The way we chose to express our gender is determined entirely by peer pressure.

I’ve talked about the eventual loss of my faith in previous videos and interviews but since it so directly relates to this church I felt the need to include it in this series.  So consider this a bonus video:

Part I, “What My Church Taught Me About My Sexuality”
Part II, “The Harm Of Trying To Fit Into Someone Else’s Mold”
Part III, “Distrusting Science When It Doesn’t Agree With Your Faith”
Part IV, “Gender Conformity And Giving In To Peer Pressure”

Growing Up Gay Attending Coastline Bible Church, Day III of IV

"Distrusting Science When It Doesn't Agree With Your Faith"

Daniel Gonzales

October 8th, 2009

Here is today’s installment of my series looking at my childhood church’s harmful teachings which ultimately lead me to seek out ex-gay therapy.

What does refusing to believe in evolution have in common with ex-gay programs?  A willingness to ignore the vast body of scientific evidence in favor of your faith.

I should add that in middle school youth group we were once shown an apologetics video about creation/evolution.  This inspired me to ask numerous pesky questions during my 7th grade science teacher’s short and basic lesson on evolution to the point where she actually lost her cool and near well yelled at me during class.  Writing this post prompted me to track her down on facebook and apologize and let her know that after additional and more advanced lessons in evolution later in my academic career I came to see how intellectually bankrupt “creation science” is.

Part I, “What My Church Taught Me About My Sexuality”
Part II, “The Harm Of Trying To Fit Into Someone Else’s Mold”
Part III, “Distrusting Science When It Doesn’t Agree With Your Faith”
Part IV, “Gender Conformity And Giving In To Peer Pressure”

Growing Up Gay Attending Coastline Bible Church, Day II of IV

"The Harm Of Trying To Fit Into Someone Else's Mold"

Daniel Gonzales

October 7th, 2009

Here is today’s installment of my series looking at my childhood church’s harmful teachings which ultimately lead me to seek out ex-gay therapy.

Churches like Coastline Bible Church like to present a single model for what makes up an acceptable family — this is generally at the expense of single parent households, other family members raising kids, blended families, unmarried partners, people who remain single or don’t procreate, and of course LGBT folk like me.

Today’s video looks at how the church sends the message to non-conformers like me that I am inferior unless I bend my life to fit their model. As you’ll see bending one’s life to such extreme degrees can result in things breaking.

There’s a term for this attitude, Heterosexism: the presumption that straight two-parent households are superior to all other family life arrangements. And in case you haven’t already heard about it, Soulforce, Box Turtle Bulletin, Truth Wins Out and a few other groups are having an entire conference about the underlying heterosexism of exgay programs next in Florida called the Anti-Heterosexism Conference.  Of course I’ll be there.

Part I, “What My Church Taught Me About My Sexuality”
Part II, “The Harm Of Trying To Fit Into Someone Else’s Mold”
Part III, “Distrusting Science When It Doesn’t Agree With Your Faith”
Part IV, “Gender Conformity And Giving In To Peer Pressure”

Growing Up Gay Attending Coastline Bible Church, Day I of IV

"What My Church Taught Me About My Sexuality"

Daniel Gonzales

October 6th, 2009

When I entered middle school my family switched to Coastline Bible Church (known then as First Baptist Church Ventura) because it had a more active youth program.  What my parents were not aware of were the radical right wing ideas and anti-gay gospel taught at the church which even filtered down into youth programs.

As an ex-gay survivor activist I have spent the last several years telling my story of having gone though ex-gay therapy but have never elaborated much on how my church’s teachings affected my decision to pursue therapy.

This series of short videos will run through the end of the week. Today I present day I, “What My Church Taught Me About My Sexuality.”

Far too many gay youth who grow up attending church are taught horrible, awful, terrible things about their own sexuality. For me to say that 15 years ago I was taught homosexuality was simply “wrong” would be silly. Rather I prefer to illustrate how I learned about homosexuality in church, by recalling specific incidents that would shape the rest of my life.

I believe the years of anti-gay teachings I endured as a minor at this church amounts to psychological child abuse — To not tell my story and how my life was harmed by my church’s teachings would be a disservice to other gay youth currently enduring the same thing.

Part I, “What My Church Taught Me About My Sexuality”
Part II, “The Harm Of Trying To Fit Into Someone Else’s Mold”
Part III, “Distrusting Science When It Doesn’t Agree With Your Faith”
Part IV, “Gender Conformity And Giving In To Peer Pressure”