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Sunday, February 26, 2006

 

Love Won Out St. Louis: View inside and out






[To the left is a protestor, the police (they were everywhere, and a portajohn supplied by (as I understand it) the church.]



I went to the Love Won Out in St. Louis this weekend as an observer. I will post more about the inside view later, but not tonight as I am nearing sleep. Instead I'll post more pics than comments. I will say that I would guess the estimates of 400 at the protest are pretty accurate, maybe more. It was indeed peaceful when I saw it. It was a pleasure to run into Colleen (CK) who posts here now and then. I was very glad she ran over to my car where I was taking pics of the crowd. I will have more to say about the conference itself in due time.


[To the right: Colleen is asking herself: "who is that weirdo with the camera?"]

Warning: Understatement alert! Reparative therapy was not popular among the crowd.


Comments:
Thanks for snapping the picture! I look like I'm ready for an Arctic Expedition... the event was very peaceful, and most of the faces visible in your pictures are smiling. Perhaps Alan Chambers and the others who say we are filled with hate will have some reason to change their minds.

Oh, and the church did provide the potty as well as some donuts (which we tested on the nearest available straight person before consuming...)
 
Interesting article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/AB09483033E3209A862571210001B3F3?OpenDocument

"She [Melissa Fryrear] told parents in the crowd not to blame themselves for their children’s struggles with same-sex relationships. Sometimes, she claimed, lesbianism can be traced to "an inner sense of emptiness and longing," a fractured mother-daughter relationship" and some type of sexual abuse."

Remember parents: don't blame yourselves, but it's your fault.

"Fryrear’s presentation was typical for the day: Bathed in overhead lights, she paced the stage in her cream-colored skirt and business jacket. She chronicled how she went from a 13-year-old questioning her sexuality to a college student whose whole life revolved around being gay. She said she left that lifestyle after immersing herself in church activities in Kentucky and now works for Focus on the Family as a genders issue analyst."

News flash Melissa: your whole life still revolves around being gay.
 
From the inside I would say that the presentation from Melissa had more qualifications than the reporter portrayed. She repeatedly said, her theories are not universal and that the reasons for lesbianism were varied and more complex than for men. She went out of her way to make these qualifications. Dr. Nicolosi's talk would have been the one to focus on if you were looking for more blatant blame being cast. He did not say, "you parents are at fault" directly but I cannot see how that conclusion could be avoided. He did make the "danger can be fun" joke about the infant cracking his head because the father dropped him. And amazing to me, there were lots of laughs. Teaching social psychology this semester makes me think that it must have something to do with the situation. No one I have told that "joke" to in isolation laughs; they think it is incredibly insensitive and just not funny.

I wonder if the reporter got there late and left early.
 
People, please don't eat their donuts or use their potty. Lets not forget that the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified Focus on the Family as a hate group. I'm looking forward to the day that Atlanta will host the "Love Won Out" conference. I hope our protest will be the biggest and loudest. Being a former member of Exodus, I am annoyed beyond words how they and Throckmorton mislead people. From Throckmorton's own words, he's not that much interested in how much people's sexual attractions change. I'm of Europrean descent, my skin color if matched with a color palette is close to white, and I have blond hair. I could choose to identify as a black man. I would be stupid to do so. Its also stupid for a man with exclusively same-sex attraction to identify as a heterosexual. This is what Exodus attempts to convince its members to do.
 
If those are direct quotes, then whatever "qualifications" she may have made, her bigotry still shone through:

"Ever wonder why some lesbians look mannish?" she asked. "It’s a vulnerability to be a woman. That suit of armor to keep you from being hurt."

Um... maybe some lesbians don't care as much about portraying a stereotypically feminine appearance (which is not the same thing as "looking mannish") because we're not trying to attract men? You have any idea how much work is involved in giving off "vulnerability"?
 
I wrote to the Dispatch about their unbalanced treatment of the conference--they may have mildly misrepresented Fryrear, but they didn't interview a single STL medical, psychological or religious leader for their piece. Ridiculous.

Actually, I myself didn't eat the donuts, but others did. Why not? People were hungry.

I still cannot believe anyone would laugh at that baby joke. No amount of context would make it funny.
 
Boo - I don't think it is bigotry. I think she really believes that; it fits her experience. It is the way she is making sense of her life. Moreover, she knows other women who that description would also fit. I do not think it is proper to generalize it to all lesbians or bisexuals, nor do I think it is proper to say that is it never true.

I really believe a big problem in coming to any ability to co-exist is the tendency to see others through personal experience and assume personal experience should be true or is true of all others who share some characteristic. (e.g., all gays are promiscuous or all conservatives are bigoted).

I think that overgeneralization was occuring inside and outside the church building on Saturday.
 
CK - I had one of the doughnuts inside the building. You didn't miss much.
 
