Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Not many stories are sadder than this one, nor tell us more about who we are. Who some of us are.

I don't think I'd known the name George Rekers until he was discovered, a while back, traveling with a "rentboy." (Hadn't known that name, either.) Rekers, it seems, like so many of the most virulent anti-gay activists, is gay. More importantly, he ran a much-touted (by some) deprogramming-conversion-destruction scheme for gays. His prize convert was a kid named Kirk, about whom he wrote in reportedly respectable psychology journals (Rekers called him Kraig in his papers):

Kirk survived his ordeal, and he continued to grow up under relative anonymity. Neither he nor his family knew that he was the subject of nearly two decades of discussion among behavioral therapists working to change their clients’ sexual orientation. Through it all, Rekers wrote that Kirk had a “normal male identity, had normal aspirations for growing up to be married and have a family, and was well-adjusted as a teen-age boy in general.” The truth was far different. His suicide attempt at the age of seventeen was unsuccessful. But twenty years later, he took his life on December 21, 2003. He was 38.

Anderson Cooper is doing a three-part series on the story.

There have been countless examples of right-wingers denying reality to push an agenda, more often than not motivated by the religious fanaticism (or religious adherence to the god of Reaganism and selfishness) that permeates the teabagger wing (meaning pretty much the whole of it) of the current corpse of the Republican party. Their climate-change denial will merely destroy our planet; their attempts to Christianize education will only destroy our country; tax cuts will only complete our bankruptcy; claiming that homosexuality is an affront to their god and that it's a choice will only prevent nameless millions from being able to marry... But in the case of the insane rejectionism that is conversion therapy they may as well have put a gun in the kid's face and pulled the trigger. It's specific. It's horrifying. And it's inexcusable, even as -- because -- they believe they're doing the will of their god.

And it's an immediate example of what happens when fact threatens faith. When, given a choice between recognizing reality and finding a way for ones belief to remain within it, or rejecting reality in order to maintain pathologically-needed false belief, people do the latter, they're not just harming themselves. Not in this ever-increasing American theocracy.

If the molecules and pathways and genes aren't yet fully understood, it's nevertheless as clear as, well, the age of the earth, that for nearly all people sexual orientation is not a matter of conscious choice. To biblical literalists, and to those (Rekers, Haggard, Craig, Long, Mehlman...) bathed in self-hatred born of reconciling feelings over which they have no control with the fire and brimstone they've grown up with, this represents a classic conflict between the need for faith and living in the world as it exists. For so many, it means rejecting reality to maintain the fear-fleeing fantasy. The inevitable result is deeply destructive, inward and outward. What sad examples are Mr Rekers and his victims (of which he himself is one, too.)

There's no more dismal (if deeply complex) display of the damage done by religious discordance than the mob mentality now seen in state-halls around our country as they use their new-found power to pass anti-gay legislation (relegating our actual needs to something less than afterthoughts); and as citizens -- needful of validation, of personal exorcism, of an enemy, a scapegoat, a whipping boy, or, maybe, just a distraction from their self-loathing -- give their stamp of approval. This is pitchforks and torches, tar and feathers, ropes and trees. It's humankind at its very worst; fearful, shallow, hateful, weak.

Denialism is destructive. And, in the past several decades, it's the exclusive property of America's party of god. In the case of their hypocritical homophobia, their inhumanity is indescribably horrifying, shameful in the extreme.


Anonymous said...

Author! Author!!
but somehow in your 1000+words that Hemmingway could have turned into a masterpiece of literature you left out the E-Ville American Red Cross...
They don't let Homos give Blood,
Oh Excuse me, they don't let Men "Who've Had Sex(Even Once)with Men" donate blood
OK, if you've been celibate for the last 33 years they'll cut you a break.
Oh yeah, that Defense of Marriage Act?
Signed by a Democrat, just like those Budget Busting Tax Cuts you selfishly keep( I know, your Stocks went down in 2008, overall you gotta be up about 10 billion percent)
amd as usual your about as wrong as Anthony Weiner at a Girl Scout Jamboree...
Its not Homosexuality thats disgusting,
its the MALE homos,
Lesbians are cool.

Frank "Lesbian in a Male body" Drackman

Sid Schwab said...

Frank: When I was in training, the main cardiac surgeon, Dr Roe, to whom we referred as "Death Roe," used to give the same little speeches to interns, over and over, virtually word for word. We referred to them as his cassettes, because it was like he popped them into his head and replayed them. (I know: nowadays you young folk would call them see-dees.)

In his case, having to hear the same things over and over, we could at least say there was useful information in them.

Anonymous said...

I see you are back up to speed Sid, another great post on the sickening hypocrisy of contemporary so-called "Conservatism."

Keep it up!

"They don't let Homos give Blood"

Well, you just tell them that your blood is as good as anybody's blood Frank; and I'm sure it has been at least 33 years since you had sex with any living (or otherwise) creature!


Anonymous said...

Way ahead of ya Eww-Gene...
I give blood every 60 days, I'm AB(neg) its rare, like a Black Person in Seattle, I mean at the Scripts Howard National Spelling Bee, which was won by an Indian American(The Joe Biden QT kind)for like the 50th straight year..
and if you run a mile after donating you get a great Head Rush, and it doesn't show up on a Drug Test.
TBS, one time I made the mistake of honestly answering "Yes" where they ask if you've lived in Europe, you know, so you won't spread the Mad Cow Thang..
and No, I don't know where the Europeans get there blood...
Wasn't allowed to donate for ummm like 2 weeks, when I went back and answered the question "Correctly".

Frank "Git Sum" Drackman

Blame Obama First said...

Interesting. I'll bet Eugene wants us to think he's "enlightened" and has lots of gay friends. Yet, he feels it's an insult to accuse Frank of being gay.

Hypocrisy. It's what liberals are made of.

Anonymous said...

"the Mad Cow Thang.."

Understood; if I had sex with Margaret Thatcher, I wouldn't want to admit it either!


Sid Schwab said...

Gee, BOF, you waited all this time to comment again, and that's the best you got? Ignoring the point of the post, as usual (although, admittedly, you're not the only one.)

Where do you stand on the "gay is a choice" question; or the fact that gay marriage is a higher priority for state legislative Rs around the country than jobs?

Or would you just rather say liberals are hypocrites while ignoring the rank hypocrisy of Rs? Just seems a pretty lame comment for your first in a month or so. But I have no idea what goes on in Chula Vista, so I should ease up, I guess...

Anonymous said...

Sid here's another specimen of Repubocrisy:

"Santorum Calls Abortion Exceptions To Protect Health Of The Mother ‘Phony’"

SeeIt@: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2011/06/08/239111/santorum-calls-abortion-exceptions-to-protect-health-of-the-mother-phony/

Then read how Santorum ordered a partial birth abortion to save his wife's life.

SeeIt@: http://early-onset-of-night.tumblr.com/post/6502308112/our-abortion-was-different-when-the-anti-choice

Ahh yes - more scum floats to the top!


Anonymous said...

I'll spell it out for you:

The obvious point of the article (BARF ...BOF?)is that people who shriek about GAYS!!! are usually self loathing, closeted Gays themselves.

I don't insult people for being gay; I insult them for being hypocrites.

And, I insult you for being a mindless trolling derp!


Sid Schwab said...

Note to "anonymous."

1) No anonymous tags.

2) Really stupid comment.

3) The stupidity was easily identifiable, and does honor to your history of issue-avoidance.

4) Don't bother re-posting it.

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