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Hello, Mr. President? The ‘ex-gays’ called, they would like their pride back…

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bear with me while I ask this question: If you are ex-gay, are you not straight?

And if you’re straight, do you not have every right and privilege given to every straight person in America?

I only ask because Christopher Doyle, the co-founder of a group called Voice of the Voiceless, requested a meeting with President Obama or a senior member of his civil rights staff to “discuss tolerance for the ex-gay community and how the White House can ensure equal access for ex-gays in the nation’s capital, which is the only jurisdiction that recognizes ex-gays as a legally protected class.”

They — the members of the “ex-gay” community — are celebrating their first-ever “Ex-Gay Pride Month,” and with the help of The Family Research Council’s FRC Action (um, Josh Duggar’s new gig), will hold their first ever Ex-Gay Pride Month dinner in Washington, D.C. on July 31.

Invited to speak at this dinner is Michelle Bachman, Jim DeMint of the Heritage Foundation, Matthew Staver of the Liberty Council, and Rep. Tim Huelskamp (the Republican from Kansas who, just two days after the Supreme Court put an end to Section 3 of DOMA and gave gay Californians back their right to marry, introduced a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage).

Doyle believes that ex-gays, like himself, are mis-characterized by the media and LGBT activists.

“Former homosexuals and ex-gays and persons with unwanted same-sex attraction that don’t identify as lesbian and gay and are seeking a different path are going to come together and let our voices be heard,” he says.

“We formed an anti-defamation league for former homosexuals like myself. … I was once one of those persons. I am now married to a woman. So basically, we’ve just been really marginalized by the LGBT activist groups because they’re threatened we are seeking a different path. We aren’t trying to take away anyone’s rights,” says Doyle.

Now, everyone is certainly entitled to their own beliefs — and mine is that there is no such thing as an ex-gay. You’re either gay, or your not. If you have sex with men and women, then you’re bisexual — not ex-gay.

I spent 20 some years hiding behind the being married, “I’m not gay” banner to not know and understand what that means.

It means, “I really am gay and I’m scared to death to come out, so I’m going to lie to myself and everyone else about who I am. I’m going to deny, deny, deny and believe I can change my attraction to women, and be a wife in every sense of the word.”

I could not.

But Doyle says: “[Homosexuality] just wasn’t for me. That’s why I chose a different path. We really need to accept people in their choices.”

What do you believe?

Opinions and advice expressed in our Views & Voices columns represent the author's own views and not necessarily those of LGBTQ Nation. We welcome opposing views and diverse perspectives. To submit a article, column or video, contact us here. Due to the volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee publication.

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54 more reader comments:

  1. I love how it ends with the word “Choices” it’s not a choice you fuck tards

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:42pm
  2. A bunch of ‘former’ gays and lesbians all getting together in a room and drinking and celebrating…sounds like a potential orgy to me! ;)

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:43pm
  3. Ex-gay. No such thing. Unicorn. 3-dollar bill. Free lunch. Nope. No such thing.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:44pm
  4. wouldn’t they now be bisexual??

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:44pm
  5. This is not something you choose! Yes you can choose to ignore it, but it’s still there. This just makes it easier for anti-gay groups to say that it is a choice. That its all for attention. That you can change who you are. Uhg these people make me mad ..

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:47pm
  6. One thing that actually infuriates me is the name. “The Voice of the Voiceless.” They have no idea what it means to be voiceless in this society.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:48pm
  7. People can’t be ex LGBT. They can choose to not live an LGBT life, not be truth to themselves, and live a straight one but it doesn’t change the fact that they were born LGBT and are exactly that.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:49pm
  8. This sort of shit gives me a migraine. If your straight then go and join the majority, congratulations, your the most accepted category out there.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:50pm
  9. Ex-gay? What the hell? Is this a joke? This really makes me sick and ashamed to be apart of this world

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:54pm
  10. Ex-gay is that anything like the yellow brick road and 3 dollar bills

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:55pm
  11. “unwanted sexual attraction” doesn’t change the fact that they do in fact have an attraction to members of the same gender. I too would say these individuals are bisexual, however it is not my place to judge. To say that they can’t have pride in who they are and to celebrate makes us in the LGBT community NO BETTER than those who would deny us equal rights simply because it is against “god’s will”. We have enough infighting among our own community and from those outside it to deny it to others

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:56pm
  12. Attractions can change. People grow.

    I used to think I was straight, until the end of high school.

    You’re a boy who grows up liking boys, and suddenly you find yourself falling in love with a girl. That sounds scary and confusing as hell, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened to quite a few people.

