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August 23rd, 2016

Please Walk A Mile In Our “Social Stigma”

A blogger I gained some measure of unexpected respect for, when he turned around from being a supporter of forcing teenagers into ex-gay therapy to being in opposition when confronted by the evidence of what it was actually doing to those kids, wrote a brief-ish blog post critical of this new paper (he called it a study that isn’t a study and you may notice I’m not calling it a study either because it isn’t) asserting that there is no scientific evidence that gay folk are born not made, but seemingly agreeing, or at least he quotes someone who agrees with, the conclusion that “social stigma” is an insufficient cause for the higher than average mental health issues gay people in general experience.

I would like anyone who thinks you can bundle the stresses imposed on gay people, and in particular on gay kids, into a tidy little package labeled “social stigma” to take a step back and appreciate just how hard it is to grow up gay, even these days, let alone try to live a whole and happy life as a gay adult.  It isn’t just “social”, it’s “family”. The stories I’ve heard from other gay people about growing up in a unsupportive family environment, let alone a hostile one, would make a brick cry, if not a fundamentalist.  Here’s one from my own past I’ve posted about before

Perhaps we were just not right for each other after all. The hard lesson to learn about love is you can find someone who is just right for you, who seems to complete you in all the places you never even knew were empty, until you met that one person, saw them smile into your eyes. And yet even so you may not be right for them. They may have a completely opposite feeling about you. Ask me how I know this. Perhaps we were not right for each other.

Or perhaps it was something he told me one night as we lay together, in a very quiet, emotionless voice. About the day he came out to his parents. About how the next morning before dawn his father had gone into the household office, fired up the computer, and created a brochure filled with verses condemning homosexuality and what God does to nations that tolerate that which is an abomination in His eyes. About how his father printed up dozens and dozens of copies of the brochure and as the sun rose, walked around their neighborhood and put one in every door of every house, for blocks around. Then he told his son what he had done.

I ended that one with these words…please pay attention: What gay people know is this: strangers can beat you, can take your life away from you, but only family can chew your heart up, and spit it back out.

You can’t write “social stigma” on that knife to the heart and say you understand anything about how deeply it cuts.


by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Please Walk A Mile In Our “Social Stigma”

June 4th, 2016


“I never wanted to be gay. I was scared of what God would think and what all of these people I loved would think about me,” the 35-year-old singer wrote in a letter to his fans that was first published by Religion News Service on Tuesday. “But if this honesty with myself about who I am, and who I was made by God to be, doesn’t constitute as the peace that passes all understanding, then I don’t know what does. It is like this weight I have been carrying my whole life has been lifted from me, and I have never felt such freedom.”

-Trey Pearson Christian musician comes out, in moving letter to fans 

I have seen so much of this in my life, heard so many stories like this and not only from the Evangelicals. And it is heartbreaking, not only for the pain caused to the gay person, their spouses, their children, and their families, but also for the abuse toward him that you just know is coming. And it makes me more angry than I can describe to know many of those who will now begin hurling that abuse at him, and at anyone willing to stand with him, were active participants in building and nurturing the environment of hate that led him and so many others like him to see marriage as a cure, or at least a refuge. But I suppose they do it so they don’t have to see the the bottomless pit of guilt and shame waiting for them at the end of Pretense Road.

Here’s the full letter from Trey Pearson to his fans and friends:

To my fans and friends:

Most of us reach at least one pivotal moment in our lives that better defines who we are.

These last several months have been the hardest – but have also ended up being the most freeing months – of my life.

To make an extremely long story short, I have come to be able to admit to myself, and to my family, that I am gay.

I grew up in a very conservative Christian home where I was taught that my sexual orientation was a matter of choice, and had put all my faith into that. I had never before admitted to myself that I was gay, let alone to anyone else. I never wanted to be gay. I was scared of what God would think and what all of these people I loved would think about me; so it never was an option for me. I have been suppressing these attractions and feelings since adolescence. I’ve tried my whole life to be straight. I married a girl, and I even have two beautiful little kids. My daughter, Liv, is six and my son, Beckham, is two.

I had always romanticized the idea of falling in love with a woman; and having a family had always been my dream. In many ways, that dream has come true. But I have also come to realize a lot of time has passed in my life pushing away, blocking out and not dealing with real feelings going on inside of me. I have tried not to be gay for more than 20 years of my life. I found so much comfort as a teen in 1 Samuel 18-20 and the intimacy of Jonathan and David. I thought and hoped that such male intimacy could fulfill that void I felt in my desire for male companionship. I always thought if I could find these intimate friendships, then that would be enough.

Then I thought everything would come naturally on my wedding night. I honestly had never even made out with a girl before I got married. Of course, it felt anything but natural for me. Trying not to be gay, has only led to a desire for intimacy in friendships which pushed friends away, and it has resulted in a marriage where I couldn’t love or satisfy my wife in a way that she needed. Still, I tried to convince myself that this was what God wanted and that this would work. I thought all of those other feelings would stay away if I could just do this right.