"I don't think it is bigotry. I think she really believes that; it fits her experience"

Those are not mutually exclusive sentiments.

Ever wonder why some black people commit crimes? It's their animalistic jungle nature. Of course I'm not saying this is true of all black people, that would be overgeneralizing, but I don't think it's proper to say it is never true.

"I really believe a big problem in coming to any ability to co-exist is the tendency to see others through personal experience and assume personal experience should be true or is true of all others who share some characteristic. (e.g., all gays are promiscuous or all conservatives are bigoted)."

I really believe that people who make repeated bigoted pronoucements are bigoted.
 
I really believe that people who make repeated bigoted pronoucements are bigoted.

I don't think I can improve on that.
 
Boo: You have any idea how much work is involved in giving off "vulnerability"?

Actually we do -- Melissa has already told us...

...this thing called womanhood. Goodness! Who knew there was so much to learn: plucking eyebrows, hair bleaches, hair waxings, facial mud masks, eye lash curlers, manicures, pedicures, push-up bras, tummy tuckers, rear-end boosters...

That those comments may have been equally attributed to a drag queen, oh never mind...

(Rear-end boosters??? Every woman I asked has looked askance -- including all those mannish lesbians. Oh sorry, but that would all lesbians right?)

As for the Nicolsi joke: Warren, looks like an earlier conversation here (and I think I remember you saying you'd question Nicolosi?) has come to naught.

Guess none of us understand good humour when we see it. Come on, apart from a burning Lassie there's nothing funnier than a brain damaged (and straight) baby.

Warren. You poor, humourless guy. Must be a mannish lesbian trapped in a man's body... /snort.

(More seriously, if I could be, I do hope you are going to do a write-up about this particular event.)
 
You right wing gay hates and so called "ex gays" have lost the battle to destroy gay American's with your hateful drivel. Everyday gay people are coming out and telling their stories and are changing society. Every few months researchers continue to find more evidence that homosexuality is biological and not some random choice. Movies like "Brokeback Mountain" are getting people to talk about homosexuality, which is good!
 
It's funny, as Dr. T can probably attest by my skipping over to his car on Saturday, I've become more comfortable since I fully came out of the closet. I didn't mannishly stride, or hitch up my toolbelt and stroll over...I dress differently, too, though the parka ic doesn't show that.

I've become more vulnerable to my partner, my family, and others around me (even, sadly, anti-gay websites, as you noted on XGW, grantdale--so I think there is room for a little armor!) and my change in mannerisms and dress have come from comfort with myself, not an attempt to fit a preconceived sterotype. (I'm omitting the fact of the feminine lesbians that I know, too.)

And I'm excited--my rear-end booster is coming in the mail tomorrow--I've had to make do in the meantime with duct tape I guess that is ONE lesbian stereotype that I fulfill...
 
"...this thing called womanhood. Goodness! Who knew there was so much to learn: plucking eyebrows, hair bleaches, hair waxings, facial mud masks, eye lash curlers, manicures, pedicures, push-up bras, tummy tuckers, rear-end boosters..."

Um... don't they criticize gay men for supposedly doing at least some of that? I think the last is a reference to the fact that only straight women need immunizations.
 
Well, I guess Melissa has had enough immunizations; I don't recall that reference, although the other accoutrements of femininity were mentioned. Those comments were a big hit with the crowd I might add.

CK - You made pretty good time getting from crowd to the PT Cruiser. You didn't look especially mannish however. You did however look well prepared for the cool weather. I think duct tape must be working for you.

I wonder if you can get those rear end boosters from Ebay?
 
Being a former member of Exodus, I am annoyed beyond words how they and Throckmorton mislead people. From Throckmorton's own words, he's not that much interested in how much people's sexual attractions change.

You apparently weren't annoyed far enough.
 
Rob - Alert the SPLC, someone from Focus posted on my blog!

Anonymous said...
You right wing gay hates and so called "ex gays" have lost the battle to destroy gay American's with your hateful drivel. Everyday gay people are coming out and telling their stories and are changing society. Every few months researchers continue to find more evidence that homosexuality is biological and not some random choice. Movies like "Brokeback Mountain" are getting people to talk about homosexuality, which is good!

 
Quiz:

1. I do not get the cracked skull joke because:

a)I am humor challenged;
b)I do not have the humor gene;
c)I am defensively detached from my father who was a comedian;
d)Humor is against my religion
e)I never learned that danger can be fun
f)My mom used rear-end boosters
g)Construct any one of the above

2. A lengthy, serious write up may not be forthcoming because:
a) There is too much to write about
b) I am working on a more comprehensive analysis to be offered in due time
c) Dang students won't let me get anything done
d) I am way too hateful to be serious
e) Too many right wing doughnuts
 
PT Cruiser????

Warren, if you drive one of those here in Oz.... GAY!!!! As in, COMPLETELY GAY.

