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ruggerson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 10:46 AM
Original message
"Ex-Gays" Promote The Straight Life

More rightwing magical thinking, devoid of reality or logical thought.

The entire anti-gay movement of the religious rightwingers is based on irrational, emotional fervor, curiously enough something conservatives try to claim does not enter into their political decision making.



http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlou...

Ex-gays promote the straight life
By Kim Bell
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
02/26/2006

MANCHESTER A traveling conference advocating the heterosexual lifestyle came to the suburbs of west St. Louis County on Saturday.

As gay-rights groups staged a peaceful protest outside the First Evangelical Free Church, conventioneers spent the day inside, mostly listening to speakers who say they were previously gay. Parents of gay and lesbian children got advice and could speak to counselors about what to do, short of accepting their child's behavior.

"We suggest you decline an invitation to a civil commitment ceremony," Melissa Fryrear told a group of parents. Some busily took notes; a few others wiped away tears. "So many Christians are yielding on this part," she said.

The Love Won Out event was sponsored by Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian group that Fryrear works for in Colorado, and Exodus International, an umbrella group of ministries by formerly gay people. The conference is in its eighth year, but this is its first time in St. Louis.


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gizmo1979 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. Praise the lord they're
cured!What kind of snake oil are these bastards trying to sell?
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ShockediSay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
24. Wanna bet somebody greased their palms
sounds like a big circle jerk to me

calculated to bring in the sound bite mentality
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Tight_rope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #1
65. LMBAO! "SNAKE OIL"...ROTFL!
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zonmoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 03:54 AM
Response to Reply #1
89. only if cured means brainwashed
into being self hating bigots.
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Onlooker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
2. Where are the ex-fundies?
I wish ex-fundies would organize like the so-called ex-gays do. The cure for those pathetic people who reject themselves or their kids is to recognize how their religion has corrupted and perverted them. An ex-fundie movement would be very helpful in this regard.
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Piscis Austrinus Donating Member (119 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Former fundie here
....and I don't buy the "conversion" from gay to hetero one bit.

I think a lot of these folks have been through what I call a "gunpoint conversion." These are people who have dealt with rejection their entire lives simply for being what they are. Naturally, no matter how mentally and spiritually tough they may be, a certain amount of the minute-by-minute social bombardment of "this is how you are supposed to be" - which we all in some way endure, but not to anything like the same degree as these - has left craters in the mind and soul, and sometimes scars on the body as well.

Fear pools in the low places of the heart. I believe that fear of irrevocable and eternal consequences is the driving force of these psychosexual "conversions," because fear is a favorite and oft-used tool of forcing spiritual conversion as well. Anyone who's ever been to one of those October "Tribulation Trail" holy horror-houses sponsored by some of the more sheets-to-the-wind sects loose in America today know exactly what I mean by this.

However, fear alone is in the end a tool of evil, and like all evil, it does not endure without constant reinforcement. Once the half-life of fear has been allowed to run its course, both for the newly converted and the newly heterosexual, the issue comes into question again.

This is why most fundamentalist churches are so insular, and to an extent, so secretive: their brand of spirituality is based heavily upon fear, not only of the rejection of an unfailingly vengeful and angry god, but also upon the fear of rejection by one's own circle of acquaintances. This fear engenders conformity among its members. Also, since fear requires darkness to work, the flock must also be kept largely in the dark. Television is evil. Education (unless drawn from Scripture) is evil. And nothing is more evil than those who are or who associate with carnal or sexual sinners, whether they be homosexuals, drug addicts, alcoholics or otherwise.

You can see, therefore, how a group of otherwise well-meaning people can be taught to hate like maniacs: put a bunch of people together, limit and filter the information they receive, and set up an atmosphere of constant pressure to conform. They'll hate without even knowing they're doing it.

I think this is what Jesus meant when he looked on the crowd at his crucifixion and asked God that they be forgiven, because they didn't know what they were doing. The Sanhedrin had, by using the Law to generate constant social pressure and a largely insular spiritual society, created the same effect in Jerusalem as we see in some fundamentalist movements today. This is also, I think, why many non-fundamentalists I have talked with believe that the radical Christians in this country today would crucify Jesus themselves, were he to walk among us now as he did in the Middle East 2000 years ago. Given how some folks reacted when I challenged some of the basic assumptions of the church we were in, I can see exactly how this might happen.

Trust me, it is hard to walk away from this type of semi-cult, once you are in and more-or-less accepted. To give it over is to give up everything you've professed (and been trained) to want, and to count the loss as acceptable. You have not only to reject the people you've taken to heart almost as family, but also, you have to return to a world that may not be too thrilled with how you've behaved, and admit you now believe you were wrong. Neither side can be expected to be particularly merciful.