When Lauren and I got married, I committed to loving her to the best of my ability, and I had the full intention of spending the rest of my life with her. Despite our best efforts, however, I have come to accept that there is nothing that is going to change who I am.

I have intensely mixed feelings about the changes that have resulted in my life. While I regret the way I was taught to handle this growing up, how much it has hurt me and the unintentional pain I have brought Lauren, I wouldn’t have the friendship I now have with her, and we wouldn’t have our two amazing, beautiful children. But if I keep trying to push this down it will end up hurting her even more.

I am never going to be able to change how I am, and no matter how healthy our relationship becomes, it’s never going to change what I know deep down: that I am gay. Lauren has been the most supportive, understanding, loving and gracious person I could ever ask for, as I have come to face this. And now I am trying to figure out how to co-parent while being her friend, and how to raise our children.

I have progressed so much in my faith over these last several years. I think I needed to be able to affirm other gay people before I could ever accept it for myself. Likewise, I couldn’t expect others to accept me how I am until I could come to terms with it first.

I know I have a long way to go. But if this honesty with myself about who I am, and who I was made by God to be, doesn’t constitute as the peace that passes all understanding, then I don’t know what does. It is like this weight I have been carrying my whole life has been lifted from me, and I have never felt such freedom.
In sharing this publicly I’m taking another step into health and wholeness by accepting myself, and every part of me. It’s not only an idea for me that I’m gay; It’s my life. This is me being authentic and real with myself and other people. This is a part of who I am.

I hope people will hear my heart, and that I will still be loved. I’m still the same guy, with the same heart, who wants to love God and love people with everything I have. This is a part of me I have come to be able to accept, and now it is a part of me that you know as well. I trust God to help love do the rest.

– Trey

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Freedom

April 10th, 2015

How To Laugh Until You Cry…

A friend who’s been in the fight against ex-gay therapy with me since the Love In Action protests posted this Onion article to his Facebook page the other day…

dead straight

“We’ve found that a combination of group interventions, narrative therapy, and cognitive-behavioral approaches fully eliminates homosexual urges before the individual takes his or her own life,” said program director Christian Weber, adding that many of their biggest success stories are even in stable, heterosexual relationships when they’re found lifeless in their own home or dredged from a nearby body of water.

Full Onion Article Here.  You know the kind of laugh you get sometimes when it’s funny but painful at the same time…?

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on How To Laugh Until You Cry…

March 12th, 2015

The End Of The Natural Law Excuse

This New York Times article came across my Facebook stream this morning. It’s well worth reading…

Unraveling the Church Ban on Gay Sex

Last month, Salvatore Cordileone, the archbishop of San Francisco, made controversial changes to a handbook for Catholic high school teachers in his jurisdiction. The changes included morals clauses, one of which forbids those teachers from publicly endorsing homosexual behavior. There are plausible legal and educational objections to this move. But there is a deeper issue, one that raises fundamental questions about Catholic teachings on homosexuality and other sexual matters.

Those fundamental teachings being the notion that the Catholic hierarchy can justify its dogmas about morality not merely with an appeal to supernatural authority but so-called Natural Law reasoning. The deep thinkers of this Natural Law tradition assert that morality flows…naturally…from that which makes us human and that homosexual acts can be rightly condemned simply on the basis of careful reasoning about what behavior nurtures our humanity and what behavior degrades it.

But can you can see the problem here? An understanding of what it is that makes us human is at best a work in progress. But it can also be a dandy rhetorical sleight of hand for presenting one’s bar stool opinions about human nature as settled fact when they are anything but.  And that is how it usually works with the deep thinkers of Natural Law, such as NOM co-founder Robert George, who use it as an excuse to cull gay people out of the human family. Homosexual acts are contrary to Natural Law, so the deep thinking goes, because they run counter to what makes us human, and that makes them morally objectionable and also not coincidentally a grave sin.  See? Religious dogma and science properly understood agree!

The problem as the article points out, is that a good faith search for understanding of what makes us human would seem to support not object to homosexual behavior.  But good faith is hard to come by in the Natural Law crowd, and their objections to homosexual relationships have two fatal flaws.  Gay folk if not always straight people usually see the first problem with it right away in the relentless focus on homosexual Acts.  As the article points out…

The courageous uncloseting of many homosexuals has revealed them as people like most everyone else, searching for and sometimes achieving a fulfilling human life through rich and complex relationships.

It’s our visibility that’s moved our struggle for equality forward. I’ve said this repeatedly: proving that we do not choose our sexual orientation, while it addresses many issues, does not get to the heart of it. Which is…the heart. Homophobia’s central immovable dogma is Homosexuals Don’t Love, They Just Have Sex. You see it running throughout the so-called Natural Law rhetoric this article discusses.  It’s always the Acts.  The heart is never considered.  It was easy once upon a time, before Stonewall, when the persecution of gay people was so relentless most gay folk stayed tightly inside the closet, to reduce our lives to the sex we have. But those days are over. The closet door has opened. And as we live our lives out in the open we are seen as every bit as human in our desires and needs as our heterosexual neighbors. That alone does the Natural Law Excuse irreparable damage.

