Chatting with Chad

Ex-Gay Watch currently is host to an engaging discussion around the comments of “ex-gay” activist, Chad Thompson. Thompson offers up his Strategies for Success talk which “unfold(s) a blueprint for complete healing from homosexuality”.

Commentors, including Thompson himself, discuss Thompson’s claim and their implications. The comments contain rich and profound insights. As always Regan DuCass provides an intelligent and thoughtful view.

I struggle with being a woman. I have struggled with being black.
And sometimes I’ve hated being both things.
Why?
Because of how OTHER people treated me because I was black and/or female.
Struggle is a fact of life. However, constant socio/political factors that CREATE and FOSTER the struggle itself cannot be left out of this, Chad.
As I emailed to you. Identity is a powerful thing and HOW, TO WHOM, and WHY one GIVES IT UP cannot be ignored either.
You didn’t CHOOSE not to be gay. You were fearful of it, and knew deeply what it would cost you if you disclosed that identity.
So you denounced and abdicated it before it barely matured.

Another commentor, JJ writes,

I think what bothers me is the insinuation that ‘if it worked for me, it can work for you’… which then leads to the “if it’s not working for you, then it’s obviously your own fault”.

People have a right to try and be ex-gay if they want to, and this may get me stoned on blog, but those organizations have a right to exist, and even to have their opinions heard in public forums… but when they call themselves “Christian” and then promise healing, an it doesn’t work, they find a loophole in their promise that blames the very person who came to them for help, and that is so harmful, and hurtful.

There is lots more, much of it rich and well worth reading (and some of it just silly or ugly). You can read the original post and the comments here

And speaking of engaging and profound, I just had an excellent conversation with Christine (Rising Up), an “ex-gay” survivor from Denver. In fact she had moved to Denver to be part of an “ex-gay” program that still operates there. She is just beginning to get out and tell her story. We really need to hear from lesbians and their experiences in the “ex-gay” movement. The movement and our discussions so often resolve around gay men, but many women have been spun throug the revolving doors of Exodus programs.

Christine’s honesty and transparency give great weight to her words. In her entry My Escape from the Staright Lifestyle she writes,

One of the things that bothers me about many ex-gay testimonies is that they often talk about how horrible the “gay lifestyle” is, and how shallow and drug-, alcohol-, and sex-filled it is. I guess they never consider the fact that there are queer folks who don’t live like that.

I was amused recently by the realization that most ex-gays’ characterizations of the “gay lifestyle” fairly accurately describe my former “straight lifestyle.” In the years prior to my coming out, I had a drinking problem, slept with people I didn’t know, and used drugs when I partied with friends.

I also got to speak with other cool, engaging people this weekend, including dinner with blogger Abby, her partner Aaron and my Quaker Friend, Ben who helps organizes film festival for The 48 Hour Project. Dinner was in Botson’s Little Italy–loud but good. Abby writes about the meal in her current posting.

AND I had the privilege of catching up with Memphsis filmaker, Morgan Jon Fox who also works with the QAC. Later this month he will show a teaser of his upcoming documentary on Love In Action.

Oh, and if you have lost track of the LIA story, Eartha Jane Melzer of the Washington Blade has written the most accurate piece I’ve seen about Tennessee’s investigation into the program and the subsequent federal lawsuit LIA filed. She even quoted me from this blog! So you can say you read it here first.

This post has 1 Comment

  1. jaklumen on February 26, 2007 at 8:16 am Reply

    I believe Chad Thompson is trying to build bridges, and I think it’s unfair to totally dismiss it based on idiosyncrasies and outright differences of opinion.

    I believe the path I am taking is right for ME, even if it is not for YOU. I think folks are getting way too hung up on the “ex-gay” thing and are missing the fact he’s just trying to promote love and understanding between the two groups.

    The gist of what he’s saying needed to be said years ago. No one needs to attack the other and ALL need to take a hard look in the mirror, ex-gay or gay. No one’s perfect. All I ask is that you respect my decision.

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