I don't know a tenth of the rejection the people who have "converted" and then reverted have known, but I know enough to sympathize, and to respect what they have done for the sake of being true to what I believe they were created to be. So - I have to say this - may God bless 'em.

Peace
PsA


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Geo55 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
20. Welcome "home" prodigal son n/t
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reprobate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
21. "unfailingly vengeful and angry god"-and therein lies the problem
Edited on Sun Feb-26-06 03:21 PM by reprobate

In my view, the three western monotheistic religions are based on the patriarchal family model, and at the times of the foundations of these cults, the father was the ONLY decider of reward and punishment. And since the 'father' (and I use the term symbolically) of a religion or group or family is the only leader of the group, he will brook no discussion or argument about his decision making. Therefor punishment is swift and certain to be an example for others who would dare disagree.

Also in my view, this is a basically unhealthy model for either a family, group or religion. I have said before on these forums that it is almost a given that children who are abused - emotionally, physically, or sexually - come from families based on the patriarchal model. The father is the 'god' of these families and can do no wrong, so his actions are taken as right and good. This is how abuse is passed from generation to generation, and predominantly thru the males of the family.

It would be fascinating to do a comparison of abuse in monotheistic vs. pantheistic families. That is, christian, muslim, and jewish as opposed to Buddhist and hindu. I'd bet some serious coin that you'd find far less acceptance and occurrence in the pantheist family. And here I define 'pantheistic' as those religions which have multiple gods which usually represent the many and various facets of the human psyche.

This can also be seen in semi-religious and pseudo-religious organizations. Example: Way 'back in the day' when I was in my twenties, I was involved for a short time with a quasi psychic-spiritual group. The highlight of the year's agenda was a live-in camp/teach-in, for which my fiance (at the time, now wife for the last thirty plus years) and I paid some serious money for that time. We were in day two of ten when the 'leader' of the organization visited the DC office - the camp was nearby in VA. Suddenly almost the entire staff of the camp and teachers decided to take the next three days to bask in the rays of the glorious leader, leaving us with nothing but scenic countryside to learn from. So, even tho a major tenet of the organization was "Don't put anyone on a pedestal, and don't let anyone put you on one", we saw the demands a charismatic leader makes and the followers willingly accede to. The disillusionment was almost painful that the more advanced in the group could ignore the neophytes and the money we had paid, which btw, allowed the leader to travel as he did, and leave us with out thumbs in quite uncomfortable places. Needles to say we demanded or tuition back and that was our last contact with any group formed on the patriarchal model.

And I think something of the same sort of experience is behind most of those who de convert, no matter what the religion, cult, or organization.
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Wind Dancer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #21
32. George Lakoff has done quite a bit of research.
He has focused on the strict father family model in the political arena and the differences between liberals and conservatives. It's well worth reading.


The Strict Father Family

The father's job is to protect and support the family. Children are to respect and obey him. The father's moral duty is to teach his children right from wrong, with punishment that is typically physical and can be painful when they do wrong. It is assumed that parental discipline in childhood is required to develop the internal discipline that adults will need in order to be moral and to succeed. Morality and success are linked through discipline. This focus on discipline is seen as a form of love"tough love."

Strict Morality

In Strict Morality, the Strict Father is the Moral Authority, determining right from wrong, and protecting the family from a world that is chaotic and threatening. Evil is a major force in the world that must be fought using Moral Strength, which has the highest moral priority. Evil is both external and internal. Internal evil is fought with self-discipline and self-denial to achieve "self-control." "Weakness," and the tolerance of it, is immoral since it implies being unable to stand up to evil. Punishment is required to balance the moral books: If you do wrong, you must suffer a negative consequence.

Conservative Politics

The Role of Government: When translated into politics, the government metaphorically becomes the Strict Father. The citizens are children of two kinds: the mature, successfully disciplined, and self-reliant ones (read: wealthy businesses and individuals), whom the government should not meddle with; and the whining, undisciplined, dependent ones who must never be coddled. Just as in the family, the government must be an instrument of Moral Authority, upholding and extending policies that express Moral Strength.

The role of government is to:

* Protect the country and its interests in a dangerous world by maximizing military and political strength;
* Promote unimpeded competitive economic activity so that both the disciplined moral people and the undisciplined immoral ones are able to receive what they each deserve, based on their own choices;
* Maintain order and discipline, through severe enforcement of the rules if necessary.

http://www.rockridgeinstitute.org/projects/strategic/na...
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #21
34. Judiasm is Matriarchal and started with Goddess worship
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reprobate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 12:37 AM
Response to Reply #34
56. Let's not confuse the culture with the religon.


I've always seen judaism as two separate entities: the culture, which is in the main eastern european; and the religon.