“The natural-law argument might make some sense to those who see homosexuals as dominated by an obsessive desire for pleasure, to which they subordinate any notion of fidelity or integrity.” That is its only recourse, against which the argument that same sex sex is fundamentally sterile because it cannot lead to reproduction, but which excuses opposite sex couples who cannot naturally bear their own children is seen as hypocrisy.  There is the second fatal problem.  As the article notes, “Just trying to formulate the argument shows how strained it is.” Well…yes.  It’s strained just like every hypocritically dishonest excuse for hurting your neighbor is strained.

The fact that heterosexual couples can still love and desire each other wholeheartedly and live lives together deeply devoted to one another, absent an ability to bear children, proves the power of love over biology, which pulls the rug out from under the Natural Law dogma. And it Is dogma, because the central premise about what it is that makes us human are ultimately and irreducibly matters of religious dogma.  And the transparently bogus attempt to rationalize discrimination against same-sex couples but not sterile opposite sex ones anyway proves the intent here is not some sort of search for truth, but an excuse to hate: a little bowl of water to wash, wash, wash their hands before the multitudes of the harm they’ve done to innocent people in love. We were only doing what we thought was moral and right. No.  No you weren’t.

This is Exactly why bigots like Salvatore Cordileone and his kinfolk in the anti-gay industrial complex want so badly to shove gay people back into the closet, and silence our heterosexual friends and family. The lie that sex between same sex couples is innately selfish and sterile, that Homosexuals Don’t Love, They Just Have Sex, dies the instant people can see our lives and our humanity for themselves. It becomes obvious we share the same human heart the rest of humanity does.

And then the question becomes, what kind of person wants to persecute someone for being in love…


by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The End Of The Natural Law Excuse

July 28th, 2014

Should We Not Have Done That…?

A soldier in the war against the homosexual menace has a road to Damascus moment

As she sobbed over the breakup of her parents and family, an errant thought darted through my head: If we as a society didn’t condemn homosexuality, gay people wouldn’t feel pressured into marrying heterosexually, against their true attractions, and families wouldn’t be torn apart when the gay spouse could no longer continue the ruse. I had seen a number of gay Christians marry an opposite sex partner, only to leave when they couldn’t pretend any longer. It wasn’t fair to the spouse, the kids, or themselves. My doubts about the efficacy of change and the evangelical Christian stance against gay rights of any kind nagged at me.



by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Should We Not Have Done That…?

December 8th, 2013

The Persistence Of The Closet

Via John Becker at Bilerico, I see this New York Times article on that age old preoccupation of the heterosexual majority, How Many American Men Are Gay?

What percent of American men are gay? This question is notoriously difficult to answer. Historical estimates range from about 2 percent to 10 percent. But somewhere in the exabytes of data that human beings create every day are answers to even the most challenging questions…

While none of these data sources are ideal, they combine to tell a consistent story.

This is probably where the answers come from, finally. Because it was true before Stonewall, it was true in the post Stonewall gay lib phase, and it’s still true now, that many gay people will simply not tell even anonymous surveys the truth about themselves, let alone tell themselves the truth…

Additional evidence that suggests that many gay men in intolerant states are deeply in the closet comes from a surprising source: the Google searches of married women. It turns out that wives suspect their husbands of being gay rather frequently. In the United States, of all Google searches that begin “Is my husband…,” the most common word to follow is “gay.” “Gay” is 10 percent more common in such searches than the second-place word, “cheating.” It is 8 times more common than “an alcoholic” and 10 times more common than “depressed.”

Searches questioning a husband’s sexuality are far more common in the least tolerant states…in fact, in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average.

This is unbearably sad. I’ve said before that for a lot of gay people in my generation it will always be a time before Stonewall.  But it’s Still happening.  And unsurprisingly, it’s happening where the ideal of married life is being systematically denied to gay people.

How I escaped this trap is part of the story I’m telling in A Coming Out Story. But I came out into a world where the soulmate, the beautiful lifelong love story, was almost impossible to find. I still haven’t found it and now I’m 60, and looking at the end of a lifetime of being alone, not having that intimate other.  And that was not, as the stereotype would have you believe, because gay culture was and is obsessed with casual no-strings attachment free sex, but because so many gay men who would have been searching for the same things I was, were instead desperately searching for a way not to be gay.

We were taught…By The Righteous…to believe that homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex.  And for many gay men as it also is for many heterosexual men, that’s just dandy. But for others it meant, and still means, “a huge amount of secret suffering”.  We believed because we were taught…By The Good People, the Decent Upstanding Citizens we looked up to…that homosexuality was a tragic psychological perversion, a denial of normal healthy functioning heterosexuality.  We were taught, not by gay culture but by heterosexual culture…that to be a homosexual was to be trapped in a hopeless cycle of empty sex searching for fulfillment we would never find.  We were weak contemptible faggots, or we were dangerous sexual psychopaths.  What we never were was people in love.  The first crush, the first date, the prom, the Big Question. None of it was ours to have. Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex.