Anywhoo, each to their own. (Sorry, forgot where I was for a moment).

CK. Do Not. I repeat DO NOT use duct tape. The last thing we need is you swellagantly dressed, suitably matching the lack of mannish stride, but hobbling. Trust me, even that may be noticed under a "Scott of the Antarctic" outfit.

Boo: I'll admit to two. One of which not often, the other due to three freaks of eyebrow hairs that grow vertically. I doubt I'd bleaauuh-ch my hair (even if I had some.) Other one has lots of lovely black hair (with weird white ones starting to pop out), and no no no will never be permitted to colour it. 'cept over dead body.

Warren: Quiz. Is that for us to guess about you, or answer about self? Or someone else?

If second, we'd need -- "h) have worked with people in care because parent did exactly that." (No, not funny. At all.)

And -- f) could not be bothered.

And I'm sure anyone from FO(your)F is welcome to post here -- they pay for it afterall, don't they???

(that, BTW, Anon, was meant to be funny)
 
"I'm of Europrean descent, my skin color if matched with a color palette is close to white, and I have blond hair. I could choose to identify as a black man. I would be stupid to do so. Its also stupid for a man with exclusively same-sex attraction to identify as a heterosexual. This is what Exodus attempts to convince its members to do."

Indeed, and there's a lot of closeted black people out there, aren't there?

These are two entirely different situations.

There are many in Exodus who may not want a heterosexual relationship...they want merely to be celibate. They just don't want to be gay, and do not want same-sex attractions.
 
Actually Anon -- until the 60's/70's that was quite common.

Many did indeed pass themself off as white (or more specifally, hispanic). They needed to be lighter skinned, obviously, and didn't try to pass themself off as some nordic blonde.

Google "passing" and "Africam American" for a fascinating part of history.

As for being celibate -- what's stopping them if that's what they want? Is this a self-control issue, or are they fooling themself about what they really want.

As for removing all same-sex attractions -- go find an unethical therapist and they'll be happy to. With the help of electricty, a lobotamy, drugs, or even just sheer induced fear it is possible to remove all (apparent) sexual response. That's what they did for decades with gay men and women -- removed all sexual response and declared the patient "no longer a homosexual". Of course, what they never did was replace it with heterosexual responses.

Whether anyone who undergoes such treatment will be happy with the other aspects of their life following, well that's another matter.
 
Thanks for putting these pictures up on your blog. What I am going to say may be a bit of a rant. I Just feel the need to get off my chest that the more I think about this conference the more asinine it seems. I just fail to see the logic in why people would change something that isn't wrong in the name of religion. I mean change it for any other reason, because your bored with it or whatever, but not because of religion. And people who coerce their family members, their sons, their daughters etc to seek "treatment" are beyond low. The ones that force them to go, well I'll refrain from commenting on them because I want to keep this clean. ;)

Also I fail to see why psychology is being mixed with a specific religion. I think rather than doing studies on why people are gay and if they can change, we need to do more studies on why some religious people are so nuts that they can't get past someone’s sexual orientation. Maybe some studies on if religious brainwashing causes physical changes in the brain, and if some people are genetically predisposed to being susceptible to religious brainwashing.

If someone who is gay is miserable being that way, why not work to fix the cause of their misery rather than change who they are? That’s much more of a patch than a fix to the overall situation. What needs to be fixed is the reason that they are miserable. They are miserable because the world around them is filled with bigots and fundamentalists that refuse to just let them be who they are. That type of treatment is bound to wear anyone down. Then when they wear down, they are told “look you are broken because you are homosexual.

The more we can work on limiting the power of the fundamentalists and the bigots, the better off we will be. It is religion that needs to be tested with science, not the other way around. It is a tough battle we are in, but the fair minded people will win. We have to take care of each other. When we reach than point, then we can truly say ‘Love Won Out’.

Mike
 
Anonymous,

""I'm of Europrean descent, my skin color if matched with a color palette is close to white, and I have blond hair. I could choose to identify as a black man. I would be stupid to do so. Its also stupid for a man with exclusively same-sex attraction to identify as a heterosexual. This is what Exodus attempts to convince its members to do."

Indeed, and there's a lot of closeted black people out there, aren't there?

These are two entirely different situations."

These two situations are very similar. Nothing prevents a white man from identify as a black man. Others may think he's crazy. Being a black man is something we can see on the outside. Having SSA is something on the inside. So its easy to hide and easier to identify as something you are not.
 
If anyone out there has any, could they please post some links to agnostic and athiest ex-gay organizations? I'd like to see a bit of balance.

Mike
 
From a google search for "athiest ex gay" I found a whole lot of religious links and one anonymous amazon.com review of a religious ex-gay book from Feb 2003 by someone claiming to be an athiest ex-gay. This person also claimed the APA was "about to get a huge law suit by former gays."
 
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