Former Gay Youth Activist Joins an Ex-Gay Blame Game
In news with echoes of the Charlene Cothran story earlier this year, the editor of a pioneering gay youth magazine has announced that he is no longer gay.
But instead of responsibly addressing and treating his addictions, Michael Glatze blames same-sex attraction alone for his bad behavior, and suggests that gay equality laws have “sanctioned behaviors that harm life.”
In the article “How a ‘gay rights’ leader became straight” on WorldNetDaily today, Glatze writes:
Homosexuality, delivered to young minds, is by its very nature pornographic. It destroys impressionable minds and confuses their developing sexuality; I did not realize this, however, until I was 30 years old.
As editor of Young Gay America, Glatze was given awards acknowledging his stand for equal rights. Now he claims homosexuality came to him “because I was already weak”. He attributes his sexual “confusion” to the death of his father when he was 13, and his mother when he was 19. He was 14 when he decided he was gay, and 20 when he came out publicly.
In 2004, he launched YGA as a “virtuous counterpart” to adult-oriented gay magazines. In today’s column, he claims it was a pretence, and that the magazine was “as damaging as anything else out there, just not overtly pornographic”.
Glatze says he eventually drew his own conclusions about the movement he was leading, which he now says was “a movement of sin and corruption”. He left the magazine with the parting words “Homosexuality is death, and I choose life,” left on his computer screen for his colleagues to see. He says that coming out from under the influence of the “homosexual mindset was the most liberating, beautiful and astonishing thing I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.”
The reformed Glatze leaves us under no illusions about his current position on homosexuality:
[Homosexuality] prevents us from finding our true self within. We cannot see the truth when we’re blinded by homosexuality.
We believe, under the influence of homosexuality, that lust is not just acceptable, but a virtue. But there is no homosexual “desire” that is apart from lust.
Homosexuality allows us to avoid digging deeper, through superficiality and lust-inspired attractions – at least, as long as it remains “accepted” by law. As a result, countless miss out on their truest self, their God-given Christ-self.
Lust takes us out of our bodies, “attaching” our psyche onto someone else’s physical form. That’s why homosexual sex – and all other lust-based sex – is never satisfactory: It’s a neurotic process rather than a natural, normal one. Normal is normal – and has been called normal for a reason.
Abnormal means “that which hurts us, hurts normal.” Homosexuality takes us out of our normal state, of being perfectly united in all things, and divides us, causing us to forever pine for an outside physical object that we can never possess. Homosexual people – like all people – yearn for the mythical true love, which does actually exist. The problem with homosexuality is that true love only comes when we have nothing preventing us from letting it shine forth from within. We cannot fully be ourselves when our minds are trapped in a cycle and group-mentality of sanctioned, protected and celebrated lust.
I was repulsive for quite some time; I am still dealing with all of my guilt. … Now I know that homosexuality is lust and pornography wrapped into one. I’ll never let anybody try to convince me otherwise, no matter how slick their tongues or how sad their story. I have seen it. I know the truth.
Glatze has every right to live as he chooses. However, it is tragic when a personal decision to refrain from homosexual behavior is used as an opportunity to slander an entire community. If Glatze’s own chosen experience has been as ugly and unfulfilling as he describes, it is understandable that he has sought help — but it is sad that his story has become a platform for yet more prejudice and discrimination against those whose choices have been healthy and positive.
Most troubling is how Glatze uses his experience to call implicitly for a change in the law. When he writes that homosexuality is damaging “as long as it remains “accepted” by law,” how is that to be interpreted other than as a call to reverse equality laws? Towards the end of his column, he praises Poland’s leaders for resisting “homosexual propaganda”; this just two days after the UK’s Observer newspaper reported that thousands of gay Poles have fled to Britain in an attempt to escape increasing persecution from the Polish Government.
Doubtless many in the ex-gay movements will have us believe we are intolerant in criticizing Glatze. It is not his personal decision to change his behavior that we denounce, however. In Glatze’s championing of prejudice and discrimination, and his slander of millions of gay and lesbians, his words fully deserve the condemnation not only of gays and lesbians, but people of conscience everywhere, whether straight, gay or ex-gay.
Box Turtle Bulletin
Some Guys Are Normal
Glatze’s newfound belief in a single “homosexual mindset” and a single almost-spiritual state of “homosexuality” suggests to me that, far from finding liberation and good health in the ex-gay movement, Glatze is overlaying a persistent state of behavioral irresponsibility with an additional layer of ideological correctness and cookie-cutter absolutism.
Glatze has led a problematic life with issues that have nothing to do with homosexuality per se. Instead of dealing directly with these issues, he blames same-sex attraction.
This blame game, in my opinion, contributes to failure among other ex-gays: The problem issues are not dealt with during their claimed sexual conversion.
Furthermore, Glatze implies that he was unaware of any same-sex attraction prior to age 13. That suggests to me that his particular experience of so-called “homosexuality” was far different from the varying homosexualities experienced by many people who identify as gay.