For some people that life of casual sex and serial loves is just fine. They live, they love, they go their separate ways, they remember fondly and are remembered fondly. But other hearts have other needs.  And for those, to be told that the One Love, the soulmate, the intimate other, is not possible, is a heartache that never heals. It is always there, just below the surface. You would do anything to make it not so. Because without that intimate other, life is so very very desperately lonely.

…in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average.

So many hearts that could have found their beloved other, instead locked themselves in the closet and watched their love lives wither away to graveyard dust all the same. But at least nobody knew their terrible secret…that their desires were foul, that they were unfit for love.  So many hearts turned finally to stone, so the righteous could make their stepping stones to heaven out of our dreams of love.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Persistence Of The Closet

November 8th, 2013

Nope…Still Gay…

This came across my Facebook stream just now…

At 16 I thought being attracted to guys was just a phase.  By 18 I’d pretty much figured out that thinking it was a phase was the phase.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Nope…Still Gay…

June 26th, 2013

Too Young To Know?

This came across my news feed this morning…

Gay teens? Pew survey confirms gays may suspect their sexual orientation by elementary school

Joshua’s mother, Beatrice Padilla, said, “I always knew in my heart he was going to grow up to be gay.” That didn’t mean, however, she was prepared to learn that day had arrived when her son was in just the fifth grade.

When the boy timidly asked, “Is there something wrong with me?” though, she rallied:

“You eat like everyone else, you sleep like everyone else, you go to school like everyone else. You’re no different,” she said.

He’s now 15 and says that while he never doubted his mother would be supportive, “I don’t think telling a parent at any age gets any easier.”

This is such an old story and I have heard it told and retold among gay people ever since I can remember:  I knew I was different in some fundamental way even then, I just didn’t have the words to express it… I don’t think there is a single one of us who hasn’t heard it over and over and over.  It’s my truth too.  In first grade I knew I liked guys in some distinct way that set me apart from the others and that if I talked about it too much I would get in trouble.

But blabber mouth little young me couldn’t always keep it in.  I remember being teased once by my other classmates about a girl and getting pissed off about it I blurted out that I didn’t like girls, and one of the girls said, “Oh, then you like boys I guess.” and everyone laughed.

I blushed.  Fiercely.  Which only made them laugh more.  Everyone has these school days memories they would rather forget.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Too Young To Know?

February 19th, 2013

You Keep Using That Word…

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
-Inigo Montoya, “The Princess Bride”

Here’s another word people keep using: Homosexual.

So I’m seeing the chatter about how this new Gallup poll (you know…the folks who did so well predicting the outcome of the last election…), gives us a more accurate figure for the percentage of gay people in America than Kinsey’s ten percent, and I can only conclude they aren’t paying attention to what they’re reading, don’t understand where that ten percent figure came from and/or what the Kinsey scale actually was.

Kinsey’s scale of zero through six, where zero (exclusively heterosexual) and six (exclusively homosexual) described the sexual behavior of his subjects over the previous three years of their lives, based on extensive face to face interviews with them. The report stated that ten percent of American males were “more or less exclusively homosexual for at least three years between the ages of 16 and 55” by grouping the percentages of the five (Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual) and six positions on the scale together to come up with that ten percent figure. Later gay rights activists used this to claim that ten percent of the population is homosexual.

That’s an arguable, but perfectly defensible claim based on Kinsey’s data which, again, came from subjects who were only asked about their actual sexual behavior for the previous three years. But it is measuring a different thing than Gallup asked, which was…

“Do you, personally, identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender?”

See the difference? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

The problem has always been the percentage of people who are homosexual you get in any given study depends on how the people who did the study define what “homosexual” is.  It seems so clear cut and obvious on the surface of it and yet different people, even in all intellectual honesty about it, have different definitions…let alone those who want to marginalize us when it’s convenient (their numbers are too small for society to cater to their whims), and exaggerate our numbers when convenient (nearly all child molesters are homosexuals…it’s how they perpetuate themselves since they can’t reproduce…).

At this stage in my life, after all I’ve seen of this world, I am still comfortable with that ten percent figure.  But I’m calling it desire, not necessarily how someone behaves or how they self identify.  I Know people, and so do many of us who are gay, who would fit comfortably in either that Kinsey five or six position and yet would nonetheless have assured Gallup that they were heterosexual.  It’s called “The Closet” and a lot of people are still in it….some still in denial, some not.  In my generation and earlier especially, you see a lot of gay men who married young, as a way of turning themselves straight.  Some of these have remained in those marriages, living behind that mask still, after all that has passed by them in the struggle, and I can’t find it in my heart to blame them for that.  They love their wives very much.  Add to that those of us who are out in various stages, even out to everyone they know and work with, and who would be unwilling to answer that question from a stranger.

I still think ten percent is probably right. But even those of us who are militantly out and proud don’t always seem so to the passing stranger.  There is no gay lifestyle.  You likely won’t know unless you are close enough to a person to know, and even then you might not.  And still, even today, many people simply don’t want to know it about themselves. It does not surprise me either that perhaps only three to four percent rather than ten are willing to live openly just as they are, and fight the fight for our human dignity that still needs fighting.

