Today much of the gay activism world and ex-gay survivors digest the expected but still very happy news that after a thorough two year review, the APA has announced that there is NO evidence in support of ex-gay therapy. Wayne Beson reports,
This conclusion did not surprise those of us who work with people who have been harmed by such programs. For example, I just interviewed Patrick McAlvey, who entered therapy to change his sexual orientation at the age of 19. His counselor, Mike Jones, is the director of Corduroy Stone, an affiliate of Exodus International.
McAlvey says that his sessions included prolonged hugs, the suggestion that he use handyman tools to increase his masculinity and questions about the size of his genitalia. There was also an episode of “holding therapy” where he reclined into the lap of his supposedly “ex-gay” counselor for an hour. The goal, according to McAlvey, was to get comfortable with his own manliness by “feeling the strength” and “smelling the smell” of another man.
What Jones and other ex-gay counselors routinely call “therapy” can seem a great deal like foreplay to the rest of us.
“I think it does a lot of damage to peoples’ mental health,” said McAlvey. “If I had had a fair representation (of gay life) I could have avoided a lot of suffering.”
I will take a look at the very large document over the weekend, but for now I will enjoy the final 18 hours of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends here in Smithfield, RI. Tonight is the BIG night with the community wide Coffee House sponsored by the Young Friends (YF=High School) where anyone can showcase their “talent.” Corny, sweet, intense and amazing, these performances get the crowd wild. Then the YF’s have their dance that goes to 2:30 in the morning. I had a sneak peek at the DJ’s play list. HOT!
We had our first shower today, which did not dampen the Frisbee playing and also gave us an hour for quiet activities indoors before it cleared up leaving everything sparlking. Below are some photos from the last 24 hours. I will write more tomorrow.