My friend Tania in the UK posted a link on my Facebook page about PFOX, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays, and their insistence that ex-gay materials should be placed in public libraries.
According to the local NBC affiliate,
A Chicago-based group called Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays is urging libraries to carry literature about reformed homosexuals.
The national non-profit organization is arguing that the alleged successes of their “gay reversal” movement are not being heard because libraries refuse to carry their books, such as You Don’t Have to Be Gay and A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality.
One has to wonder just what genre those books would fall under, exactly.
I am sure folks can think of a bunch of snarky responses. Acutally It doesn’t fit under any genre and the answer to the “debate” is a no-brainer. These books do not belong in public libraries. We are not talking about a political issue, although PFOX my be politically motivated in part. The ex-gay movement in the form of Exodus and groups like PFOX has inserted itself into various political causes including opposing employment non-discrimination measures in the US and UK as well has fighting against hate crime legislation that would include protections of individuals based on orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Such protections actually would benefit ex-gays who are gender non-conforming or who get harassed for being something other than purely heterosexual.
No, this is not about politics. It is about public health and safety. Those of us who consumed these books for years and bought into the ex-gay theories have suffered much harm. Our families have suffered harm. The damaging results include psychological, emotional and spiritual harm. We have suffered in our personal development, relationships and even in our career paths as we have diverted our lives to please family and friends who love us unconditionally, well except for one condition–we can’t be queer. For many of us we needed years to recover from the “cure.” No child or adult need to be exposed to these dodgy and dangerous teachings.
The APA just issued a LONG report about reparative therapy stating that it doesn’t work and most likely causes harm.
You can read more about the harm of ex-gay theories and treatments and read first-hand accounts of ex-gay survivors over at Beyond Ex-Gay. PFOX, which has very few actual ex-gay gays in its organization, should really rename itself Disgruntled Parents of Happy, Well-Adjusted Gays & Lesbians.