I propose a quick experiment:
Everybody out there who is gay, re-read Glatze’s statements and replace every occurance of the word “homosexuality” with “heterosexuality.”
I know it reads truer for ME.
btw, I have a problem with associating any kind of sexual identity with pornography. I’ve never been a real fan of pornography; i’m sort of repelled by it – gay, straight, or whatever – and it definitely did not aid in my self-realization.
What about the desire for someone of the same sex to fall in love with you?
Young Gay America has folded. Archive.org records indicate that the magazine lasted only one year, and folded at the end of 2005 after only five issues.
Brady at Some Guys Are Normal is spot-on:
That’s basically it, he blames his bad life on his being gay. There is a common thread in these stories, that the person had really bad habits, issues, addictions, and oh yeah, is also gay. In our society, at the moment, one can blame all that bad behavior on being “deceived by the gay agenda” or whatever, and then claim freedom from it in a religious conversion. It’s far easier to blame the gay, than to take responsibility for having just been stupid.
What is only now crossing the minds of reasonable people is that one can live a decent life, even turn their lives over to God, and still be gay. Denying that is causing a lot of people to rip their faith from their lives — someone has to be accountable for that.
I should add that I honestly had no idea who Michael Glatze was until I googled him. Aside from a failed magazine venture, I don’t find a lot. I don’t deny that he was some sort of activist, but reports of his fame seem grossly exaggerated.
I agree, David. I had the impression he was very big in gay activism, but when I searched for more information about him, there was actually very little.
Glatze equates all homosexual sex with lust.
Assuming he wasn’t deliberately lying, the only other conclusion that I can draw from this statement is that he experienced no romantic attraction to the same gender.
In other words, he wasn’t gay.
So which is it — was he gay, or wasn’t he? He can’t seem to make up his mind.
Stephen Bennett has offered his services to Glatze.
Well of course, Stephen never passes up another chance to catch some ink. What a joke.
Someone making a goofy statement like that wants to be taken seriously?
In fairness to Glatze, I respect his past attempt to publish an alternative to XY.
I agree that XY that is borderline pornographic — an imitation of Freshmen, neither magazine offering content that is particularly suitable for family viewing.
However, there are other family-safe gay-youth publications available online and in print. Why didn’t Glatze work with those publications? It may be worth investigating why YGA failed, and whether that failure contributed toward Glatze’s far-reaching bitterness toward same-sex-attracted people.
Mike’s reaction suggests that he is going the fanatical route–Bennett and Hartline types. Also, what exgay ever goes to WorldNetDaily to post first testimony? Destroying a computer screen at work? Not normal. This guy has issues. He also seems to equate being exgay with being Republican, a common thread.
My biggest issue with Glatze, which I go into in my blog entry, is that he did such great work with the gay teen suicide documentary “Jim in Bold.” The documentary’s website boldly claims that the film “shows that homophobia can kill.”
Now here Glatze is after apparently knowing homophobia can kill, and he’s perpetuating the very homophobia this film was against. How anyone that co-produced such a moving documentary could turn his back on that is unbelievable to me.
It’s sad how those that claim to be ex-gay blame all their bad choices in life (promiscuity, drugs, alcohol) on their gay sexual orientation. Do these people not know that if someone is heterosexual and they do these same things, they do not blame their sexual orientation for it?
I cannot fathom the mind-set of ex-gays sometimes. It seems almost surreal. When I was going to bars, meeting up with guys (mostly in non-sexual ways), drinking, and I made a bad choice, I never once blamed my sexual orientation for it. Never. Your sexual orientation is to blame they say. It’s the “homosexual lifestyle” that is to blame.
I still want to know what the “homosexual lifestyle” is. Quite frankly I live a rather boring life here in the city of sin, Las Vegas.
I don’t think that keeping it on point that heterosexuals take drugs, have physical consequences of sex, and are at risk for promiscuity can’t be emphasized enough.
I’m so over heterosexuality being sold as a character indicator. And people who are an addictive personality, can change addictions. And there is nothing healthy about overdoing the ‘I’m a heterosexual’ path either.
By what qualifications could someone prove that anyway? And I wish that other than the gender stereotypes, that virtues were defined too.
I’ve had a gander at the Living Waters ‘owner’s manual’, and the standards really ARE very dfferent for someone gay, than they are for a heterosexual.
And I know no heterosexual could meet those standards, and considering the full acceptance for anything based on being hetero-no one really DEMANDS those standards from heteros.
In other words, the person getting their heterosexual degree IS under a lot more scrutiny than anyone else.
And performance matters, if not substance.
I’m not sure if this is a question or comment, but I see being VIRTUOUS as an equal opportunity endeavor for whatever orientation a person is.
There is no other condition necessary that requires you be heterosexual or celibate FIRST.
Just as the vows of marriage matter to maintain the substance of marriage itself, virtue and goodness matter more than one’s sexual orientation to better the order of things. Within and without the individual.
