(Home-My Story)....... True, Tragic and Unnecessary Gay Youth Suicide Stories...................... (Espańol)
PART 2 (page 24 of 34)
Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture? (Part 3 of 5)
There is no such thing as an ex-gay
Could The Ex-Gay Programs be a Form of Brain-washing and a Cruel Hoax? Actually, yes.
Psychiatry Giant, Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, Sorry
for Backing Gay ‘Cure’
Your Sexual Orientation Can Indeed Change Over Time, But You Can't Change It
Is Some Homophobia Self-Phobia?
End of the Ex-Gay Movement?
Where does the Mental Health Community Stand on Homosexuality?
Every major mental health organization in the United States has affirmed strongly that homosexuality is neither an illness nor a choice and cannot be changed, and is caused by a complex mix of biological factors whether because of genetics or events happening in the womb (nature) and cultural, social and other environmental factors which are the total sum of the experiences of a child or adolescent and their effect on him or her (nurture). This is the stance of:
The American Medical Association
See below (A)
The American Psychiatric Association See below (B)
The American Psychological Association See below (C)
The American Psychoanalytic Association
The American Academy of Pediatrics
The National Association of Social Workers
The American Counseling Association
The American Association of School Administrators
The American Federation of Teachers
The National Association of School Psychologists
The National Education Association
And as a result of the above stance, the mainstream and overwhelmingly predominant view in psychology and psychiatry is that people who are troubled about their homosexual orientation have internalized society's prejudice against homosexuality. In other words, the observable neurosis among gay people has nothing to do with the fact of their being homosexual, but is rather a result of their being forced to cope with the hostility of the surrounding culture - a hostility which effectively ignores the reality and legitimacy of their needs and experiences and, furthermore, a hostility which they themselves all too often internalize in self-loathing and self-destructive life patterns. So it is not the homosexual who is inherently sick, but the homophobia (anxiety and fear manifested as irrational loathing of homosexuals) of heterosexual society that is sick, and it is this homophobia that is causing whatever sickness there is among gay men and women. And one of the ways that this sickness expresses itself is an inability to achieve sexual maturation because they lack the normal societal supportive structures - familiar, cultural and ecclesial available to heterosexuals. (1) Therefore, the appropriate task of a therapist is to help them to overcome these prejudices in order to lead a happy and satisfying life as a gay man or lesbian. Click Here to read more about the above topic.
So, There Really is no such thing as an ex-gay
Though some people insist that they can persuade homosexuals to undergo treatment to convert to heterosexuality because of social, family and religious pressure (you know like "What will the family and our friends think?", "You are an embarrassment to us!", "You either change into a heterosexual or you will no longer be a part of this family!" or "You're going to Hell if you don't change!"), the above listed organizations affirm that there is no evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. In fact, because such treatments may be extremely detrimental, these same associations therefore oppose attempts at reparative or conversion therapy as promoted by the discredited National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). According to University of California research psychologist Gregory Herek, NARTH inhabits "the fringes of the mental-health establishment." Click here and here to read more about the dubious claims made by these reparative therapists belonging to NARTH and the "religious" anti-gay activists associated with the so-called "ex-gay ministries," such as Exodus International. The main point here is that there is no such thing as an ex-gay. By common definition, a homosexual is someone who is emotionally and erotically attracted to people of the same sex. Yet, as countless "ex-.gays" themselves admit, "ex-gays" still feel emotionally and erotically attracted to others of their own sex and may well continue to do so for the rest of their lives, despite their having been "healed." (2)
Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper
And these groups curiously keep no long-term follow-up records to scientifically validate their success rates, relying only upon anecdotal evidence. That has been problematic, though, as many founders, successive leaders and clients of these organizations have first claimed to be sexually reoriented and then reverted back to homosexuality and later repudiated their "ex-gay" testimonies and admitted that they had never stopped being homosexual. Click Here to read the apology of Michael Bussee, one of the founders of Exodus International who is now a licensed Marriage and Family therapist, a father, a born-again, evangelical Christian—and a proud gay man. Michael writes, "In 1979, another EXODUS pioneer (Gary Cooper) and I decided to leave EXODUS—and our wives. For years, we had both firmly believed that the EXODUS process would make us straight. Instead, we realized we had fallen in love with each other! We came out publicly against EXODUS in 1991. Our story is featured in the documentary One Nation Under God. Gary died of AIDS shortly before the film was completed. Since then, I have remained one of EXODUS’s most persistent critics – not because I want to “deny hope.” On the contrary, I want to affirm that God loves every person—and that God’s love and forgiveness does indeed change lives. It has certainly changed mine. It just didn’t make me straight. I have found harmony between my sexuality and my spirituality—and I am hopeful that others can do the same. Everyone’s journey is different. My own private exodus has been an incredible journey."
