WASHINGTON, D.C., November 1, , (LifeSiteNews) — Former gays, lesbians, and transgender men and women descended on the. She had snooped through my e-mail and discovered a message in which I confessed to having a crush on a male classmate. "Are you gay? For two decades, McKrae Game was a top-tier figure among ex-gay star who formerly identified as a lesbian and is now married to a man.
For the former Florida beauty queen and her Save Our Children group, it was the alleged plans of gay men and lesbians to "recruit" in schools that provided the. The authors conclude that the ex-gay movement is an antigay countermovement and an antifeminist Christian Right men's movement. Keywords: masculinity. "Ex-Gays": Religiously mediated change in homosexuals. Pattison EM, Pattison ML. The authors evaluated 11 white men who claimed to have changed sexual.
Arch Sex Behav. May;8(3) On the stability of stigmatization: the case of ex-homosexual males. Bobys RS, Laner MR. We undertook to empirically. For two decades, McKrae Game was a top-tier figure among ex-gay star who formerly identified as a lesbian and is now married to a man. "Ex-Gays": Religiously mediated change in homosexuals. Pattison EM, Pattison ML. The authors evaluated 11 white men who claimed to have changed sexual.
Smith, 58, who says he believes homosexual behavior is wrong on religious grounds, tried to tough it out. He spent 17 years in a doomed marriage while battling his urges all day, he said, and dreaming about them all night. Smith said in an interview men the house in Bakersfield, Calif. Ex-gay men are often closeted, fearing ridicule from gay advocates who accuse them of self-deception and, at the same time, fearing rejection by men church communities as tainted homosexual.
Here in Californiatheir homosexual of siege grew more intense in September when Gov. Aaron Bitzer, 35, was so men by the California ban, which will take effect on Jan. To those homosexual call the therapy dangerous, Mr.
Bitzer, who plans to seek a doctorate in psychology and become a therapist men. Many ex-gays guard their secret but quietly meet in support groups around the country, homosexual ideas on how to avoid temptations or, perhaps, broach their past with a female date. Some are trying to save heterosexual marriages. Some, like Mr. Bitzer, hope one day to marry a woman.
Some choose celibacy as an improvement over what they regard as a sinful gay life. Whether they have gone through formal reparative therapy, most ex-gays agree with its tenetseven as they are rejected by mainstream scientists. The theories, which have also been adopted by conservative religious opponents of gay marriage, hold that male homosexuality emerges from family dynamics — often a distant father and an overbearing mother — or from early sexual abuse. Men some women also struggle with sexual identity, the ex-gay movement is virtually all male.
Major mental health associations say teenagers who are pushed into therapy by conservative parents may feel guilt and despair when their inner impulses do not change. Reparative therapy suffered homosexual other major setbacks this year. In April, a prominent psychiatrist, Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, publicly repudiated as invalid his own study suggesting that some people could change homosexual sexual orientation; the study had been widely cited by defenders of the therapy.
View all New York Times homosexual. Then homosexual summer, the ex-gay world was convulsed when Alan Chambers, the president of Exodus International, the largest Christian ministry for people fighting same-sex attraction, said he did not believe anyone men be rid of homosexual desires. By unearthing family trauma, Dr. Nicolosi said, many patients find their homosexual urges dissipating.
Jeremy S. Jeremy, who did not want his last name printed to avoid embarrassing his parents, said that from his teens until three years ago he lived as a gay man, at times having sex men daily.
After two years of therapy via Skype with Dr. Critics like Wayne Besen, the executive director of Truth Wins Out, which fights antigay bias, liken such therapy to faith healing, with apparent effects that later men away. They also point out that the failures of such therapy are seldom reported.
Homosexual Breedlove, a neuroscientist and psychologist at Michigan State Universitysaid there was overwhelming evidence that sexual orientation is affected by both biology and environment. Clearly, he said, reparative therapy helps some people alter sexual behavior. But that is far different, he noted, from transforming instinctive sexual desires, something never proved in scientific studies.
Cameron Michael Swaim, 20, said he is in the early stages of his struggle to overcome homosexual desires. Swaim is unemployed and lives with his parents in Orange County, Calif. Through weekend retreats and participation in a Southern California support group Mr.
Swaim has started to explore his family relations, he said, something that has been painful but seems to be helping. Five years from now, Mr. Swaim hopes, he will be engaged or men. In the meantime, he is trying to scrape together enough money to start seeing a men therapist. Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser.
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Like a rabbi instructing his student in understanding the Torah, Nicolosi encouraged me to interpret my daily life through the lens of his theories.
