Pastor Jim Domen, a self-avowed “ex-gay” (or, as the American Family Association describes him, a pastor “rescued from the homosexual lifestyle), is upset that cities are celebrating LGBT Pride month:
DOMEN: I’m ex-gay. And so when I hear people celebrating, ‘Oh, we’re doing the LGBT month,’ and those types of celebrations, I want to ask the question: ‘Well, when does the state, when does the county of Los Angeles respect those who are ex-gay? When do we celebrate ex-gay month?’ We’ve gone down this road — it’s not good — and we’ve changed our lives. When does the state recognize that?
Rather than just leave the absurdity of his comment to speak for itself, here are a few distinctions between celebrating LGBT Pride and celebrating the ex-gay agenda:
- AFFIRMATION vs. REPRESSION: Trite as it may sound, the quote “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it” speaks to self-empowerment. LGBT pride is a celebration of identity in spite of stigma, an affirmation of who people really are. An ex-gay identity is the complete opposite! Why should dangerous and unfounded psychological repression be celebrated, particularly when it reinforces the very stigma LGBT Pride stands against?
- SCIENCE vs. DELUSION: More to the point, decades of psychological research have shown that sexual orientation is natural and enduring. Pride is about authenticity and breaking barriers of expression. The ex-gay agenda is founded in junk science with religious bias and has been found to be ineffective and harmful. The two could not be any different.
- FREEDOM vs. SHACKLES: Ex-gay therapy is designed around conformity to gender norms and a very conservative Christian morality. It exerts control over body, mind, and relationships in severely limiting ways. It is a violent form of oppression that becomes repression when people like Domen buy into it. LGBT Pride evolved from a history of standing up against oppression — against police raids and religious condemnation — to celebrate individual uniqueness and liberation.
Domen may have bought into the complex that he is the victim, but his mistake is that he is the willing victim of oppression by conservatives, not of the gay agenda condemning his ex-gay identity. If anything, the LGBT community would offer him sympathy — if, of course, he weren’t standing alongside opponents of equality.