Anything But Straight, Author
Wayne R. Besen exposes the unscientific
research, false statistics and unsuccessful results, and debunks the outrageous
claims of those using the ex-gay movement and reparative therapy to raise money
for fundamentalist Christian organizations and income for therapists belonging
to NARTH who are scorned by the mainstream psychiatry and psychology.
Click Here to find out more from the
website truthwinsout.org which is
devoted to exposing the lies of the fraudulent ex-gay ministries.
The best (actually the worst) that the ex-gay or so called reparative therapy programs can hope to offer is an artificial change in an intimidated homosexual's outward behavior, which is nothing more than a suppression of their sexuality - in other words they offer dubious support for a lifelong struggle to control homosexual urges. (3) But The 11 associations listed above claim that there are serious psychological repercussions to those who attempt to go against their inborn biology. Those who do will themselves to go against their natural biology as a result of these reparative therapies and similar 'treatments' have been shown to suffer clinical depression, anxiety and various self-destructive behaviors, including suicide. Instead, these people seeking change should consider legitimate psychological counseling to learn to accept themselves rather than opting for these hocus-pocus religion-based “therapies” designed to teach them to reject who they are and lead fraudulent, repressed lives of denial.
The Ex-Gay Movement is Dead(...well it's on life support in any case)
Exodus International Shuts Down Completely
Exodus Int’l President Alan Chambers, leader of 37-year old ministry, admits grave errors and says to the Gay Community: “We’re Sorry”
Irvine, Calif. (June 19, 2013) — Exodus International, the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and reparative/ex-gay/sexual orientation change therapy, issued an apology to the gay community for years of undue suffering and judgment at the hands of the organization and the Church as a whole.
“I am sorry for the pain and hurt that many of you have
I am sorry some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt when your attractions didn’t change.
I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents."
“I am sorry I didn’t stand up to people publicly ‘on my side’ who called you names like sodomite—or worse.
I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know.
I am sorry that when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him, I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart.
I am sorry I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine."
“More than anything, I am sorry that so many have interpreted this religious rejection by Christians as God’s rejection. I am profoundly sorry that many have walked away from their faith and that some have chosen to end their lives."
“You have never been my enemy. I am very sorry that I have
been yours. I hope changes in my own life, as well as the ones we announce
tonight regarding Exodus International, will bring resolution, and show I am
serious in both my regret and offer of friendship. I pledge that future
endeavors will be focused on peace and common good.”
, , , , , , . . . . . . .
In January 2012 then- president of Exodus International Alan Chambers, during
his address to a Gay Christian Network conference, stated that 99.9% of
conversion therapy participants do not experience any change to their sexuality
and apologized for the previous Exodus slogan "Change Is Possible".
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Click Here to read the rest of the statement by Exodus International on their new website. For more details on this development click Here. The end of the Exodus Era is something to be grateful for ... but it should not be confused with the end of religion based homophobia. Click Here to read more about this.
So what does all of the above mean? Reading the articles listed below plus the readers' comments helped me, Gary Lynn, get a handle on it all:
Apologies Are Too Late When the Damage Is Already Done by Rev. Dr. Cindi LoveExecutive Director, Soulforce
Ex-Gay' Group Shuts Down, But Movement Is Re-Branding by Michelangelo Signorile, Editor-at-large, HuffPost Gay Voices
Exodus International Ex-Gay Survivor Discusses 'Homoerotic' Experience: 'The Damage...Was Astounding' (VIDEO) The Huffington Post | By Alexandra Schuster
John Paulk, 'Ex-Gay' Leader, Apologizes For Involvement In Reparative Therapy
Movement The Huffington Post | By Glennisha Morgan - In this article John
“For the better part of 10 years, I was an advocate and spokesman for what’s known as the 'ex-gay movement,' where we declared that sexual orientation could be changed through a close-knit relationship with God, intensive therapy and strong determination," he said. "At the time, I truly believed that it would happen. And while many things in my life did change as a Christian, my sexual orientation did not."
