Category: lesbian

Christine Has Been Podcasted!

Actually Godcasted. Christine Bakke, (who recently celebrated a birthday!) appears on the recent edition of Candace Chellew-Hodge’s Whosoever.org Godcast (#13). She talks about the Ex-Gay Survivor Conference, Beyond Ex-Gay (bXg) and her own ex-gay journey. She explains the purpose behind the conference and what will happen there. I love Christine’s wit and warmth as she speaks about these issues. You can have a listen here.

Christine blogs about some recent international attention lately with a piece in a Russian paper (Sadelle, Vlad says, check out the original to practice your Russian 🙂

A 35 year old American woman has challenged “Reparative therapy” which supposedly cures the homodemon.

35 year-old American Kristina Beykk wanted to escape from homosexuality with the aid of the program of the so-called ex-gays, who promise to cure the “misguided souls” through the word of the Lord, the lesbian journal “Pinx” reports.

I love the “homodemon” thing. As many of you know Christine was recently featured in Glamour Magazine and Good Morning America, making her the first lesbian ex-gay survivor to speak out in such a way. No doubt you will hear more about her and her other international exposure soon.

In other audio news, Exodus International is running radio ads on Christian radio stations in Orange County, CA in preparation for their upcoming Exodus Freedom Conference. The ads boast “a sudden, radical complete change. Through Christ freedom is possible for those who struggle with same-sex attractions. ” On Exodus’ site they claim that the ads are actually aimed at changing the church,

Exodus International exists to mobilize the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality. As such, we are calling upon the evangelical church to undergo a sudden, radical and complete change in the way it has dealt with the issue of homosexuality in the past.

You can hear it yourself here and decide what you think they are trying to say.

Another Homeless Gay Teen

About once every six weeks I get an e-mail about a young person in Connecticut who needs a home because their parents no longer want them in the home because the teen is transgender or bisexual or lesbian or gay or even just questioning. Families are complicated, and no doubt other reasons come into play, but in almost every case the deciding factor to eject the child from the home is because they are too queer for mom or dad.

Robin McHaelen, the director of True Colors, sends out the requests via email. I just received one yesterday about a 16 year old lesbian who needed a home (and as a result of Robin’s efforts, the teen has found two homes to choose from!). I just received another request today.

This young man just turned 18. He is bright, responsible, caring and homeless. His mom listened in on the phone last week and heard him come out to someone. The mom’s response was to put him out. He has been staying with a friend since then, but can’t remain. We would love to find him a place in Windsor Locks or very close so he can finish school (He graduates later this month).

(If you live in Connecticut and are queer, you know how to contact Robin).

My mom spoke to me a few times about parents and how I need to be patient with them around LGBT issues. They grew up in different times when it was not imaginable to be a happy, healthy homosexual. And that most queers get the snot beat out of them every other day. This advice has helped me a great deal when speaking with worried parents who fear their children will end up lonely and unhappy and in trouble. These concerned parents often need to hear new stories to replace the assumptions they have.

But I cannot understand a parent who feels so strongly against same-sex attractions and gender differences that s/he would actually push their child onto the streets. Of course not all parents respond the same way. Some force their children onto the streets, others into ex-gay programs, and others keep their sons and daughters within reach.

A friend of mine in Boston has worked a lot with youth and is a licensed sex educator for the Boston Public School system. She said she noticed a pattern in responses by parents of LGBT children when the parent has a problem with having a queer child.

She said among parents who are white, the response has typically been something like, “You might be gay (or lesbian, etc), but not in MY house!” Then they kick their kids out. The young people stay with friends for awhile, going from house to house, but in many cases they end up on the streets. Among Black parents the response is different: “You are not lesbian (or gay, etc) and you are going NOWHERE.” The son or daughter stays in the home, watched carefully and perhaps silenced, but not destitute.

Last week I received an e-mail from a FTM transgender friend of mine. He is still college-age and is only just coming out to his parents. When he shared with them that he is trans and that he hopes to transition, their immediate response was to withdraw all financial support.

