(Part 1 of 2) These posts detail how my 4th year of college (2002) an incident of anti-gay vandalism prompted a civil debate on campus. Linda Nicolosi, wife of Joe Nicolosi intruded into the debate with an editorial in the school paper. I responded with my own letter which would be the first time I spoke out publicly about being an “ex-ex-gay.” In my letter I stated my former therapist, Joseph Nicolosi, asked me to participate in the Spitzer study and to lie when Robert Spitzer when asked how I’d heard of the study. Spitzer recently accused me of fabricating my claim Nicolosi asked me to lie. The purpose of these posts is to show my story of being asked to lie has remained the same my first public disclosure of having been an ex-gay. Part 2 can be found here.

p.jpgCal Poly San Luis Obispo, my alma matter, has a giant concrete “P” on the hillside behind the school. For pride week spring quarter of 2002 the GLBU, the school’s gay club, painted it with rainbow colors. Decorating the P for club/fraternity events was a university sanctioned activity provided one filled out the proper paperwork first. However shortly after the P was painted by the GLBU, the decorations were vandalized. The GLBU immediately repainted the P and the P was repeatedly vandalized. Needless to say, a storm of civic debate erupted in the Mustang Daily. The story got so big even the LA Times picked it up:

But no sooner had the rainbow palate been applied than others on campus–including a group of 15 to 20 students caught one night with “John Deere green” paint on their hands–began to cover over the gay pride symbol. Again and again.

The painting by gay activists was authorized by the campus booster group. The subsequent paint-overs were not.

That has many gay and minority students concerned about a campus they increasingly describe as intolerant. The case is being investigated by campus police, with officers exploring charges ranging from simple vandalism to a possible hate crime.

The article continues:

In the four days after the initial painting was completed, the P was painted white with the word “HOMO” spelled out nearby in sheets, then painted rainbow again, then green, rainbow again, then white, and finally rainbow again.

The tit-for-tat paint jobs stopped with increased campus police patrol of the hillside trail to the P. The letter was expected to remain rainbow-colored until the gay club repainted it white, which it was set to do over the past weekend.

[“Cal Poly’s Letter P Target of Backlash,” Sally Ann Connell, Los Angeles Times, May 27, 2002.]

Shortly after the LA Times story ran the Mustang Daily received and printed a letter from Linda Ames Nicolosi, wife of ex-gay therapist Joseph Nicolosi:


In the Los Angeles Times on May 27th, there was an article about the controversy at Cal Poly regarding gay pride (“Cal Poly’s letter P target of backlash”). As a social science writer who regularly deals with this issue, I’d like to encourage students not to be afraid to speak up with “politically incorrect” arguments!

Decency and tolerance towards people who are different doesn’t mean – as the LA Times would have its readership believe – that one must fall silent in the face of gay activism, or revise one’s moral code and suspend one’s judgment about the normality of homosexual behavior.

All students at Cal Poly, gay or straight, deserve to be treated with sensitivity and respect. But “openness to diversity” requires that the debate also welcome those students who take the principled position that heterosexuality is normative – and that “normality is,” as one psychiatrist so aptly puts it, “that which functions in accordance with its design.”

I believe homosexuality should be viewed as a challenge, a problem, a difficulty to be surmounted, and not as a quality to be embraced as representative of one’s core identity, “who one is.” Students who agree with that principled position, which can be defended on the basics of both science and sexual ethics, should not be intimidated. No university is doing its job when defenders of a traditional sexual ethic fear that speaking out will tar them with the gratuitous label of “homophobic.”

Students interested in learning more about the scientific arguments for heterosexuality-as-normative should access our Web site, www.narth.com. The site offers extensive information provided by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, a nonprofit education group of psychologists and psychiatrists who have broken away from the political control of the American Psychological Association to make the arguments that APA (under the influence of gay activists) no longer wants to be heard.

Linda Ames Nicolosi is the publications director for NARTH.

[Letter to the editor, Mustang Daily, May 31, 2002]

Before Nicolosi’s letter the issue of ex-gays had not even been discussed. Gay students viewed the letter as irrelevant and as nothing more than a PR stunt by NARTH, an organization hundreds of miles from the Cal Poly community that had was intruding in territory it did not belong.

Read part 2.

Categorized in: