Monday, September 26, 2005

PFOXS: Parents and Friends of Ex-Straights

Ah, yes, this is great. I'm going through my email, and here's one with the Subject line "Sex-Ed Controversy." Now, you must know that a ... certain percentage ... of the email we get here at the site is not fun to read.

Like, OK, here's one we got last week, completely unedited:
You do not represent my family of 11 children or myself and wife. We will teach our children what we want about sex,you or your organization nor the schools should have any say in what and how we believe.

We do NOT believe homosexuality is "normal",the actions of catholic priests should show you that,man with man or man with boy is sodomy plain and simple.homosexuality... so don't try to change it,even if i were not a Bible believing Christian,as a farmer i can tell you none of my chickens are Homosexuals,as a exsample you have 20 hens and a rooster,add another rooster and the battle is on, the roosters will not try to have sex with each other, but will attempt to either chase off the intruder or kill him to keep him from his hens.. but thats the extent a chicken will take, not me nor should anyone else murder over sex.Now if chickens know the difference in sexes and the proper use of male and female sex organs why the heck can't you so-called intellectuals...?

There are those of us out here who have the freedom i hope to disagree with your teachings and be INtolerant,i believe being intolerant on something that VIOLATES our beliefs is a civil right also...your intolerance to us is a violation of our civil rights...

Your so-called Facts are very misguided and wrong,i personally have been assaulted by homosexuals while in the US Navy so don't try and tell me to be tolerant of these peoples acts,they are perverse.It is even against nature its self,how does homosexuality balance in nature ? it doesn't ! its out of balance,there is no male ,female and IT...

So we shall be praying the courts throw out this mess you call facts teaching,you keep your beliefs to yourselves,we have done quite well in raising our children,thank you so much...E.

I have no idea what inspires a guy like that, no doubt busy with his eleven children, to take time to write us a letter like that. But he's actually not the only one, believe it or not.

(It is funny, though, just yesterday we heard the Chair of the American Medical Association’s Advisory Committee on GLBT Matters talk about homosexuality in the animal kingdom, including farm animals. Turns out it's quite common in a lot of species, including sheep and elephants.)

(Wasn't there a gay elephant in Fantasia? I can't remember...)

Anyway, so when you get an email with a subject line like "Sex-Ed Controversy," you sort of squint and look at it with one eye at first. The one I got today was from somebody in Atlanta, I think I'll leave out her name, just so that farmer with time on his hands doesn't write her, too. She says:
Hi, I see that you are the sane and responsible people in the Montgomery County sex ed debate going on right now. Earlier in the year, I was inspired by the controversy to create a parody website called Parents & Friends of Ex-Straights, which encourages heterosexuals to choose change.

As this heats up again, I wanted to send a link and perhaps help make some people smile in a tense time:

Good luck to you, and thank you for your hard work.

S***** B******
Atlanta, GA

Ah, click on the link, this is beautiful. PFOXS -- Parents & Friends of Ex-Straights: "Hope for the Hopeless Hetero." Topics for discussion include:
  • Is heterosexuality a choice?
  • What legislation discriminates against former heterosexuals?
  • Why must questioning youth have access to sexual reorientation information? (I love the answer to this one, it sounds so familiar: Teenagers experiencing opposite sex attractions do not automatically mean that they are heterosexual. Many teens go through temporary episodes of idealization of opposite sex peers and should not be urged to prematurely label themselves as straight. PFOXS refers to this as the "straight jacket", where a single opposite sex romance is used by family and friends to unfairly define a teenager's sexual orientation. This is coercive, restraining, and unfair.)
  • Do gay activists oppose efforts to protect the equal rights of former heterosexuals?
  • Why would anyone want to go from being straight to being gay? Doesn't that open you to abuse and discrimination? (The answer: In a word, yes.)

OK, let me get serious for a moment. Just a moment, that's all. I'm a kind of boring old straight white guy myself, and I'll tell ya, I have learned a whole lot since getting involved with this sex-ed stuff. I'd have to say the real eye-opener for me has been learning about the self-righteous intensity of those who oppose homosexuality.

When I went to that first Recall Group meeting, and heard the way they talk! I can't describe it. I have been as uncomfortable as the next guy, sometimes you don't know what you're supposed to say, or you don't know what to think about gay people, but it had never occurred to me to just hate them all. Oh, they say they "love the sinner, hate the sin," but that's hypocritical wordplay. They will claim they love the sinner, but they hate everything about him. I say, when you believe a person is evil to the core, and trying to take over the world, trying to destroy the institutions of marriage and the family -- it is reasonable to say you hate that person. Don't try to tell me it's homosexuality you hate -- there is no homosexuality in the abstract, only homosexual people. Play with the words if you like, but their attitude toward homosexuals amounts to black-hearted hatred.

This PFOXS web site, of course, is making fun of PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays), one of the two anti-MCPS groups that sued to terminate the sex education curriculum. PFOX is a clever creation of the Christian right, a spin-off of the Dobson empire. What's so brilliant is that they can state their anti-gay message in such a positive way -- "Change is possible" -- yet it is so profoundly insulting. It is infuriatingly hard to argue against, because they put the insult between the lines, they don't say it out loud. So you end up arguing that change is not possible, which is correct but it's the wrong argument. The argument should be, "Who said gay people should change?" Why not just accept them as they are?

The Parents and Friends of Ex-Straights web site turns the tables beautifully. (But I doubt that I'm going to buy the "I'm with the queers" t-shirt.)


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