“Ex-gay” activist D.L. Foster is no fan of Truth Wins Out, and for good reason. The work we do exposes the fraud of the “ex-gay” industry each and every day, and each and every day the group of people susceptible to messages such as those taught by Foster shrinks a little bit more. Responding to a piece I wrote about the Illinois Family Association’s latest “ex-gay” sob story, D.L. says this:
Evan Hurst, a homosexual activist with “Truth Wins Out” dropped a rather bizarre revelation on its gloomy website. The personal stories of EXhomosexuals are only legitimate if they have lived perfect lives BEFORE they became gay. Please don’t snicker, he’s dead serious. The banned list includes zero drinking or partying, no family brokenness, NO suicide attempts (even though they lament young gays who allegedly have high suicide rates ) no sexual abuse of any kind and no drug use or experimentation. In addition, the person must have grown up with a mother and father in the home, went to the best schools and made superior grades. And you must be a virgin. For a person’s story to be authentic, Hurst asserts it must be scrubbed free of the type of common human problems everyday people face. It has to be more like his utopic life as a privileged white gay male who’s never had a problem since the day he was born.
That is not what I said. Let’s look at what I said:
[T]his kind of crap would be a lot more credible if the anti-gay side could trot out one purported “ex-gay” who doesn’t have a long sob story about family abuse, drug abuse, suicide attempts, or other things like that. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works. The “ex-gay” myth only continues to have legs because the Religious Right is particularly good at targeting vulnerable victims who they can convince that they should blame all their worldly problems on their sexual orientation.
I didn’t say anything about the life of a “privileged white male,” D.L.
It’s clear to my readers that I was explaining that all “ex-gay” stories have similar threads — abuse, drug abuse, spiritual torture, etc. — and that only people who are very wounded by these things are susceptible to charlatans who convince them that the problems in their lives are caused by their sexuality. We’ve said that and things like it many times. D.L. paints his silly little picture to deflect attention from the fact that the “ex-gay” world is decidedly not populated by people who have simply faced “common human problems.” A person has to be extremely vulnerable, and extremely wounded, in order to be swayed into believing they must change their natural sexual orientation in order to find salvation. People with “common human problems,” again, simply aren’t susceptible.
D.L. then decides to deflect more attention from his lack of an argument by calling me a racist:
Nevertheless, Hurst fumed at the Illinois Family Association for posting the video testimony of Raleigh Mayberry, an African American male whose PERSONAL LIFE STORY mirrors 70% of black kids in America today. But snotty, privileged white homosexuals like Hurst are out of touch and see most blacks as Cosby Show caricatures. That’s white hoodless racism. The truth is that many of us (like me and my 7 siblings) grew up having to deal with a plethora of hard issues that lead to terrible choices, including how we sexually express ourselves. That’s reality.
None of your experiences has anything to do with you being gay, D.L. Foster. You want to talk about 70% of black children living without father figures, but that also has nothing to do with being gay. “Ex-gay” organizations teach people things like that, once they have them in their webs, but if that was the case, far closer to 70% of black children would grow up to be gay. However, if you watch Mayberry’s video, you’ll see that he is a supposedly “ex-gay” man who was molested and was deeply wounded as a result. He has been convinced by charlatans that his sexuality was caused by this molestation.
And that’s the point I was making, that sailed over Foster’s head. Each and every “ex-gay” story is a sob story. It’s never, in D.L. Foster’s words, “I had common human problems like everyone faces, I was living a pretty good life, not perfect, with a wonderful same-sex spouse and children, and then one day a wingnut convinced me that any problems I did face were the fault of my sexual orientation, and that I needed to attempt to change it, so that I could get out of hell.”
This is typical D.L., though. Recently he compared his “ex-gay” work to that of a real hero or history, Harriet Tubman, and called the boys at Right Wing Watch “slave catchers.” As I said when he made that comparison, it is officially impossible to mock people like him any longer. No joke I could make can possibly surpass the hilarity that comes from simply reporting their words and deeds.