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07/17/2009

We too are in this game to protect children

by Jeremy Hooper

One thing that's so frustrating about the far-right's anti-gay activism is how they have set up their own stable of researchers, news sources, groups, advocacy organizations, and talking points, so that they can avoid actual information from actual LGBT people and credible professionals and instead get their desired information spoonfed to them by a like-minded choir. And when that sort of deliberately planned-out misinformation has the ability to drastically hurt a young person's life, it chills our gay adult bones.

This from Focus on the Family's forums:

Picture 4-236
Preschool boy likes everything girlie [FOF]

What we find is so startling is how this parent recommends Nicolosi's book and recites the supposed NAMBLA slogan (which, for the sake of accuracy, is not NAMBLA's motto -- it's a possibly fictional slogan that a possibly fictional group called the Rene Guyon Society used to say) with a seeming lack of political agenda, professional malice, or snarky irony. Whereas we are never surprised when we heard the "pro-family" organization's paycheck-collecters passing along their cook's agreed-upon recipes, it is a very different thing to see/hear laypeople doing the same. Because it's never really the groups who we challenge that are of most concern to our pro-gay minds: It's the everyday folks who they convince. Folks like this parent, who genuinely seems convinced that Joseph Nicolosi, the most insider-y of the "ex-gay" movement's inside men, is some sort of "outside help."

We would never deny a parent of their right to, well, parent. But having had the experience of growing up as a gay or gender-nononforming people in a world that still has a considerable problem with the same, how can we possibly sit back and let this potentially childhood-robbing, family-ripping disinformation go on unchallenged?

We can't.

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Your thoughts

These people are responsible for the fact that far too many kids contemplate, attempt, and (in alarming numbers) succeed at suicide. Parenting is not easy, and no one has all of the answers. No parent would never submit his child to a possible life threatening medical procedure based on the diagnosis of just one doctor. A second, third or even ten opinions later might not be enough to convince a parent to subject their child to that danger. And, yet, these misguided, far too trusting (gullible?) parents place undeserved trust in unskilled, untrained, agenda driven theocratic authoritarians.

It is entirely unconscionable that any parent would subject their child to untested and unproven courses of action, at least without a true outside opinion. But that is exactly what FOF is suggesting (demanding) of them by spreading this dangerous, propagandistic piece of acrimonious trite.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jul 17, 2009 1:48:05 PM

"No parent would ever" is what I meant to say. Please forgive my doubly negative, anger affected to the point of typo-prone fingers.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jul 17, 2009 2:17:41 PM

Sanctimonious nonsense and Christian-ese drivel. It's claims like this that just make my teeth drip venom. People like this take Christianity--which, even if you don't ascribe to the theology, should be a force for good in the world--and warp it into a mind-scrambling collection of scary folk-magic.

My boyfriend and I both grew up in south-central Missouri, and we've encountered this type of dangerous propaganda all our lives. The "pray the gay away" crowd doesn't accept the truth because it challenges their worldview. Nevermind that they foist their views on us all the time.

The argument never changes, either. It's always some variant of "People tell me to raise my child responsibly, but that's OBVIOUSLY not what Jesus wants. And if you disagree you don't get to be a Christian."

You can't argue with that. You just hope that one day they learn. Or at least that they don't vote.

Posted by: Garet | Jul 17, 2009 3:43:26 PM

This boy may be trans, not gay, and it pisses me off when ignorance may end up splitting a family. I feel sorry for this lady, for most boys dolls and gender identity play are natural parts of asserting your identity as a man or women in later life. I hope this lady's prejudices against LBGT people don't affect her son, and I hope for his sake that he is straight so he doesn't have to through all that with his family.

Sad times.

Posted by: Corvidae | Jul 17, 2009 8:04:12 PM

You know, I'd say something, but I'm too busy wiping away tears. Literally, I am.

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Jul 17, 2009 9:17:05 PM

Growing up as a trans gay kid to fundamentalist parents, I can't tell you how much grief I experienced knowing that everything about me violated God's "plan" for my life. I can only pray that this child will have the strength to get through this and keep his mind and soul intact.

Posted by: Gabriel | Jul 18, 2009 12:35:27 PM

I am going to pray for this boy, but not for the same reason his parents are.

It's stuff like this that make me so grateful I had a mother who, when her 8-year-old daughter wanted the Barbie Jeep but not the Barbie, was willing to humor her and buy it. And who, when she came out, said, "Yeah, I've been meaning to ask you about that," and then took her to the mall and bought her a sweater. Really, I wish this boy was my brother. He'd stand a much better chance of making into adulthood unscathed.

Posted by: Katelyn | Jul 19, 2009 1:19:17 AM

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