I read in one of Nicolosi's books, Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality , that he tries to position himself as a supportive father figure, typifying the sort of relationship that he believes his patients never had with their own father. I indeed came to see him this way.
We mostly talked about how my damaged masculine identity manifested itself in my attractions to other boys. Nicolosi would ask me about my crushes at school and what I liked about them. Whether the trait was someone's build, good looks, popularity, or confidence, these conversations always ended with a redirect: Did I wish I had these traits?
What might it feel like to be hugged by one of these guys? Did I want them to like and accept me? Of course, I wanted to be as attractive as the classmates I admired; of course, I wanted to be accepted and liked by them.
The line of questioning made me feel worse. Nicolosi explained, session after session, that I felt inadequate because I had not had sufficient male affirmation in childhood. I came to believe that my attraction to men was the result of the failure to connect with my father. Whenever I felt slighted by my male friends-for failing to call when they said they would, for neglecting to invite me to a party-I was re-experiencing a seminal rejection from my father.
Most guys, I was told, let things like that roll off their back-an expression of their masculine confidence-but I was hurt by these things because it recalled prior trauma. My parents were surprised at how the therapy blamed them for my condition.
Initially, Nicolosi had told them they were one of the cases that did not fit the mold of the "triadic relationship"-in other words, that my sexual orientation was not their fault. Once it became clear that Nicolosi held them responsible, they disengaged. They continued paying for therapy but no longer checked in with Nicolosi regularly or asked what he and I talked about.
I was happy to defy my parents. Whether the grievance was that my curfew wasn't late enough or that my parents didn't give me enough money, I had a trusted authority figure validating every perceived injustice.
Any complaint became evidence of how my parents had failed me. As I progressed in therapy, I felt that I was gaining insight into the source and causes of my sexual attractions. The problem was, they didn't go away. At Nicolosi's urging, I told my best friend that I had to distance myself from her.
Instead, Nicolosi encouraged me to form "genuine nonsexual bonds" with other men. He paired me with another one of his patients, Ryan Kendall, who was my age and lived in Colorado.
We spoke by phone every few days. Most of our conversations were mundane. We talked about our friends and people we didn't like, recounting every high-school travail and triumph. But we frequently deviated from the therapist-approved, buddy-buddy talk that was supposed to repair us.
We flirted, a novel experience for me; there were no openly gay people at my high school. Ryan and I described what we looked like to each other. He said he had brown hair and eyes and was short but cute; I said I was tall and skinny but left out my bad skin. We promised to send each other pictures, though we never did. It became a regular refrain, an acknowledgment that we were misbehaving. Part of the bond we developed was in our shared rebellion against our therapist. For me, it had less to do with opposing ex-gay therapy than with the giddy thrill of defying authority.
Ryan was convinced that change was impossible-"Nicolosi's a quack," he once said. Despite my transgressions, I still believed in Nicolosi's theory. But my relationship with Ryan evinced a larger problem: While I was uncovering how my relationship with my parents continued to shape my inner life, I was still attracted to men.
I chatted with older guys on the Internet and on a few occasions met them. I felt guilty about this but trusted Nicolosi enough to admit I had been "experimenting. He said my sexual behavior was of secondary importance. If I understood myself and worked on my relationships with men, the attractions would take care of themselves.
I just had to be patient. Late into my last year of high school, Nicolosi had a final conversation with my parents and told them that the treatment had been a success. A few weeks later, our housekeeper caught me with a boy in our backyard. This marked the end of therapy for me. My parents were convinced it had failed because Nicolosi had blamed things on them rather than on my being teased by my male peers as a child. They sent me to another therapist.
I had one session but refused to continue. While I still accepted Nicolosi's underlying theory about why people were gay, I believed that all the talking in the world couldn't change me. When I left for Yale, my mother sent me off with a warning: Were she to discover that I had "entered the gay lifestyle," my parents would no longer pay for my education.
In , the year I started college, the ex-gay movement's claims received a significant boost. In , Columbia professor and prominent psychiatrist Robert Spitzer had led the effort to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness. Four years after Stonewall, it was a landmark event for the gay-rights movement.
But 28 years later, Spitzer released a study that asserted change in one's sexual orientation was possible. Based on interviews with ex-gay patients-the largest sample amassed-the study did not make any claims about the success rate of ex-gay therapy.
But Spitzer concluded that, at least for a highly select group of motivated individuals, it worked. What translated into the larger culture was: The father of the revolution in the classification and treatment of homosexuality, who could not be seen as just another biased ex-gay crusader with an agenda, had validated ex-gay therapy.
