Monday, November 24, 2008
Ex-Gay Expose in Denver!
A couple weeks back, I flew to Denver to join a group of Ex-Gay survivors, allies, and LGBT activists to protest the NARTH (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuals) Conference. I told several of my friends here at school and home that I was going, and the vast majority were shocked that such a conference existed. "Why do they think you can TREAT homosexuality?" most asked...followed by the inevitable "How do you treat a gay person...what does that even mean?!?" These are all people who know my story, or at least enough of it to know that LGBT people do occassionally seek 'treatment' or 'healing' of their same-sex attractions/gender identity/sexual orientation(I don't think I could be much more PC there...that will end shortly...so be advised!)
While outside the hotel in Denver, CO where NARTH was holding it's conference, I stood with several friends including Peterson Toscano and Christine Bakke of www.beyondexgay.com, Daniel Gonzales, and many other local activists. It was sooo nice to see such a big crowd! We actually ran out of signs for people to hold, so many of us were chalking it up on the side walk...getting our personal messages out to conference attendees.
Most attendees were mental health professionals...who apparently disregard the American Psychological Association's decision in 1973 to take Homosexuality off the list of mental illnesses and proactively advocate the acceptance of ones' 'gay identity' for the sake of their mental health.
The conference was wonderful. I find that educating people and sharing my story and experiences is quite possibly the best therapy for myself...I guess it's a bit selfish of me in a way, but oh well...gotta take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else, right?
I plan on posting some more conference related stuff soon, including a story about my plane ride back from the conference! Sneak Peak: I sat next to a NARTH Conference Attendee!!! Stay tuned for the forth coming drama that is the 2 hour plane conversation with a conversion therapist! View the rest of the Ex Gay Expose photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/exgaysurvivordan/sets/72157608799767125/