Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Hate in Action

I've been following the Love In Action and ex-gay conversion stories in the news lately, but then again, who hasn't been? Crooks and Liars provided a clip of Paula Zahn's CNN program about Love In Action, and I just watched it.

I feel very sad for the people who are brainwashed in this gay conversion programs. I'd love to get angry and scream at my computer screen, but I can't find the energy for it. I only feel sad.

Paula Zahn talks to one young man in the program who says, "I'm happy the way I am," implying that he wasn't happy before. Later, Zahn interviews Gerard Wellman, who works for Love in Action International. He says the program is "not about temptation, it's about behaviour." He pushes the idea that he still feels longings, but he doesn't act on these longings. He goes on to say he felt desperate and lonely as a gay man, and now as someone who has turned his back on homosexuality, he no longer feels this way.

What I find the most perverse about this all is that the young man doesn't delve deeply into why he felt desperate and lonely as a gay man. He doesn't stop to think: did these feelings come about because he was gay or because of society's feelings about being gay? I don't even think that can be a question - it's too obvious. Anti-gay propaganda pushes this idea that young gay people are more likely to be depressed, anxious, and unhappy than straight young people, but the reason for this is right under their noses. These young gay teens live in a heterosexist world, watch politicians on the TV attack homosexuality, and hear the church spew hatred. How can these kids not be more likely to become depressed or anxious? These kids are barraged by hate for one simple sin: being born.

The Paula Zahn piece above bothers me because it shows how Love in Action is addressing the symptoms, not the problem. The problem is that society can be a hateful, ignorant, and cruel place. The symptons are these poor kids and teens feeling deserted and alone. Instead of working to create a friendly environment of love and acceptance, Love in Action takes the words of a man who preached loving one's neighbor and turning the other cheek and creates a message of heterosexism and homophobia.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw the show ... hated it. I agree with you 100%. Thank you for taking the time to post your opinion.

8:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've long thought that we should round up all the unhappy straight people and tell them that the answer to all their problems is to become . . . gay. It would make about as much sense.

Nice post,

8:56 PM

Blogger Moonchild10 said...

It's true... the hostile environment that gay teenagers are forced to put up with is what depresses them, not the fact that they're gay in the first place. People just need a way to blame the problems of homosexuals on their homosexuality itself...

It's like saying a straight teen who has depression problems is depressed because they're NOT gay.

The homophobia in the world these days makes me sick.

3:15 PM


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