The family structure is in the main matriarchal, but the religon is patriarchal. Until modern times it was exclusively male dominated. In fact, the first Bat Mitzvah was not performed until March 18. 1922 in New York City.

I believe the earliest worship of Yahweh was in Ur where he was a member of the court of Ba'al. A small group took him with them as their tribal god when they moved away, but they forgot to bring his consort ( I believe her name was Astarte, but she did have many other names throughout the ancient middle east. I always figured that this was why Yahwah always seemed so pissed off. I would be too, if I was dragged away from home and wife. This is the group that eventually wound up in the states of Isreal and Judea. And this is the angry god that was co-opted by the other western religons.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
36. You can't turn from straight to gay, that's ridiculous
Just like you can't do the reverse. You're gay, straight, bi, closeted, confused, or scared. That's it. Behavior can certainly be changed, but that doesn't stop anyone from being gay, wanting to have a relationship with the same sex, etc. You get all that "down low" crap.
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doni_georgia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #36
47. I agree
That was the point of the remark about "being who they were made to be."

Peace
PsA
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #47
50. Oh, I know, sorry
I meant about the whole thing is so damned stupid.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #36
78. That will never be proven.
I suspect that orientation is malleable, that it is even remotely possible to go from straight to gay (or vice versa). The difficulty of gathering any real data on what people really want guarantees that the negative can't be proven. Conversions will remain anecdotal for the foreseeable future, and insistence that conversion is impossible will remain similarly baseless.

It is certainly easier to believe, though, in denial.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #78
84. If you are bisexual, of course your sexuality is malleable
If you aren't, it isn't.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 06:15 AM
Response to Reply #84
91. It STILL isn't malleable -- it's fluid
Although I understand we're of the same opinion here!
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #91
95. These are, unfortunately, just opinions.
I'm not going to try to tell someone that s/he can't possibly change orientation, ever, because I just don't know. With respect, neither do you, whatever anecdotal evidence there is.
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baby_mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #95
103. As a faggot, I must say that the likelihood of 'conversion' seems, to me..


... to be RATHER. SMALL.

But that's just my experience. Who knos? Perhaps I'm kidding myself and one day my dick will magically and suddenly start standing proudly to attention at the thought of girls and not men, despite 20+ years of previous habit.

sorry, but these things seem rather straightforward to me. I knows what I am and, uh, that's how it is, dude. There ain't nuthin mysterious 'bout being a fag.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 06:14 AM
Response to Reply #78
90. Of course it isn't malleable
Some people have fluid orientations, but you can NOT manipulate your orientation. Behavior? Of course. Ridiculous.

It has nothing to do with certain things being "easier" to believe. It has to do with refusing to accept and affirm anti-gay talking points.

Straight people don't turn gay, gay people don't turn straight.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 07:17 AM
Response to Reply #36
96. I suppose I went from "straight" to gay
For 45 years I thought I was heterosexual. I was married and had children. Then I met a woman and fell in love for the first time in my life - really fell in love. I realized I was a lesbian and have been all my life. I'd ignored numerous clues and signs. That was over a year ago and I've never been happier in my life. I now live openly as a lesbian.

I believe that our heterosexist society imposes the heterosexual model on everyone. Some of us are brainwashed for longer periods of time than others.

Since the bias in our society is so strongly anti-gay, I find it highly unlikely that a person would "think" they were gay if they were not. The opposite is much more likely. I'm evidence.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #96
97. As is one of my coworkers -- the same story as you
She's 54 now, came out to herself FINALLY last year. Married, kids, etc. Of course, as soon as I met her, I was like "Gay!"
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #9
43. Thanks for your story.
DUers might want to google, "Fish Can't Fly." This PFLAGer bought a copy; I use it to help the parents of GLBTQ children. Peterson Toscano is in it (google his site, too - it's great!).

The film is about those who tried to change their sexual orientation via this type of unconscionable program - only to finally, luckily, accept themselves for the perfect people that they were.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 02:18 AM
Response to Reply #9
58. Welcome to DU!
:toast:
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
15. Former fundie here, too.
And an ex-ex-gay.

My story is pretty short. I was involved in a group in Lincoln, NE for five years. Toward the end, we had a meeting and someone asked, "So, do you know anyone who used to be gay and now is straight? I mean, not still-gay-but-married-with-two-kids, but really straight?" We all looked at each other and shook our heads.

The group folded soon after.

And I regained my own mind and left fundamentalism.

It was a really great question.
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leQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #15
28. 'used' to be gay. gah.
that's like saying i used to be black.
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
3. Converted gays who suffer
from having to suppress their "unnatural" urges year after year, until they finally break down and realize that they've been lying to themselves all this time.