“Do you, personally, identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender”, is a question worth asking of course, and maybe someday better researchers than the louts at Gallup will ask that question.  But it’s really not the point.  The word does not mean that.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on You Keep Using That Word…

April 6th, 2012

Today In News You Probably Didn’t Know Was Old News

I am reminded of a colleague who reiterated, “all my homosexual patients
are quite sick”, to which I finally replied “so are all my heterosexual patients.”

-Ernest van den Haag, psychotherapist

There is nothing wrong with homosexuals.  That is a simple statement of fact.  Not opinion.  Fact.  Well researched, well established, scientific fact. And it has been well established fact for quite a very long time.  If you were born in the 1960s or later, then this fact is older then you are.

Jim Burroway over at Box Turtle Bulletin writes…

Study of 100 Homosexuals: 1957. There had been a string of high profile arrests of very prominent and well-known men in Britain in the early 1950s, including Lord Montagu, his cousin, Maj. Michael Pitt-Rivers, and journalist Peter Wildeblood,  all of whom had been charged and convicted of homosexual offenses. Their arrests opened the debate over whether homosexual acts between consenting adults should remain criminalized.

So in 1954 a study was convened under the leadership of Lord Wolfenden whose name would later be attached to a report recommending the complete decriminalization of homosexual relationships among consenting adults in Britain.  And how did they come to this conclusion?  Well they didn’t consult the bible, and they didn’t ask the prejudices of their day.  They did something positively unique for that day when it came to the subject of homosexuality.

They looked for evidence.

One problem with the published research on gay men was that virtually all of it was based on clinical or criminal populations, which Curran and Parr acknowledged would not necessarily be representative of the general population of gay men. In their report, they acknowledged that their sample would likely exhibit higher rates of psychiatric problems or criminal recidivism. But when they looked into the files of these 100 men who had been referred to their practice, the authors observed:

…[I]n spite of the probability that any group of homosexuals referred to a psychiatrist might be expected to be heavily weighted in the direction of psychiatric abnormality, no fewer than 51 % were considered to be free from gross personality disorder, neurosis, or psychosis during their adult lives. Only one was certifiably defective and none certifiably insane. They included a number of important and talented individuals of high integrity, successful, efficient, and respected members of the community. Only two had been on any criminal charge other than homosexuality. Very few showed the traditional “pansy” picture of homosexuals; indeed, only 21 were noted to have at all obvious homosexual personality traits, only one of these being a paedophiliac.

So in spite of their having difficulty recruiting a completely representative sample of gay men, in spite of their sample being weighted toward mental patents and criminals, they found less mental aberration then they would have otherwise expected. In fact slightly better then half their sample showed no signs of gross mental illness at all.

Only half the patients showed significant psychiatric abnormality other than their sexual deviation, and such associated abnormalities were often slight. Moreover, many of these abnormalities were explicable as a reaction to the difficulties of being homosexual. Symptomatic homosexuality was rare.

And then it gets down to brass tacks.  Is homosexuality a disease?  Is this even a problem?

If homosexuality is a disease (as has often been suggested), it is in a vast number of cases monosymptomatic, non-progressive, and compatible with subjective well-being and objective efficiency. In our series, both practicing and non-practicing homosexuals were on the whole successful and valuable members of society, quite unlike the popular conception of such persons as vicious, criminal, effete, or depraved. Only one-fifth were at all obviously ” pansy,” and we found no reason to regard most of the patients as physically, intellectually, or emotionally immature (unless the basic criterion for ” immaturity” is that of being homosexual-a circular argument).

What they’re saying here is that if homosexuality is a disease then its one that has only one symptom (homosexuality) does not get worse if untreated, and does not negatively impact the overall health and well being of the individual who has it.  Really…can you even call it a disease in that case?

This is similar to what American researcher Evelyn Hooker in her 1957 paper The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual found: well adjusted homosexuals are clinically indistinguishable from well adjusted heterosexuals. From her Wiki entry…

She gathered two groups of men: one group would be exclusively homosexual, the other exclusively heterosexual. She contacted the Mattachine Society to find homosexual men. She had greater difficulty finding heterosexual men. She also had to use her home to conduct the interview to protect people’s anonymity…

Hooker realized that all extant science on homosexuality consisted of studies conducted on homosexual men who had already been committed to mental institutions or imprisoned for sexual offenses. Her experiment was simple and elegant and beautiful in the way all great science is simple and elegant and beautiful.

She recruited two groups of sexually active young men, one gay and one straight.  From both groups she eliminated anyone who had ever been in therapy or trouble with the law.  Then she gave each group a battery of what were then standard clinical psychiatric tests…

Hooker used three different psychological tests for her study: the TAT, the Make-a-Picture-Story test (MAPS test), and the Rorschach inkblot test.

She used trained professionals who were skilled in administering each of the tests.  The testers did not know whether they were testing a homosexual man or a heterosexual. When she got the results back she further anonymized them so nobody looking at the tests could tell who administered the test.  Standard double-blind technique.

