More on “Youth in the Cross-hairs”

April 5, 2006

In my earlier post on the NGLTF report Youth in the Crosshairs, I noted that the report made a lot of unsubstantiated claims, but didn't substantiate that objection with any examples. To remedy that bit of ironic hypocrisy, here is a small smattering of statements plucked from the report. Comments in parentheses and italics are mine.

p. 4

"Ex-gays who stop “living in homosexuality” prove their newfound heterosexuality through adherence to rigid gender behaviors."

(Support for this very general claim? Other than the testimony of a couple of ex-gays at one LWO conference? Support for the claim that any ex-gays believe that such adherence to "rigid gender behaviors" is a "proof" of "heterosexuality"?)

p. 10

"ex-gay programs operate under the premise that homosexuality is a mental illness."

(All ex-gay programs? Support for this claim?)

p. 14

"The rise in the number of youth who report attending ex-gay programs is not surprising."

(Info about the rise in number? I don't doubt that there is a rise in number, but NGLTF offers no evidence for this but anecdotes.)

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Six Complaints about NGLTF’s anti-exgay report “Youth in the Cross-hairs: The Third Wave of Ex-gay Activism”

March 16, 2006

Link to the report.

1. So little of the report has to do with youth. I count 11 out of 77 pages (the whole of the text after the “Executive summary”) which have anything to do with youth. In those pages we have short descriptions, none particularly insightful, of a couple of stories about LIA / Refuge, Exodus Youth, Dobson and Nicolosi on “prehomosexuality”, PFOX legal action for a more “exgay friendly” sex ed curriculum, and the ADF’s “Day of Truth”.

Other than that, it’s just the same old recycled anti-exgay spiel, with an occasional “Oh no! They’re after the CHILDREN!” interjected. There’s no real analysis or examination of why these things are happening.

Some of the stories they present tell us virtually nothing. We know practically nothing about Zach’s and DJ’s LIA experiences, and what little we have heard about DJ seems questionable, given Queer Action Coalition’s decision to “back away from a public representation of this story.” I guess we learn from their stories that some parents force their kids to seek help for their same-sex attractions. But that’s not news, and it’s certainly no “third wave”.

I personally found all the “predatory” rhetoric about “targeting youth” and “recruiting youth” quite tiring. I think it’s annoying when conservative Christians resort to that way of talking about gay issues in schools. I think it’s equally annoying when gays resort to that way of talking about ex-gay youth outreach. Both groups should acknowledge that the other is simply seeking to help young people according to their beliefs.

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