Sad, really. No, not sad. Pathetic.
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
4. I wonder how many gay folks who
are out, happy with their life, would want to change? If there were a magic pills or brain surgery or something that could guarantee total change in sexuality, how many would opt for it?

I don't think I know anyone who would, but I only have five or six gay friends left.
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C_eh_N_eh_D_eh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
48. Ass bad...
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Jersey Ginny Donating Member (549 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
53. It is much easier to be straight
I understand the pull to "change," although if changing meant losing the love for my family (partner and kids) I would never do that. I do have a bunch of straight guy friends and we go places together. People naturally assume that we are a couple, especially when all of our kids are together-a mormon couple :o) and the at-ease smiles we encounter are different from when I am with my partner and people are trying to figure us out. I don't know why anyone would marry a ex-gay person (I have a friend who did and guess what-he divorced her after their first kid and is with a guy again). I wouldn't ever marry a guy b/c it would not be fair to that person. It would be like marrying my brother and that would be "yucky" and immoral in my view. It may be prudish of me, but I don't believe in having sex with someone who I don't love. Just some thoughts.
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #53
66. I have to admit
when I see a couple I assume is gay, I am automatically interested. I don't know why. I guess because I realize they have put a lot on the line.

Not long ago my son and daughter went to the mall together. She has two babies. The two year old was walking and my son "wore" the infant for her in a front sling. Eventually her husband joined them and she went off to try on some clothes, leaving the two men with the two kids. (and my son still holding the infant) They both said they got a LOT of stares and negative comments as people assumed they were a gay couple with two kids.

On a related note...a colleague of mine (teacher) was given a letter of reprimmand and subsequently not re-hired (she was at a point in her retirement option where she had to petition to return for a sixth year of a special retirement/earning program in FL) because she sent her students to a website about an architect and GASP it had the word HOMOSEXUAL in it. It described one of the architects as being a HOMOSEXUAL.

sigh...
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Strathos Donating Member (713 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #4
99. The new X-Men movie coming out in May
deals with that subject. As I understand it, the story is that someone has found a "cure" for mutants, and some of them, who've been ostracized and ridiculed all their lives because they were the most exteme in difference, (i.e., blue skin, red eyes, etc.,) might want to change but the ones who are happy with themselves are against a "cure". I guess blue skin and red eyes could be substituted for extreme feminism in males, the reverse in females and so on. It's gonna be a great movie, but the metaphor will probably ring in our heads for a long time to come

I'm gay and am happy with who and what I am.

I just happen to believe in God and when people say it's a choice to be gay, I say yes it is, it was God's choice for me to be gay.

They stutter and stammer a lot after that. LOL
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #99
100. I love how the X-Men movies do that
Edited on Tue Feb-28-06 09:48 AM by LostinVA
Especially the second one, when the teenage mutant "comes out" to his family.
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malachibk Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
5. I know many more ex-straights than ex-gays
Who the hell would want to go back in the closet? Look, I'm gay. And, given enough willpower and self-loathing, I too could have sex solely with women again as I did for the first 17 years of my life (well, years 14-17 anyway).

I feel so bad for these assholes, worse for the bigoted parents who are grasping at this final, spirit-crushing straw and worse still for the gay children. My advice to those in the last category...MOVE and LIVE.
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
6. I wonder how many of the "ex-gay" speakers were previously
bi-sexual and have decided to quit their homosexual activities. The gay men that I have known would no more desire sex with a woman that I would. There were some who had been married to women in the past, but, for the most part, they were in denial of who they really were. Some stayed in these heterosexual relationships for a number of years for social or economic reasons and had homosexual affairs on the side. I don't know any of my gay friends who buy the notion of going straight.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #6
54. I agree, I think the "ex-gays" are really bisexuals
In fact, I think that some of the most vehement anti-gays are bisexuals who are terrified of the homosexual side of their personality. That's the only reason I can think of why they keep screaming about how sexual orientation is a choice. They are bisexual but they have chosen to suppress one side of their sexual persona and build up the other.
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
7. Haven't a number of them been caught in gay bars?
Despite claiming they were "cured"?

I wonder how many would be willing to put their hand on a Bible and swear they no longer have sexual thoughts about the same sex? See how strong their faith really is.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Yes, the founder of Exodus was caught in a gay bar trying to pick up men
A thread about that was posted in DU's LGBT forum, and the article had pictures of the Christian cocksucker caught at the bar. He claimed he entered the bar to use the restroom, a potty break that took over an hour!

These people are as phony as the religion they peddle!

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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. He wasn't the founder of Exodus. That's another story.
One of the Exodus founders and his partner left Exodus and got married - I think they're still around.

