Jim Burroway takes note of something that really needs not to be overlooked in all the volume over the case of Kirk Murphy. Reker’s claimed he had independent verification of his success with Kirk…
Buried in a footnote, Rekers wrote, “I express my appreciation to Drs. Larry N. Ferguson and Alexander C. Rosen for their independent evaluations.”
But Ferguson was a co-founder with Rekers of a religious “think tank” and Rosen was Reker’s longstanding colleague at UCLA. Theirs simply could not be independent evaluations. However, there Was an independent evaluation made that Reker’s could not have been unaware of while Kirk was still living, and it came when Dr. Richard Greene interviewed Kirk at 17, and published his findings in The Sissy Boy Syndrome, in 1987.
That’s where we learn that at Kirk was still attracted to men, was deeply conflicted over those attractions, had engaged in an anonymous sexual encounter with a man, and tried to commit suicide because of it.
Yet for years after Kirk’s suicide Reker’s continued to claim his case as a success.
For the remainder of Rekers’s career, he would never acknowledge what was uncovered in the The Sissy Boy Syndrome interviews. As far as Rekers was concerned, those interviews never happened and “Kraig”, his pseudonym for Kirk, remained a success story.
In the Ex-Gay industrial complex once the patient is out the door they simply cease to exist. And there’s a reason for that. The client is not important. Their family is not important. That they are changed or their lives are improved in any way is not important. What’s important is the message that homosexuals not only can change but they want to. Their lives are lived in the squalor of drugs and disease and hundreds of brief, barren assignations. They aren’t gay, they’re miserable and they want out. And all we want to do is help them escape the prison of homosexuality. And that message is validated simply by getting homosexuals to walk in the door. Once they’re in they’ve played their part. What happens to them afterward is of no importance to the culture warriors running the show.
Reker’s did what every ex-gay leader and their right wing enablers do whenever they’re confronted with evidence, direct and brutal, that their therapies not only don’t work but actually harm the people they claim they are only trying to help. He ignored it. It was easy to ignore. Because the patient does not matter. Their families do not matter. What matters is the message: that homosexuals can change. Because within that message is another: that homosexuals are responsible for their own persecution, not the right wing culture warriors and christianists who wage multi-million dollar campaigns to enact anti gay laws, repeal gay rights ordinances and recall judges who dare to treat gay Americans as anything other then human garbage. No…if the homosexuals suffer it’s their own fault because they can choose not to be homosexual any time they want to. Ex-gay therapy is not about helping homosexuals, but helping bigots.
That is why the right dumps money into ex-gay outfits to keep them afloat year after year. Any business with a failure rate like this one would have folded decades ago. But the ex-gay industry keeps chugging along. Because its success isn’t measured in patients, but victories in statehouse legislatures, and at the ballot. That Kirk Murphy was still gay did not matter. Winning the culture war matters.
[Edited to fix some spelling and punctuation]