Archive for the ‘Ex-Gay’ Category

>Playing catch-up plus an undercover ex-gay investigation

February 2, 2010

>Catch up on your Joe Openshaw writing.

In case you didn’t see yesterday’s Birmingham News, here is my letter to the editor about marriage. The letter is just below the one that you see when you open the page. so scroll down past the ALDOT and Riley letter.

Parade magazine, on Sunday, included an article on intersex fish, which I wrote about on Bessemer Science. It’s a little disturbing, since we drink the water that these fish live in, and don’t know what is affecting them.

The American Prayer Hour will take place on Thursday, with an event here in Birmingham.

Preview my book, Those Others, by reading the preface and first chapter here and then commenting and rating at that site. The book is being formatted and should be available for purchase by springtime.

Read my Facebook note, “At Peace.” I think you can read it even if you are not a facebook member.

Enough of me? I will be back to commentary on Bingo, Lulu, Teabaggers, and such soon.

In the meantime, read this article about another ex-gay exposure, by journalist Patrick Strudwick who entered an ex-gay program undercover and then spilled the beans.

Apparently they try to find anything to blame the natural orientation of gays on.

From the article:

Lynne explains that people only identify as gay when they are already depressed. “There’s a confusion, there’s an anxiety, there’s a lot of pain,” she says. “Often the thought can be, ‘Oh I’m confused about my sexuality so I must be gay’.” She says that at the heart of homosexuality is a “deep isolation”, which is, she says, “where God needs to be”.

“Did you have a difficult birth?” she asks. No, I say. Why?

“It’s just something I have noticed. Often [with homosexuality] it is quite traumatic, the baby was put into intensive care and because of the separation from the mother there can be that lack of attachment.”

She moves on. “Any Freemasonry in the family?”

Another therapist he sees offers this:

“…his central thesis is that you have to replace homosexual sex with what he calls, “the Four Intimacies: intimacy with God, intimacy with oneself, intimacy with the masculine and intimacy with the feminine.” By strengthening your relationships in all these areas, and particularly by having more platonic contact with men, he says, your need for sexual contact is negated.

He later confronts both of the therapists with the truth, that he is a journalist. Read the article to see what happened.

>Western Tribune column November 11, 2009, Gay kids get a break

November 13, 2009

>Western Tribune November 11, 2009

Gay and lesbian teens in our community may finally be getting a break this fall.

Over the past few days several events took place which offer hope to gay youth and their families. Two religion based groups, Focus on the Family and Exodus International returned to Birmingham with their harmful Love Won Out conference, which attempts to coerce parents into forcing their gay and lesbian children into programs whereby which they must conform to their heterosexual parents’ expectations.

Advocacy groups came together to protest and brought in nationally renowned speaker Wayne Besen, founder of Truth Wins Out. In addition, a peaceful demonstration was staged prior to and during the conference, with creative signs indicating both the fallacy of the programs and the truth that God loves us all, including Adam and Steve who were there with signs indicating such.
Every medical, psychological, counseling and scientific organization has agreed that sexual orientation is inherent and cannot be changed. Further research shows that efforts to do so are harmful and may put a teen at higher risk for depression and can lead to increased chances of homelessness, drug dependency and even suicide.

Studies show that up to forty percent of homeless teens are gay. Some are forced out of their home when their parents learn they are gay. Others leave because they sense rejection, knowing that who they are is not acceptable to those they expect love from.

Much publicity was created because of the conference and protest, and hopefully kids and parents were enlightened and realized there is an alternative called loving your child just as he or she is. Our hearts broke as we saw obviously upset children being driven to the conference, certainly against their will.

(Go here to read about what happened inside the ex-gay conference.)

The other occurrence of note was the recent enactment of the Harassment Prevention Act which will require local school boards to develop anti-bullying policies. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15 to 20 year olds, and legislators took this into consideration in passing this statute.

The Birmingham Board of Education has already passed an inclusive policy that covers sexual orientation and gender identity as well as race and other characteristics often cited when teasing and hazing others.

The gay and lesbian students at Davis Middle School and Jess Lanier High School (and yes, they are there), would benefit from an inclusive policy.

Some important developments, as every child deserves acceptance at home and protection at school.

>Vote tomorrow, and fall bloomers

November 9, 2009

>The protest against Love Won Out was a huge success. Read here what went on inside, and outside the conference. There is hope for the children who were forced to attend.