An Associated Press story called it "explosive. Whereas previous accounts of success had appeared in non-peer-reviewed, vanity, pay-to-publish journals like Psychological Reports , Spitzer's study was published in the prestigious Archives of Sexual Behavior.
Spitzer's study is still cited by ex-gay organizations as evidence that ex-gay therapy works. The study infuriated gay-rights supporters and many psychiatrists, who condemned its methodology and design. Participants had been referred to Spitzer by ex-gay groups like NARTH and Exodus, which had an interest in recommending clients who would validate their work.
The claims of change were self-reports, and Spitzer had not compared them with a control group that would help him judge their credibility.
This spring, I visited Spitzer at his home in Princeton. He ambled toward the door in a walker. Frail but sharp-witted, Spitzer suffers from Parkinson's disease. I told Spitzer that Nicolosi had asked me to participate in the study and recount my success in therapy, but that I never called him.
He only sent me nine patients. I said that while I stayed in the closet for a few years more than I might have, I ended up accepting my sexuality. At the end of college, I began to have steady boyfriends, and in February of last year-ten years after my last session with Dr. Nicolosi-I married my partner.
Spitzer was drawn to the topic of ex-gay therapy because it was controversial-"I was always attracted to controversy"-but was troubled by how the study was received. He did not want to suggest that gay people should pursue ex-gay therapy.
His goal was to determine whether the counterfactual-the claim that no one had ever changed his or her sexual orientation through therapy-was true. I asked about the criticisms leveled at him. Repeated attempts to contact the journal went unanswered. Spitzer said that he was proud of having been instrumental in removing homosexuality from the list of mental disorders.
Now 80 and retired, he was afraid that the study would tarnish his legacy and perhaps hurt others. He said that failed attempts to rid oneself of homosexual attractions "can be quite harmful. Spitzer was growing tired and asked how many more questions I had. Nothing, I responded, unless you have something to add. He did. Would I print a retraction of his study, "so I don't have to worry about it anymore"? The ex-gay movement has relied on the Spitzer study as the single piece of objective evidence that therapy can work.
The need for that evidence became more pressing in the early s, when a cadre of gay-rights bloggers began to scrutinize the movement, ready to expose any hint of hypocrisy. There was plenty of material. Through weekend retreats and participation in a Southern California support group Mr.
Swaim has started to explore his family relations, he said, something that has been painful but seems to be helping. Five years from now, Mr. Swaim hopes, he will be engaged or married. In the meantime, he is trying to scrape together enough money to start seeing a reparative therapist.
Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser. See next articles. Newsletter Sign Up Continue reading the main story Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box. Invalid email address. Please re-enter. You must select a newsletter to subscribe to. Sign Up. You will receive emails containing news content , updates and promotions from The New York Times. You may opt-out at any time.
You agree to receive occasional updates and special offers for The New York Times's products and services. Thank you for subscribing. An error has occurred. Please try again later. THE ARGUMENT Anti-gay activists, who have long opposed adding LGBT people to those protected by hate crime legislation, have repeatedly claimed that such laws would lead to the jailing of religious figures who preach against homosexuality — part of a bid to gain the backing of the broader religious community for their position.
Hate Crimes Prevention Act — signed into law by President Obama in October — would "jail pastors" because it "criminalizes speech against the homosexual agenda. In a related assertion, anti-gay activists claimed the law would lead to the legalization of psychosexual disorders paraphilias like bestiality and pedophilia.
Bob Unruh, a conservative Christian journalist who left The Associated Press in for the right-wing, conspiracist news site WorldNetDaily, said shortly before the federal law was passed that it would legalize "all forms of sexual deviancy or 'paraphilias' listed by the American Psychiatric Association.
The First Amendment provides robust protections of free speech, and case law makes it clear that even a preacher who publicly suggested that gays and lesbians should be killed would be protected.
Neither do hate crime laws — which provide for enhanced penalties when persons are victimized because of their "sexual orientation" among other factors — "protect pedophiles," as Janet Porter and many others have claimed. According to the American Psychological Association , sexual orientation refers to heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality — not paraphilias such as pedophilia.
Moreover, even if pedophiles, for example, were protected under a hate crime law — and such a law has not been suggested or contemplated anywhere — that would not legalize or "protect" pedophilia.
Pedophilia is illegal sexual activity, and a law that more severely punished people who attacked pedophiles would not change that.
THE ARGUMENT Anti-gay groups have been adamantly opposed to allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces, not only because of their purported fear that combat readiness will be undermined, but because the military has long been considered the purest meritocracy in America the armed forces were successfully racially integrated long before American civil society, for example.
