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02/20/2007

So let's see, that's a load of crap and you're drinking the Kool-Aid -- would you like Fryrear with that?

by Jeremy Hooper

 Images Melissa-FryearThe following are the thoughts of professional "ex-gay" Melissa Fryrear (pic.), as printed by the Colorado Springs Gazette:

Fryrear and others in the [ex-gay] movement believe environmental factors, temperament, childhood influences and a person's interactions with peers all can contribute to the formation of same-sex attractions.

She said a disproportionate number of people she's worked with have had a breakdown - real or perceived - in their family relationships.

"Understand we're not saying that in every case. We've talked with some men, for example, and their father wasn't able to be really physically and emotionally present to them."

The result, she said, is that some men then seek out the affirmation of other men in homosexual relationships.

"We don't believe there's a gay gene. We also believe that by and large, men and women don't choose these feelings," she said.

Hmm..but do you, Melissa, still believe (as you did in 2005) that "Having talked with hundreds of homosexuals, [you] have never met one that had not been sexually violated in his or her life”? Because that just seems to us like something you would want to point out when discussing what you perceive to be the impetus for same-sex attractions. Or perhaps you have one set of comments that you give to the mainstream press, and another that you give to "pro-family" outlets?

Pressing forward:

Fryrear said she spent 10 years immersed in the gay community, beginning at age 16. In 1992, when she was 26, she said she "made a conscious decision that homosexual behavior was wrong" and began intensive work that included counseling, support groups and conferences.

"I've come out of so many closets, it's a wonder I can find my shoes," she said. "And by the way, they're pumps now instead of Army boots."

It's actually funny that Melissa makes her last little quip there, as a journey towards the femme aesthetic something we've noticed that Melissa holds key to her "transformation." Take this quote that was featured on the Exodus International website:

During my years of restoration, I also began to learn about this thing called womanhood. Goodness! Who knew there was so much to learn: plucking eyebrows, hair bleaches, hair waxings, facial mud masks, eye lash curlers, manicures, pedicures, push-up bras, tummy tuckers, rear-end boosters, last year’s colors, and next year’s fashions?.."

Or look at this quote we discovered, where Mel suggests "some lesbians look mannish" because they think "It's a vulnerability to be a woman," so they put up a "suit of armor" to keep themselves from being hurt. Both of these quotes, as well as Mel's above "Army boot" quip, would suggest a very cut-and-dry definition of both lesbian and heterosexual women. After all, those of us who actually look at the data that life gives us know that there are more than a few "girly girls" who enjoy Sapphic splendor, and a healthy portion of heterosexual women who feel no need to subscribe to the antiquated notions of feminine beauty. To us, Melissa's oversimplification of what constitutes a lesbian and a straight woman seem would seem to actually hurt more than help her cause. It's her internal makeup with which we're concerned, not her cosmetics!

Moving on:

Fryrear believes her attractions to women were influenced by the fact she was adopted and by other childhood issues.

She said that even if science can prove a genetic link to homosexuality, it would not change what Focus teaches.

"The reason why is because homosexuality for us is also a moral issue," she said. "It's really what we believe and what we're for is sexual behavior expressed within the boundary of marriage between one man and one woman."

Okay -- the idea that not even a genetic link would change the "ex-gay" idea on sexuality should give us more insight into the way these kids operate than just about anything else. Because by what rationale would a biological link NOT alter the idea that you can change your sexual orientation through prayer, counseling, and "ex-gay" conferences? It would and it absolutely should! But then again, when has accepting and accurately representing science ever been their strong point?

Ugh, it's all so surreal.

To read more of Melissa's thoughts, as well as reasoned counter words from our pal Wayne Besen, the Gazette piece can be found below. Just be sure you've laced up your combat boots and ditched your lipstick before reading, lesbian friends. Otherwise you'll surely be ditching your partner for a man by the time you get to the last period!

Ex-gay' movement: Saved? Or shoved back into the closet? [Gazette via State.com]

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Your thoughts

I think its hilarious that you have to be one or the other. If you have an attraction towards women, you have to be this image of a "butch". A lesbian can never like fashion or squeel at the lastest issue of vogue coming through the mail. I consider myself a little a bit of both although I don't believe in binary genders unless that is something that you are going after. I wear mannish business suits while I have my designer purses and makeup on.

Posted by: jessica | Feb 20, 2007 6:37:18 PM

I love that angle on Melissa's photo. I appreciate looking down on her.
And while we're talking about being feminine, how about the cross armed pose and strong stance?
She may have replaced the combat boots with pumps, but you can't tell me she's not still muff diving.

Posted by: Jesse Archer | Feb 21, 2007 9:53:33 AM

Feminine = straight? Butch = gay? Stupid... My girlfriend is small and slender and beautiful, and she knows what clothes go with what, and she's even got *me* into skirts lol... On the other end of the spectrum, there's a girl who I used to play rugby with... she's a few years older than me, and the butchest woman I've ever met. Hair so short it's almost shaved, short and squat, heavily muscled and can outdrink the boys *any* night. And then you meet her husband and kids, and see how much she dotes on them... and them on her - goes to show you never can tell.

Dad taught me this lesson as a kid, though, so I have a bit of an advantage... my father can be exceptionally camp and effeminate when he wants to be - mum's the head of the household, and always will be. Dad used himself as an example to show that softer, more effeminate men aren't always gay... and by extrapolation, the more masculine women aren't always going to be gay, either.

Posted by: | Feb 21, 2007 3:34:57 PM

Hi:

I just watched Melissa Fryrear on TV. She is truly a very beautiful person. Why attack her-she is relating her experience. Plus there is so much truth in what she says.
I know that you probably do not want to hear the part about so many gays being abused when they were kids-but so many; many who have deigned that this happened to them, have admitted privately that they were abused-let me tell you-I have heard endless stories from gay people for 30 years.
Look, maybe you will live the gay life, but this woman has had an experience with Jesus. I know how you feel about judgmental church people yes, great numbers are like that-that is horrible and a real personal failure on their part, but Jesus, the real Jesus, is loving, compassionate and understanding. He loves Gay people and let me tell you, my wife and I have met scores of gay people who truly love Jesus. There are many gay people we've met who are loving, honest, God loving, people loving souls.
Well, I said my piece. Hey, God bless you and thanks so much for reading this! Peace!

Posted by: Me | Nov 3, 2009 10:58:13 PM

Nobody is "attacking" Melissa, "me." That is a canard, and, frankly, it's getting old.

We oppose "ex-gay" programs, not the people. Melissa routinely spouts misinformation that is outright rejected by science. And she opposes every last one of our rights. In fact, these "ex-gay" programs are used by our opposition to discredit things like marriage equality, hate crimes protections, nondiscrimination, etc. That's what matters to us! I don't know one gay activist who has a problem with "ex-gay"-identified people -- it's their advocacy that we reject.

And if you want to talk about all of the people who have supposedly confided in you, then please give us a ring so we can tell you about all of the tormented ex-"ex-gays" we have met. These programs wound many.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Nov 9, 2009 4:08:01 PM

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