The guy you're thinking of is John Paulk, the guy from Focus on the Family. He is the chair of the board of Exodus now, I think.

http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/Paulk-Southe...
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #17
37. Married to an "ex lesbian" who is sooo butch
no matter how much makeup she wants to wear.

I find a huge chunk of misogyny in the whole "ex gay" thing, too. LOts of gender control issues.
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arewenotdemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #37
44. Wait, wait. Who's to say he's not REALLY attracted
to the butch "ex-lesbian".

I'm getting confused. Again.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. Trust me, she's butch... not manly
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mac56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
25. Well, he probably wasn't lying.
He probably DID enter the bar to use the restroom.

;)
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #8
31. not just any gay bar
but one where young street enterpreneurs went to meet middle class financiers (boy hos).
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varun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
52. 'Ex-gay' John Paulk's exciting new career
http://www.sovo.com/blog/index.cfm?type=blog&start=2/7/...

John Paulk was the king of the "ex-gay" ministries. He had appeared on "Good Morning America," "Oprah" and "60 Minutes," telling his bizarre tale of "change." He was also on the cover of Newsweek with his "ex-lesbian" wife Anne, under the headline "Gay for Life?" Later, he went to work for Focus on the Family, running their "ex-gay" Love Won Out anti-gay road show.


John Paulk and his 'ex-lesbian' wife appeared on the cover of Newsweek in 1998.
All this ended after I photographed Paulk in a homosexual saloon in Washington. Paulk and his wife moved to Portland. Ore., never to be heard from again ... until now.

It turns out Paulk has embarked upon yet another transformation. But this time, he is baking more than bullshit. America's most famous failed ex-gay is now a personal chef in Portland and a graduate of Western Culinary Institute. He has opened an oh-so-gay catering business, with an oh-so-queer name Mezzaluna.

You go, girl!

...
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boobooday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. I was reading a post the other day
A testimonial from someone who went through the "Exodus" program and then figured out it was BS.

He said these events were great places to hook up, and that some of the leaders used them as a way to meet fresh partners.

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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #16
38. There was a "Will and Grace" episode like that
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IrishBloodEngHeart Donating Member (815 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
10. i think people chose sexuality for numerous reasons.
Some go with their natural orientations (gay straight or bi)

others are culturally influenced to be something else.

Sexuality is only a part of our lives. If people with gay orientations decide they would be happier living a straight lifestyle, I don't care. Its their choice.

We should let people have the freedom to live how they want, Some people prefer the surety of religous certitude and the comfort of cultural confrominty to sexual freedom.

They are going to spout their ignorance about how bad homosexuality is, but I don't begrudge their own choice. They need to do what it is they think will make them happy.
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ruggerson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #10
22. But that's not what they do
they agitate politically AGAINST gays and lesbians and equal treatment under the law.

The entire concept is a sham: they announce they are "ex-gay", which is a fiction wholly made up by religious rightwing extremists, and then they adopt the rhetoric and the political agenda of the political fundamentalists.

They are a very few people, but the media gives them a lot of attention because the strings are pulled by the big organizations on the right.

Thus, they are hardly innocuous.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #10
39. That is so what the "ex gay ministries" aren't about
Would you be happy being gay right now?For any reason: family pressure, societal pressure, religion, etc? Even if you loved your spouse? Of course you wouldn't be. You would literally be living a lie. People who "choose" to "be" straight don't choose. They are pressure and browbeat into it. That's a huge reason while straight women have this horrific HIV rate right now... their choosing to eb straight husbands are infecting them.
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karlrschneider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
11. For every "ex-gay" (which I don't believe exist) there are hundreds who
"come out" after living much of their lives pretending to be heterosexual. Many if not most married and had children...I -personally- know at least 4 including my own brother-in-law in that situation. I just wish these idiots (the FoF gang) would just keep their fuckin' noses out of other peoples' lives. :grr:
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. It's a natural progression,
After all they were sniffing Clinton's underwear for years before this.
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mac56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #11
27. As the bumpersticker says:
Edited on Sun Feb-26-06 04:12 PM by mac56
"Focus on your OWN damn family!"

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doni_georgia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #27
49. ROFL!
Where can I get one????

Peace
PsA
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #11
40. I have a 54-year-old colleague like that
She just came out to herself and family last year. Two kids. Married since she was 18. Devout Catholic. For almost all of her life she tried to repress this, was violently unhappy, but thought -- was taught -- she could choose her orientation. Wanna be straight? Act straight. She's so happy now.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
12. "Love won out" - My ass.
"change so I can accept you" ain't love.