He added, "Today, I do not consider myself 'ex-gay,' and I no longer support or promote the movement. Please allow me to be clear: I do not believe that reparative therapy changes sexual orientation; in fact, it does great harm to many people." updated 28august2013
Could The Ex-Gay Programs
Form of Brain-washing and a Cruel Hoax?
It is claimed that ex-gay programs amount to a form of "brain-washing" in which struggling homosexuals are encouraged to attend camp-like settings where they have contact only with like-minded Christians, to avoid exposing themselves to any differing views and to devote themselves to an all-consuming round of Bible study, worship, fellowship and prayer. For a time, as Mel White admits in his powerful and courageous autobiography, Stranger at the Gate-To Be Gay and Christian in America, such immersion may give the fledgling "ex-gay" a sense of release and freedom. But when, according to former "ex-gay" and a co-founder of Exodus International Michael Bussee, despite such an intensive program, homosexual feelings return - as critics contend (and Andrew Comiskey and others admit) they inevitably will - those who despair of being healed are then told that they themselves are the ones responsible for the failure of the "ex-gay" promise of deliverance. As Ralph Blair puts it, the accusation is that "those who do not change never really tried to change." (4)
The result of being caught in such a bind is predictable, ex-gay opponents contend. In interviews with former movement members, the film One Nation Under God documents anguish, guilt, abandonment of Christian [or at least religious] belief altogether (including turning to paganism or atheism - so deep is their disillusionment), depression, stress, psychosomatic illness, self-mutilation and even suicide among those who, for all their faith and effort, could not achieve the "recovery" the "ex-gay" movement promised them and who felt there was no one to blame but themselves. (5) [Gary Lynn's comment: Really great therapy; they get their victims to blame themselves!]
Given such sobering data, critics of the "ex-gay argue, it is hardly surprising that Mel White should warn of the "tragic, long-term consequences of . . . false hopes and counterfeit cures" or that Ralph Blair would describe the "ex-gay" phenomenon as ultimately, a "cruel hoax." (5)
From The New York Times
Psychiatry Giant Sorry for Backing Gay ‘Cure’
Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, above, is a major architect of the modern classification of mental disorders.
By BENEDICT CAREY, New York
Published: May 18, 2012
PRINCETON, N.J. — The simple fact was that he had done something wrong, and at the end of a long and revolutionary career it didn’t matter how often he’d been right, how powerful he once was, or what it would mean for his legacy.
Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, considered by some to be the father of
modern psychiatry, lay awake at 4 o’clock on a recent morning knowing he had to
do the one thing that comes least naturally to him. He pushed himself up and staggered into the dark. His desk
seemed impossibly far away; Dr. Spitzer, who turns 80 next week, suffers from
Parkinson’s disease and has trouble walking, sitting, even holding his head
The word he sometimes uses to describe these limitations — pathetic — is the same one that for decades he wielded like an ax to strike down dumb ideas, empty theorizing and junk studies. Now here he was at his computer, ready to recant a study he had done himself, a poorly conceived 2003 investigation that supported the use of so-called reparative therapy to “cure” homosexuality for people strongly motivated to change.
What to say? The issue of gay marriage was rocking national politics yet again. The California State Legislature was debating a bill to ban the therapy outright as being dangerous. A magazine writer who had been through the therapy as a teenager recently visited his house, to explain how miserably disorienting the experience was. And he would later learn that a World Health Organization report, released on Thursday, calls the therapy “a serious threat to the health and well-being — even the lives — of affected people.”
Dr. Spitzer’s fingers jerked over the keys, unreliably, as if choking on the words. And then it was done: a short letter to be published this month, in the same journal where the original study appeared.