To instill in a young person that there is no virtue or character possible while a person is gay, poses a terrible conundrum. When that gay kid can see that his hetero peers have nothing THEY have to prove whatsoever.
So, why does such a ministry treat gay people as if they are blind and stupid, and without the ability to make such an observance themselves?
I have never had a problem with drugs, promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, self destruction (after I came out), suicide, etc. How did I escape what Mike seems to think is internal to the gay experience?
I’ve noticed that there is a consistent theme to these sudden “transformations.” They are not so much transformations as they are the exchanging of one addiction for another, or more precisely, the exchange of one easy answer for another.
Individuals who live a life filled with drugs and lots of random sexual encounters are using instant gratification as a substitute for the harder challenges of a more disciplined life where satisfaction comes from self-improvement. However, self-improvement involves honest introspection, a great deal of effort and hard work and… delayed gratification. This process is often difficult and often, not very fun. Ultimately, though, only true happiness can come from the latter course–the self-respect that comes from knowing that one has been faithful in a relationship, or built a business from scratch, or spent time serving others in need, or made some positive contribution to society. True religious faith can be used as a foundation for this kind of life, and the religious people we respect are these kinds of people.
However, religion can often be another attempt at instant gratification. It’s much easier for one to say, “I have all the answers now, and that makes me a better person than you.” Nothing fundamentally has changed about one’s approach to life; it’s just that one now uses religion as instant gratification rather than drugs or sex. It may feel liberating because it’s less self-destructive than drugs or random sex, but it can still be just as dangerous to other people. (Did he not think about who would use this letter, and to what ends? Obviously not.) But hey, moral superiority is lots of fun; you can instantly be a better person without doing any real work.
True religious conversion involves repentance. Repentance involves honestly looking at all the wrong choices you’ve made and all the people you’ve used and hurt, and admitting to yourself that this is what you have done. Repentance does not mean blaming everyone and everything else for the selfish and self-destructive decisions you’ve made. It’s inward-focused and in many ways, deeply private. It’s not outwardly-focused and public. (The eventual results of true religious conversion may be outwardly-focused and public, but the act itself is not.) The results of repentance include telling the truth about yourself, seeking forgiveness from those whom you have personally hurt and expressing compassion to those who may be where you used to be.
I sense no repentance here. Michael tries to blame everything except himself for his bad choices. There is no plea for forgiveness nor any compassion for others in this article. (If you’re angry at yourself, it’s a lot easier to deflect that anger outwardly against others.)
More to the point, why should I believe a person who has been driven by instant gratification their entire life? Why shouldn’t I consider this announcement to be another reach for instant gratification?
In many ways, he reminds me of James Hartline.
Amen. If he has truly found Christ the Holy Spirit will work in him. When a person is filled with the Holy Spirit he will love others, including his enemies. To “attack” the GLBT community after a conversion is not a by-product of accepting Christ in one’s life. Nor is it Christian.
I pray that one day he can reconcile his sexuality with his new found faith.
It’s very obvious that this guy was brainwashed by Stephen Bennett.
Bennett isn’t that effective 😉
I knew Mike when he was at XY and then YGA in 2003/04 and launching the magazine and I was editor at queerplanet (now GenQ). I must say I am very disappointed in him, especially because he knew EXACTLY what publishing that article on WorldNetDaily would mean and do.
In my opinion he feels he failed with YGA and he was looking for something to blame, why not throw himself against that which he fought for? He obviously believes he got it all wrong all these years. It is also interesting that he has shown us how he sees the gay community, it being all pornography, I can say quite honestly, yes it is there, but so is hetero porn. I have been in GLBT media as long as he has and we both had the same principles as far as building an “all ages” media company that doesn’t rely on porn and sex to sell itself. He just built himself a very tall glass tower that he felt he had no way to get out of. Blaming his own relationship problems on “the gay lifestyle” is the easy way out, now he has finally found someone to take responsibilty for all his actions… “God”.
I knew Mike in 2003/04 when YGA was first published and I was editor at queerplanet (now GenQ). There is more going on here than meets the eye. His sudden transformation and choice of where to publish his article his very interesting.
I think it’s more a case of sour grapes at the gay community who he feels didn’t support him or his magazine.It’s easier to turn to religion to blame all your faults than looking inside.
I feel the same sour grapes sometimes, but I also think you get back from other people what you give to them.
People who express cynicism, sexual compulsion and other dysfunctional behaviors, soon find themselves surrounded by similar people, as other (healthier) people avoid them out of self-protection or fear.
People who express healthy and positive behaviors and values naturally draw similar people as peers.
Support for same-sex-attracted youth exists in the form of safe-place programs, gay-straight alliances, and PFLAG. But there is certainly room for expansion. Meanwhile, there are gay-owned and gay-affirming organizations that help people overcome addictive/compulsive behavior. In his WND article, Glatze acts as though there are no such support systems.
