Thursday, January 20, 2005

Bias Against Ex-Gays

Now that the "ex-gays" have established their billboard outside MCPS offices, somebody pointed me to an interesting post from a few months ago at a lesbian blog, written when the same billboard was put up down in Virginia. They make an interesting point.
Ex-gays and the people they allow to guide and advise them all say that homosexuals can become heterosexuals if we simply choose to become heterosexuals. Perhaps I shouldn't simplify the issue, but really that's the premise of their argument. We have a choice. We can choose to become heterosexuals and live a life that society views as "acceptable."

We can argue all day about choice. If homosexuals can choose to be heterosexuals, then that means homosexuals chose to be homosexuals to begin with. Yes? No? Does that mean straight men can decide at any moment to become gay men? Is it really that simple? If it is that simple, then ex-gays have minimized sexuality to nothing more than a sexual act. SistersTalk: Oh, I wish I could be an ex-gay

Great point: they have minimized sexuality to nothing more than a sexual act.

In recent years, the big debate has been about marriage -- the government wanting to choose what kind of partner you're allowed. It's not about hooking up in a public restroom, it's about establishing long-term, stable relationships. And the religious right thinks that is evil and wrong -- they've said it many, many times.

There is no doubt that a gay man can manage to perform sexually with a woman, in the physical sense. Look, the multigazillion-dollar sex-toy industry shows you that people can enjoy having sex with inanimate objects! A little friction, a little fantasy, and there you go.

And that seems to be all the PFOX types want. They don't care if Chistopher Delaney (the guy on the billboard) and his re-closeted colleagues have warm, fulfilling, loving relationships. They only care who they have sex with. If a guy is dreaming about Steve while he's with Eve it doesn't matter, as long as he's actually with Eve, physically.

They want you to think this is a great accomplishment, having sex with someone you're not really attracted to. They complain that we won't teach our kids, in the public schools, how to do this. It's unbalanced, they say. Some of us don't see the sense in teaching our kids how to have sex with a socially acceptable partner that they are not attracted to -- and so we're bigots, discriminating against those who do that. Strange how that works.

I think the SistersTalk blogger is right. They have minimized sexuality to nothing more than a sexual act.

There's nothing really wrong with that, of course, we are more or less surrounded by pornographic images that do the same thing, sexy TV shows and ads that have the same effect, sex without love is something America has accepted. What is wrong is explicitly teaching it to schoolchildren, especially in the public schools, teaching kids to deny their real feelings in selecting a love partner, and choose someone that some authority has decided is acceptable for you.

Go to the PFOX website and click on some of their testimonials. See if you can find one -- I couldn't -- that says that the person has actually learned to prefer the opposite sex. There might be one in there, but most say they're "still trying." The history of the "movement" is a sad tale of people falling off the bandwagon, switching back again to what's natural for them.

It isn't discrimination or bigotry to ignore the tiny, mostly failed "ex-gay movement." People who hold a certain weird belief need them, because if there were "used-to-be" gays it would mean you could change, it might even mean it's a choice. That's why James Dobson's Christian ministries started PFOX in the first place, so they could point to them as support for their anti-gay beliefs. But this is a very, very weak point to make. It doesn't need to be in the school's curriculum, kids don't need to hear this junk.


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