I believe,” it concludes, “I owe the gay community an apology [for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy," Spitzer wrote. "I also apologize to any gay person who wasted time and energy undergoing some form of reparative therapy because they believed that I had proven that reparative therapy works with some 'highly motivated' individuals."] Click Here to continue to read this very informative article in the New York Times. For more analysis of how the above flawed study affected the gay community, click below on "How One Flawed Study Spawned a Decade of Lies" from Forbes.com.
Your Sexual Orientation Can
Indeed Change Over Time, But You Can't Change It
Does orientation change over time? Yes, I [William E. Burleson - see footnote 6] think it can. Heresy you say? Maybe, but hear me out. I suggest this from my experience with support groups. Many times I have watched people try to create a new world for themselves when they come out, a new world that denies their old one. For example, take a fifty-year old man who has raised children to adulthood and has been married for thirty years. Now he identifies as gay. He may decide he was mistaken those fifty years he thought he was straight; after all, he's told there is a gay gene [not true] so either he has it or he doesn't. Besides, he really can't remember how it felt to be attracted to a woman in that way. Could the past fifty hears really have been a mistake? Could he have been fooling himself all these years? Possibly. However, I do think considering a life of fifty years to be suddenly now invalid is far too dismissive of what it means to be human and far too simplistic regarding sexuality.
While there certainly are people who knew all along their words and actions didn't match their feelings, there are many more whose orientation evolves and reveals itself over time. As for why he can't remember how he felt to be attracted to a woman, I would think that's natural. Have you ever broken up with someone and can't remember why you were ever attracted to that person in the first place? You remember you were there, but the feelings may seem completely foreign. Hey, at one time in my life I had a huge crush on Donnie Osmond. I remember it, but I can't feel it. You change; you grow. The same is true with orientation. Just because a person can't recall feeling a certain way doesn't mean it wasn't real at the time. So rather than say everyone whose sexual identity changes over their life was previously in denial, perhaps it is simply more accurate to say some people, for whatever reason, experience change in their sexual attractions, and thus their sexual orientation.
While orientation can change over time, there is one important thing to keep in mind: you can't change your orientation. In other words, it may change but you don't get to choose how it changes. As my friend found out, no amount of praying will make a person straight, even though he or she may have been straight at one time.
Aren't humans interesting? (6)
End of the Ex-Gay Movement?
A prominent leader bolts, just the latest blow to those who believe sexual orientation can be altered. Michelle Goldberg on John Smid’s about-face.
by Michelle Goldberg | the Daily Beast | October 13, 2011 11:00 PM EDT
Rollin Riggs, The New York Times / Redux
Last week, John
Smid, the former director of Love in
Action, the country’s oldest and largest ex-gay ministry, acknowledged on
his blog that, contrary to the claims of the movement he represented for
decades, gay people cannot become straight. “I’ve never met a man who
experienced a change from homosexual to heterosexual,” he wrote. He himself
certainly has not. “I would consider myself homosexual and yet in a marriage
with a woman,” he explained. He loves his wife and has no plans to leave her,
but wrote, “this doesn’t change the fact that I am who I am and she is who she
Smid, who resigned from Love in Action in 2008, was just the latest ex-gay luminary to leave the movement, either voluntarily or in a cloud of scandal. His break with ex-gay orthodoxy is a sign that, even in the evangelical world, the notion that sexual orientation can be altered is increasingly crumbling in the face of reality. Click Here to read the rest of this "hasn't-it-always-been coming-to-this" article in the Daily Beast.
(A) Click Here or on the above link to page 305 (Portable Document Format [PDF]-page 13) under the heading "Attitudes toward Homosexuality" of the Ethics Journal of the American Medical Association, May 2006, Volume 8, Number 5: page 305 (PDF document-page 13 of 64). "Following the APA decision, shifting cultural perspectives had medical support: if homosexuality is not an illness, and if one does not literally accept biblical prohibitions against homosexuality, and if gay people are able and prepared to function as productive citizens, then what is wrong with being gay? The normal/identity view is accepted by the American Medical Association, national, state, and local governments that provide civil rights protections for gay people, and religious denominations that sanctify same-sex relationships." Also see here.
