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Leefstyl | Lifestyle > Gay > Artikels | Features

PFOX – the last refuge of the unimaginative, self-righteous and petty

Cobus Fourie - 2009-10-14

In the United States of Bigotry (aka America) the ex-gay industry is big business. Exodus International churns out recloseted and psychologically scarred children like some mass-manufactured item. “Pray away the gay” makes them big bucks. They feed on confused parents and defenceless children. The medical fraternity has on various occasions stated in no uncertain terms that “reparative” therapy is totally inefficacious, is detrimental to the wellbeing of the clients, and leads to anxiety and depressive disorders as well as self-mutilation and suicide, as asserted by the American Psychiatric Association in 2000 (read here and here) and also inter alia reasserted by the US Surgeon General and the South African Society of Psychiatry. All of this “therapy” is done under the guise of the Christian religion. Sounds very “Christian”, doesn’t it?

According to Wikipedia PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays) was founded in 1998; this information is totally absent from their propaganda-filled website, though. According to aforementioned source PFOX is condemned by, amongst others, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counselling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Education Association. Now this charlatan organisation’s mandate is to promote a dangerous form of “therapy” and support those who with much denial think they are indeed “ex-gay”. Frankly, the only ex-gay is a dead gay.

Now, if so many independent esteemed organisations vehemently oppose the tripe, deranged and misguided proselytism of PFOX, how on earth do they still have a following? Oh wait; it is the USA, the land of the bigoted and the home of the deluded.

Now for the rationale of my claim regarding their dreary, unimaginative nature: PFOX is a bad carbon copy of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). PFLAG was founded in 1973, uncannily the same year as the removal of homosexuality as a disease by the American Psychiatric Association. Not only is PFOX unashamedly freeloading on the nomenclature of a much older and established organisation, but it did so quite a few decades later and with fake piety and self-righteousness as intent. I would call that pitching up for breakfast at dinner time.

PFOX recently lobbied and litigated for inclusion of so-called “ex-gays” in non-discrimination statutes. Now I might be a natural blonde, but if some magical force which defied science and medicine changed someone from gay to straight, why add a category? There were tacit non-discrimination protections for straights since time immemorial.

I have an acquaintance that was deeply scarred by ex-gay “reparative” therapy as a teen and still carries the psychological scars with him more than a decade later. The South African affiliate of Exodus International and its employees and volunteers were less than moral and circumspect. A teen gets asked to describe his sexual fantasies to an adult who was most likely an undercover paedophile. A teen has to sit in the lap of said “therapist” and has to lie there in a pseudo-foetal situation while being held by the adult “therapist”. This raises red flags immediately, as this is horribly inappropriate, bordering on exploitation and human rights abuses, no matter how “pious” the deluded outcome is.

I have always been quite sceptical of teleological ethics – the ends justify the means – as many unethical deeds can be “justified” by a supposed ethical outcome. I mostly keep to deontological ethics.

The huge problem with organisations like PFOX is that if they manage to fool the majority of the ignorant general public that homosexuality is not innate and can be “cured” it would immediately invalidate all claims for equality and non-discrimination for the demographic. We all know there is no shortage of hillbillies and blithering idiots in America. One of the trademark perceptions about America in the civilised West is the backward and ignorant nature of its inhabitants. Canadians and Britons often use Americans as their de facto laughing stock. For example, look at the supposed Republican leaders, more specifically the 2008 vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Mrs Palin thought Gaddafi’s pipe dream had come true and that the whole of Africa is one country. Who can forget her insistence that she is well versed in foreign policy since she was able to see Russia from her office? I see many buildings, but it definitely doesn’t make me an architect ...

I came across a little gem on the PFOX website called “Can Gay Officials Respect the Rights of Heterosexuals?”. Is the pot calling the kettle black? From personal experience the statement makes more sense conversely. Oh my, the gays must be taking over the world in their eyes if they start to play victim. Reading the short and dull article left me a tad disturbed.

Has any heterosexual ever been pestered, bullied, tortured, raped, harassed, intimidated, discriminated against or killed just because of sexual orientation? Do heterosexuals nervously go to their parents to “out” themselves, only to be kicked out of the house, abandoned and left out of the will?

PFOX lives in such a deranged psychotic world that it makes me cringe to think of their tirade and the actual atrocities out there. Eudy Simelane’s family finally got a sense of closure and an iota of justice when her murderer and rapist was sentenced to 32 years' imprisonment and was unfazed and even said he wasn’t sorry; read the story here.

I wonder what dear PFOX would do if they were the real victims?