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Mama says 'change', daughter says 'smile for the camera'

by Jeremy Hooper
Judy-WilliamsBaptist News is running a piece penned by Judy Williams, a professional "ex-gay" advocate who, along with her husband, has founded Mississippi's In His Time ministry. In said piece, Judy never actually identifies the love one to whom she is referring, but she does tell what mostly comes across like a self-centered tale of personal woe:
When I learned someone in my family was gay, I was devastated. My emotions were in turmoil. I felt rage and confusion. I knew God was the answer, but I could not wrap my mind around how to engage God in what I thought needed to be done. I searched and searched for help but could find none.
FIRST-PERSON: Reaching out with compassion [BP News]

Judy's personal preoccupation is not unfamiliar to many of us gay folk. Many of us know what it's like to have loved ones who, despite having no firsthand experiecnce, think it is within their jurisdiction to tell us what we are rather than to listen to what we (and science and nature) know to be true. Many of us know what a unique frustration this aggressive self-blinding can be.

But you know what? We are aware of Judy's unidentified loved one. And we much prefer to let Judy's daughter Paige speak for her own Sapphic self. Because ya see, Paige Williams is actually a proudly gay, proudly partnered (for 10 years!) filmmaker who has a few opinions of her own when it comes to her life and love's worth. And rather than let her parents get the last word on her sexual orientation, Paige has turned her camera towards the subject:
This unnecessary family strife is one of the saddest aspects of this so-called "culture war." Holidays that should be joyous but are instead marred by bias. Milestones that are missed because of one side's cast stones. Loving relationships that are unacknowledged because the partner's crotch region is more or less bulging than the parents would like it to be. Life's benign situations turned gratuitously malignant.

It's painful. Trust me.

*Read more about Paige Williams: "Mississippi Queen" explores growing up gay in the South [AfterEllen]
*Learn More about Mississippi Queen: The Film

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Your thoughts

I couldn't help but notice that as they condemn homosexuals - based on out of context quotes from their "Old Testament" - they are devouring an item explicitly called "unclean" and forbidden in the same book. By the bucketful! Now, I don't care what these people do in private, even if it denies them an afterlife. But do they have to flaunt it? Do they have to shove their MUDBUGS down my THROAT?

It is obviously a sign of their sick, sick culture.

Posted by: Laura | Aug 27, 2009 11:15:11 AM

I know very well how painful it is. Too many of my relatives exhibit that same kind of "compassion." You're right, it's unnecessary, and "pro-family" groups like Focus (well, now that Love Won Out traveling freakshow is Exodus' problem) and churches like the SBC just fan the flames. But we're divisive. Sure.

Good for Paige Williams.

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Aug 27, 2009 12:01:56 PM

u couldnt pay me to go to Mississippi

Posted by: Disgusted American | Aug 27, 2009 4:38:45 PM

I was involved in Love in Action back before John Smid got hairplugs and the blonde dye job. Since the influx of "ex-gay" money from churches and organizations like Focus on the Family, John looks more and more like a "Jim Jones" delusional cult-leader. And that's all Love in Action is - a cult.

Posted by: Doh | Aug 27, 2009 6:27:33 PM

I am SO. FUCKING. SICK. of hearing the argument that "homosexuality is not a choice, but homosexual behavior is."

Well, DUH!

But I want to ask them this question: If the world was different and it was considered sinful to have "behave" heterosexually, would you bend over (literally and figuratively) to fit the status quo, forcing yourself into an emotionally and psychologically devastating closet despite your true self, or would you openly love others of the opposite sex?

Actually, I *have* asked several ex-gay advocates that, and have unfailingly been met with the response "WELL THAT CUOLDNT HAPPN BECUZ HOW WOULD REPRODUSE LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL." Apparently, in addition to being unable to experience human empathy, they are equally unable to comprehend hypothetical syllogism.

Posted by: FED UP | Aug 27, 2009 6:51:14 PM

Paige is so beautiful and strong. She could be even stronger and be even that much more fulfilled in her sexual identity if her parents supported her 100%. She deserves and needs much love and compassion. Just like so many other children. Parents had their opportunity to live their lives, fall in love, and find peace. Why would you deny this opportunity to your children?

Posted by: tomblue | Aug 27, 2009 10:58:23 PM

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