    So… all of you other commenters thus far? Stop being jerks and rejecting these people. Ignorance and prejudice, apparently, can go both ways. Take a look at what you’re saying and try to understand these people.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:56pm
  13. I always new I was gay. Never was I attracted to girls. When I came out at 17, I found girls far more deviant then guys, they tried to get me drunk, guilt, and then came anger. Still, none of it worked. I am very proud of that.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:56pm
  14. Perfectly stated.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:57pm
  15. If they’re ex-gay, then why do they want to make their own class? Wouldn’t they rather join the majority, which are straight? Idiots!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 8:59pm
  16. These people are total fuck tards. Anyone says their ex-gays are a bunch of idiots. Cause there is no such fricken thing called x gays. And this idiot to talk with the President he needs his head examined and a kick in the ass.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:00pm
  17. More like “Celibate & Sexually Repressed Pride”

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:00pm
  18. Don’t get me wrong though. I see the beauty in a women. It’s not sexual. Like admiring a statue or painting. I find boobs quit beautiful. To look at. :-)

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:03pm
  19. If you wish to live a lie and a life of denial, please feel free. But stop trying to oppress those who are happy with who they are and who only want happiness and acceptance. How do you ask for acceptance from one group, while simultaneously trying to oppress someone? It is the height of hypocrisy! Many of us are happy with being gay and only want live a life of peace and equality so stop trying to tell us you want acceptance while trying to deny my rights and existence. You sound ridiculous!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:12pm
  20. This group & the people involved need investigating. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to learn that they’re all actors hired by some anti gay hate group to spout this shit in their fight against us. Why would “ex gay” people need to form a group? If I woke up tomorrow & “decided” to be a straight man, I would just get on with life. I wouldn’t feel the need to go around saying “I’m an ex gay.”

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:12pm
  21. Please! I meet a lot of so called Ex Gays, on their honeymoon looking to hook up with a guy. Couldn’t have been more board.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:12pm
  22. In small part, I agree with you. People do change and grow. However, sexuality is as it is because after discovering and solidifying it (in the sense of realizing your sexual orientation) it doesn’t change. Your sexuality is a stable, relatively permanent thing. The reasons I can firmly say I not only don’t support, but don’t believe or respect these people in any way are several. Of these, the first is that they are funded by the Family Research Council. These are the people who fund and publish faulty science and are against everything remotely LGBT. Second, these are not people discovering their sexuality. These are people who are in their adult life, firm in their sexual preferences, and have rejected them out of fear and, primarily, discomfort with their sexuality and religion clashing. These are the people who undergo ‘Reparative Therapy’ where the goal is to, basically, convince the person they aren’t gay. This is also a process which the American Psychology Association and several other reputable medical, psychiatric, and psychology organizations have declared as harmful and nothing else.

    What you see here is people who are using an excuse to further a political situation in favor of discrimination and psychological harming of people. These are not brothers and sisters to be respected. These are not adolescents coming into their own. These are politically driven, prejudiced, bible-beating fanatics. Thus, they do not deserve anyone’s respect, only their pity.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:26pm
  23. But what if there are people out there, unconnected to this group, who used to think they were gay? What if, when their sexuality solidified, they ended up straight? I don’t think that’s such a difficult concept to believe in.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:30pm
  24. HAHAHA! Is this an “ONION” story?

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:32pm
  25. It’s bullshit Molly, only a women would have such beliefs.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:32pm
  26. Molly is just hoping all her gay BFF’s suddenly turn straight.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:35pm
  27. Seriously, Is this a Joke? My partner and I couldn’t believe it! Is the FRC Really trying to create their OWN dis-enfranchised minority? I wish all 6 members luck!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:41pm
  28. And there it is ….women can’t get it through their mind that a guy wouldn’t be attracted to them, such narcissism!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:43pm
  29. they’re unbelievably childish and dumb..

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:48pm
  30. Yeah, the ex-gay thing throws me off too. Why identify yourself as someone who has, but doesn’t act on, attractions that qualify as part of the LGBTQ spectrum? I mean, you are “classified” as whatever you act on and tell people about. So if they don’t act on those attractions, why tell the world “oh, I think this, but I wont do it.” Just let everyone consider you straight. Otherwise, we might just think you’re an attention-whore trying to disband all the hard work we’ve put towards gaining equality. The choice is what you act on, not who you are. Sounds pointless to be proud of not being who you are, but maybe that’s just me.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:53pm
  31. Their whole argument seems stupid I don’t understand what they are trying to fight for

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 9:57pm
  32. I couldn’t be ex gay then I could be ex white. It’s who I am, who I have always been, and who I will die being. I am blessed with the knowledge to be proud of what you are, no matter what people think of you. As long as it doesn’t harm anyone. Go forth and prosper.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 10:04pm
  33. They (and heterosexuals) can have their pride events/recognition when we start hearing demeaning phrases like “That’s so hetero” or “That so ex-gay”. Until then, they just have to live with the fact that they aren’t as special as we (gays) are. Besides, doesn’t ex-gay just mean confused heterosexual?