Again I understand how a parent may have concerns or be confused or need educating, but to react by impoverishing your offspring troubles me. Is this what we learn from living in a capitalist society that teaches people can and should be manipulated by money? How about talking? How about spending time together trying to understand each others’ needs and concerns? Rather some seek to silence, contain and disenfranchise their loved ones..

I wrote about parents and their fears in my post, Can My Gay Child Change? The short answer is YES. If you treat them like dirt, if you disrespect them and push your agenda on them without opening your heart about your real fears and concerns and listening to theirs, your child will grow distant from you and even hostile. Then when they need you the most, (and you need them) you will have positioned yourself far far away.

How Do I Know if my Spouse is Gay????

Over at my Spanish blog, Dos Equis, I have a post entitled ÂżComo Identificar si mi pareja es homosexual? which is similar to the English post What About the Spouse? The Spanish site Adriana and I maintain got so many hits due to search results about gay and lesbian spouses that we decided to write about it in Spanish.

Today I received the following comment:

Sí encontré este blog por el título de este post. Tengo serias dudas
sobre mi esposo, y esperaba encontrar aquĂ­ alguna respuesta que me ayude a
identificar si su comportamiento tiene que ver con una orientación homosexual, pero de eso, nada. Ya que te encuentras en esa situación, quizá puedas darnos algunos tips para aquellas que somos lastimadas por el engaño de un hombre que no se resigna a reconocer su inclinación, lo cual es muy injusto para la mujer. Gracias.

I found this blog through the title of this post. I have serious doubts about my husband, and I hope to find some answer that can help me determine if the way he acts might reveal that he has a homosexual orientation, but so far, I have found nothing. Since you have been in this situation, would you please give me tips those of us that suffer because of the deceit of a man who refuses to recognize his inclination, which is very unjust for the women.

This woman deserves useful answers, but I feel hesitant to write about what signs there are to figure out if your husband is gay. For one there are cultural differences to consider. Also, one size does not fit all. Each man is wired differently, and he may display certain “signs” for a variety of reasons, not simply because he is homosexual or bisexual.

So I put it out there for readers. What would you say to this woman? Some of you were married to men or women who turned out to be gay or lesbian or bisexual. Some of you who are gay or lesbian or bisexual were married to a spouse for years before you came out to your spouse. What would you say to this woman?

I also received a comment on this blog at What About the Spouse? I think it deserves to be reprinted here:

The emotional earthquake caused when a person finds out his or her spouse is gay can be devastating. I was married to a gay man for 38 years before divorcing him. I did not know when we married that he was gay.I have learned through my experinece that there are few resources for the straight spouse.

In my work as a life coach, I encourage people to cast a grateful eye toward what was good in the relationship so that moving on can be a creative process rather than one fueled by resentment and anger. Those feelings are definitely there at first, but
the energy of them can be used to create a new life.

I have also found that many gay men have made the mistake of thinking that since the straight wife was friendly and understanding with other gay men, she would accept her husbands desire to live the life style. It came as a bit of a shock to mine that I divorced him.

It would be helpful for gays married to straights to have an understanding of what their spouse might experience beforer they come out to the spouse.

Good article! Melissa McCutcheon

Thank you Melissa! I appreciate the conversations I have had with spouses who have allowed me to see the pain and difficulties as well as their healing process after they discovered that thir marriages were not going to work. Thank you for stepping up and telling your stories.

Homophobia and Ex-gays in Sweden

Like many people raised in the USA, particularly with an Evangelical church background, I always thought of Sweden as a place where gays and lesbians were freely accepted by a society that had done its work to embrace all of its citizens. And really it is an amazing place with progressive laws for many of its citizens. But anti-gay sentiments can still run deep regardless of laws. Anti-gay messages still get into the public’s minds through preachers, neo-Nazis and just plain ignorance.