You may be onto something there Christopher. If Glatz does have an addictive personality, and was, as it appears, a very passionate person, it seems to follow he can be addicted to religion. He speaks very much like a zealot – that is something that will diminish over time. It also seems to make a huge difference how these people perceive they were treated by the gay community – the worse they feel they were treated the worse they treat the gay community. Not a Christian thing to do at all, and not easy to excuse, but it is a human thing.
My take on this is, he isn’t saying ANYTHING at all that is new. I didn’t even know who the guys was, to be honest, but his diatribes sound exactly like most of the other Ex-Gay speeches I’ve heard.
Attention, Religious Right and Ex-Gay Industry: It would most likely be a bad idea to align yourselves with this man and take him on as a boost for your PR. His writings lead myself and others to believe he is an unhealthy individual, one needing genuine love and nurturing beliefs- not political backing. Perhaps you may be able to give him support for his problems, and point him in the direction of a loving environment where he can get proper care – but to “claim” him as a PR boost will ultimately, most likely, be a mistake. Besides, this will not give him the love and support he needs.
I was quite disappointed to see YGA Magazine fold. It seemed like such a bright light compared to XY.
XY has little or no editorial content, and YGA was almost exclusively that.
Moderator Note: Comment contained unsubstantiated claims cross-posted from another blog. When the commenter provides substantiation there, it can be posted here. We are not interested in gossip disguised as fact.
This is a fascinating comment I wish could be explored more. As I have followed the ex-gay movement I have always noticed something very peculiar. I have never heard of an ex-gay pilot, dentist, welder, bus driver, or software engineer. Actually I have never heard of a single ex-gay involved in any type of normal career or productive work. Every single one has in one way or another been in some ministry position begging for money to perpetuate more ministry.
Think about it – John Paulk, Davies, even Frank Worthington from early on. You would think the ex-gay ministries would hold up healthy examples of regular men who are living fulfilling lives as ex-gays. But the only ones they ever present are professional ex-gays. In other words their whole lives revolve around homosexuality, just from the ex-gay perspective. That has always seemed very bizarre.
This may or may not be true, but I don’t see how this is connected to my comments about being unaware of Michael Glatze, who did not claim to be ex-gay until recently.
In reminding self how, urgh, odd, some people can become when they find religion… we can do no better than quote Timothy K’s response at another place.
Other person “…he suggests again that religious devotion can stimulate rather huge shifts in a person’s beliefs, values, and behavior.”
Timothy: “I’ve never doubted that. But, then again, I’m also am old enough to remember Jonestown.”
PS: on all sorts of levels, that was a good one Timothy. At the time, and now.
It appears to me that Glatze is still “performing” as he put it. I can’t imagine such hate, it’s like the form of Christianity which bit him was a rabid dog.
Now… not to call any sect that but I think I have found that Glatze was baptized recently in Halifax into the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints – the Mormons. I found this blog entry where it appears Michael Glatze was baptized last April 28th in Halifax, Nova Scotia – http://ashleyandchadquist.blogspot.com/2007/05/pretty-good-weekend.html
The only denomination which I know of which is segregated into wards, is the Mormons. What do you get if you search World Net Daily for the word Mormon? WND is not to commendatory of the religion, so I guess as long as it’s anti-gay they’ll take anyone’s story. Where’er Mormons are, the WND hates gays more.
Wonder if Evergreen was involved in his “coversion.”
Well, he most certainly is “performing”. You can already hear him spreading the anti-gay rants in Concerned Women for America’s webpage.
[…] (I don’t think I’m overstating I think) poured upon him by “ex-ex-gays” on Ex-Gay Watch and Warren’s Blog. It is truly amazing the scorn and hatred being poured upon Glatze because […]
Mike Airhart said:
“If Michael would have had the salvation of gays in mind, he would have sought to find another outlet, one where he could reach a gay audience to “save,” not [WorldNetDaily] where he only reaches an audience of mostly anti-gay readers”.
Reaching a homosexually inclined audience is as far away as, reaching the moon without proper mechanisms in place. He knows he would be met by screaming queens and bullish dykes not allowing him to speak. Who are you kidding?
Many of us who are what you term ex-gay have been there and done that. There is no getting the homosexual to mature enough to have a reasonable discussion. They fear truth especially biblical truth, as Glatze has said, “I believe that all people, intrinsically, know the truth. I believe that is why Christianity scares people so much. It reminds them of their conscience,
which we all possess.”
I feel the need to say that it is obvious that many of you do not understand this Holy Spirit eye opening that has occurred in Michael Glatz. That is as it should be for that is his own.
What is needed here and many other places is the desire for honest discussion without the well known rhetoric of activists who for heaven only knows, what reason spout the same old lies to hold captive men and women who have sexual addictions.
Many here have bought into the lies because of Satan himself being such a deciever. You are not born this way. You are born with a sin nature the same as everyone else. God did not make you this way, that sin nature tempted you and you acted on it. Now you are hooked and it will take Christ and the Holy Spirit to free you only if you will let Him.