Be sure to vote tomorrow, for Claire Mitchell for district 56 representative. She’s a champion for education as well as entrepreneurship.

Hurricane Ida is approaching and may affect our weather tomorrow. I took some pictures this morning since these shrubs may not look so good in a day or two.

This rose is still producing blooms, and leaving a pleasant scent on the back porch.

This rose blooms all summer long, with flowers that change color.

This is a fall blooming camellia.

This camellia is usually at it’s peak around Christmas

>Last night’s victories

November 4, 2009

>One might expect me to be down this morning, with equality voted down in Maine yesterday. But I’m not. One thing you learn when fighting for equality, is to look ahead, not behind.

There were certainly victories yesterday that progressives and democrats and GLBT can celebrate. Chapel Hill, NC has a gay mayor. Houston, Texas has a popular lesbian in the runoff for mayor. Atlanta has a gay friendly woman, Mary Norwood, in their runoff for mayor. Washington State approved “everything but marriage” partnerships. Kalamazoo voters pass equality. Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh got whipped in NY-23. Dems hold CA-10. Dems now have 258 seats in the house, up from 257. The CA winner is more progressive than the democrat he replaces. These two will be sworn in before the House votes on Health Care Reform.

In Alabama a special election saw Democrat Elaine Beech elected to the House District 65, retaining that Democrat seat.

And not an election, but Decatur democrat Bill Dukes decided to run for re-election after all, so the Dems should have no problem retaining that seat in the house.

But back to the Maine results. Every person of color in America should just be glad that their civil rights were never put to a vote of the people after laws were passed granting those rights. It’s a little disheartening to realize that 53 percent (or 80%) of your neighbors don’t look at you as equal.

And listen, 47% of the people in Maine believe in equality! They understand the constitution. they understand equality. If I remember right, only about 20% of Alabamians believed in equality a few years ago when the voters in our state jumped on the bigotry bandwagon.

Last night I was keeping up with results with Adam Bink on Open Left. He gave periodic updates from various towns and cities and boxes in Maine. From the University of Maine Orono campus he posted 81% No, 19% Yes. 81% voted to preserve marriage equality. As Bill in Portland posted on Daily Kos, “That’s the future of gay rights in America. It’s coming. It’s on our doorstep. It’s just a matter of time.”

The fight for equality is a battle every day. And there are victories every day.

There is a battle going on right here in Birmingham. Focus on the Family (a dying breed, if you value them according to their finances) is bringing their final edition of their Road Show to Bimingham. Tomorrow night (Thursday) Wayne Besen will be at UAB Hill Center to present the truth about the ex-gay industry. The event is at 7:00, is free and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend. Kathy presents it well, here.

>Around town, in DC and Besen at UAB

November 3, 2009

>Around Town

For several days I have driven by this trash can in my neighborhood with the words “Help Keep Our City Clean” on the side. The garbage trucks have picked up garbage in this neighborhood at least twice with the corner looking this way. I’m just saying…

Downtown, at the corner of Fourth Avenue North and Twentieth Street, this burned out building has begun to come down. The bricks are being saved. Recycle, reuse, reduce waste…

In D.C.

In Washington DC, the city council is considering allowing same sex marriage, and hearings have been taking place. Yesterday the hearings got personal as a witness named Andy proposed to his partner named Andy (who accepted). Not everyone was pleased, but the council was. I wonder how the Bessemer council would react if a spectator (or council member) proposed during a session…to a member of the same sex? Of course, in this news report, opponents of same-sex marriage voice the same lies we hear everywhere.

Supporters of equality are closely watching what happens in Maine and Washington State, and Kalamazoo, Michigan today.

Wayne Besen coming to UAB

I am so pleased to share that on Thursday, November 5, Wayne Besen will be at Hill University Center at UAB to take on the ex-gay industry. Details here. This is a great opportunity for young people, gay teens, questioning youth, parents and the public in general to hear the truth about the harmful effects of attempts to change one’s sexual orientation. Make plans now…and spread the word.

This event is being sponsored by The Alliance for GLBT Equality at UAB, the Office of the Vice President for Equity and Diversity at UAB, Equality Alabama, PFLAG, Central Alabama Pride and Covenant Community Church.