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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. When I hear Christians speak of "love," I think of Bush
when he speaks of "freedom and democracy."
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Placebo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
18. "Ex-Gay" is a bigger myth than Global Warming!
:o
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
19. for every ex-gay there's 10,000 ex-bushies.
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pro_blue_guy Donating Member (286 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
23. Hmmmm
Hopefully these "ex-gay" people find peace in their lives.

I was always taught (through Catholic school and through my parents) that every single person was created in God's image; God has a purpose for everyone and everything; and God loves everyone.

I'm not very religious, but I do find comfort in these teachings.
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megatherium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #23
42. I used to worship in a local chapter of Dignity (gay Catholics) before
it folded. The hierarchy is far too hung up on their power structure to understand the simple truth you have shared with us.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
26. I remember the great moment...
Years ago, Biblical Witness Fellowship, the "renewal" (read: fundie) group in my denomination invited the two founders of Exodus International to their annual dinner. It was taking place at General Synod, the denomination's national gathering, and there were several pro-gay resolutions to come before the delegates. Inviting these two anti-gay big names was intended as a thumb in the eye of the national church.

Here's the fun part...the two guys got up to speak, and CAME OUT! Then admitted they were, and had been for some time, partners! :wow:


I wasn't at the dinner (not my people, if ya know what I mean), but I'm told you could have heard a pin drop.

Exodus International. Still doing the important work of bringing repressed gays together for lifelong relationships!

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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
29. Now they just like cars, football and hanging out with the guys. n/t
n/t
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
30. I highly recommend the homosexual lifestyle in the suburbs
Fabulous house, fabulous dinners, fabu clothes, fabulous vacations, glitz, glitter, gala, glamour and mowing the lawn wearing a speedo - what more could you ask for?

:evilgrin:

actually it's pretty ordinary and boring, just like everyone else's. Why on earth do they think that just because THEY weren't happy being gay that everyone else can't possibly be happy being gay?

Furthermore, why do they think they need to interfere with anyone else's happiness? If there is such a thing as an ex-gay, they should at least have the decency to realize that choosing to be ex-gay is a personal choice. Maybe they weren't really gay. You know, gays can come out of the closet after years of marriage, why not assume that someone just on the other side of the cusp can't come out after years of wearing assless chaps and exfoliating.

The only difference is, when we come out of the closet you don't see us having "ex-straight" meetings. That would be really weird.
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
33. Why can't people just love their kids and accept them?
there are people who will stick by a child who commits murder but if another child is gay...they will turn them out of the house....it just boggles my mind.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. Because they believe in crappy religions that belittle anyone
that is not like them!
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megatherium Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #35
41. I was gratified today to notice in our church bulletin that they were
welcoming into the (liberal Episcopalian) parish a family transferring from the local right-wing evangelical megachurch (the church that locals refer to as "Six Flags Over Jesus"). That was the church that hosted the local showing of the Love Won Out traveling road show.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #35
75. My parents weren't religious at all.
Never went to church. They STILL gave me the boot- well, my mom did, dad was out of town- and a year later, yanked my school funding. I never did get to be a high school music teacher because of that. In the end, I walked away from music, because I just can't handle the shame of being forced out and the guilt of not being able to live up to my potential, even though it wasn't my fault.

It gouged a great gaping hole in my heart and my soul that simply will not heal, in spite of time- 12 years of time- and despite everything I've tried to do, that pain is still there, and some days... some days something small, innocuous (like a senior photo of me without the pain in the eyes) makes me just break down in tears.

That's why, when I post here, sometimes I get strident and piss people off. I didn't used to be like that- honestly! I can remember a time in my life when I felt like I had something to live for, a real reason for getting up and getting on with it every day.

I feel like the greater part of me died that night 12 years ago, and I truly, truly do not know what to do about it.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #75
82. My heart really aches for my Christian LGBT friends
In your case, your secular parents probably were angry that they weren't going to become grandparents. Mine did! The only reason I ever got married was because they pressured me to do so. Trying to be a good daughter, I went ahead and married my best friend. It was a lie and a mistake, and I lost my friend, and I pissed everyone off. My parents, the liberals!

Now I don't care what anyone thinks or feels, if they cannot deal with my sexuality, then that's too fucking bad. I am not going to loose any sleep over it and I am not going to waste my time on them.

My heart really aches for my Christian LGBT friends. Many of my LGBT friends are religious and it just mind boggling the gyrations they have to go through in a religious tradition that just hates their guts.

I think this is why I found the documentary Trembling Before G-d about the struggles of Orthodox Jews so moving and poignant.

Regards,

IG
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #82
86. the twisted part is
Edited on Tue Feb-28-06 12:43 AM by kgfnally
they did whip out the bible a couple times on me after they found out.

