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Monday, August 01, 2005

 

Mr. Starks new blog

Zach Stark has spoken out on a new blog (he took the old one down). He generally has good things to say about Love in Action and he now wants to be left alone. I am impressed with the generally mature responses he is giving to those posting on his blog.

No comment as yet from the Queer Action Coalition, the folks who broadcast Zach's original blog to the world.

Comments:
I think Zach is wise to realize that he is a human being first, and a homosexual second, rather than the other way around.

It is unhealthy to define one's personhood by their sexuality, whether gay or ex-gay, in my opinion. It is so tempting in our culture, to want to narrowly define onself, thus closing the door on all other possibilities.

I think he may have felt dehumanized that numerous political groups were seeking to capitalize on his situation, under the pretense of danger and destruction.

By the way, does LIA seek to re-orient people, or just to teach them behavioral control skills?

Nathan
 
LIA, I think from their public statements that they focus more on behavioral control than change in SSA. It is a ministry at heart and they are really saying, whatever temptation you have at a feeling level, you can behaviorally overcome this via spiritual resources.
 
Coming from the other side, a lot of what happened bothered me. When I first heard Zach's story, I had a very real, very deep emotional reaction. Lots of people did. Unfortunately, people on both sides tried to use it for their own gain. The folks at QAC meant well, but you should have seen how they demanded they run the show. It really put people off.

This whole thing could have been handled better. But no organization with experience was willing to step in. There were also no independent advocates for Zach, everyone had an agenda.

Part of this has been inspiring (the grassroots youth movement), part has been upsetting (the exploitation of a fragile situation). But hopefully people have been educated and a new dialog can be started.
 
I dont mean to make fun of someone's "sincere" work, but QAC has gone all professional, complete with paypal button. They still havent said anything about Zach coming out of the program okay...and not on their side. Actually, he sounds like he has created his own side. Which is good.
But QAC is giving him the cold silent treatment. They were hoping for another ending to this story.
 
DL, your statement isn't even remotely true.

QAC posted a long statement the day before. People don't need to take your (or my) word for it.

http://fightinghomophobia.blogspot.com/
 
RE: throckmorton

LIA, I think from their public statements that they focus more on behavioral control than change in SSA. It is a ministry at heart and they are really saying, whatever temptation you have at a feeling level, you can behaviorally overcome this via spiritual resources.

What I think would be a better resource is to teach self control and relationship values; so many parents simply throw their kid to the wind because they simply give up, "oh, he's gay, what can I do?"

Well, first of all, be the same interfering and caring parent you've always been - vet the boyfriend or girlfriend they plan to go out with; don't like the individual, tell him leave.

Believe me, kids may go, "oh, thats soo uncool mum/dad" but deep down inside they know that you are a parent are merely looking out for their welfare - as a good parent should.


DL Foster said...

I dont mean to make fun of someone's "sincere" work, but QAC has gone all professional, complete with paypal button. They still havent said anything about Zach coming out of the program okay...and not on their side. Actually, he sounds like he has created his own side. Which is good.
But QAC is giving him the cold silent treatment. They were hoping for another ending to this story.


I think that ALL sides are guilty in this little saga; LIA jumping on the bandwagon, QAC thinking they can get some political points scored off using Zach as a poster boy for their lobby group, and the father - good lord, what a pathetic sight he is; why the heck didn't he sit down, man to man with his son and TALK!

I swear there are parents out there who become parents but are unwilling to take on the MASSIVE responsibility that comes with being a parent.

Oh, and as a side issue - where is his mother? interesting how the father was keeping the mother all locked up and having no say it in the media circus that surrounded her son.

Every one who took part should hang their heads in shame.
 
kaiwai - I agree on the vetting process. I think this is role of a parent.

Regarding the "use" of Zach, I do not think LIA has the same culpability as QAC. LIA only responded to what was brought to their doorstep nearly every day. LIA did not go out and look for reporters to carry the story, QAC did. I watched the cycle: Gay press first, then a few regional papers, then it hit more mainstream. Activists were campaigning with the gay press to cover the issue.
 
RE: Throckmorton

Regarding the "use" of Zach, I do not think LIA has the same culpability as QAC. LIA only responded to what was brought to their doorstep nearly every day. LIA did not go out and look for reporters to carry the story, QAC did. I watched the cycle: Gay press first, then a few regional papers, then it hit more mainstream. Activists were campaigning with the gay press to cover the issue.

True; I am sure there were some genuinely concerned gay, lesbian and transgendered people out there, like myself, whose heart went out for the young lad - but the same time, it is counter productive to make a song and dance about the issue, because all it has simply done is raise the profile of LIA to a higher level than it once was.

LIA was once seen as a group of bible bashing weirdos with alternative views, and thanks to QACs song and dance, they've now raised the profile of the group - it might actually make things worse for gay, lesbian and transgendered individuals who are already suffering within an overly conservative Christian household.

If there were to be a focus of any rage, it should be squarely at the feet of the father and mother, not LIA. LIA offer a service, just like McDonalds offers burgers or Cadbury sells chocolate - there is no one forcing people to use those services; the individual who put Zach into the programme, wasn't LIA, it was his father and mother.

With that being said, however, LIA should have been more forthright in refusing to 'treat' Zach rather than seeing the possible $4000 they could have made off the parents - what that family needed as family counselling, it screams volumes to me when a family needs to resort to 'therapy' because neither parent can do their job, and sit down with the son or daughter and talk about these issues - the young lad is 16, he is no longer a child, treat him with the respect he deserves.
 
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