Ex-Gay = Denial Reinforcement Service Organization
For some strange reason there's been a lot of stories in the news about ex-gay groups recently. (Exodus, Love In Action, etc.)
A friend said the groups are all about money, that the organizations prey on their members*. I didn't agree. I mean, I don't doubt that the organizers make money off these pathetic people of but it doesn't seem money-centered like, say, Scientology.
It's more simple. More basic. And here it is: The ex-gay organizations provide a service. The typical client does not like himself (a common enough affliction) and desperately wants to go back into closet; to the denial he enjoyed before coming out. The ex-gay organization gives permission to continue living in that state of denial, as well as helping to set up a framework to reinforce and continue the denial on a daily basis. It's as simple as that.
The situation gets a little out-of-hand when these guys start marrying women and having kids—followed by the inevitable truck-stop arrest or HIV infection.
I'll just never understand why these guys are so desperately sad and unhappy with themselves. What do you do with someone like that?
I, for one, give them my sympathy and stay as far away as I can get.
I want to be clear I am talking about the organizations that exist for grown, consenting adults, not the places for confused/gay teens. In situations where the gay person is a minor and it's the parents who want a straight child, there are brainwashing facilities where teens can be sent. These "Straight Camps " are an entirely different animal from a typical ex-gay organization and not one of which I want to make light. These Christianist-cult-compounds (often a prison-like facility in the mountains of Utah) employ all sorts of interesting aversion-therapy techniques that would never be allowed in a prison since, unlike adult prisoners, teenagers are not subject to the protections of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. This is no joke. It is the law in Utah and a few other states where these straight camps are located. The situation for the kids in these camps is so dire and unbelievable and desperate that it's hard to get mainstream media attention for the issue—people simple do not believe it can happen here in America. This is a subject for a different, much longer, far more serious, post.