:wtf:
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #75
101. That really sucks -- thank the gods my parents are religious but sane
It was honestly no big deal for them. It sickens me when I hear stories like this -- people doing this to their own kids... seriously, I am really sorry about this...
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 09:00 PM
Response to Original message
46. Watch "But I'm a Cheerleader!" -- Great satirical take on this
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #46
72. Great movie!
And eerily copied David Lynch's style I thought.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 06:18 AM
Response to Reply #72
93. Agree!
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #46
73. A Great movie to watch is "Saved"
My partner begged me to watch it with her and I was surprised about how good it was. McCauley Caulkin is in the movie.

I think the movie represents what has been discussed here.






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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 06:18 AM
Response to Reply #73
92. That is SO good -- great young cast
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
51. I'd like to know
What goes on in those hotel rooms while they're on tour?
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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-26-06 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
55. I Feel Sorry For "Ex-Gays"
If these so-called "ex-gays(and I don't buy the whole "conversion" from being gay to straight)" have adopted a new life for themselves, I don't have anything but the best wishes for them. Actually, I really truly feel sorry for them as I suspect that they are doing what many transgendered persons such as myself have done, which is "purging" themselves of their true desires and feelings in a vain attempt to present themselves in a more "socially acceptable" manner as shamefully demanded by family, friends, church, etc. I also feel sorry for how "ex-gays" are shamelessly exploited by anti-gay forces and used to promote their belief that homosexuality is WRONG and that gays and lesbians can (and should) change their sexual orientation, blurring the obvious differences between behaviors and feelings, the latter of which I'm almost certain never really changes among "ex-gays". I also feel sorry for "ex-gays" because most of them do not realize how much they are really harming themselves and other gays and lesbians through their sincere, yet horribly misguided, attempts to "convert" (recruit) gays and lesbians to the the heterosexual lifestyle (isn't it rather interesting whom is ACTUALLY trying to "recruit" whom? ;-))
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HarukaTheTrophyWife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 02:00 AM
Response to Original message
57. Lately, I've felt like going to "ex-gay" camp or something
just so I can see what the fuckers do and come back with a report.

:evilgrin:
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astroBspacedog Donating Member (199 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #57
81. It's Been Done, -You Will Love this Book !!
"Republican Like Me, ---- Infiltrating Red-State, White-Ass, and Blue Suit America" by Harmon Leon.
He dines at AppleBees with white supremacists, protests abortion clinics, attends Christian wrestling, a CEO power lunch etiquette course and much more. In one of his many missions he hired an actress to pretend to be his wife then they attended an Exodus session as Carl and Isabella Gaymore, -- who were very concerned that their seven year old child might be showing the homosexual characteristics that are on the "Back to Hope" web site. It's absolutely hilarious !!
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HuffleClaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 04:07 AM
Response to Original message
59. "In one small group session Saturday...
...Chambers admitted that one of the founders of Exodus had left the group and married a gay man in a civil ceremony."

it wasn't that long ago these folks put the blame on mothers for 'making' gay children, now they claim its a 'choice' made by the child. should be really funny to watch what they do when the genetic proof is made.
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 04:23 AM
Response to Original message
60. How many cases of "accidental fellatio" were reported at the event?
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 05:42 AM
Response to Reply #60
62. Why Do All These Homosexuals Keep Sucking My Cock?
Look, I'm not a hateful person or anything--I believe we should all live and let live. But lately, I've been having a real problem with these homosexuals. You see, just about wherever I go these days, one of them approaches me and starts sucking my cock.

Take last Sunday, for instance, when I casually struck up a conversation with this guy in the health-club locker room. Nothing fruity, just a couple of fellas talking about their workout routines while enjoying a nice hot shower. The guy looked like a real man's man, too--big biceps, meaty thighs, thick neck. He didn't seem the least bit gay. At least not until he started sucking my cock, that is.

Where does this queer get the nerve to suck my cock? Did I look gay to him? Was I wearing a pink feather boa without realizing it? I don't recall the phrase, "Suck my cock" entering the conversation, and I don't have a sign around my neck that reads, "Please, You Homosexuals, Suck My Cock."

I've got nothing against homosexuals. Let them be free to do their gay thing in peace, I say. But when they start sucking my cock, then I've got a real problem. .........

http://www.robcamlive.com/humour/suckingmycock.html
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 05:53 AM
Response to Reply #62
63. Aha! That's what I was thinking of!
Somewhere in the back of my mind was that Onion article. Thank you, Bluebear, for bringing back the laughs.
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DemExpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 04:26 AM
Response to Original message
61. A report on Dutch television (lots in English)
Edited on Mon Feb-27-06 04:33 AM by DemExpat
on this American movement.

http://omroep.vara.nl/tvradiointernet_detail.jsp?mainto...

edit: the Dutch call gays "homo's"....