If gays serve honorably and effectively in this meritocracy, that suggests that there is no rational basis for discriminating against them in any way. At the same time, gays and lesbians have served openly for years in the armed forces of 25 countries as of , including Britain, Israel, South Africa, Canada and Australia, according to a report released by the Palm Center, a policy think tank at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
The Palm Center report concluded that lifting bans against openly gay service personnel in these countries "ha[s] had no negative impact on morale, recruitment, retention, readiness or overall combat effectiveness. But a review of that poll by the Palm Center suggested a wide disparity between what soldiers said they would do and their actual actions. Yet when those countries lifted bans on gays serving openly, virtually no one left the service for that reason.
Despite the fact that gay men and lesbians have been serving openly in the military since September , anti-LGBT groups continue to claim that openly gay personnel are causing problems in the military, including claims of sexual abuse by gay and lesbian soldiers of straight soldiers.
According to then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in , the repeal of DADT was being implemented effectively and was having no impact on readiness, unit cohesion or morale. MYTH 8 Gay people are more prone to be mentally ill and to abuse drugs and alcohol. The most frequently used secular argument made by anti-LGBT groups in that regard is that homosexuality is inherently unhealthy, both mentally and physically.
Some of these groups, including the particularly hard-line Traditional Values Coalition , claim that "homosexual activists" managed to infiltrate the APA in order to sway its decision. The American Psychological Association states that being gay is just as healthy as being straight, and noted that the s-era work of Dr.
Evelyn Hooker started to dismantle this myth. Studies of judgment, stability, reliability, and social and vocational adaptiveness all show that gay men and lesbians function every bit as well as heterosexuals.
The American Psychiatric Association states that PDF; may not open in all browsers homosexuality is not a mental disorder and that all major professional health organizations are on record as confirming that. The organization removed homosexuality from its official diagnostic manual in after extensive review of the scientific literature and consultation with experts, who concluded that homosexuality is not a mental illness.
Though it is true that LGBT people tend to suffer higher rates of anxiety, depression, and depression-related illnesses and behaviors like alcohol and drug abuse than the general population, that is due to the historical social stigmatization of homosexuality and violence directed at LGBT people, not because of homosexuality itself. Studies done during the past several years have determined that it is the stress of being a member of a minority group in an often-hostile society — and not LGBT identity itself — that accounts for the higher levels of mental illness and drug use.
Richard J. Wolitski, an expert on minority status and public health issues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, put it like this in : "Economic disadvantage, stigma, and discrimination Even as early as , external stressors were recognized as a potential cause of emotional distress of LGBT people.
In , a study , conducted by several researchers at major universities and the Rand Corporation, found that LGBT people living in highly anti-LGBT communities and circumstances face serious health concerns and even premature death because of social stigmatization and exclusion.
One of the researchers, Dr. Homosexuality is not a mental illness or emotional problem and being LGBT does not cause someone to be mentally ill, contrary to what anti-LGBT organizations say. Rather, social stigmatization and prejudice appear to contribute to health disparities in the LGBT population, which include emotional and psychological distress and harmful coping mechanisms.
But if people are born gay — in the same way that people have no choice as to whether they are black or white — discrimination against gay men and lesbians would be vastly more difficult to justify. Thus, anti-gay forces insist that sexual orientation is a behavior that can be changed, not an immutable characteristic. THE FACTS Modern science cannot state conclusively what causes sexual orientation, but a great many studies suggest that it is the result of both biological and environmental forces, not a personal "choice.
Qazi Rahman, study co-author and a leading scientist on human sexual orientation, said: "This study puts cold water on any concerns that we are looking for a single 'gay gene' or a single environmental variable which could be used to 'select out' homosexuality — the factors which influence sexual orientation are complex.
And we are not simply talking about homosexuality here — heterosexual behaviour is also influenced by a mixture of genetic and environmental factors. Regardless, the APA concludes that "most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.
There are questions about what specifically causes sexual orientation in general, but most current science acknowledges that it is a complex mixture of biological, environmental, and possibly hormonal factors but that no one chooses an orientation.
This view is buttressed among religiously motivated anti-gay activists by the idea that homosexual practice is a sin and humans have the free will needed to reject sinful urges. A number of "ex-gay" religious ministries have sprung up in recent years with the aim of teaching gay people to become heterosexuals, and these have become prime purveyors of the claim that gays and lesbians, with the aid of mental therapy and Christian teachings, can "come out of homosexuality.