I was set free twenty six years ago and I do not care what anyone says, there is no place in scripture that tells of God giving instruction on homosexual sex or mates. In all of 66 books don’t you think God would have explained this?
I agree with Grobie. I lived for 15yrs as a lesbian and looking back I can honestly say it was pure rebellion. I am married and have two grown wonderful boys. I hope more people will choose life.
I don’t know where in Bible it is atught to be condescending, obnoxious and contemptuous, but they sure seem to flow naturally from you. If it is impossible to “mature” gays enought to have meaningful discussion with, what are you doing there outside promoting your superiority?
And this Holy Ghost seems to have made Glatzke more vindictive than free… bit like you. So instaed of beig “free” of homosexuality, you and Glatzke keep on attacking us, our lives and families in every way you can. Now, who’s the real prisoner here?
Man, where did all these people come from suddenly? Grobie, there are lots of better venues for exgay testimony. Chambers was just on CNN, for example. Even the 700 Club has a better rep than WorldNetDaily.
Clean up your language if you want to comment here. This is not part of civil dialog. You will encounter less hate in your travels if you don’t offer so much yourself.
Jan and SNin,
I want to share something with you. When I was 14 or 15 I was before the Lord. In his presence. He spoke to me and said, “I will give you another chance, change your ways.” At this point of my life I did not really know God. Nor was my life the greatest at that point. I was promiscuous with a neighbor boy. I hated a lot of my peers and wish to do them harm. I even dabbled in black magic a few years earlier to get back at people. I hated myself and was picked on all the time. You know what? I became a Catholic a few years later, baptized and confirmed. Does this sound like someone scared of Christ?
As the years went on I found the GLBT community. There were certain things people in the community were doing that I found I did not like, but I knew that I was different and I didn’t fit into the “heterosexual mold”. That is where I belonged. Even tho there were certain things I did not like there was that sense I belonged. I knew it when I was in 5th grade at the age of 11 that I was gay. As the years passed I fooled around here and there, discovering myself.
At 41, I am now celibate. Been that way for the last few years. Not because I believe homosexuality is wrong, I don’t, but rather I no longer believe in promiscuity for my life. I was never really promiscuous anyway. Just on and off flings, like my straight friends did. Other gay Christain people have embraced this belief as well. Promiscuity, gay or straight, is never fulfilling.
I had a re-awakening with the Holy Spirit one day last October. I wrestled with my sexuality constantly after that because I never had to go through that when I was younger. Here I am 40 and I’m struggling with my sexuality. But I have come to realize through search and prayer that the reason for my struggle was because I was listening to others define my life for me. I was listening to other Christians spew bible verses at me at how wrong I was. As I re-read scripture, it finally hit me in Acts 1 and Acts 2. That the Holy Spirit is the guide for our lives and not other Christians. Nor is the bible to trump the work of the Holy Spirit either. The Holy Spirit first and above all else is the worker in the Christians life.
All the struggles I was experiencing began to disappear and peace began to form in my very being. I was then beginning to believe that Christianity was a faith and not a religion. That no matter what other Christians said about me they were wrong because the relationship that God and I had was unique. All Christians have a unique relationship with Christ. While there is only one way to salvation, the path to Christ is different for all of us. And because of God coming to me so long ago and for a purpose, I do not believe for one moment that I am being deceived by Satan. Christ is working in my life. I hate certain things I do because I am a sinner and its in my nature, as Paul states about himself in Romans. But through it all I am still gay and that has not changed.
One thing that has really been making me ill is the fact that when these people become ex-gay they automatically hate and condemn gay people. It almost seems that they believe its part of their conversion process. I do not believe that to be true. Its very un-Christian to me. Love God and others first and foremost. I always ask God to help me love and forgive others. Not to condemn or judge anyone. You know what? That is the most liberating feeling you can feel. When you don’t judge and replace that with love instead you know that Christ is working in you. 🙂
The reaction to Michael Glatze’s inflammatory post was rather predictable. Ex-gays would take it and trumpet it as another “blow against the gay agenda” and an example of successful change, while the GLBT community would understandably be shocked by the post’s language and tone–not to mention the venue used to release it–and attempt to make sense of the whole thing. In doing so, we are accused of “being unwilling to face the truth” by those who think they’re more “mature” than us because they’ve taken a different path with their lives. Typical. Reverse the situation–a high-profile ex-gay coming out as unapologetically gay–and much the same process would happen on both sides. It’s natural for our preconceived view of the world to dictate how we react to such a situation.
However, the major difference between the two scenarios is that the unapologetically gay individual is always inclusive, and seeks to expand civil rights for all people–not just those who are gay. There is also a sense that they are finally taking ownership of their lives, including the mistakes they’ve made. And there is a compassion expressed for anyone who has ever been marginalized by others.
