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Monday, August 01, 2005

 

CNN interview July 31, 2005

Transcript of the CNN interview.

Comments:
Solmonese's contention that people are born gay was pretty unscientific, but as a soundbite, might sound quite reasonable to the greater public.

No serious scientist, straight or gay, would make such a strong assertion as Solmonese has. Anyone who looks at the literature can confirm what I just said.

He stated that he knows people are born gay because of his own experience as a gay man--that it "feels" that way to him. He obviously isn't much of a thinker, or a scientist. More of a sophist, in my opinion. I think Santa exists because I "feel" that way.

There are many things in life that, upon close inspection, would appear to "feel" innate, as if they have always existed within us ready-made.

For instance, the sum of my personality feels pretty innate--I certainly don't recall making a definitive choice to be the person I am today! Yet, I definitely was not born the way that I am today...under different circumstances (parents, friends, environments), I may have been a totally different person, with a different personality.

Besides, Solmonese fails to acknowledge the fact that lesbians often feel that much more choice is involved in their sexual orientation; this can be confirmed in a recent survey done by the Advocate, as well as in studies done by Lisa Diamond which demonstrate the fluidity of female sexuality.

Furthermore, Solmonese makes the following feel good, maudlin statement: "And so, you know, if you are gay or lesbian, that is what you are. And I think the most important thing to do is to live your life as happily and prosperously as you can. And be true to yourself."

Aside from the strong essentialist overtones and circular logic, there is also an echo of the 1960's Human Potential movement (Carl Rogers and Abe Maslow), this whole idea of the "true self", of being "true to yourself." Sounds good to a casual observer, But to somebody with philosophy/psychology double major, I hear politically-motivated BS. Those who do not want to act on their same sex attractions are accused of being in Untruth, of not living by their true selves. How convenient...

Lastly: "Well, the fact of the matter is, there has really been no extensive research done on the success or failure of these programs, and for the most part, as I said before, you know, you are who you are, and although there can be all sorts of behavioral modification efforts, but the fact of the matter is that there are millions of openly happy gay and lesbian people living all across this country, and that to me is what is most important."

Does it really make sense to oppose something when we have no clue about how harmful/or helpful it is? I think he's jumping the gun. To be so forcibly opposed to something that one does not understand smells of unfettered, ready-made bias.

Okay that's it. The world is full of stupid people, but I'm sure you knew that already, Warren...=)

-Nathan
 
Nathan - You are making points that had we had an hour, I would like to have made. I fear that many people watching are also Rogerians. In my counseling classes, I show Carl Rogers counseling Gloria in the first psychotherapy film series (it is a hoot). He demonstrates his client-centered approach and the feelings-centered worldview you describe is so clear. Alas, that is how many people function.
 
Hi Warren,

It would have been enlightening to the public if you were given that extra hour to make the points that I did.

Instead, I felt that you were somewhat short changed. Lin should have asked you if you thought people were born gay. I know you would've given a fairly reasonable, scientific answer that contradicts Ex-Gay Watch's perception of you as a crazy right wing "Fundie."

-Nathan
 
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