In September when I visited Sweden for the first time, I felt shocked to hear about homophobic attacks in major cities like Stockholm and that most offices of the RFSL (the national LGBT organization) could not put signs up in front of their offices and meeting places because of anti-gay vandalism. At that time I also learned about people who felt compelled to live double-lives in order to find acceptance within their families, communities and churches.

In regards to the ex-gay movement, many Swedes told me that nothing like this happens in their country. That pleased me to hear, but I had my doubts. Sometimes ex-gay ministry happens under the radar through independent churches where youth ministers and pastors, influenced by US doctrines, engage in practices that most of the public never hear about.

During my most recent trip I heard from a teen who attends a charismatic church in the Stockholm area. At a gathering this month of teens they had a special speaker, a woman who says God delivered her from homosexuality. She used to be a lesbian, but not anymore, well not so much. She did go onto to say that she doesn’t really enjoy kissing men so much and still has some struggles. (Alex heard the same account, so perhaps he can add more details if I got them wrong or if there is more to add)

Who knows why the church chose this speaker? Perhaps one of the young women among them showed signs of lesbianism (what exactly are the signs anyway?) The organizer’s message came through loud and clear though that the “lesbian lifestyle” was not within God’s perfect plan and therefore the faithful must resist, repent, reform. I sense from the teen telling me the story though that most (but perhaps not all) of them saw through the ruse.

But what other messages do they transmit to these young people in Stockholm? If being lesbian is out of God’s perfect plan, then what does that make lesbians and gays? Sinners? Enemies of God? Enemies of society? Evil?

Where does violence against gays and lesbians and transgender people arise? I find it curious that Neo-Nazis and certain types of heterosexual Christians spend so much time attacking lesbians and gays. They use different weapons, but to me their hatred and intolerance comes from the same spirit. A spirit that proclaims, You are wrong, sick, flawed, a threat, and therefore you must be dealt with in this life or the next.

Alex sent me a link to an article about a horrific attack on a lesbian at the offices of the RFSL in Stockholm this week. It reminds me of a similar attack that took place near Boston not too long ago.

A woman thought to be in her forties was struck in the head with an axe in central Stockholm on Monday afternoon.

The attack took place at the offices of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL) on Sveavägen just after 3.30pm.

Police arrested a man around fifteen minutes later in connection with the incident. He was still carrying the axe when he was apprehended.

RFSL chairman Sören Andersson has confirmed that woman was an employee of the organization. He is in no doubt that the crime was motivated by hatred.

“It’s obvious that this can’t be anything other than a hate crime directed at our organization,” he said.

“This clearly shows that the work done to counteract hate crimes has not been sufficient. More needs to be done. It is dreadful, really dreadful, when staff cannot feel safe at work,” he added.

The woman has been taken to hospital where the seriousness of her injuries is not yet known.

The former lesbian speaking to a youth group and a man attacking a lesbian in the same city are unrelated. But are they really? If you inform young people that it is wrong to be gay, outside of God’s will, even a threat to society like many anti-gay ministers proclaim, isn’t it possible that the result would be that someone reacts by hurling anti-gay slurs, vandalizing LGBT centers, or by physically attacking lesbians, gay couples or trans people?

How responsible are we for the words we speak, the messages we transmit? What happens when ex-gay leader teaches that gays are outside of God’s perfect plan while at the same time the same leader insists that he takes a public stand against homophobia? Can’t they see how they contribute to homophobia and operate under the same umbrella as people who violently hate gays?

Sticks and stone may break your bones, but words, well, they often the fuel the violence.

More Ex-Gay Survivor Stories

Christine and I have been getting so many e-mails from people sharing their ex-gay experiences. (thank you!) We have posted some of these on bXg and others will be there over the next few weeks. Here are two narratives we recently posted.

Brock:

“What a pathetic mess,” I thought as I listened to him cry and boast about another one of his secret sexual encounters behind stall doors, public parks, health clubs, chat rooms, and bath houses. Here I was again at another Dallas ex-gay meeting, with a bunch of weenies in the back of the Church of Christ. The 20-something members of my group sat in a circle around a chair-less, pale-yellow room giving accounts of our madness.

