Apologies are all the rage with the “ex-gay” set right now! John Smid has been running around apologizing for various things for the past several weeks/months — he even showed up at Memphis Pride with those grotesque “I’m Sorry!” cards distributed by the Marin Foundation — and now Richard “Beat That Pillow With A Tennis Racket Like It’s Your Mom” Cohen has caught the fever as well! Unfortunately, his “apology” is not an apology at all, and nothing seems to have changed about his beliefs or his life’s work.
It comes via a press release on changeispossible.com, so let’s take a look. Here is the headline:
International Healing Foundation Apologizes to the LGBTQ Community on its 21st Anniversary
Organization Expands Mission from ‘Change is Possible’ to ‘Coming Out Loved’
Uh huh. Notice that they are “expanding” their vision, rather than “changing” it. Change is apparently not possible in their world.
The International Healing Foundation has educated and counseled thousands of men, women and adolescents who experience unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA). However, on its 21st anniversary, IHF apologized to the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) community for years of unknowingly fueling anti-gay sentiment by simply stating, “Change is Possible.”
That’s not what people are demanding apologies for. It’s more for the years upon years of religious bigotry repackaged as false, discredited “science,” giving people false hope, depression and increasing the suicide risk among vulnerable people who have been abused by religion into believing that “change” is even necessary, much less possible. It’s also for the thousands upon thousands of families which have been damaged further or ruined by such techniques. Moving on.
“We at IHF wish to offer a sincere, heartfelt apology to everyone in the LGBTQ community,” said IHF founder and director, Richard Cohen. “I apologize and ask forgiveness to those who were hurt by our message.” Cohen, a leading expert in the field of sexual orientation and married father of three, knows first-hand how it feels to be ostracized having lived a gay life.
I’m not feeling your apology, Richard.
Beginning today, IHF’s doors are wide open to everyone in the LGBTQ and straight communities. The new mission, “Coming Out Loved,” is the catalyst of true tolerance, real diversity, and equality for all. IHF staff will assist anyone who is conflicted about their sexuality and other challenging issues that arise for many in the gay community.
Wait, they weren’t willing to act as predators for any easy prey in the past? I’m confused.
IHF has adopted therapeutic guidelines from the American Psychological Association for members of the lesbian, gay and bisexual communities; American Counseling Association guidelines for the transgender community; and National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality therapeutic guidelines for anyone questioning their sexuality and/or experiencing unwanted SSA.
Nice! So if you come in and you’re happily gay — why would you go there if you were happily gay? — they’ll at least attempt to use a veneer of professionalism by using APA guidelines. If you’re transgender, they’ll use the guidelines of the American Counseling Association, from which Richard Cohen was banned for life in 2002 for multiple ethics violations. And if you’re their target market, which is, again, people who have been abused so much by religious indoctrination and bigotry that they believe that there are inherently sick, evil and flawed, they’ll continue to use the guidelines of the sham organization NARTH, a group which masquerades as secular and scientific [and which quietly kicked Cohen out of their lives a few years back -- they don't like for their public faces to be that crazy, though they will continue to work with people like him behind the scenes], while being purely ideological in nature, and a group so consistently dishonest, with such a long trail of broken homes in its wake, that I cannot imagine what would constitute an “ethics violation” in their world. Telling the truth? Reporting the results of a scientific study accurately? Not using willful abuse of children as the basis for much of their work?
Cohen asserts everyone should be loved and accepted for who they are. “By opening our doors to everyone in the LGBTQ and straight communities, we are expanding upon our mission and broadening the scope of our services,” he says. For more information, visit www.ComingOutLoved.com.
And that is the end of the press release. Is this anything more than a cry for help out of the ravines of inadequacy and irrelevance?
In case not everybody’s familiar, let’s take a little tour of the failure that is Richard Cohen’s life, and visit a couple of his friends as well, which should clear up any remaining confusion over whether Cohen’s apology is worth anything.
If readers have been following the “kill the gays” debacle in Uganda, it’s important to remember that one of the major backers of that bill is Stephen Langa, who got much of his information on gay people from Cohen’s book Coming Out Straight. Here is Rachel Maddow tearing Cohen apart on her show in 2009, and showing Langa teaching directly from his book.
And here is a picture you may have seen before, of Stephen Langa with other noted unhinged American homophobes and “ex-gay” leaders, Scott Lively and Don Schmierer, respectively. The man in the middle is Caleb Brundidge, who is also on the staff of Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation [sic]. The picture was taken in Uganda, right before the “kill the gays” Crusade really got its legs. Thanks for all your help, American hate group leaders/whack-jobs! Cohen definitely has blood on his hands.
Richard Cohen also used to be the president of PFOX, but thoroughly embarrassed himself and his entire movement when he was on The Daily Show a few years back, so they canned him. [Our own Wayne was also on that episode, if you haven't seen it.] He keeps close ties with them, though, and with NARTH. Indeed, his close associate at the International Healing Foundation [sic], the group who issued this crap apology, is Christopher Doyle, a “sexual reorientation coach” who is also on the board of PFOX.
If you don’t remember Christopher Doyle, here is a picture of him queening out and running away from Joe Jervis at the Truth Wins Out protest of the NARTH convention.
Here’s how Joe described that encounter:
The tall bald guy is Christopher Doyle, an “ex-gay” who is on the board of PFOX and who is on staff with “ex-gay” whackadoodle Richard Cohen as a “Sexual Reorientation Coach” at the International Healing Foundation. If that wasn’t enough for this professionally “former” c*cksucker, he writes newspaper editorials arguing against the Day Of Silence. Anyway, I don’t think pillow-whacker Richard Cohen has totally gotten Doyle in touch with his “natural masculine nature,” because when I kept taking photos, Doyle put his hand on his hip and hissed, “I don’t need this. Why don’t you just sssssssstop!”
If you don’t know what Joe means when he refers to Richard Cohen as a “pillow-whacker,” we’ll get to that at the end, so that we can end on a funny note.
Earlier this year, Christopher Doyle, who is, again, the very fey bestie of Richard Cohen, who works with him at the organization which just issued this BS apology, said this:
Putting “ex-gay” in quotes suggested that such a sexual orientation is not valid, not recognized or both. But thousands of former homosexuals collectively identify themselves as such. The D.C. Superior Court ruled in 2009 that ex-gays are a protected sexual orientation class in the District.
Not all persons who experience same-sex attractions choose to live gay lives. Many of us have voluntarily left a homosexual life through therapeutic work or behavioral choice. I did, and I have been happily married to a woman for nearly five years; we have two children. I no longer experience same-sex attraction and have no desire to return to the homosexual life. Please respect this choice.
Left unproven, as he is obviously unwilling to do so, is his assertion that he “no longer experience[s] same-sex attraction.” Wayne and I wait with bated breath for the first professional “ex-gay” swindler to submit himself to testing which would prove that they are no longer gay, but it never comes. Instead, on a fairly regular basis, they admit, as Alan Chambers and John Smid have, that they are still totally into dudes.
To wrap this up, you can have a look at the truly insane things Richard Cohen believes about why people end up gay or lesbian, or you can just have a laugh watching a couple of videos. Here’s Richard Cohen on CNN beating a pillow with a tennis racket and screaming at his mom, just after he cuddles a grown man.
And here is Richard having a bizarre, queeny temper tantrum about how mean gay people are. Listen to him scream!
This is the man who is very sorry for seemingly nothing, and wants you to think he is relevant, and also to give him more money, because his movement is dying and his life’s work is a waste.