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 10:07pm
  34. Kristofer, I wish I could like your comment a hundred times! :-)

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 10:27pm
  35. This is messed up. If you are an ex-gay you are a heterosexual – after all, isn’t that the point? Being “changed” into what you believe is “right”? and yet they want a Pride Day for something that they recognize as being intrinsically evil? A day of Pride for what? For hating themselves so much and believing so deeply that they need to be something different from what they truly are, after having “changed” or “evolved”? For overcoming their humanity? What bullshit.
    If a God could not love you for something you never wished for, and would condemn you for it, then that God does not deserve your love – for that God has deemed you unworthy of his.

    I am happy that your sexuality is or was fluid enough in order to change in order to please the masses and no longer be afraid of your family, friends or God. Do not have a Pride parade for deserting yourself as you were – do not celebrate self-hatred and self-contempt.

    If you must, be proud of your new, “heterosexual” self. If you are, then haven’t you solved your problem? Why would you want to be recognized for something that caused you so much shame – and likely still does? You are not proof of anything that I support. You may have changed – and if you are happier, then I am happy for you – but this is ridiculous.

    You are now the norm – back off.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 11:03pm
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    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 12:11am
  37. Funny how there are people claiming to be ex-gay when the president and top members of these ex-gay therapy organizations are coming out and revealing that they’ve never ceased to be gay.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 2:01am
  38. WTF ex gay makes you straight so why do you need special protections, what makes you any more special than any other heterosexual?

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 2:05am
  39. If you’re an “ex-gay” (lol) then you are straight. Bottom line. You don’t need a special interest group to help you with equality. Shove off you *ss hats.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 3:59am
  40. As a mother of sons, one of which is gay and was born that way and I wouldn’t want him any other way, I question the “intentions and integrity” of these so-called ex-gays. We are born into our sexuality and yes nothing is purely “black & white” and therefore I know there are those for a plethora of reasons who may be confused and struggle in accepting their true self.

    The gay who struggled for a long time doesn’t call himself the ex-straight, he is gay, pure and simple. Just like the straight person who struggled in their identity for a period in time, shouldn’t call himself, ex-gay, he is straight!

    We don’t go through life creating “ex’s” of ourselves, excluding the ex-wife/husband “thingy” that society itself coined and even that we don’t call ourselves the “ex” but the other.

    I’m a mother, not an “ex-childless woman;” and I’m an older woman with silvery hair and a little overweight, and I’m not a “ex-young, ex-skinny, ex-light-brown haired woman!”

    We should always embrace who we truly are and wherever we are on our life’s journey.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 5:10am
  41. Shud we rec0nsider…Damn dat jus makes my gay

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 5:41am
  42. Shud we rec0nsider…Damn dat jus makes my gay gr0up0 l00k bad

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 5:42am
  43. As always d0nt discriminate us 0r deprive 0ur rites. We n0t bad we jus keep it rite S0 I SUGGEST IF U CANT RESPECT US AS GAY HUMANBEINGS THEN JUS KEEP D0ING Y0 THANG

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 5:49am
  44. Was this from The Onion?

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 9:03am
  45. Wha-HUH?

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 9:06am
  46. “Invited to speak at this dinner is Michelle Bachman, Jim DeMint of the Heritage Foundation”. That’s enough to kill the money!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 9:08am
  47. Wait….. seriously???

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 9:10am
  48. What if it is a ploy by anti-gay people to belittle the fact that being gay isn’t a choice. They pretend to be “reformed” and then purposfully act peaceful because they know that being an example of choosing to be gay will be more damaging that just shouting it at people…

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 9:14am
  49. so basically, they’re gay but in denial. love the having to accept people and their choices bit. do they not see the hypocrisy?

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 9:18am
  50. I find this more of a joke

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 9:18am
  51. Sure seems to me that your question is valid… And since ex-gays ARE claiming to be straight, they are ALREADY celebrated every day!

    Oh, and Jordan Cash, that’s EXACTLY what this is!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 9:32am
  52. I am torn. While I agree with what most of you are saying I also feel bad for the ‘ex-gays’ because I’m sure at least some of them actually believe that’s what they are. Those people who are cast out of homes or churches or communities; those who want to be “normal” NEED to believe that they can be changed.

    While I know that the overall idea is a joke and maybe a ploy I also am sure that there are some who need to be ‘ex-gay’ to survive.

    I just feel like groups like this support fear, self-hate, ignorance and everything we are fighting against. This hurts my heart to read because its hard to think that there are people who are running this and even moreso that there are members of the LGBTQA community who feel they belong there.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 10:15am
  53. Sounds to me like those “ex gays” can’t or don’t want to deal with the criticism or the fight for equality any more and see ghis as an easy way out, when in reality they are making it harder on themselves.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 10:39am
  54. Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 10:49am