Friday, April 19, 2013

Ex-Gay Q&A

pfox@pfox.org  *   www.pfox.org   

 

 

Why should schools present ex-gay information?

 

Schools that address the issue of sexual orientation must present all of the facts in a fair and balanced manner.  According to Public Schools and Sexual Orientation Consensus Guidelines, school officials are urged to include the viewpoints of all participants in order to develop policies that promote fairness for all.  Actions by educators to exclude some views merely because they disagree with them constitute viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.  Therefore, the ex-gay viewpoint in public schools is protected by the First Amendment and should be heard.  These Guidelines are endorsed by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), American Association of School Administrators, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the First Amendment Center.

 

Kevin Jennings, former Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools of the U.S. Department of Education, the National Educators Association (NEA) Ex-Gay Educators Caucus, and the American College of Pediatricians all support ex-gay equal access to schools. 

What are some of the discriminatory actions against former homosexuals?

Due to media indifference, many Americans are unaware of the widespread intolerance practiced against those who leave homosexuality. Many ex-gays are afraid to come out of the closet because of the harassment they will receive.  The tactics of gay activists are to go after anyone who comes out publicly as ex-gay, force them back into the closet, and then claim that ex-gays don't exist because there aren't any out in public.

 

While gays can come out of the "closet," ex-gays are forced to stay in theirs because they are bullied into silence by gay activists.  Americans need to face the real issue of bigotry -- oppression of ex-gays. 

 

Unlike gay groups, ex-gay groups like PFOX are routinely denied equal access to participate in public school events, donate books to public school libraries, and present speakers on diversity day. Transgenders and cross-dressers are affirmed for changing their gender identity but former homosexuals are ridiculed for making the decision to change their sexual orientation.  Ex-gay conferences and seminars across the country are frequently picketed by gay groups. 

                                  

Former Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty was forced to apologize for issuing a certificate of appreciation to an ex-gay civil rights leader after receiving complaints from the gay lobby. Yet in signing genderless marriage into law, Fenty had promised equality for all D.C. residents.  

Former homosexual men and women, as well as their friends and family, feel threatened because they are subjected to a hostile environment if they publicly claim their former homosexuality or support of the ex-gay community.  Larry Dubrowski was demoted and transferred from his position at the Federal Aviation Administration after he told his co-workers that he had ex-gay acquaintances. 

The list is endless because every day brings new hostile acts against the ex-gay community and their supporters.  This irrational phobia of those who have overcome unwanted same-sex attractions perpetuates misunderstanding and harm against the ex-gay community.  It also demonstrates a disregard for diversity and a refusal to respect a basic human right to dignity and self-determination.

Why do gays hate ex-gays so much?

 

Gay activist organizations instruct their members to reject ex-gays and homosexuals who refuse to self-identify as "gay."  This rejection is a form of heterophobia that can be overcome with education and outreach.  Gay activists cannot claim sympathy as victims when they victimize their own.  We should all be tolerant of each other regardless of our sexual orientation.  Homosexual behavior has multiple causes and individuals have experienced it differently in their lives.  If a gay person's sense of well-being is dependent on all other people with same-sex attractions having had the same experience that they did, then that person is in a dangerous place.  In fact, this is what has caused persecution of ex-gays.

The demonization of ex-gays by gays themselves is a sad end to the long struggle for tolerance by the gay community.  That ex-gays and their supporters are now oppressed by the same people who until recently were victimized themselves, demonstrates how far the gay rights movement has come.  Indeed, a new chapter in the movement has begun – the right of homosexuals and lesbians to leave unwanted homosexuality.

I’m happy being gay, so why should gays change their sexual orientation?

Change is only for those with unwanted same-sex attractions.  What makes you happy may not make someone else happy because we are all individuals.  Please respect other people’s decisions for their lives.  Ex-gays can testify to the fact that those with unwanted homosexuality deserve the right to self-determination and happiness based on their own needs, and not the demands of others.  According to the American Psychological Association, “[m]ental health organizations call on their members to respect a person’s right to self-determination.” (2008) 

 

What about gay teens and suicide that I’ve heard about?

 

Suicide and suicidal behavior are not normal responses to stress.  Research shows that the risk of suicide decreases by 20% for each year that a person delays homosexual or bisexual self-labeling.  Suicide attempts were not explained by experiences with discrimination, violence, loss of friendship, or current personal attitudes towards homosexuality. (Source: Risk Factors for Attempted Suicide in Gay and Bisexual Youth by Remafedi, Farrow, and Deisher, in Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics 87: 869-875 June 1991.) 

 

Schools should not encourage teens to self-identify as “gay.” During adolescence, sexual attractions are fluid and do not take on permanence until early adulthood. Rather than affirming teenagers as “gay” through self-labeling, educators should affirm them as people worthy of respect and encourage teens to wait until adulthood before making choices about their sexuality.  If teens are encouraged to believe that they are permanently “gay” before they have had a chance to reach adulthood, their life choices are severely restricted and can result in depression.  Once a child self-identifies as “gay,” he or she is stuck with that label because gay activists and heterophobic influences refuse to acknowledge that an individual can leave homosexuality.

 

Yet far from being fixed, adolescent sexuality is quite fluid—not only with respect to sexual conduct but with respect to underlying sexual attractions as well. The most comprehensive data set on adolescent health and sexuality is the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (“Add Health” study). Ritch Savin-Williams of Cornell University, a homosexual and leading researcher on gay youth, reported: “In the data set of the longitudinal Add Health study, of the Wave I boys who indicated that they had exclusive same-sex romantic attraction, only 11% reported exclusive same-sex attraction 1 year later; 48% reported only opposite-sex attraction, 35% reported no attraction to either sex, and 6% reported attraction to both sexes” (Ritch Savin-Williams, “Who’s Gay? Does It Matter?” Current Directions in Psychological Science Vol. 15, No. 1 (2006), p. 42). This suggests that of male students who are currently “gay” (as defined by their attractions), nearly 50% are likely to be “ex-gay” only one year from now.

 

 

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