Friday, April 21, 2006

A Parent's Sad Letter to Joe.

One of my daily reads is a blog called Joe.My.God. (Warning: Joe frequently and bluntly discusses adult subject matter). In today's post, he references an email from a mother regarding Exodus International, a group I have mentioned before. Here's the letter with his permission to reprint:
Dear Joe,

I found your blog today after googling for items about Exodus, the ex-gay organization you wrote about yesterday. I am a mom in Texas and I keep an eye on whatever Exodus is doing, because you see Joe, I found some of their materials among my son's personal items after he took his life in 2002. Joe, he was only 19 years old and he was just the sweetest boy you'd ever want to know. My son had problems, yes, but his father and I (we are divorced) both feel that the Exodus people took advantage of his confusion about who he was. Even though he knew that we loved him, they helped him hate himself. Please don't stop writing about Exodus and the terrible, terrible harm they do to young people. I miss my boy so much.

Just a mother, Texas
I am in discussions now with a young person who is totally freaked out about being gay. She says her father, who she adores and idolizes, is a strict conservative Christian and she is sure that if he finds out, she will be thrown out of the house and will be cut off from the family she loves.

It's not that she's that uncomfortable about being gay. It's that she knows her father will never speak to her again. She said to me that she has, on more than one occasion, thought about suicide so that she can just never have to face that moment when he finds out.

Frequently, conservative Christians approach me and wonder why I can't take a "live and let live" approach to their attitude about homosexuality and this is it. Because they have been misled by a fundamentalist and literalist homophobic approach to the Bible, they are driven into this kind of anti-gay hatred that they don't even know is hatred. Instead, it seethes and boils beneath a "love the sinner, hate the sin" lie they tell themselves. I don't doubt their sincerity, but "they know not what they do."

I want to grab these parents and shake them and make them grow up and get into the 21st century and make them stop listening to the seuxal mores of 2000 year old civilization of desert dwellers who thought sperm held all the life and that women were nothing but "fertile soil." It's all so very, very wrong.

Kids and adults die because of this theology. And still they lie over and over about how people can "change." News item for the clueless, you cannot turn ungay. Period. It won't happen. Your kids are not going to turn ungay, and if you're gay, you are not going to turn ungay unless you're already bisexual and you want to suppress your gay side. But suppression is not change.

This is a life and death situation. Choose life.

Here's a link to the American Psychological Association Question and Answer on sexual orientation. (Thanks, Kibs).


DuWayne Brayton said...

Unfortunatly, I do not think this attitude is entirely limited to conservative Christian parents. After my uncle was diagnosed with AIDS my dad became militant that while he accepted gays - he could not handle the idea that any if his kids would be gay. This led to soem interesting digressions when I was expiramenting sexually. I rather discovered I didn't like sex with men but had I found otherwise I would have been in a very difficult situation. My dad is, by the way an atheist. . .

Steve Schalchlin said...

Your post confirms my belief that anti-gay attitudes are formed long before anyone consults with their particular religion. IOW, religious conservatives aren't gay because of their religion. They're anti-gay because they are anti-gay. They just allow their religion to give them a good excuse to continue in their homophobia.

Walk With Me 07 22 21 The Pond at Central Park

After meeting Gavin Gold the other day, it was so beautiful outdoors, I kept walking over to the east side of the park in order to find &quo...