You simply don’t see that in ex-gay testimonies like this one. There is a clear line in the sand drawn between the “enlightenment” of the now ex-gay person versus the “reprobate nature” of the gay persons he or she has left behind. And that means those gay persons must pay. Their rights must be curtailed, and their influence on society must not just be stopped, but crushed. (We’ve seen this kind of language from people like Stephen Bennett and James Hartline as well.)
That’s not conversion. That’s unresolved anger directed at others. And it’s not healthy.
That’s my problem with what Michael wrote. If you think pursuing an ex-gay path will make you happier, then I have no problem with that. It doesn’t threaten or bother me, as it’s your life and your decision. But when you use that decision as a bully club against other people, that’s when I have a problem with it.
Jan, given the fact that you spouted plenty of rhetoric in your posts, how can anyone here possibly take your call for an honest discussion without rhetoric seriously. You couldn’t even get through a post without rolling out a whole series of stereotypes of gay people. And then you think your plea for alignment with your religious views will get a fair hearing? Who are you trying to kid?
Jan and SNin:
I’m a queer woman and I’ve been celibate.. well, since I came out many years ago. This is not because i’m a religious Jew, and this is not because I’m fighting my attraction – i simply have not put myself out there socially, and at my college, other queer girls are for some reason hard to come by. Simply put, I’ve just never met anyone I’ve wanted to become involved with who also wanted to be with me. The next question should be: If I’ve never really acted on it, how do I know I’m attracted to the same sex? Because I FEEL it. Because I’ve felt the pain of love for other girls; because i feel the longing to embrace that girl i love and be embraced. Don’t pity me. Even though I’ve never really been romantically linked to another girl, I wouldn’t trade the feelings I have felt for any other feelings. I can’t imagine feeling that sort of passion for a man.
I’m not longing for the embrace of a “mother figure” because my mom didn’t hug me as a kid. Quite the contrary! My father gave me plenty of hugs too, and my brother and I were good friends growing up – so I didn’t develop a hatred of men. My best friend is a guy.
Point of clarification for Jan: The Bible, specifically the Torah (first 5 books), is a mystical thing in what it says and what it DOESN’T say. For example, no where is it said that female masturbation is immoral. Male masturbation can be claimed to be immoral b/c of an account in Genesis, but for women the Bible is silent. However, masturbation as a whole tends to be condemned by the same people who condemn homosexuality, citing scripture to defend their view. Interesting conflict that occurs as a result.
Glatze and Cothran are displaying that fatigue I talk about. Relationships aren’t easy. Period.
Whether you’re gay or not. An string or a single relationship that’s gone south can leave anyone feeling tired, lost and reconsidering if any effort at having one is worth the effort.
Celibacy WOULD be attractive. To give a person some space, a rest and regroup…and a time to reflect on taking other directions in life.
This is something that adults, gay or not will go through from time to time.
Glatze is young, and Cothran is older-so age doesn’t really make much of a difference that way either.
And at the same time, whether or not these two individuals will be attractive to the opposite sex remains to be seen.
The point is, their fatigue isn’t surprising. But glomming onto those that exploit this fatigue. I don’t expect will help them in the long run because they are blaming being gay, while at the same time underestimating that being straight isn’t a magic wand to relationship heaven.
And if they find they aren’t too good at being straight either….this ministry will point the finger all over again.
Acting straight and BEING straight are two very different situations.
And the ex gay train is invested in telling these individuals that their ‘real’ orientation has been dormant.
Celibacy seems an easier option. No relationships, no relationship fatigue.
I”m fine with that as long as it IS a part of a healing process and engages the indivual with more self evaluations.
But I DO find unacceptable, is how saying they are straight now, or that being heterosexual is the superior state of being, when it isn’t.
Or that homosexuals or homosexuality is a symptom of danger and unfulfillment or inevitable failure.
It’s so sad when someone buys into stereotypes about themselves, and believes it when they are at their most vulnerable and things look exactly the way the ex gay industry describes it.
A period of weakness is also very different from being a weak person.
And I”m for looking to GOD for strength, not those who tell you you’re an incomplete being unless and until you follow the instructions of ex gay ministry.
I”m suspicious too that G and C would go to those who in other times, vilified them.
That in itself is seriously pathetic that this is who they would turn to and call it spiritual necessity.
As pointed out, commercial profile is likely to be raised by doing this. Who is zooming who?
I regret that my own frustration at feeling slandered by Glatze has gotten in the way of civil discussion.
Glatze’s article is problematic for me for the following reasons:
– He has not said that he has left behind sinful addictive/compulsive behavior, just “homosexuality,” whatever that means
– He has not identified himself as heterosexual or “straight”
– He has not clearly acknowledged that he — not “homosexuality” — made his past behavioral choices
– He has not explained the stark disconnect between his past gay-affirming testimonies and his sudden sweeping condemnation of all things “gay”
– He claims not to have experienced “homosexuality” (whatever that is) until age
1314. That does not remotely resonate with the experience of most ex-gays/strugglers, much less most gay people.
– Instead of speaking strictly from his own experience and seeking validation, he has generalized and smeared others.