DemEx
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JudyM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #61
80. Looked all Dutch to me (might as well have been greek) :-)
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DemExpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #80
83. LOL, but all of the interviews, which there are many, are in English....
:hi:

DemEx
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madmark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 06:26 AM
Response to Original message
64. i think this whole anti-gay hysteria is driven by closeted gays;
what straight guys actually give a shit about this (other than to think that denial of civil rights to someone because of their homosexuality is unamerican). Every moment spent worrying about what gays are doing is a moment that you did not think about pussy or making money. Who has time to waste on this bullshit except someone that is gay. Most these fundamentalist types strike me as effeminate.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #64
68. Wow, you just described all the Repugs in my office!
All they think and talk about is pussy (but not their wives' pussy), money (and how they are gonna lie, cheat, and steal more) and 'dirty fagots.' (While they constantly refer to eachother as fudge packers and cock smokers) They are the very image of a GOP supporter.

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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #68
71. If I worked there, I would so get them in trouble for sexual
Harassment. Seriously.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #71
74. They have on several occasions
Some of them actually brag about the number of sexual harrasment lawsuits they've settled out of court. It boggles my mind.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #74
76. OMG
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #71
77. I'd end up with an assault charge.
Which I would PROUDLY wear as a badge of honor.
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madmark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 02:25 AM
Response to Reply #71
88. sex harrassment is unfair in certain ways; good looking charismatic
guys get to bang all the attractive women at work while the less than good looking get rejection and a lawsuit when they make an advance.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 06:21 AM
Response to Reply #88
94. Glad to know you understand what a real problem
sexual harassment and a hostile environment are to people -- male and female. :eyes:
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madmark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 02:23 AM
Response to Reply #68
87. my point was if you were really straight (ie. you had strong interest
in pussy, i just threw in the money because it was another interest of mine) why would you give a shit about what gays did. How could anything they do negatively impact your life and why would you waste one nanosecond of your life worried about it. The fundamentalists men that are stridently oppose homosexuals having equal civil rights and who rail against a homosexual agenda have always struck me as effeminate and I am concluding that this whole anti-gay thing is really a pathological self-hatred.
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apnu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
67. I know an 'ex-gay' and...
... he's the sorriest excuse for a human being I've ever seen. He's gone the whole fundie route, goes to these conventions all the time, and just gets worse as the years go on. He used to be kind and a all around nice guy. Now he's bitter, mean, and emotionally constipated. He seems to be in a constant state of self-loathing and regret. Not to mention, he spends a disturbing amount of time trying to belittle and criticize other friends we have on how they raise their children. (he goes off on this whole Harry Potter rant that gets really ugly) And on top of all that, he's gotten really weird.

He still lives with his ex-partner who he drags to church. And another gay man who actually owns the house they live in. He also has a daughter, which he abandoned decades ago, and was just getting back into her life when he was 'born again.' Now she's rejected him because of his attempts to convert her, and he's taken this i-don't-care track about her that makes him even more glum.

When he starts preaching its like having Eeyore deliver sermons -- only not at all cute. He's the unhappiest person I've ever seen.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
69. Come one, come all to KamaAina's Ex-Straight Ministries!
Edited on Mon Feb-27-06 12:48 PM by KamaAina
it's every bit as bogus as this "ex-gay" crap!

edit: punctuation
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
70. Why don't they have Ex-Lax ministries?
you know, for people who used to be too lenient, then got tough :spank:
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Megahurtz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
79. Yeah. Right.
Good luck on that one. :eyes:
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
85. Remember John Paulk
http://www.skeptictank.org/gen4/gen02358.htm

Focus on the Family official John Paulk, spotted this week socializing at a Washington, D.C., gay bar, faces an uncertain future as chairman of another Christian organization that tries to "convert" homosexuals.

Bob Davies, director of Exodus International North America, said Friday the board of the Seattle-based group is considering whether Paulk should keep his post. He said board members met by phone this week and decided not to take any immediate action, but likely will make a decision in the next two weeks.

"(Paulk's) actions this week deal a real blow to his credibility as a spokesperson for this whole movement," Davies said.

Paulk, 37, is probably the most recognizable face in a controversial Christian movement that portrays homosexuality as a lifestyle that can be left. Several new ministries dedicated to that belief have been founded in recent years, and Focus stages conferences on the subject, including one scheduled for November in Colorado Springs.
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mtnester Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 07:54 AM
Response to Original message
98. You KNOW, you can pretend ANYTHING
in the dark or with the appropriate brown paper bag.
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superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-28-06 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
102. Isn't it sweet when self-loathing gays team up with self-loathing
Christians.

Someone should stop these poor gays from joining these self-anahiliting groups.

It's like watching some wierd slit your wrist convention.
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