Sunday, January 22, 2006

The League of Notions

Posted by: Zee
Rife on the internet, on blogs, message boards and discussion groups is the controversy surrounding Liberty League and the government’s grant. This multi-layered issue has been dissected and examined at every possible angle, with most concentrating on the fact that they were given $100,000.

But what is of concern to me here, because of the readers of this blog, is the fact that they choose to disguise themselves as a group which accepts homosexuals and guide them through a journey of self-acceptance when really, they preach “coming out of it” as a part of sexuality. I find that simply reprehensible.

Since they plan on conducting talks in schools, I ponder about the amount of psychological damage, which could be potentially inflicted upon young minds, for some of them may be homosexuals who might leave with the impression that they can be changed, only to be entrenched with a scarring psychological battle within themselves for years to come.

I should state however, though I'm an opponent of the ex-gay agenda, it is ultimately the individual's choice should he wish to "convert", which is what Leslie Lung has decided to push for. What I have an issue with, like I stated above, is how they mask their organization into one that helps gays, lesbians and transexuals who grapple with their sexuality. If one decides to make a conscious “conversion” into heterosexuality, it his/her decision and if it makes the person happier, then so be it. However, lulling the young ones who do not have their sense of identity rooted, into thinking this is the solution, is deceitful.

Coincidentally, a Californian high school student sent a question to a website about human genetics (Understanding Genetics: Human Health and the Genome):

"Is homosexuality an inborn, unchangeable part of us or can people actually "convert"? I think it is just the way I am but my classmates and some family members think otherwise. How can I convince them that this really is the way I am supposed to be?"

In a neutral reply, Dr Barry Starr of Stanford University reported that personally, he has not seen “reliable data on the conversion of homosexuals. Or on how well it works, how happy the recently “converted” are, how long they stay “converted”, or any other statistics.” He also goes on to say that there is the rare anecdotal data but nothing absolute to make into a scientific journal.

The American Psychological Association, a professional organization with around 150,000 members representing psychology in the United States also asserted that “reparative therapy” is not effective and may lead to mental ailments like anxiety and depression which are linked to high suicide rates. And yet, Liberty League markets itself as helpful and safe.

Official statements like these are often overlooked thanks to ignorance and prejudice by influential people. A reader from livejournal alerted GTTB that even people like Love 97.2FM’s DJ Dongfang Billy has gotten into the act of dishing out baseless and ridiculous notions about homosexuality, claiming that it is a choice.(Hate speech on local radio) The reader goes on to state that an “expert” from Taiwan called in to say that 85% of homosexuals are unhappy and repressed.

A study done by Evelyn Hooker way back in 1956 compared the overall psychological functioning, emotional and mental well-being between homosexual and heterosexual men found no significant differences between these two groups.

Advocates of reparative therapy claim that homosexuality is a psychological disorder/illness. This diagnosis itself stems from social prejudices and was scrapped from the list of mental disorders.

Liberty League’s contemptible guise as a group which promotes gender and sexual health should be removed, or at least acknowledged. While I’m an opponent of reparative therapy, I believe it is up to the individual if he/she so wishes to change. The underhanded techniques LL has employed in an effort to change unknowing persons has the potential of causing psychological damage. Now look at where the disease really is.



Links:

The pseudo-science of sexual orientation conversion therapy, Douglas C. Haldeman

Answers to Your Questions About Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality, APA

Govt gives $100,000 to Christian-linked anti-gay group Media Release, PLU

The 3 layers of the Liberty League issue, Yawning Bread

Liberty League's S$100,000 Funding Raises Questions, Fridae.com

Why Fund a 'isguised religious cause'? PLU demands answers, Fridae.com

A letter of encouragement

Posted by: GayGuy
From: Anonymous
To: gay_2_d_bone@yahoo.com

Firstly, I would like to thank you, for your work on this project; it is uplifting to see such candour with regards to the gay individual.

I think I was lucky in that I didn't have much problems coming out to *myself*; I was able to accept the fact, and move on with my life. It was the moving on bit, however, that posed the problem.

Excited by the notion of meeting like friends, I started accounts at both Sgboy and Fridae.

It's been over two years, and I have yet to meet anyone with whom I could hold a decent conversation with, let alone a friendship.

The reasons are wide and varied, but it suffices to say that various individuals embody the most extravagant stereotypes propounded by society of the gay man; I started to question if my view that such were merely unjust assumptions was accurate.

I needed, and still do, people with whom I can talk freely with. I have a few friends with whom I can, but try as they may, it is impossible for them to see things from my point of view. I do not fault them; I doubt I could view the world as they do either, but having someone close *not* heterosexual would, or may, help.

Being a teen, and a student, I'm not out to many. I suppose I appear ambiguous, neither confessing nor dispelling accusations/rumours. I'm not going to betray myself by outright denying who I am, but neither am I confident enough in outing myself to a mini self-contained community filled with zealous homophobic sentiments.

Reading this blog, however, give me hope that perhaps here I could find other teens with whom I could relate, and equally as important, just hang out with.

Thank you.
I agree that most heterosexuals do not understand how we really feel as gay people. I came out recently, and many of my friends and relatives have said to me that they will never be able to think and feel like they are in our shoes; the possible "sufferings" and tribulations we endure.

Coming out may be a homosexual's most difficult time in his/her life, next to the start of a homosexual relationship. Coming out is especially difficult with your own parents. I think it is perfectly fine to not tell anyone about your problems, or at least find a listening ear to ease your "pain"; I don't know, but what I know is that coming out does relieve some of your pent up frustrations, and it makes you proud of who you are. What a homosexual should not do is to betray him/herself because it will, in the end, make him/her feel worse.

My personal relationships with my parents went downhill recently, perhaps it's due to my coming out, or perhaps it's just me, who needs adjustments of my parent's new knowledge about me. I spoke less and less to my parents, and ever since the day I came out, they have not mentioned the word "gay" even once.

Perhaps they are still in the phase of accepting me.

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