Sunday, May 28, 2006

My name is ATL malcontent, and I'm a mentally ill heterosexual

That's what many in the Christian right would conclude:

The ex-gay movement considers same-sex attraction to be a gender-identity disorder, brought on by inadequate parenting, unmet emotional needs and, often, childhood sexual abuse.

Mainstream associations of psychiatrists and psychologists resoundingly reject that model, but the ex-gay movement promotes it through groups such as the National Assn. for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. That group's president, psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, opened a recent conference for men and women seeking to overcome homosexuality with a ringing statement:

"There is no such thing as a homosexual. We are all heterosexual. Our body was designed for the opposite sex."

I'll overlook the obvious slap in the face and note another victim of these rhetorical grenades -- the parents of gay kids. They're being told, with no subtlety, that they failed miserably as mothers and fathers. What else would explain a homosexual scion? Dealing with a queer son or daughter is difficult enough -- hopefully, one day, it won't be -- and parents don't deserve the blame.

No one does. Homosexuality just is. Like being blond, or redheaded, tall or short. Is it that hard to understand?

I had good parents. Most of my emotional needs were met. And I was never inappropriately touched.

So what explains me?

The audience of more than 700 sat rapt in the pews of a Fort Lauderdale church. Some held Bibles. Others took notes. Nicolosi went on to tell them that fathers could help their sons stay straight by bonding through rough-and-tumble games, such as tossing them in the air.

"Even if [the dad] drops the kid and he cracks his head, at least he'll be heterosexual," Nicolosi said, chuckling. "A small price to pay."

Sorry to screw with your theories, Dr. Nick, but I played sports. Liked 'em. Still do. I even recall wrestling with my dad a time or two.

You're running out of rationales.

Better said, you're a bigot, er, hatemonger. Your side doesn't mince words, so why should I? Frankly, I'm tired of dealing with small-minded paranoia.

See you at the next Queer Nation rally.


  1. Great post! On the other hand, I was brought up in an environment that would have made Fred Phelps gay: ineffective emotionally absent father and a domineering mama who repeatedly took me to see musical theater and bought me dolls, yet somehow I came out "straight." It has cost me dearly to publicly take the stand that being gay is primarily genetic. Prejudice will continue however since homosexuality will always be the one and only sin most Christians can smugly declare they would not do.

  2. "brought on by inadequate parenting, unmet emotional needs and, often, childhood sexual abuse." -- HUH? Seriously. You are what you are. Many serial killers came from normal family backgrounds. Many of the greatest achievers in history rose above horrible childhood circumstances. DON'T THESE PEOPLE HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO WITH THEIR RESOURCES THAN STUDY SOMETHING THAT IS A) NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS and B) NOT HURTING ANYONE????

    I am no scholar of the Bible, but there is one line in there that I follow above all others:

    Judge not, lest ye be judged.

    And these zealots are in for a big freakin' surprise when they go to meet their Maker.