Then she did something simple and beautiful…

After a year of work, Hooker presented a team of 3 expert evaluators with 60 unmarked psychological profiles.

…she passed the results out to the experts and asked them if they could identify the homosexuals.

No one could.

First, she contacted Bruno Klopfer, an expert on Rorschach tests to see if he would be able to identify the sexual orientation of people through their results at those tests. His ability to differentiate was no better than chance.

Then Edwin Shneidman, creator of the MAPS test, also analyzed the 60 profiles. It took him six months and he too found that both groups were highly similar in their psychological make-up.

The third expert was Dr Mortimer Mayer who was so certain he would be able to tell the two groups apart that he went through the process twice.

The three evaluators agreed that in terms of adjustment, there were no differences between the members of each group

Well adjusted homosexuals are clinically indistinguishable from well adjusted heterosexuals.  This was what the Wolfsden researchers also found.  And this is what everyone who objectively studies gay people has found ever since.

The experiment, which other researchers subsequently repeated, demonstrates that most self-identified homosexuals are no worse in social adjustment than the general population

When you study sick homosexuals, people who have already been committed to mental institutions or sent to jail for sex crimes, then what you find are sick homosexuals.  But if you did the same thing with heterosexuals, only studying those in mental institutions or jail,  you would also conclude the same about heterosexuals and nobody does that.  The Christianist web site Lifesite tries to downplay Hooker’s study thusly…

Despite the fact that the purpose of the study was ostensibly to examine the possibility of mental instability in homosexuals, individuals who showed signs of mental instability were removed from the groups, which further predetermined the study’s conclusion.

But that was the point.  If homosexuality was the result of mental dysfunction, as NARTH and their companions in the anti-gay industrial complex insist, then removing the individuals who showed signs of mental instability would have made not a whit of difference in the outcome. The experts Hooker contacted to evaluate her test results would have still been able to identify the homosexuals because homosexuals are mentally unstable, whether they show it outwardly or not.  That the experts could not identify the homosexuals with those mentally unstable individuals removed proved decisively that the old models of homosexuality were wrong.

I am reminded of a colleague who reiterated, “all my homosexual patients are quite sick”, to which I finally replied “so are all my heterosexual patients”…

“If homosexuality is a disease (as has often been suggested), it is in a vast number of cases monosymptomatic, non-progressive, and compatible with subjective well-being and objective efficiency. In our series, both practicing and non-practicing homosexuals were on the whole successful and valuable members of society, quite unlike the popular conception of such persons as vicious, criminal, effete, or depraved”…

“The three evaluators agreed that in terms of adjustment, there were no differences between the members of each group”…

Understand this if you understand nothing else about the anti-gay industrial complex: this is knowledge that is over a half century old now.  There is nothing new here.  Most of the people reading this post will have been born after modern science clearly and unambiguously established this fact: there is nothing wrong with homosexuals.  This has been understood in the science for over half a century.

by Bruce | Link | React! (5)

November 14th, 2011

Choice: Six Of One, Half Dozen Of The Other

On Towleroad today I see that James Hormel has a new book out about his time as ambassador, and he’s apparently making the TV rounds promoting it. I also see that he’s making the same mistake a lot of very well meaning people make when it comes to the nature of bigotry…

James Hormel, who was appointed United States Ambassador to Luxembourg by President Bill Clinton in 1999, and was the first openly gay ambassador ever to serve, spoke with ABC News about his new book Fit to Serve, as well as DOMA, and what he sees as the #1 problem for LGBT rights today.

Says Hormel: “The number one problem today as I see it is that people think that being gay is a matter of choice, and they somehow distinguish gay people as having made a choice to be tormented by their society.”

Hormel calls DOMA “the most heinous piece of civil rights legislation in a century.”

Yes about DOMA, no about whether people think being gay is a choice. Look…nobody questions the fact that race isn’t a choice and that has never made racists question their racism as far as I can tell. Hell…they have their own junk science industry proving that blacks are genetically inferior so prejudice against them is morally justified…

When the New Republic devoted almost an entire issue (10/31/94) to a debate with the authors of The Bell Curve, editor Andrew Sullivan justified the decision by writing, “The notion that there might be resilient ethnic differences in intelligence is not, we believe, an inherently racist belief.”

In fact, the idea that some races are inherently inferior to others is the definition of racism. What the New Republic was saying–along with other media outlets that prominently and respectfully considered the thesis of Charles Murray and the late Richard Herrnstein’s book–is that racism is a respectable intellectual position, and has a legitimate place in the national debate on race.

-FAIR, Racism Resurgent, January/February 1995

When the day comes that sexual orientation is generally seen as biologically innate, the homophobes will simply shift gears and start babbling about how homosexuality is a genetic deficiency that makes us unfit for…well…everything. The nature verses nurture argument is a distraction. The reason some people are homosexual does not matter to bigots. They just hate us. That hate is what comes first. The justification for it comes later, and takes whatever shape the bigot needs it to have to justify that preexisting hate.

