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03/04/2009

Oh yea -- it's really teh gays who want 'special' rights

by Jeremy Hooper

In my younger days, yours truly dated women. Got intimate with them, even. Sorry to disappoint you all, but it's totally true.

What can I say? I was young and silly. A silliness that led me to make some unnatural choices, preventing me from meeting the requirements for the coveted "goldstar gay" status.

So should I, by virtue of my past dabblings with the lady set, have my rights as an "ex-straight" respected? Well no, of course not. Because I was really always gay -- the ability to close my eyes and think of Joel when I was kissing Laura didn't change my orientation. I knew it, and I suspect some of my unfulfilled dates knew it. The hetero drag I placed atop my reality was mere artifice.

Plus there is no scientifically-recognized classification known as "ex-straight." No credible scientist supports this classifcation. And in fact, even if you believe that people can "change" their sexualities, it's beyond bizarre to suggest that one's past choices should ever define their current, true orientation. What would be the point of that?!

Well bizarre, thy name is the organized "ex-gay" movement. This little nugget comes from "pro-family" personality Michael Brown:

“How,” Brown asks, “can they be called the Human Rights Campaign? What about the human rights of ex-gays? And how can the HRC call for tolerance and understanding and yet be so intolerant and bigoted in their treatment of those with unwanted same-sex attractions? Why heap scorn on ex-gays and deny their very existence? Isn’t this the height of hypocrisy for an organization ostensibly devoted to the basic rights of gay and lesbian people?”
Charlotte Christian Leader Asks the Human Rights Campaign, “Do Ex-Gays Have Human Rights?” [PFOX]

You know, I used to be a Tennessean. I'm gonna go see if the state of New York will give me a dual license: That of a NYC resident and that of an "ex-Nashvillian."

Or maybe I can get a local daycare to enroll me, since I'm an "ex-toddler."

Or perhaps I should have rights on the basis of any religions I may have formerly adopted or past disabilities that are no longer part of my life.

Or what if I want to switch to the Republican party yet still vote in the Democratic primary -- can I get a special "ex-Democrat" pass that will give me this right?

Or...

****

*Note: Look, of course we want "ex-gay" people to be afforded the same respect as others. But as heteros, bisexuals, homosexuals, or simply as human beings -- not as a contrived label that exists only among politically-motivated circles.

And we will never respect the movement. It, by design, disrespects some of the things we love most: Truth, science, freedom from religious persecution, and gay people.

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Your thoughts

Well, said, Jeremy. The "ex-gay movement" is beyond absurd.

Posted by: Bonnie_Half-Elven | Mar 4, 2009 12:44:33 PM

Per usual twisting of the argument. Someone should ask the professional ex-gays that if they are happy being who they are, then why do they pass along inaccurate anti-gay religious right literature and why do they speak against pro-gay laws and ordinances.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Mar 4, 2009 12:54:37 PM

This shit makes no sense to me,whether you are lesbian,gay,bisexual,transgender,or straight we should all be treated the same. I consider myself lesbian and i don't feel like i should be treated any different. LOVE IS LOVE NO MATTER WHETHER YOR GAY OR STRAIGHT.I'm so sick of hearing shit about this.

Posted by: Megan Jones | Mar 4, 2009 1:18:34 PM

Most excellent article, gave me the chuckles. I am particularly partial to hetero drag, amazing!

Posted by: queerunity | Mar 4, 2009 1:23:50 PM

Exactly, Megan. Unfortunately the "ex-gay" movement wants to undermine your rights as a lesbian. That is why their attempts to be recognized as a separate orientation are not just comical -- but dangerous.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 4, 2009 1:24:03 PM

Ex-gays deserve every bit of respect that any human being deserves. Professional ex-gays (celibate-for-pay-gays / chop-off-your-penis-if-it-offend-the-religious-gays), those who use their pseudo-normalcy as proof of something other than the lie that it is, deserve to be called the lying liars that they are. They promote two primary lies: first that there is something evil about being gay. That lie is intended to foster self-loathing so that their next lie can proffer that the self-loathing can be used to transform into something else. Because, according to their lies, anything is preferable to being a self-loathing gay person.

Most of us see their demeaning, anti-social rhetoric as exactly what it is. But the problem with their malicious endeavor is that those lies are used to prey upon the most vulnerable (emotionally fragile) among us. The ones who are least capable of withstanding the emotional wounds and scars that result from their full-frontal, berating attacks. And THAT is reprehensible.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Mar 4, 2009 1:33:20 PM

Well Dick, of course they always twist it so that our repudiations of the movement are repudiations of the "ex-gay"-identified people themselves. I don't know many gay activists who give a damn about how ANYone identifies -- we just want people to be free. But when we stand up against their stealth attacks, they present us as being mean to the poor "ex-gay" person.

It's so frustrating. But unfortunately it has some success. I've even had gay-identified people ask me why we can;t just let "ex-gay" people live their lives .

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 4, 2009 1:57:17 PM

buffs his "gold star gay" award

Posted by: Tim | Mar 4, 2009 4:14:56 PM

My mind boggles at Brown's statements.
We do not need to fight for the "rights" of a group that is NOT being marginalized by governmental and societal policy.
The absurdity of the claim is astounding.
Suppose we lived in a society where Jews were discriminated against and told they could not marry or serve in the military or adopt. The Christians get all the perks...
Then along comes a group of Christians who USED TO BE Jews, demanding their "rights" be recognized by groups who were fighting for Jewish equality. And they do that as they FURTHER THE DISCRIMINATION against the Jews...
And that group of Christians IS NOT HAVING PROBLEMS in the first place!
Some in the anti-gay crowd couldn't reason their way out of a wet paper bag.

Posted by: foundit66 | Mar 4, 2009 9:30:14 PM

After reading this, I'm seriously considering referring to myself as ex-straight from now on. It does seem easier than saying "Well, technically bi, but the last few people I've dated have been men, but I do prefer women..."

I don't think I ever really was straight, but "ex-straight" makes me giggle, so what the h*ll.

Posted by: Yaara | Mar 5, 2009 6:07:32 AM

This seems to stem from people's incessant drive to constantly define themselves. Ex-gays are really anti-gays (and maybe even pre-straights in some.. lol... instances), while many gays were at one point quasi-straight, as straights are divided on the issues of rights for gays (or should we say ex-straights), and ex-gays for some mysterious reason refuse to join in with the straights while spiting the gays.

The APA is right about replacing all these self-appointed descriptors with action-based terms like MSM. I can tell people I'm a polyamorous androsexual genderqueer post-womyn, but how I behave may reveal a different story.

Much like the marriage debate, just an issue of technicalities.

/2 cents

Posted by: Chris | Mar 5, 2009 5:06:39 PM

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