11 thoughts on “NPR reports on the Phoenix Love Won Out”

  1. I guess if you read the website strictly, then maybe I’m “queer by choice” as well. Without knowing anything about this group, I wrote about it here a while back.

    But that term (queer by choice) is very limiting and does not accurately reflect my own experience. It certainly doesn’t convey it according to how others would interpret the phrase “queer by choice.” I guess the “queer by choice” is similar to “ex-gay” or “formerly homosexual” that way.

  2. Well said, Jim

    Isn’t it funny how you can find someone to support your preconceptions on the internet no matter how incredibly lacking in substance they are? And if you don’t look too closely, you can claim just about anything about just about anyone.

    Of the roughly 7,000,000 gay people out there, Queer By Choice is up to 150 people on their mailing list (I suspect that about 100 are anti-gay activists). That’s about the same number claiming to be the father of Dani-Lynn Smith.

    And here’s a little sample of the first two people that I selected on their site (there’s a dozen or so):

    “i’ve always felt an attraction to other men. i don’t know why, but i have. it’s something i am learning to accept, and feel comfortable with”

    “The way I address the nature/nurture/choice issue is to minimize the question. After all, whether or not homosexuality is a choice pales next to the issue of the injustice LGBT folks suffer under the law, in school, in church, in the workplace, etc. These folks exist (include me), and arguing the cause trivializes their pain. The cause is moot.”

    Hmmmm, maybe it’s just be but I’m not seeing the “choice”.

  3. Well stated Jim.

    Anyway…this back-and-forth between the son accepting and knowing himself and his father’s expectations of change screams “conditions of worth.” It is sad to watch a parent injure their rapport with their child, and place expectations on him that he will likely never meet. Dragging him off to straight camp isn’t likely to help.

    If you look, the “love won out” movement rarely has any involvement from reputable psychologists, psychiatrists, or experts in mental health…looking at their website, those who are expected to “change” are …

    Anne Heche’s mom

    A professor of Education

    A guy with no degree who runs “genesis counseling”

    A masters of divinity

    A guy with no degree who works for Focus on the Family

    Nicolosi (need i say more?)

    Alan Chambers – no degree, who speaks about change

    A Psy.D. who is focus on the Family’s psychologist in residence.

    wow…it’s amazing how many speak with authority on change who have nothing to support them.

    I suppose that’s the only way that “change” can be advocated…if you don’t have the education to know any better.

    come on…is an educated person really supposed to buy this?

  4. Edgar,

    There are those who claim to be capable of same or opposite sex attraction. We tend to call them bisexuals.

    But this “whole movement” of which you speak is rather small. I don’t think it accurately represents “we all”, as you so confidently put it. To say otherwise is to refuse to accept the validity of what people really experience and feel when they experience or feel something so deeply intrinsically otherwise.

    If you feel capable of same or opposite attraction, then good for you. I guess you can be “queer by choice.” But don’t make the mistake of taking some people’s experience and assume universality from that.

  5. There is a whole movement called “Queer by Choice” – look it up. We are all capable of same and opposite sex attraction. We are not just slaves to our genes or hormones.

  6. OK, Edgar, no one bit the first time so you said it again.

    So I’ll respond. No. Same-sex attractions are not “a choice”.

    The kid could choose whether he want to go through therapy, whether he wanted to prioritize values that were are consistent with his orientation, whether to live celibately, whether to live promiscuously, whether to wait until he is in a committed relationship blessed by state and a denomination of his choice before engaging in sexual activity, and whether to have cornflakes tomorrow morning, but he cannot “choose” whether or not he is attracted to the same sex.

    But I suspect you already know that.

    If you feel that you need to claim that sexuality is a choice so that you can justify to yourself your own behaviors, biases, and dismissiveness of others, go right ahead. But don’t expect the rest of us to play along.

  7. he said ” I don’t really want to change.” He is making a choice. Good for him. Sexuality is a choice to some degree. Some people chose to be gay. Others chose to be straight.

  8. So the kid is making a choice about being gay?

    I’m not sure where you get that. He says he’s not interested in the brand of therapy they’re pushing there. That’s certainly a choice. But I don’t think that means he’s choosing to be gay. It sounds to me that he’s merely choosing to accept what is already there.

    I was drawn more towards what the father said at the end. His comments were captured during the lunch break. I had attended the conference, and much of the morning was devoted to what “caused” homosexuality, with fathers held mostly to blame for their son’s “problem”. I was aghast at how much the fathers were made to shoulder the blame.

    Many parents I talked to felt chastened by it. I think I heard something rather similar in the father’s voice in the NPR piece when he said he needed to “love his son forever.” I can’t imagine he was feeling too good about himself at that moment.

  9. So the kid is making a choice about being gay? This is alleged to be a free country. The Queer by Choice people would be happy to read that.

  10. I find the father’s comment about hoping his son will become straight interesting. Especially considering the discussion topic about what “ex-gay” means. It certainly makes me wonder how accurately the conference is representing what their treatments will likely accomplish.

  11. The transcript is available at NPR.org. What is really sad is the San Diego family that dragged their 16-year-old self-identified gay son to the conference. Fortunately, their son isn’t buying what’s being sold:

    “‘Don’t tell my parents but no; I know I’m gay, and like, their stories are really inspiring but I know this is me and I don’t really want to change.’

    Brett’s dad, Mark, said the conference taught him he needs to learn he needs to love his son? unconditionally.

    ‘Absolutely,’ he says, ‘love him forever.’

    But he also says the weekend renewed his hopes that one day his son will become straight.”

    Maybe some tough “unconditional” love to Love In Action’s teen ex-gay boot camp?

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