All everyone else needs to see about our lives is that we are as human as they.  That we love, we cherish, we long and we need, just as they do.  Once they see that, once they can look at a same-sex couple and see in that couple’s happiness their own, it won’t matter to them why we mate to our own instead of the opposite sex.  That’s the problem.  Not the Nature verses Nurture debate, but the lie that homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex.  That is what we have to kill.  And we do it by living our lives openly, by resisting the pressure hate brings to bear upon our lives to stay hidden.  Bigots we will never change.  But every moment we live our lives openly so that we can be seen as neighbors and not some strange alien other, we defeat hate.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Choice: Six Of One, Half Dozen Of The Other

October 12th, 2011

Just A Thought…

If you really think having sex is like farting, might I suggest you’re doing it wrong.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Just A Thought…

October 11th, 2011

I Was Not Put On This Earth To Live Anyone’s Life But My Own

Or…to put it another way…

They don’t fly very well either

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on I Was Not Put On This Earth To Live Anyone’s Life But My Own

October 10th, 2011

Conversation With A Happily Married Man

The Scene: A table in an upscale restaurant located in a trendy vacation resort.  Two old friends are sitting across from each other.  One openly gay since he was seventeen, the other a Happily Married Man having long since overcome the unwanted same-sex attractions of his youth.  They are discussing Openly Gay Friend’s problems finding someone to love and settle down with. Happily Married Man is finding it hard to believe that Openly Gay Friend has been single and struggling all these years.

Happily Married Man: Don’t you have any gay friends?

Openly Gay Friend: Oh yes.  About half my friends are gay.  I have a regular Happy Hour crowd I try to go out with every Friday.  It gets me out of the house.

Happily Married Man: How long have you known them?

Openly Gay Friend: Oh, most of them since the mid-eighties…

Happily Married Man: Wow…I can’t believe they haven’t tried to hook you up. Didn’t they ever even try?

Openly Gay Friend: Oh get me started…there was this one time…

Happily Married Man: You need to get some better friends!

Openly Gay Friend: They’re nice people. I think they just don’t get me…they just don’t get romantic types. They think I should just go get laid and that’ll make me feel better. They don’t get how random loveless sex might make someone like me feel a whole lot worse afterward, not better.

Happily Married Man: You need to get some better friends!

Openly Gay Friend: I want you to understand something…that isn’t just a gay thing. If I was straight and my happy hour group was a bunch of other straight guys I’d be getting the same advice. Just go get laid and you’ll be fine.  The cure for every lonely heart is to just get laid.  The popular culture pays a bunch of lip service to the idea of love and romance, but it’s all about just having sex in the straight scene too.

Happily Married Man: Sex is overrated…

Openly Gay Friend: I’m not saying that…

Happily Married Man: It’s just a bodily function.

Openly Gay Friend: Uhm…

Happily Married Man (emphatically): When you’re on your death bed it won’t be the times you had sex you’ll be remembering, but all the people you loved.

Openly Gay Friend: Yes…absolutely! That is so very true. But I would want my last memory to be the times I spent laying down with the one I loved. That one special body and soul relationship…that’s what you would be remembering. At least I would…if I’d ever had that. (looks wistfully at Happily Married Man, then looks away) But your life is what it is…

Happily Married Man (rolling his eyes): Stop whining….

Openly Gay Friend: I’m not whining…

Happily Married Man: You’re whining. You have to work with what you’ve got to work with and accept that. Stop thinking about what ifs. Sex is overrated…

Openly Gay Friend: Well yes, I agree completely that it isn’t all there is to life, but it’s still important…

Happily Married Man: It’s like a fart.

Openly Gay Friend: I’m sorry?

Happily Married Man: This may sound strange but think about it. It stinks for a little while, and then it’s gone.

(Openly Gay Friend looks blankly back at Happily Married Man)

Happily Married Man: Sex is like that.

Openly Gay Friend: Uhm…it helps if you’re having sex with a person you’re sexually attracted to.  (ironically) Then it’s actually a lot of fun…more engaging…more satisfying…(looks Happily Married Man in the eyes) and it makes a whole lot more sense that way.  You kinda understand then why everyone else is so into it.

Happily Married Man: You’re a piece of work…you know that?  Well it’s getting late and I have to go home now.  I’m a happily married man.

Openly Gay Friend (unhappily): So I see.  And I’m still single and unhappy.  And for gay men of our generation it will always be a time before Stonewall won’t it?

Happily Married Man: Stonewall?


(This was mostly a real conversation.  Some lines were edited for brevity, and Openly Gay Friend didn’t actually say his last two lines to Happily Married Man because just then his head was spinning.  But now he wishes he had.)

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Conversation With A Happily Married Man

June 8th, 2011

Born In The Blood Of Innocents

I just have one comment to make on the unfolding story of Kirk Murphy. This can’t be shouted out loudly enough: The subject of this study, which formed much of the basis for the ex-gay movement’s claim to scientific legitimacy, killed himself and his therapy so deeply wounded his family they are still, decades later, suffering from it.

The Ex-Gay movement was born in the blood of innocents. In his book, Anything But Straight, Wayne talks about the formation of the very first ex-gay ministry, Love In Action, its first clients, and how one of them, Jack McIntyre, chose to end his life rather then keep failing at becoming heterosexual.

