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An End to Damnation
Aug 1, 2006
Now that the book is out, I'm learning all kinds of new things.  Let me briefly share some of the wealth.
  1. "You are no longer our son..."
  2. Fish Can't Fly
  3. Seven Passages
  4. The Word Of Mouth Awards for this week.
"You are no longer our son..."
The email arrived with thanks from a man my age, offering appreciation for my book. Brian had tried the ex-gay movement for many years.  He's an artist and he gave me his website. On it he's posted a bit of his life story. I may write more about this sometime, but here's the line that I can't get out of my head:
 
"I found myself on my own at eighteen years of age. "Adjust to the fact that you are no longer our son" I was told when I could not definitively state I was not a homosexual. The low point of this period was when I had to pawn my microscope for eight dollars to buy potatoes, macaroni and butter."
 
"Adjust to the fact that you are no longer our son"
 
Somewhere tonight another mom and dad and child are reenacting this same hell,
I read Brian's story of anguish, of ex-gay experience, and finally of celebration at his artist website, www.brianmahieu.com/my_story.html If you wonder what motivates me...it's the day when we live the truth that love conquers all, and damnation no longer feels necessary.
 
Fish Can't Fly:
Tom emailed to offer me his DVD about ex-gay stories.  Talk about timely.  Brian meet Tom.  Tom meet Brian.  www.fishcantfly.com
 
I've been wanting to hear stories from people who've tried to become ex-gay.  The religious right is all jazzed up about promoting ex-gay ministries, but LGBT people report -- "It almost never works."  Still because of the stigma of being gay in America, desperate people try and try to rid themselves of what Mel White calls, "The blessing of being gay."
 
Thank you Tom for introducing me to your work.  I look forward to learning from the stories you have gathered.
 
Seven Passages:
Stephanie emailed me: "Let me introduce myself -- I'm a straight professor at a fairly conservative Christian college where i teach theatre. I've spent the last few years interviewing about 150 gay Christians about their experiences. I am taking these interviews and turning them into a piece of theatre that will be produced first by a small (local) professional company and then tour in the next year.

"Nearly 90 percent of the interviews come from people I've met right here in this small midwestern city. The stories are so moving and sometimes funny and sometimes heartbreaking. It's been just an incredible journey to do this project that began as just some conversations with my gay students and blossomed into something that is much larger than myself. The goal is to educate and produce empathy and understanding."

Word of Mouth Awards: This week's awards go to

Soulforce:  Here's the idea, an announcement on the front page of the website.  Thank you Jamie, you're an amazing webmaster

Human Rights Campaign:  HRC has a growing emphasis on Religion and Faith, led by Harry Knox.  Thanks for mention in your newsletter.

NEW:  Our new Supporting Organizations page is up.  If you've got an announcement on your website, or you're featuring Straight Into Gay America in a newsletter, etc., let us know. We'll include you on this page.

THANK YOU:  I'll close this message with these words received.  With all of us spreading the word, we're making powerful connections for respect, compassion, and equality:

I experienced 20 years of ecclesiastical abuse and "reparative therapy", so it is deeply meaningful to me and others with similar life stories that a pastor would do what you have done.  thank you!

and...

Sometimes I just don't understand what people are afraid of. I have so many gay, lesbian friends...Our church is a very diversified church. I am so happy to be a member of this church...We all work together.

Blessings friends, and strength for the journey.

Lars

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