Has the real Donnie Davies finally stood up?

This email purports to speak for the “real” Donnie Davies (is it you Joey?) with the low down on the whole gig.

Thanks to “arlopop,” a commenter here for this link.

UPDATE: 2/9/07 – Early today, this YouTube video showed up with a “hot tub interview” of the Donnie Davies crew. I am not enbedding it here because it gets a little risque in a place or two. So watch at your own risk.

If you don’t want to watch it, essentially you have YouTube user “bsnation” providing webcam interviews of those who are purported to be the people behind the Donnie Davies episode. They were surprised anyone took it seriously and intended it as a lampoon of groups like Westboro Baptist. I will admit I was not sure it was a hoax at first which is somewhat unsettling.

The folks at Brainfood (or wherever) continued the hoax well past the initial reveal. “Donnie” continued to correspond with me up until a couple of days ago, once writing:

Hi Warren. Have you been following Ted Haggard’s recovery? Its a rather amazing demonstration of reparative therapy, don’t you agree? What do you know about Tim Ralph?

And then this from Joey Oglesby in a Feb 4th email on his feelings about Donnie Davies:

As for Mister Davies, if he isn’t real, it would appear to me to be taking a shot at those who preach hate in the name of Christianity. And those that would have audacity to protest a fallen soldiers funeral or a funeral of a mass killing in an Amish community.

John Amaechi, former NBA player, comes out

John Amaechi, British import to the NBA, recently publicly declared he is gay. His story is fascinating and his plans for British basketball are ambitious. Watch this video for more information on this interesting fellow. There is a Wikipedia entry about him as well (…raised by his mother, you know what that means…). His first TV interview on this subject will be on ESPN’s Outside the Lines program at 9:30am, 2/11/07.

David Jones, a Patriot-News writer who knows Amaechi from his Penn State University days provides an in-depth report.

His disclosures and the ESPN coverage is sure to raise the profile of homosexuality in sports. Watch the video on the ESPN website about the possible prevalence of gay athletes and the issues raised if a current player came out of the closet.

UPDATE: 2/17/07 – In a move toward Donnie Davies, NBA star Tim Hardaway disparaged gays in an interview and is reaping what he sowed. He later apologized but has been banned from All Star weekend.

I thought Mary Buckheit had an appropriate response.

Narth shuts down their blog

This note on the NARTH website, dated 2/5/07 announces the closing of NARTH’s blog.

February 5, 2007 – NARTH has decided to shut down the blog, effective today. The decision came after several discussions over the blog content and the nature of the discussions on it. We wish to thank all those who participated in the blog in a civil and constructive way. – NARTH Blog Committee

CNN segment on Ted Haggard

I may add some additional comments later but I wanted to post the transcript of the Anderson Cooper CNN segment (scroll a bit over half way down the page) this evening regarding Ted Haggard’s rehabilitation.

The report was quite interesting with several points worthy of discussion. I felt Alan’s tone and responses were reasonable and quite consistent with the sexual identity paradigm. The stance of the Human Rights Campaign representative was less so in my judgment.

COOPER: Mark, you know people who have been through this kind of therapy. Some call it reparative therapy. In your experience, does it work?

SHIELDS: Again, absolutely not. Every bit of evidence we’ve seen is that it does not work. And at the Human Rights Campaign, we believe the only choice there is about being gay is, you know, whether or not you choose to be open and honest about it, if that’s how you were born.

I think that people have the choice that they can try and hide that or try and deny that piece of themselves, but ultimately, that’s not healthy for them or for their loved ones.

COOPER: But Mark, if someone is not happy being gay, as Alan clearly wasn’t as a child, what’s wrong with him trying to change?

SHIELDS: You know, again, the mental health professionals tell us that, in trying to change or fix something that’s not broken, you can actually cause a great deal of harm to yourself and ultimately to those that are around you.

You know, I wonder if Ted Haggard had been told as a child that it was OK to be gay and that he could have a rich, full life, if his life story wouldn’t have been less painful and contorted

Here is an example where the Shidlo and Schroeder study of possible harm relating to reorientation is referred to but not cited. Also, the real picture regarding research on etiology of sexual orientation and outcomes of sexual identity integration efforts is of course much more complex than depicted by Mr. Shields.

Another interesting point was the agreement between Alan and Mr. Shields that being gay does not preclude happiness. When I said this in the October, 2006 LA Times article regarding the NARTH controversies, I was the target of some conservative fire. I wonder how things will go for Alan.

Are love and sex bidirectional?

Some interesting recent articles online from the APA Monitor. Specifically this one detailing the interface of romance and sexual attractions brings into mainstream discussion research and theorizing very relevant to the definition of ex-gays and change.

Daryl Bem briefly anticipated some applications of this work in July, 2005 on his website.

The subtitle of the APA article, “Why romantic love isn’t limited by a person’s sexual orientation” does not convey the bidirectional nature of Diamond’s views. It could have been better worded: “Why romantic love isn’t limited by a person’s sexual orientation and vice versa” According to Diamond’s 2003 scholarly article, romance can be a pathway to sexual interest as well as flow the other direction.

The first chapter in the book I am working on more fully expands this line of research and theory. I note that many same-sex attracted men (ala Jim in A Valued Life) seem more generally attracted to men but are heterosexually responsive only to their wives. Over the years, I have seen a handful of women who also demonstrate this sexual pattern. Such a framework would actually address many disconnects in we have discussed this issue over the years (Side one – “but you really are gay”; side two – “but I love and am attracted to my wife and that is a real change”).

Seems to me this perspective could accommodate all five vision-impaired men and their understanding of the elephant. Change might happen and not happen all at the same time to different degrees for different people. Men and women clearly differ. Men, in general, are probably less likely to show rapid or permanent change in general erotic attractions (but some men appear to take the romance road to heteroeros); whereas women appear to be more flexible. However, this cannot be viewed prescriptively (“just find a good woman/man and you’ll be fine”) since the interactions of the sexual attractions and romantic attachment systems are complex and cannot be reduced to a formula. In other words, you Can’t Force Love.

The development of the sexual identity therapy framework has been informed in part, for me at least, by this line of thought and theorizing. I think sexual identity ministries could find much here that would be beneficial.