Put Those Feather Boas Back On! Ex-Gay Pride Month Changed

If you have been getting ready for “Ex-Gay Pride Month,” throwing off those shackles of same-sex attraction and signing up for the latest and greatest conversion therapy, you’re going to have to wait to celebrate: the event has been canceled.

Voice of the Voiceless, the organization formed specifically to organize ex-gay events and lobby in congress, has moved to declare September rather than July as the “First Annual Ex-Gay Awareness Month” because of “anti-ex gay extremism” and “security threats” on their ex-gay gala. In their press release on the subject and in responding to those that responded negatively to the celebration: “[Voice of the Voiceless has] long realized that LGBT organizations will not be our allies. We are routinely marginalized by organizations such as the American Psychological Association (APA) who routinely shut us out of the debate and refuse to give us a seat at the table.”

That could be just bad science on the conversion therapy’s side. But probably bias.

The group Truth Wins Out, a nonprofit organization that challenges anti-lgbt groups and extremism, challenged Voice of the Voiceless to disclose the names of activists and organizations that were considered part of the security threats on the event. “Until concrete allegations are made, we can only assume Dole is making an excuse for his organizations abject failure to produce a viable Ex-Gay Pride Month event.” The group cites that the most popular figures that were publicized for the event were merely invited, and that the ex-gay camp is using finger-pointing in order to not place the blame on themselves for an unviable and failing campaign.

The event to replace the lobbying dinner at the capital is being led by Dr. Douglas McIntyre, co-founder of a ministry group Homosexuals Anonymous that works with conversion therapy and individuals wanting to become ex-gays. Called “Grandpa Goes to Washington,” McIntyre is organizing a 10-day road trip to Washington D.C., with stops for political rallies and culminating with a lobby in Congress for ex-gay rights, along with all of the supporters he can pick up on the way.

Of three main bullet points he is arguing against, the first is specifically against the children’s show SheZOW , the second for children to have the option be able to overcome their same-sex attractions, and finally to include ex-gays under federal hate crimes law. I suppose with sister organizations closing <> you have to choose something, right? Just anything at all and be upset about it.

We’ll have to wait and see the impact—if any—that Voice of the Voiceless and the ex-gay movement can manage to drum up over the next few weeks, but more than likely these groups will call it a success for their visibility and bemoan the fact that people don’t believe them. If there is any momentum in the movement left, there needs to be some strategy changes because they are losing popularity and credit quickly.

I n all seriousness, if you are unhappy with your gender identity or sexual orientation, you should seek professional counseling to get the help you need to be happy with yourself and your life.

New Children’s Cartoon Distresses, Excites, and Leaves Others Nonplussed

A new children’s cartoon has garnered mixed reactions, though most all of them agree: it’s funny and children will watch it.

 SheZow  is a timeless superhero story with a twist. In order to be a hero and battle various villains, twelve-year-old boy Guy Hamdon needs a ring to transform and access his powers. The twist is that Guy’s alter-ego is SheZow, a crime-fighting heroine who dresses in pink and purple, and whose world revolves around puns on the word “she.” To access his powers, he shouts “You go girl!” and goes about in the “she-hicle” to stop “she-vil” doers. It’s silly, but it attempts to bridge the gender gaps of many children’s shows with superheroes who appeal to only one or the other.

As soon as it was announced to be coming to American television, the group One Million Moms sent out a warning to all parents to boycott the show, saying that “This character especially will appeal to both boys and girls since the superhero represents both genders by cross dressing and being transgendered. This dude becomes the FEMALE superhero SheZow dressed in pink and purple.” Their central fear is that their sons will quickly ignore all of the other television shows and movies marketed just toward them and think, (taken from their press release) “I want to be a girl, so I can help people and save the world!”

Other groups were quick to voice their praise, happy to see a network taking on such a potentially challenging idea and running with it. Originally premiering in Australia in December 2012, it green-lit for America on June 1 on Hub Network, which replaced Discovery Kids and specializes in programming for children 2-11. While not the powerhouse of Nickelodeon or Disney Channel, the network gets a sizable amount of viewers and is hoping that the characters on SheZow will attract more.

The CEO of Hub Network, Margaret Loesh, commented to the Los Angeles Times that her initial reaction to the show was, “Are you out of your minds?” She added, “Then I looked at it and I thought, ‘This is just funny.’”

Most news outlets are calling the cartoon character SheZow a transgender or transsexual superhero, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. While the show does play on typical gender stereotypes, Guy likes to skateboard and comments that his sister should “Do the girly unpacking [herself],” when fighting villains as SheZow Guy’s voice doesn’t change, he doesn’t try to pass as a woman other than to keep his secret identity, and comments on how uncomfortable some of the superhero gear makes him. His roles are acknowledged as separate, and nothing is ever mentioned about sexual orientation.

GLAAD (formerly the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) responded with a similar view. Spokesperson Rich Ferraro commented on the show, saying “I don’t think this show is about transgender issues any more than the Teletubbies were about gay issues, because one of the characters was purple and carried around a purse.” Creator Obie Scott Wade himself argues that “by becoming SheZow, the main focus is on responsibility and less on gender.”

While having the central shtick of a television show be the cheap laugh of an uncomfortable gender reversal, the show uses the character of SheZow to help the main character Guy grow, since he’s learning lessons from two genders. It also shows that, although SheZow becomes weakened when her hair isn’t perfectly coiffed, she is powerful when confronted with danger and uses both brain and brawn to save the day.

You can watch new episodes of SheZow every Saturday on Hub Network at 12:30 pm EST/9:30 am PST.