On various ex-gay blogs, I have seen strugglers acknowledge similar reservations about Glatze’s message. Glatze has not yet conveyed much hope or concrete change; he has conveyed bitterness and backlash against his own past, and he has mistakenly projected his own experience onto millions of other people, both LGBT and struggling/questioning.
I’m not going to get into a debate here, but just politely request you to find out membership numbers from the True Freedom Trust and compare them to LGCM before you make remarks like “at least in the UK their numbers are ever fewer”.
And Mike A and Dave R, thanks for your time on my blog. I think the first sentence of Mike H’s last paragraph above demonstrates one of my points entirely.
At the same time, TFT is very reluctant to be associated with the US ex-gay movement, and more or less sticks to promoting celibacy, with very little emphasis on change of orientation.
Agree totally, but that has no bearing on the membership question.
[…] 4th, 2007 at 9:54 pm (General) Former Gay Youth Activist Joins an Ex-Gay Blame Game (3 July […]
Mike H, please make your points without personally attacking Peter.
I don’t particularly care for Mike H’s sweeping generalizations about religion, either.
The link that Mike has converted to Mormonism is interesting. While the LDS Church does have an established negative record regarding homosexuality, I doubt most Mormons would use WorldNetDaily to post a view. What is also interesting is that conversion to the Mormon Church after “being homosexual” is tough. It requires a year of proof, and an official from the church has to approve baptism. Not so with heterosexual intercourse.
Mike A. I agree. Most narratives don’t “experience” homosexuality at 13 or 14 for males. I knew early on in life that I was attracted to males (5-6). When I was 12, I realized what “fag” meant, and I realized that I did fall into same sex attraction. I never had actual sexual activity with males until I was 21. Most male gays I know tend to identify pretty early on.
This, coupled with the way Glatze contacted World Net Daily detailed in this article makes Glatze sound like so many of the self-appointed leaders in the gay community who have far more interest in the business end of video cameras than toiling tirelessly in the shadows for change.
Does anyone remember Luke Sissyfag’s many miraculous conversions?
There are so many opposing pressures at work here; so many cataclysmic changes going on in religion and in the way homosexuality is perceived especially by the young people coming out of the fundamentalist right, that I come away from this story feeling very sorry for Glatze.
Whether it be the magazine publishing business or the rightwing issue advocacy community stoking the fires of intolerance for political end, Glatze seems to have a history of getting to the party too late.
I think one thing that separates me from the many people who post here is that I am Jewish and hold liberal theological viewpoints. To anyone reading this, gay or ex-gay or anything, the idea that any religion is the ultimate Word of God, needs to be put aside. You need to open your eyes to the reality that evangelical America is just as dangerous as any other cult that is out there. I grew up actually in a fundamentalist Christian home, but my mother comes from Jewish roots. After studying Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, along with the Gnostics, and many other versions of the Bible, I had to come to the reality that to assume that the Bible is the literal words that God wanted us to read here in the United States in 2007 is truly lying to ourselves. I especially love when people like Jan above talk about Satan tempting us because in her mind she has created this imaginary world filled with devils, angels, and spirits that is nothing more than pure fantasy.
In Matthew 1 and Luke 3, both discuss the lineage of Jesus from Joseph. Some Christian fundamentalists will tell you that Luke 3 is actually the lineage through Mary even though there is nothing historically that would ever suggest this. Even if that was the case, there is a 15 generation difference between both lineages, making for a very interesting generation gap between Mary and Joseph. Jesus had to have been born of Davidic lineage in order to be the Messiah. That is something firmly agreed upon by Christian and Jewish scholars alike. Jesus was the adopted son of Joseph (because he was the son of God through immaculate conception according to the Christian Bible) and therefore any lineage through Joseph cannot be considered a legitimate connection to King David. Lineage as far as kings are concerned from the Hebrew Bible has to be to passed from biological father to biological son. Either Matthew 1 or Luke 3 is not telling the truth and most likely both.
So many might ask, why am I bringing this up in a discussion about ex-gays? Well, fundamentalists need to realize that the Bible is filled with contradictions (this is one nugget of literally hundreds of conflicting information provided in just the New Testament). The sooner that people begin to acknowledge that the Bible does contradict itself, the sooner people can realize that the idea of being gay does not have to conflict with strongly held religious beliefs. There are good things taught in Judaism and Christianity that should be applied to our daily lives. It does not mean though that every last word is in fact meant for us to take as a literal truth in today’s world. We have to take into account the knowledge we have gained from science, history, language, sociology, psychology, etc. and recognize that the Bible does not always match up with what we know about these fields of study.
Micah: Shalom, my fellow Yid!
Unfortunately, this is a step closer to “secularism” that many will not take. I’m glad you’ve embraced your Jewish heritage – Mazel Tov. You also take a very logical view of scripture. however, religion – especially Charismatic or fundie religion – is not about logic, but faith. In fact, many who’ve gone through such illogical circumstances that they need something beyond logic to help them reconcile with their lives embrace fundamentalist and “cultish” faiths. This seems to be Michael’s case, and the case of many other ex-gays who’ve left behind a tumultuous life only to blame it on the “homosexual lifestyle.”
