Apr 21, 2012

Rachael Maddow on Recent Revelations

A two-part segment on the ex-gay movement prompted by Gabriel Arana’s article in The American Prospect.
Part One: Rachel Maddow on the disturbing history of Pray the Gay Away
In this segment, Rachel provides a history of the mental health community’s stance on homosexuality along with background information on Robert Spitzer’s role in removing homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association’s list of mental disorders. She also covers Spitzer’s controversial paper presented at a 2001 meeting of the APA and  published in 2003 in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. His paper claimed to show that efforts to change sexual orientation could be successful for a small number of highly motivated individuals. This paper, made national headlines and was a boon to both the ex-gay and anti-gay industry for the next decade. Last week, Robert Spitzer retracted that paper in an interview with Gabriel Arana.

Part Two: Interview with Gabriel Arana, writer of  'My So Called Ex-gay Life'  Arana talks about his interview with Spitzer in which Spitzer recanted his 2001 paper.
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If you feel that you are tormented by uwanted same-sex attraction then the answer lies in loving and accepting your true self not rejecting or self loathing. The term 'unwanted same-sex attraction' adds to the denial. It is not an attraction it is an orientation. It is far deeper than just an attraction or behaviour and is a part of your brain wiring, thought processes, hormones and behaviour. People nedd to examine the 'unwanted' part of the statement not the orientation itself.
Before you invest the time, money, emotional energy and possibly years of your life trying to go from gay to straight, ask the ex-gay leaders what guarantee they can give you that it will work. If they are honest with you, the best they will be able to offer you as a degree of ‘heterosexual functionality’, but the gay never actually goes away. Then ask yourself what would be the best way to spend your time, money and emotional energy…..rejecting yourself or accepting yourself.
After 22 years of trying to change including ex-gay programs, exorcisms and 16 years of marriage, I came to the realisation that loving myself was far healthier than hating and rejecting my true self. Like 1,000’s of others today, I finally discovered that I can live a wonderfully fulfilling, moral life as an openly gay man and still have my faith.
Anthony Venn-Brown

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