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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2011, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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"My Ex-Gay Friend"

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/ma...friend.html?hp

Just saw this article on NYtimes, and for some reason I'm just really fascinated, and I'm still in the process of gathering my thoughts about Michael.

He looked deep into his eyes and said, "You're perfect."

"No, I'm not. But with you, I don't even care."
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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2011, 11:48 AM
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Re: "My Ex-Gay Friend"

As the article mentions, most ex-gays acknowledge (indirectly) that they're still gay. This is certainly rare - a man not only denying his homosexual tendencies but professing sudden heterosexual attraction. Michael either hit his head, is in denial or was never gay to begin with. I suppose it's possible that he's a bisexual with internalised gay impulses, but would it really take that long to realise he was attracted to women? He just seems so conflicted and disturbed. I believe he has some deeper underlying issues relating to the death of his parents.

I hope he finds the validation he's looking for somewhere.

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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2011, 11:52 AM
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Re: "My Ex-Gay Friend"

He's just a very confused man who jumped from one extreme to another. I mean, from gay activist to praising Ann Coulter and writing columns for WND? LOL.

Considering how culturally powerful Christianity is in the US, from a statistical point of view, converts like him are to be expected. I don't think there is any deep explanation; lots of people are confused, have issues and end up believing the complete opposite of what they used to believe, because they find comfort in it.
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post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2011, 12:36 PM
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Re: "My Ex-Gay Friend"

I think we know where he'll ennd up in 10 years... Playing footsy in that public restrooms then blaming his wide stance for once he gets hauled off for solicitation.

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post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2011, 01:08 PM
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Re: "My Ex-Gay Friend"

Sad story. I agree he seems very conflicted, disturbed and traumatized, and is trying to find peace in religious extremism.

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post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2011, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "My Ex-Gay Friend"

One of the things that the article got me to think about was is it ok to become an ex-gay? Personally, I think it's a personal choice and it's not up to us to judge, but I can't help but feel that Michael became one via some very flawed reasoning. And also, some of the comments said how some people who turned straight got shunned by their gay friends, which got me thinking how upset would you be if your friend told you he's no longer gay? , Intriguing, because discrimination is the thing we're trying to fight against.

He looked deep into his eyes and said, "You're perfect."

"No, I'm not. But with you, I don't even care."
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post #7 of 52 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2011, 01:21 PM
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Re: "My Ex-Gay Friend"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitehead's Boy View Post
He's just a very confused man who jumped from one extreme to another. I mean, from gay activist to praising Ann Coulter and writing columns for WND? LOL.

Considering how culturally powerful Christianity is in the US, from a statistical point of view, converts like him are to be expected. I don't think there is any deep explanation; lots of people are confused, have issues and end up believing the complete opposite of what they used to believe, because they find comfort in it.
That was what struck me as soon as I read he was "pouring over books" about queer theory and then he was pouring over books about religion. Clearly he as a personality has some trauma in his childhood (i.e. his parents death) that was triggered when he had that health scare.

I stole this from the comments section because it explains what I was trying to in a far superior way:

Quote:
I believe all people are exceedingly complex and unknowable in our own ways, and I feel a great deal of compassion for this young man. However, it is never surprising to see what fear and panic can do to a person. For someone who, by all accounts, is incredibly well-educated and intellectually prolific, he is blind to his own frailties.

I suspect what's really going on is more related to fear, especially of death, and the existential doubt most of us have that comes with being human.

Death seems to have played a far more important role in shaping his identity than anything else, and the fear and panic associated with this--coupled with his own apparently deep-seated insecurities about himself--are leading him to ping-pong through life from absolute to absolute. Because he's so smart and high-functioning he can convince himself that each identity he assumes is the "right" one and that all others are fraudulent. It's how he justifies everything in his own mind and protects himself. His sexual orientation is not the real issue; it is a red herring that he identifies as such because it is so obviously his main preoccupation (and seems to have been for much of his life).

His response to a fear of death when faced with his own mortality (and having lived through the deaths of his parents at a very young age) is consistent with the responses many people have--they often become religious (I've seen it happen a lot, and to people who couldn't have been more secular and intellectual). But being religious and being gay presented incompatibility problems and issues of purity (and he comes across as being very much a theoretical purist). So out went his sexual orientation, because otherwise the death issue can't be dealt with satisfactorily in his own mind.

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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2011, 02:30 PM
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Re: "My Ex-Gay Friend"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morning Morgan View Post
One of the things that the article got me to think about was is it ok to become an ex-gay? Personally, I think it's a personal choice and it's not up to us to judge, but I can't help but feel that Michael became one via some very flawed reasoning. And also, some of the comments said how some people who turned straight got shunned by their gay friends, which got me thinking how upset would you be if your friend told you he's no longer gay? , Intriguing, because discrimination is the thing we're trying to fight against.
I don't see why not
It's quite disturbing how one decade ago he was the face of gay rights movement, and now he's somewhat condemning the gay community.

You would think an ex-gay would perhaps show some sort of empathy to some of the current gay youth and the stuggles that some may have, but he has totally turned 360.

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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2011, 03:42 PM
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Re: "My Ex-Gay Friend"

My brother went through this recently with one of his friends. Frankly, the guy is, IMHO, as gay as ever, but is paying this price to be accepted by his family. However, I'm proud to say my brother and my brother-in-law have maintained a relationship of sorts. It's a little more strained now, because the friend is a member of a very reactionary church, but he's had the courage to not turn his back on his friends, and they haven't turned their backs on him.

But it's still not really possible to be as close as it was when they were all openly gay.

Anyway, that's my indirect experience with this. Mostly I know cases of friends finally admitting they were gay after failed marriages or just being afraid to come out.

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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2011, 02:44 AM
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Re: "My Ex-Gay Friend"

I love how everyone here claims to know this man better than he does himself. Fear is a terrible thing.

"All my life I've had to fight. It's just another fight I'm going to have to learn how to win, that's all. I'm just going to have to keep smiling."
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post #11 of 52 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2011, 03:19 AM
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Re: "My Ex-Gay Friend"

What an incredibly depressing article.

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post #12 of 52 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2011, 03:21 AM
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Re: "My Ex-Gay Friend"

I get mad reading these sorts of articles . Because this is what some of my family would have be do. I grew up in strict church as well.
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post #13 of 52 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2011, 05:05 AM
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Re: "My Ex-Gay Friend"

Gay or "not", his life still completely revolves around his sexuality. Needs another interest.

A single flow'r he sent me, since we met./All tenderly his messenger he chose;
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post #14 of 52 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2011, 06:02 AM
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Re: "My Ex-Gay Friend"

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaMamaJama87 View Post
I love how everyone here claims to know this man better than he does himself. Fear is a terrible thing.
Especially when it informs all your opinions.

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post #15 of 52 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2011, 06:30 AM
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Re: "My Ex-Gay Friend"

Ah the ex-gay movement.
Yes, I met with several ex-gays, listened to several focus on the family tapes, exodus international meetings, you name it.

The stories I could tell...

Anyway, ex-gay is a fraud.
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