From the WND article:
“In 2005, Glatze was featured in a panel with Judy Shepard, mother of slain homosexual Matthew Shepard, at the prestigious JFK Jr. Forum at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
“It was after viewing my words on a videotape of that ‘performance,'” he writes, “that I began to seriously doubt what I was doing with my life and influence.”
Why is Judy Shephard specifically mentioned here? It’s almost like they are trying to imply that his appearing with her was part of his realization of what he was doing being wrong. That just shows again how this seems to be so much less about “helping” gays than about using him as a weapon against gays and gay rights.
He had a few quotes in this 2005 Time article.
“Because he routinely sees young gays on MTV or even at school, a 14-year-old may now feel comfortable telling friends that he likes other boys, but that doesn’t mean he is ready to enfold himself in a gay identity. “Today so many kids who are gay, they don’t like Cher. They aren’t part of the whole subculture,” says Michael Glatze, 30, editor in chief of YGA Magazine. “They feel like they belong in their faith, in their families.” ”
“The political part is what worries Glatze. “I don’t think the gay movement understands the extent to which the next generation just wants to be normal kids. The people who are getting that are the Christian right,””
Even back from mid-2005, these comments sound like talking points. I remember at the time I was taken aback that someone from the “gay community” was making such comments, since the Christian right rarely treats gays as “normal kids”. WND, the site he is now such an eager participant at, is not exactly a good example of a non-political organization.
He talks like he’s an alien within his own world. At least, back THEN it was his own world.
OK, for the record, those people here who think that I chose my sexuality because of something disfunctional happening during my childhood are wrong. My parents are both living and involved in my upbringing. My earliest memory is from when I was 18 months old (yes true) and I remember developing a ‘crush’ on another little BOY. I have never ever been attracted to girls or women, they just don’t do it for me.
James, I agree. A simple viewing of Jesus Camp demonstrates that (to be fair, Jesus Camp was a particular, unique example, but I think the use of Ted Haggard and others in the film demonstrated how many in the Christian community will use children in negative ways).
If you’re the Micah that I’m thinking of, then welcome back! I have greatly valued your comments and your insight at XGW in the past.
I sincerely hope you’ll stick around and continue to educate us, as circumstances permit.
The genealogy of Jesus in Matthew is obviously figurative. If you read it carefully it is split into three sets of fourteen, each group of fourteen ending with Abraham and then David. Jesis is presented figuratively as the culmination of six groups of seven. He is the seventh generation of seven in it’s entirety. I’ll leave you to fill in the significance of 7 in Jewish theology.
No reputable conservative Bible teacher would suggest that the genealogy in Matthew is entirely literal, so don’t go about suggesting that we do.
Shall we do a proper “contradiction” next time?
Micah and Peter O:
Matthew’s geneology was an attempt to prove to a Jewish audience that jesus is the Jewish messiah. It failed miserably because of flaws that occur in it that disqualify him for messiahship (Taking it as the literal interpretation of the geneology.) Peter stressed a point that is very important, which is numerology. Specifically, the number 14 is important because that is the numerical value for the name “David” in Hebrew. Whether Evangelicals take the geneology of Jesus literally can be debated – I’ve heard testimonies for both cases. In the end I think Fundies tend to take the geneology literally, because they take everything else in the bible literally – despite the fact that it differs from Luke’s geneology. Now, I’m not sure how they justify taking BOTH literally. I have yet to find this out.
Glatze’s own experience is just that. He cannot speak for an entire community of individuals. I am sorry that he makes out his addictions as a direct result of him being gay. I belive that is what happend to me when I was going through Ex-gay therapy. One of the reasons I belived I went through the ex-gay ministries is because of my addictive behavior. Now that I am addressing the additions and not my homosexuality I am a much better person and have more piece than ever before.
Micah, Emily and Peter,
As we frequently point out, slicing and dicing each other’s beliefs is not appropriate here. We deal with matters of faith as they intersect ex-gay issues, not to prove or disprove any one in particular. Most of the time we will be dealing with evangelical Christianity, but again only because most ex-gays tend to be of that faith and custom. We will discuss Judaism when JONAH is the topic, etc (or if someone here wants to share something from their own perspective), but not the merits or faults of Judaism over another faith, ok?
Otherwise the discussion always devolves and we are distracted from the real topic.
Point taken, but to be fair I was challenging the view put forward by Micah that the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew is nonsensical, not criticising Judaism.
Emily K – You’re right that the Matthian genealogy raises a number of issues of interpretation and fundamentalism, but evangelical fundamentalism actually tends to prize scholarcism. Literalistic interpretations of Scripture can still recognise poetic and metaphorical devices.
That’s why I addressed my comments to all three of you. