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08/01/2009

Heche-ing it out: Anne takes on mama's 'ex-gay' activism

by Jeremy Hooper

Over the years, Anne Heche has spoken out against her mother Nancy's work as a pro-"ex-gay" Focus on the Family employee. But now, in an Alex Witchel-penned New York Times Magazine article, Anne gives the most frank and revelatory commentary on the subject to date. Here's a snip:

Picture 2-261Heche said that when she called her mother — during her seventh year in therapy — to confront her about [her father's sexual abuse], her mother ended the conversation by saying, “Jesus loves you, Anne,” before hanging up. In her memoir, Nancy Heche, who is now 72, never addresses the issue of Anne’s abuse. I contacted her publisher, Regal Books, for a response to her daughter’s comments, and was told by Jackie Morales, its marketing and publicity coordinator, that Nancy’s agent, Mark Sweeney, said his client would have no comment (though she protested Anne’s account of events at the time). Perhaps the most damning comment came from Heche, who told me she has never introduced either of her children to her mother.

Nor has she read her mother’s book. “My mother’s had a very tragic life,” she said. “Three of her five children are dead, and her husband is dead. That she is attempting to change gay people into straight people is, in my opinion, a way to keep the pain of the truth out. People wonder why I am so forthcoming with the truths that have happened in my life, and it’s because the lies that I have been surrounded with and the denial that I was raised in, for better or worse, bore a child of truth and love. My mother preaches to this day the opposite of that core of my life. It is no mistake that she still stands up against love. And one wonders why I’m not rushing to have her meet my children.”
*FULL ARTICLE: Anne Heche Is Playing It Normal Now [NYTM]

Anne goes on to say that the mother she knew growing up had a "hatred...for anything gay."

Now, this is of course only one side of the story. But considering that Nancy Heche travels the country with FOF's Love Won Out program, giving advice to other parents on how to to deal with their children, we think it's extremely pertinent to examine how Ms. Heche's own daughter views the lay of the Heche family land. And if Focus on the Family is going to give Ms. Heche a career preaching about how to best help families, it would seem to be their responsibility to acknowledge that Nancy Heche's personal brand of "family-focusing" has led to an estrangement from her own child and grandchildren.

Doing so may not be convenient to their gay-changing cause. But the pain of family estrangement has inconvenienced countless gay people's lives for far too long already.

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Your thoughts

Wow how sad that her own Mother would show like of sympathy for her Daughter, and that she was sexually abused.

A Warped mind of anti-gay Hatred, very sad.

Posted by: Rob | Aug 1, 2009 1:24:20 PM

Sure gives me a new perspective of what Anne is about

Posted by: wayne kahler | Aug 1, 2009 1:45:55 PM

"... it’s because the lies that I have been surrounded with and the denial that I was raised in, for better or worse, bore a child of truth and love."

We have truth, the strength of our character and even righteousness on our side. If we become as aggressive as those who foment fear and hatred toward us, and intrepid in our resolve, then we might be met with defeat - which is certainly no worse than what we have been met with thus far. But, I have to believe that the more they get to know us, the more they'll realize that the fear is unfounded, and the hatred, uncalled for. That's when we win.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Aug 1, 2009 2:23:21 PM

OMG I thought this post was going to be about how Anne has become an 'ex-gay' activist herself, it's good to see she hasn't gone off the deep end in this respect like her mother.

http://queersunited.blogspot.com

Posted by: queerunity | Aug 1, 2009 3:32:11 PM

I met her while she was with Ellen DeGeneres at a special event at the Museum of Tolerance. At the time, Anne mentioned all that happened in her family, and why her father died. ( Her father was a gay man who contracted HIV and died of AIDS).
This terrible tragedy led to her 19 year old brother committing suicide out of fear that he would 'turn gay'.

FOTF or any number of church and other organizations encourage straight people to marry gays and lesbians. Nancy Heche it would seem to me, should be the absolute WORST person to give opinions about what an ideal family is or should be if only 'gay people adhered to doing what straight people want them to.'

Exploiting such families to further blame homosexuality for these problems is especially evil.
So much contradictory message. On the one hand they say that homosexuals are suspect and immoral, but seem to believe firmly that sleeping with one will cure THEM of that orientation.
Indeed, doesn't it look like sex with heterosexuals is supposed to change gay people altogether?

Apparently FOTF doesn't care at ALL about the Heche family, just their own ends.
How selfish.

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Aug 1, 2009 6:47:55 PM

that last line rings so true. it is very regularly out of fear of family estrangement that we remain closeted and lacking peace. it's not shame - it's the feeling that acceptance is nil.

as for having sex with heterosexual people changing gays...for those of us who've been down both roads (originally thinking there was no way i could be gay), yes having sex with women did change me - i recognized more clearly how much more natural and appropriate that sex with men is.

Posted by: george | Aug 2, 2009 11:53:41 PM

I have a bitch of a grandmother exactly like Anne's mother. I haven't spoken to her in 30 years. People like that are unreachable. They live in a state of denial of real life and in some kind of fantasy land of Jesus with their simpleton's understanding of what they want life to be. Delusional religionists will never accept reality and deal with it.

Posted by: Michael | Aug 3, 2009 9:26:47 AM

I never thought I'd say this, but Anne Heche rules. She's standing up to the evil beast. Even though she settled down with a man it was definitely not because of Focus on the Family.

Posted by: krissy | Aug 4, 2009 1:05:43 PM

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