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.

Can Ex-Gay Pride Month Match that of Gay Pride?

 

If you’re upset that June’s Gay Pride month has ended, you can change your tune and celebrate for another full month by revoking your gay status.

In response to the increasing acceptance and equal legal standing of lgbtq people in the United States, the Family Research Council is launching two new ex-gay organizations and sponsoring a dinner in Washington DC to cap what they are calling the first annual “Ex-Gay Pride Month.” The new organizations Voice of the Voiceless, a lobbying group whose work is “to defend the rights of former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction, and their families,” and Equality and Justice for All, sought a Presidential Proclamation (that has not come) in June to acknowledge the month of July to “recognize the unique experiences of ex-gays and former homosexuals and celebrate their existence in American culture.”

While advertising as having events throughout, the main focus is a dinner being held in DC at the end of the month. The groups cite that since DC protects ex-gays under its non-discrimination laws pursuant to a 2009 district court case filed by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays it is the only safe city to meet and celebrate. The invitation for the dinner bills the event “to celebrate the lives of former homosexuals and hear about their unique stories and achievements!” Those invited to speak include Representative Michele Bachmann, Representative Tim Huelskamp, former Senator Jim DeMint—all whom greatly oppose gay rights, board members of Voice of the Voiceless, and other ex-gay ministry organizations.

This event comes at a poor time in the ex-gay movement. Mid-June, Exodus International announced that they would be closing after 37 years of advising ex-gays and using conversion therapy. This Orlando-based group was the largest in ministry-based conversions and was situated worldwide.

The President of Exodus International Alan Chambers released an apology entitled “I Am Sorry”  aimed at the lgbtq community. He wanted to detail what he saw was wrong with the work his organization did and on what he would be working to change it. Acknowledging the highly-criticized methods rejected by the American Psychological Association, among others, Chambers said, “I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents.”

Many people have criticized the ex-gay movement as being harmful in the way it “cures” people of their homosexuality and by basing what they do on improper science. Others have criticized the notion of the ex-gay movement needing a pride month, stating that ex-gays are not denied rights and aren’t discriminated against, they are simply not accepted by the lgbtq community, whom they work against.

While the events of the “Ex-Gay Pride Month” are advertised as celebrating people, with those advertised to attend and speak it will most likely turn into a forum for denouncing and vilifying the lgbtq rights movement and to try to drum up support for a failing business model.