>Ex-gay pushback

October 31, 2009

>This is background for what you will hear next week about so-called “ex-gay” therapies, which have been discredited by every professional organization.

  • American Psychiatric Association (“the risks…are great” and include “self destructive behavior,” and “reinforces self hatred…already experienced by the patient”)
  • American Psychological Association (“so-called conversion therapy is not supported by the science”)
  • American Medical Association (“oppose any psychiatric treatment, such as ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy”)
  • American Counseling Association (supports “appropriate interventions in order to counteract bias that is based on ignorance or unfounded beliefs about same gender sexual orientation)
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (Therapy directed specifically at changing sexual orientation is contraindicated…provokes guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation)
  • National Association of Social Workers (No data demonstrate that reparative or conversion therapies are effective, and in fact they may be harmful).

We believe that truth wins out, and here are the facts. Gay teens are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, and are at higher risk of dropping out of school, being kicked out of their homes, and turning to life on the streets for survival. They are at risk because their distress is a direct result of the hatred and prejudice that surround them, not because of their inherently gay or lesbian identity orientation.

Next week several events will take place in Birmingham regarding an ex-gay ministry. Watch this site, facebook,, and the news for more information.

Thank you Mitchell Gold, Wayne Besen.

Update in Bessemer. Aaron Killings and Denise Blue Poe are back on the job. No explanation given.

>Thou Shalt Not Love

April 27, 2009

>This is the long post of the day, at least if you watch the videos.

Here is what many Christians seem to be saying to members of the LGBT community.

A few days ago an attempt was made to put a link in a comment that would have directed readers to NARTH, which should stand for National Association of Reparative Therapists and Homophobes, but in reality stands for something else.

NARTH promotes ex-gay therapy, which has been denounced by every credible medical and psychological organization on the planet, and which should be outlawed, except for we do have freedom of speech in this country, even when your speech drives people to commit suicide.

Daniel Gonzales actually lost 2 1/2 years of his life because of NARTH and founder Joseph Nicolosi, but realized that the group was doing nothing positive for him. He founded

Here’s a link to an article in the New York Times concerning bullying and gay teen (or younger) suicide. The two kids in the article did not identify as gay, but that does not matter now. As the author wrote, “Whoever they would have been is forever lost to the grave.”

Please don’t try to post links to quackery and foolishness.

>Ted Haggard , Ex-…Whatever

January 15, 2009

> Picture credit

5 Days. Then we will not have to listen to W anymore.

Another person we shouldn’t have to listen to is Ted Haggard. You remember him, the evangelical leader disgraced evangelical leader who admitted to paying a male prostitute for sex. Then he went into gayhab or whatever, but he emerged just as tormented as he was when he entered.

Torment is something that the closet does to you. The closet can lead to destructive behaviors as one tries to find ways to satisfy his (or her) natural desires. Mark Foley and Larry Craig come to mind. But Ted Haggard is a special case.

In the article linked above we learn that Haggard confessed to beginning his gay play in the seventh grade. Even those without gaydar (or, for the technos, GPS…gay positioning system) can see that this guy is clearly gay.

“That being said, there is something even more disturbing about the implications of the Haggard episode. Here we have someone who has admitted to having gay sex repeatedly, has admitted to teenage sexual experimentation, and has admitted to ongoing confusion over sexual attraction, and most everyone still allows him to call himself straight.”

The author asks what it means that so few are questioning Haggard’s story.

“That so few people are challenging Haggard’s illogical explanation for the person that he is today is disturbing. It furthers the myth that people choose their sexual orientation.

That is just plain false. Our sexual orientation is a natural part of who we are. The only choice we may make is whether or not we lie to ourselves and those around us

Of course it could just be that people have stopped listening to Haggard.

But his story will be told on HBO January 29 when The Trials of Ted Haggard, a documentary by Alexandra Pelosi premieres.

Haggard’s story brings up the subject of “Ex-Gay.” This “therapy” has been strongly discredited by the American Psychological Association. But nothing says it better than a personal experience. Here Peterson Toscano, from Peterson Tuscano’s A Musing, an ex-gay survivor, explains what caused him to go ex-gay. (Warning/disclaimer: while the video is completely harmless and educational, the YouTube video suggestions after the clip are not suitable for work or small children. These links are not chosen by the video producer, rather by YouTube’s crazy system)

Pretending one is not gay when one really is gay does not work.