I look back now and my heart breaks for these men, confused and tormented by their natural need. But the thousands of men and women in these groups aren’t weenies at all. By one means or another they have taken the first step in coming out of denial about their orientation, usually at the risk of losing many people they thought were friends.
Read more of Brock’s Narrative

Jodi:

As the former wife of a Southern Baptist Music Minister, a devoted stay-at-home mom of two boys, women’s ministry leader, and church soloist, my life seemed picture perfect from the outside. But, a much different picture was painted underneath. For years I had known that I was a lesbian, but to actually acknowledge that fact to anyone, including myself, was not an option. I certainly could never go to God with such a revelation!! I maintained a life of secrecy and shame.
Read more of Jodi’s Narrative

You can read other narratives here.

Ex-Gay Survivor, Darlene Bogle Speaks Out

This from the folks over at God & Gays:

Hi there! Join ex gay survivor and author Darlene Bogle as the next guest on the God, Gays & You Live Interview Series this Thursday, May 3rd 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern. Sponsored by the hit documentary, God & Gays: Bridging the Gap, listen in live while we get the scoop on how Darlene lead an Exodus group for 15 years to turn around and survive and so much more. We’ll also talk about if you or someone you know is struggling or involved in ex gay programs, what you can do to support and help them in a much healthier and spiritually healing way. Darlene is a featured speaker at the Beyond Ex Gay Conference in June so get on the call and get to know her.

Since this topic is rarely openly discussed, you never know who you could be helping by forwarding this email around to your networks and lists. Invite 10 people you know to be on the call and we look forward to being you then.

Call in information:
Be sure to call in a few minutes early to get in, there’s a limited number of phone lines available!
Thursday, May 3rd 5p Pacific/8p Eastern (one hour)
1-641-297-5800 (Iowa)

Participant Access Code: 29862

Video–Tyra, Vlad & More

Okay gang, I have some video for you. First is a clip from when Steven Fales and I appeared on the Trya Banks Show.
(Note: if you ever appear on a daytime TV program, NEVER tell them that you had an exorcism or other extreme momentary experience. They will focus so much on that they they could actually miss the point.)

Ex-Gay Watch links to a video ad for Exeter International, a thinly veiled parody.

There is a good reason I don’t watch myself perform on video–it is scary and I may never perform again. Am I really this bizarre??? Peggy Senger Parsons caught some video of Vlad in the act during my recent presentation of my one-man (multi-character comedy) The Re-Education of George W. Bush. The question is, when I make a complete fool of myself, will my friends ever tell me??? Peggy writes,

Vlad presented an interpretive dance to a hidden Condaleeza Rice in the audience. Vlad’s goal was to entice Condi to run for president and re-instate Russia as the United States favorite enemy. Apparently -they’ve missed us.

Seeing this I realize it is time for a diet and exercise–I think I have had far too much sweet brown rice this past few weeks (see video here of my current food loop)

And this just in (well uploaded) Christine Bakke (still glowing from her recent appearance on Good Morning America–view clip here) and I met up in NYC yesterday and here is video to prove it. We have fun with the word lesbian. You can say it too, go ahead, try it!

Lesbian Ex-Gay Survivors Step Up

Christine Bakke, co-founder of BeyondExGay and recently featured in Glamour Magazine, is slated to share some of her story Monday live on Good Morning America. Of course a volcano can blow up or Hillary Clinton or someone could say something stupid and that will change the course of morning “news” programs, but as it stands Christine will fly out to NYC this weekend to do the Monday morning show. It may air around 8am, but then who knows.

Ex-Gay Watch reports that Ann Phillips, former staff member at Love in Action and an ex-gay survivor, will speak at the Evangelicals Concerned women’s retreat July 25-27, 2007 in Orange County, CA. She speaks so well–witty, wise and practical.