In 1973 John Evans, who is gay, and Rev. Kent Philpott, who is heterosexual, co-founded the original “ex-gay” ministry, Love In Action on the outskirts of San Francisco. Philpott soon wrote The Third Sex?, the first ever “ex-gay” book which touted six people who supposedly converted to heterosexuality through prayer.

Although time eventually revealed no one in his book actually had changed, the people reading it had no idea the stories were fallacious. As far as they knew, there was a magical place in California that had figured out the secret for making gays into straights. Inspired by his book, a few enthusiastic individuals spontaneously began their own “ex-gay” ministries.

Evans, however, denounced the program he co-founded after his best friend Jack McIntyre committed suicide in despair over not being able to “change”…

McIntyre wrote a suicide note. If the ex-gay movement could be said to have a heart and soul, here it is:

TO: Those left with the question, why did he do it?

I loved life and all that it had to offer to me each day.

I loved my job and my clients.

I loved my friends and thank God for each one of them.

I loved my little house and would not have wanted to live anywhere else.

All this looks like the perfect life. Yet, I must not let this shadow the problem that I have in my life. At one time, not to long ago, that was all that really mattered in my life. What pleased me and how it affected me. Now that I have turned my life over to the Lord and the changes came one by one, the above statements mean much more to me. I am pleased that I can say those statements with all the truth and honesty that is within me.

However, to make this short, I must confess that there were things in my life that I could not gain control, no matter how much I prayed and tried to avoid the temptation, I continually failed.

It is this constant failure that has made me make the decision to terminate my life here on earth. I do this with the complete understanding that life is not mine to take. I know that it is against the teachings of our Creator. No man is without sin, this I realise. I will cleanse myself of all sin as taught to me by His word. Yet, I must face my Lord with the sin of murder. I believe that Jesus died and paid the price for that sin too. I know that I shall have everlasting life with Him by departing this world now, no matter how much I love it, my friends, my family. If I remain it could possibly allow the devil the opportunity to lead me away from the Lord. I love life, but my love for the Lord is so much greater, the choice is simple.

I am not asking you to sanction my actions. That is not the purpose of my writing this at all. It is for the express purpose of allowing each one who will read this to know how I weighed things in my own mind. I don’t want you to think that, ‘I alone,’ should have been the perfect person, without sin. That would be ridiculous! It is the continuing lack of strength and/or obedience and/or will power to cast aside certain sins. To continually go before God and ask forgiveness and make promises you know you can’t keep is more than I can take. I feel it is making a mockery of God and all He stands for in my life.

Please know that I am extremely happy to be going to the Lord. He knows my heart and knows how much I love life and and all that it has to offer. But, He knows that I love Him more. That is why I believe that I will be with Him in Paradise.

I regret if I bring sorrow to those that are left behind. If you get your hearts in tune with the word of God you will be as happy about my ‘transfer’ as I am. I also hope that this answers sufficiently the question, why?

May God Have Mercy On My Soul.

A Brother & A Friend.

And as Wayne writes…

Still, Love in Action survived because many people who read The Third Sex? came to California in hopes of changing.

And George Rekers was still citing his success at fixing Kirk years after Kirk had taken his own life. When reporters caught up with him recently Rekers dismissed the idea that Kirk’s suicide could have had anything to do with the experimental gender identity therapy he’d inflicted upon the child. Oh no…that was years ago

“That’s a long time ago, and to hypothesize, you have a hypothesis that positive treatment back in the 1970s has something to do with something happening decades later. That would, that hypothesis would need a lot of scientific investigation to see if it’s valid…”

More apparently, then the initial therapy got according to Jim Burroway who writes of his surprise that there was little to no independent verification of Reker’s claims. But according to his family Kirk was a troubled soul the rest of his life, though he had moments when it seemed he had made peace with himself. And it bears noting that the therapy deeply disturbed then, and continues to this day to disturb, his mother and his straight older brother, his sister being too young at the time to remember any of what happened.

“I do grieve for the parents now that you’ve told me that news. I think that’s very sad.” – George Rekers

Look carefully at this: Kirk was the patient who made Rekers’ career and he only just now learns of his suicide when CNN reporter tracked him down? Yes. Of course. He never stayed in touch, clearly and sickeningly never felt the slightest curiosity about how his most famous patient was doing. This is not science, it is politics. The client is not important. The client’s family is not important. It’s the message, that that there is no such thing as a homosexual only broken heterosexuals, that is important. Because inside that message is another: that homosexuals bring their own persecution upon themselves, since they can choose whenever they want to not be homosexual.

…no matter how much I prayed and tried to avoid the temptation, I continually failed… The Ex-Gay movement was born in the blood of innocents. It continues to destroy lives and wreak families with no more tangible regard from its leadership for the human toll now then in the moment of its birth. Their allegiance is to a higher agency. No…not God. The culture war. Failure is not a bug, it’s a feature. The scapegoat must hate themselves too.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Born In The Blood Of Innocents

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