Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Homophobia: the Lie is Hatred

Anti-gay protester with his little sign...

It's late into the evening, not quite midnight, and I've just come off a long debate, after I started the discussion with my comments about an article titled, "Ex-'Gays' Seek Parity with Homosexual Promoters." The gist of the article was that PFOX, an organization that works in support of former homosexuals, wants to hand out a pamphlet from its organization – and says this year’s “Day of Silence” is just exactly the right time for students to hand out information about those who seek to leave – or have left – the “gay” lifestyle...The brochure says “there are no replicated scientific studies to support that a person can be born ‘gay.’ No ‘gay gene’ or gay center of the brain has been found. No medical test exists to determine if a person is homosexual. Sexual orientation is based on feelings and is a matter of self-affirmation and public declaration..."

My original comment was about PFOX and the ex-gay "ministries." It does not disparage those who want to change their orientation. Here it is:

It never ceases to amaze me how the ex-gay people seek to insinuate themselves into something as supportive as a day of silence or as supportive as PFLAG by horning in on lesbians and gays who are trying to help one another with self-confidence in the face of so much ostracism in society. The ex-gay movement tears down self-confidence. A lie is an act of hatred, and I can see no other word for the ex-gay movement but as a big lie, foisted upon a vulnerable group: LGBTs. The lie is that there can ever be ex-gays, which would imply that one can change one's orientation. The best one can do (or what I call the worst) is to deny one's selfhood in favor of something that society will love you for—or at best tolerate you for—and that is seeking a false sexuality by behaving like a heterosexual, because all you can do is "act" heterosexual. You will never be heterosexual.


As might be expected, I got roundly attacked after this, and the discussion among the other commenters continued, some in support of what I had said, others in support of those who disagreed with me. I finally had to bow out. I've been thinking about just what being homophobic can mean.

  • The homophobe has an overt fear of homosexuality and homosexuals.
  • The homophobe fears that he or she has homosexual "tendencies."
  • The homophobe feels that heterosexuality is natural while homosexuality is learned behavior.
  • The homophobe believes that homosexuality is a choice and that it's only behavior.
The ex-gay movement (usually composed of those heavily into religion) got its start from an outdated, discredited, harmful psychiatric practice known as "reparative therapy" and promises that gays can be "cured" or can "leave homosexuality." The other side of the promise is that prayer, right thinking, right living, and avoiding other gay people and gay gathering places will help homosexual to leave homosexuality. Over the last twenty or so years, we've had several "poster boys," men and women who claimed they were no longer homosexual and went on speaking tours for this or that ex-gay ministry. In one famous case an ex-gay and an ex-lesbian (the Paulks) married each other. Later Wayne Besen, anti-ex-gay activist caught John Paulk in a gay bar; and after that, John Paulk was removed from the leadership role in Exodus International. But perhaps the most telling is the admission by John Smid leader of Love In Action, who admits:

So often people will say someone needs to “repent” from homosexuality. It is something that actually cannot be repented of! People are, or they are not, homosexual. It is an intrinsic part of their being or personally, my being. One cannot repent of something that is unchangeable. I have gone through a tremendous amount of grief over the many years that I spoke of change, repentance, reorientation and such, when, barring some kind of miracle, none of this can occur with homosexuality. Read More of John Smid's conversion to ex-ex-gay, here on the Truth Wins Out website.

The big lie is that the leaders and founders of these ex-gay ministries and the people who support them know that homosexuality cannot be "cured." They really know that the only possible outcome for LGBT people who want to change their orientation is that they merely subdue their orientation. And that's fine with these leaders. They only want to stop homosexual behavior. Therefore, the lie is the hatred. It is inextricably mixed with their brand of religion.