Dangerous Homophobic Ex-Gay Misinformation

2 Feb

I came upon a blog today that did a fantastic job of addressing not only the dangers of the Ex-Gay movement, but about the larger issue of “balanced” reporting.  Peterson Toscano does a great job of exposing the dangerous hypocrisy of such organizations as Exodus International, the anti-gay organization that says it can “heal” gays, but Toscano also addresses what is actually NOT fair and balanced reporting. Toscano appeared as one of several guests on Wellness for the Real World, with Dr. Veronica Anderson. Unfortunately, here is where the homophobia comes into play and the very BIASED reporting.  There was a surprise guest added at the last minute, Arthur Goldberg, co-director of JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality) and a supporter of other anti-gay groups like People Can Change, also appeared.  The producers told Toscano that they just wanted to get all sides of the story–starting to sound like Faux News to me.

Toscano’s response is what made me smile and thankful that he is smart enough to see through the false mask of “balanced” reporting.  Here is part of his response:

if the topic is a political issue with opposing opinions, but in the case of gay-to-straight conversion, having guests who represent “both sides of the issue” creates a false dichotomy as if we are looking at two equal sides of an issues.  In this case the sides are reason and madnesshealth and harmsound medical practice versus quakery performed by unlicensed and untrained religiously motivated bigots.

I strongly encourage you to read the entire article on Toscano’s blog.  Kudos to Toscano for the marvelous ability to deconstruct false journalism and call it what it is.

Great Pick Up Place for Self-Loathing Gays

13 Responses to “Dangerous Homophobic Ex-Gay Misinformation”

  1. p2son February 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    Hey thank you so much for sharing my post on your blog and for your comments. I already see some interesting posts on your blog. Glad you found me and now I know you. 🙂

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 2, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

      Thank you for being a fellow “do-gooder” as try to fight for equality for ALL. I will look forward to reading more great posts on your blog.

  2. Jennifer February 2, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    Having personally known victims of these ‘re-education’ institutes, I can say that they have a devastatingly negative impact on their ‘patients.’ In fact, I am hesitant to call them ‘patients’ as ‘victims’ seems a better interpretation – most of them are underage, pressured from someone in an authoritative position (parent, guardian, ‘doctor’ or religious leader). I have never met someone who comes out of this experience ‘healed and happy’ (although they may exist), rather they were shattered, had been or currently suicidal, and isolated from family/friends/community. Why no one has done an expose on this is shocking to me.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 2, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

      Thank you for sharing the fact that you actually know people that have suffered through this horribly homophobic institution. I hope other see this.

  3. jenny68 February 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    This is beyond criminal- I absolutely agree that these people are victims. How can you ever heal from being told your core feelings about who you are is Wrong and needs to be fixed?? Who are these people? You’re right Michael- it’s all about being obsessed with gay sex. This issue needs more attention, any decent REAL psychiatrist would refute and condemn these ‘fixers’. I would define them as true haters. Social terrorism

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 2, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

      Jenny, you are brilliant! I love the term “social terrorism.” I’m going to have to steal this from you, dear!

  4. jenny68 February 2, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    Thank you Michael- I’m flattered.
    WHO are these people that say they’re ‘cured’ the usage of the word itself is outrageous and offensive as it implies disease.

    I’m even more worried about teens now. I know you are too…

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm #


      I’ve never met someone who has been “cured”. I find the whole business absurd and exceedingly homophobic.

  5. Radical Politics February 2, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    So it’s insanity to allow a counter viewpoint to the discussion because Toscano believes the person is a quack and has no right to be part of this debate? Sounds to me like there is something to hide under that veneer of indignation. Would Toscano have accepted ANYONE who would counter his point of view? Would he accept a trained M.D. or Psychologist/Psychiatrist who’s own point of view countered his? The GLBT community expects people to believe that being a member of this community is genetic and not a choice and yet they provide no expert medical or scientific proof to back it up. Toscano expects us to just believe that this Goldberg person is a quack with no reasonable and unbiased proof to back up his claim. What is it he does not want anyone to really know? BTW before anyone begins to call me a hater and a bigot etc etc, you know all the usual claims made when someone casts doubts on issues like this, I have close family and friends who are proud members of your community and I treat them no differently than I do the Heterosexual family members. I just choose to see things without any blinders on until proven right or wrong or in between.

    Michael I respect you for standing up for your beliefs and way of life so please believe me when I say I am only here to debate not cause a ruckus. 🙂

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 2, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

      Thank you for your comment, Radical Politics. I would encourage you to evaluate the power and privilege you have just by being heterosexual, thus an uneven playing field. The what if game does not really apply here. The fact is that there were not trained professionals speaking, thus a clear personal bias against being homosexual.

    • Peterson Toscano February 3, 2011 at 4:58 am #

      Radical Politics,
      You miss the point of the whole show and my post. (Perhaps you have not listened or read it and simply reacted to an extract.) The discussion was not about origins of the gay orientation. People who are aware know that while there are several biological indicators revealed in multiple studies (on twins, birth order, etc) no “gay gene” has been discovered. (Similarly they have yet to discover a left-handed gene)

      No this discussion was not about the genetics behind gay attraction. It was about gay men marrying straight women. Goldberg was brought on as someone who believes gays are emotionally misshapen and can be cured through treatment. Every major medical association has denounced this notion saying it does not work and it may even cause harm. From having met over 1500 people who tried to alter their sexuality through these so called “ex-gay” programs and reading the data out there about the positive effects of gay-affirming treatments I understand that what Goldberg offers and promotes cause significant psychological, emotional, and spiritual harm. It also causes harm to the straight spouses who married these gays who are desperately trying to go straight.

      Bottom line this is about public health and safety. Having a dishonest peddler of dangerous treatments like Arthur Goldberg on a show called Wellness for the REAL World is not only ironic, it is irresponsible.

  6. penguinlad February 3, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    Thank you, Michael, for pointing out this important story.

    Great post, Peterson. Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s sad when even people with the best of intentions buy into the false dichotomy of “balanced reporting.” Sometimes there aren’t two equal sides to a story.

    This reminds me of the Washington Post using Tony Perkins to “balance” Dan Savage. Idiocy in journalism at it’s blindest.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt February 3, 2011 at 6:59 am #

      Thank you, Penguinlad for the comment, but also thank you for the story regarding the Washington Post, which had me burning with anger.

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