Monday, September 16, 2019

'Former 'Ex-Gay' leaders apologize. The LGBTQ community should, at the very least, recognize.

This video by  Truth Wins Out features former leaders of the "ex-gay" movement who are apologizing for their past exploits against us.

I can predict what some of you are going to say. I can feel the anger rising in you and the bitter words forming in your mouths. That's why I posted the video. Your anger is justified. Keep that anger if you must. But at least listen to what these folks have to say and recognize.

Recognize that they are not the enemy. Their past exploits are examples of just what society and the anti-LGBTQ industry has done to us as a people. Recognize that the internalized homophobia which led some of them down their past roads is the same which plagues our community of so-called proud and out folks. How is the racism, transphobia, biphobia, etc that some of  us throw at our own any different from what these former "ex-gay" leaders once threw at us?

Recognize that our anger, our rage, and yes even our bitterness should be solely directed at the entities who exploit and manipulate conditions to pollute more of us with mindsets these folks once possessed. Every time they fight against a pro-LGBTQ ordinance or against the right of our LGBTQ kids to feel safe in schools, or the against right of same-sex families to not be made invisible, or even against the right of basic respect for our community as tax payers,  groups like the Family Research Council or the Alliance Defending Freedom create vile little weeds. These weeds plant themselves into our country's consciousness and individual LGBTQs, creating justification for homophobic acts against us and self-doubt inside of ourselves. This end up sprouting more disciples for the "ex-gay" movement.

And lastly, recognize that none of us are perfect.  Let's be honest with ourselves. On our road to self-acceptance, which so many of us have yet to finish walking, we've done and said things to each other that we wish we could take back. Maybe some were as bad as being in an "ex-gay" group. Maybe some weren't. At one point long ago, I considered myself "ex-gay." At another point, I was very transphobic. Still even after those times, I was prejudiced against people with HIV. I no longer hold those views but I also recognize that I'm not perfect. No one is.

But we can grow if we help each other. These former "ex-gay" leaders are taking a step in that direction by asking for forgiveness. Our community as a whole can't afford to be so bitter as to say no.

1 comment:

Frank said...

These apologies are well intentioned but they need to address the organizations they were a part of and speak truth to power.

Just to play devil's advocate for a moment: a bill banning ex-gay therapy for minors turned inside out: the anti-LGBT organization are against gender reassignment therapy for trans youth and can point to that therapeutic intervention and say why is it OK for one and not the other.

There are substantive and qualitative differences of course, but that's too nuanced for the anti LGBT folks.