Crash-Test Gays

By Clinton, Kate | The Progressive, August 1997 | Go to article overview

Crash-Test Gays


Clinton, Kate, The Progressive


At their annual convention in Dallas, and just before summer vacation, 12,000 Southern Baptists approved a boycott of Walt Disney Corporation to protest what they see as Disney's overly permissive stance towards homosexuality. They are specifically steamed at Ellen's coming-out party on Disney's television network, ABC. They're also complaining that Disney extends health benefits to partners of its gay and lesbian employees. And they can't stand the Gay Day that draws thousands to Disney World each June, even though the Imagineers have made it clear that they don't organize them -- it just so happens, like those swallows at Capistrano. The Baptists see no point in attacking individual gay people; that is not the Christian thing to do. So they go after a big fancy organization. If the mouse is the Disney mascot, then a big yellow chicken should be the mascot of the Southern Baptists.

Also miffed by what they perceive as growing homo-hospitality, the American Public Philosophy Institute (APPI) -- a group of conservative intellectuals, academics, and counselors, some "ex-gays," and some ex-Quayles like Bill Kristol. In June, they announced that homosexuality is a "tragic affliction" by people suffering from "gender differences" and an "infantile refusal to accept reality." They vowed to make the "truly compassionate choice" to discourage homosexuality and provide treatment for it.

Christopher Wolfe, president of the group, said: "This is not something negative. We're here to help. Understanding homosexuality as a disorder and how we deal with that is a position that hasn't been well-represented." One conjures up Heaven's Gate's poor old Marshall Applewhite. His Scared Straight Program didn't quite succeed.

Joseph Nicolosi, director of the National Association for the Research and Treatment of Homosexuality, concluded from his studies that there is no such thing as a gay person." They are really just crash-test dummies dropped into Greenwich Village from high-altitude balloons. His studies also showed that gay men are "disconnected" from people and live in an unreal world. He concluded, without irony, that's one reason why gay men like theater.

One researcher from the quasi-prestigious South Carolina School of Medicine said that "gender disturbances" can be corrected through an eighteen-to-twenty-two-month therapeutic regimen that punishes nonconforming behavior (such as "limp wrists in boys, swaggering in girls") and rewards conforming behavior (girls "playing with dolls"; boys playing baseball). …

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