(B) Click Here or on the above link. In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association’s Board of Trustees removed homosexuality from its official diagnostic manual, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Second Edition (DSM II). The action was taken following a review of the scientific literature and consultation with experts in the field. The experts found that homosexuality does not meet the criteria to be considered a mental illness. "All the evidence would indicate this is the way people are born. We treat disease, not the way people are. The very existence of therapy that is supposed to change people's sexuality, even for people who don't take it, is harmful because it implies that they have a disease" -- Dr. Nada Stotland, head of the American Psychiatric Association's joint committee on public affairs. From the website for The Association of LGBTQ Psychiatrists you will note the official position of The American Psychiatric Association: In December of 1998, the Board of Trustees issued a position statement that the American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as "reparative" or conversion therapy, which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation (Appendix 1). In doing so, the APA joined many other professional organizations that either oppose or are critical of "reparative" therapies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, The American Counseling Association, and the National Association of Social Workers.
Here or on the above
link. The stand of the American
Psychological Association came about as follows: Dr. Evelyn Hooker
carried out the first psychological test done to test for biological determinism in
1957, on a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. The study,
entitled "The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual", was
meant to explore the relationship between homosexuality and psychological
development and illness. Hooker studied both homosexuals and heterosexuals. Both
groups were matched for age, intelligence quotient (IQ) and education level, and
were then subjected to three psychological tests. These three tests, the
Rorschach, Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and the Make-A-Picture-Story Test
(MAPS), were then analyzed and tabulated by psychologists blindly, or
without the psychologists knowing whether the tests were taken by a homosexual
or by a heterosexual. The result was that these professionals were unable to
determine which subjects were gay and which were straight based on their
responses to these tests. In other words, the
results of Hooker's experiment yielded no significant differences in answers on
any of the three tests as between the gay or straight subjects. Because both groups' answers scored very similarly, she
concluded a zero correlation between social determinism of sexuality. This
experiment, which other researchers have subsequently repeated, demonstrates
that most self-identified homosexuals are no worse in social adjustment than the
As a result of Hooker's finding (and others that corroborated her findings), the APA removed homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychological Disorders in 1973. In 1975 it then released a public statement that homosexuality was not a mental disorder. [Note from Gary Lynn: You have to wonder why it took them 16 years to make the change. Could it be that the older doctors in leadership positions just couldn't bring themselves to accept the new findings since they had built their entire careers up to that point on the discredited notions? So it looks like it had to take a whole new generation of leadership to take the plunge] In 1994, two decades later [Apparently the same generational phenomena happened again], the APA finally stated, "...homosexuality is neither a mental illness nor a moral depravity. It is the way a portion of the population expresses human love and sexuality."
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Topmost picture is of me, Gary
Lynn, in 1948 or 1949 when I guess I was about 7 or 8 in Inglewood, California.
I was very gullible, LOL. But good memories, nevertheless.
(1) Holben, L. R. What Christians Think about Homosexuality - Six Representative Viewpoints, North Richland Hills, Texas, BIBAL Press, 1999, page 19.
(2) Ibid, page 84.
(3) Ibid, page 85.
(4) Ibid, page 89.
(5) Ibid, page 90.
(6) Burleson, William E. "Bi America-Myths, Truths, and Struggles of an Invisible Community", New York, London, Oxford; Harrington Park Press, 2005, pages 46 & 47.
(7) Jennings, Kevin, "Always
My Child-A Parent's Guide to Understanding Your Gay, Lesbian Bisexual,
Transgendered or Questioning Son or Daughter", New York, Fireside (Simon &
Schuster), 2003, page 245.
A Gay Teen Short Story ♂♂
Church is so confusing for Zack. His new pastor preaches nothing but hate and condemnation of gays and lesbians, but no matter how carefully he reads his Bible, he can’t find where it says God hates him. Will things change when Zach's boyfriend Billy suggests that they all go to his church instead? Click Here or on the icon to read the story.
Click for Page 25 - Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture? (Part 4 of 5)
Before 1973-Where Did the Mental Health Community Stand?
below to go to:
The Anti-Gay Religious Right's Really Cruel and Idiotic Argument
Their Message to a Gay Person is: Be alone. Live alone. Die alone.
Click for Homosexuality is neither a Choice nor a Sin - Table of contents
Click for Gary Lynn's Home Page
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