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You're gay, son? But what about MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?

by Jeremy Hooper

Want yet another example of "pro-family" self-absorption? Well check out the following snippet from a new Focus on the Family interview. The refeernced speaker is Anita Worthen, who co-founded New Hope Ministries with her "ex-gay" husband Frank:

Q.. Anita, tell me about the day your 16-year-old son told you he was living a gay lifestyle. What advice do you have for parents facing a similar situation?

A. Anita: I’ll never forget that moment because it was like I went into shock. It’s so hard because people never guess it’s going to happen until it does. But if parents could do the right thing, it’s just not say anything until they learn more. Just express the fact that they love their child: "I love you. This doesn’t change how I feel about you."

You really hope that this is just a little hiccup in your life, a nightmare, and you can get everything straightened out ‘cause you're mom and that’s your job. I felt like it was just a little skip in his life, not a fall in our plans for his life. And I think that’s true with most parents.

There are two things I tell parents: I cannot fix your kid, but I know God can. God is able. And the second thing: God is able to do this without you. And sometimes you may be getting in the way.

Friday Five: Ministry Leaders Frank and Anita Worthen [FOF]

"I went into shock"? "Just a little hiccup in your life"? "You're mom and that's your job"? "Our plans for his life"? "Fix your kid"?! Good mother of arrogance: Homosexuality is not a dirty diaper in need of changing! It's not all about you, the parent. In fact, it's not really AT ALL about you: It's about your child (and husband) and their truth(s)!

The idea that is the parent's life that is disrupted is the underlying problem with this whole "gays can change" mentality, as it adds the "you should change to please me subtext" that belies the professional "ex-gay" community's claims that their movement is all about self-determination and personal choice. It bears out a crucial reality: That this movement hopes to recruit impressionable parents (or other family members) more than it hopes to recruit actual gay people. The idea is to misinform potential allies to recruit them and those within their sphere of influence into the "pro-family" way of thinking. They wish to muddy truth's waters, "changing" much more that gays into "ex-gays." Instead, they wish to change (no quotes) society into ex-accepting!

Those of us who've dealt with family non-acceptance have a particularly weak heart for this sort of non-acceptance, because we know the whole host of problems, dangers, and mind-f*cks that it can cause. So we ask Anita Worthlen to stop for a second, quiet the head, and at least consider for just a moment that maybe she is not meant to be the harsh, constrictive director of their child's movie. If she does, we think she might begin to see that the lead actor's gay casting does not automatically turn his or film into a tragedy or horror, and that it's actually her own refusal to accept the unexpected script change that more fully ensures a flop. With peace, all can have a happy ending.

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Your thoughts

"There are two things I tell parents: I cannot fix your kid, but I know God can. God is able."

Sure, but is God willing?

Let's look at Anita's example. She's been stressing and fretting and has made her entire life centered around her distress over Tony's sexual orientation. And yet God still hasn't "fixed" her kid. It's been 40 years or more of demanding that God change her son and God doesn't seem to be be much inclined.

Anita, like Regina and so many others, are complete failures. They have presented their wishes and their beliefs and their teachings and their faith for decades. And those closest to them, those who know them best, their own children reject their agenda.

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | Jun 8, 2009 2:14:16 PM

Even otherwise accepting parents have a tendency to do this. My mother spent two years ranting about how hard it was for her.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Jun 8, 2009 2:46:36 PM

Poor Tony!

I heard/read some of this stuff when I covered the "Love Won Out" seminar in Orlando a few years back, and it stunned me. I found myself idly wondering what they would do if, say, their grown child was hit by a bus and paralyzed, or murdered someone and went to jail, or was, you know, a participant in any real tragedy at all. Instead they have to turn the simple fact that their child grew into something different than they'd planned into a tragedy with their own selfishness.

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Jun 8, 2009 5:16:27 PM

This is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Granted some parents take it over board but isn't pride a selfish "LOOK AT ME I'M QUEER! IT'S ALL ABOUT ME!" event and mindset? It is a selfish event for GLBT's but no one is going to cop to that because they will be seen as somehow denying joy to poor GLBT's and their endless injustices. Parents have a right to be upset and talk about-at length even. Much to the horror of the person who has come out. News flash-being gay will always be a badge of shame no matter how much democratic media spin you put on it. Society as a whole no matter how accepting will always look at parents with a suspicious eye and think "They must have done something wrong." No matter how much proof is provided to the contrary. It's gays that need to tone down the selfishness but that's in direct opposition to the "If it feels good over do it" mindset of gay culture. But one can never expect GLBT's to take a honest look in the mirror and accept the fact that the gay life is flawed and that denial is king of it. Truth-Gays will never tell you the truth, only a forced and fake happy version of any event. Proof is all around but no one is opening their eyes.

Posted by: Rick | Jun 20, 2009 5:50:14 AM

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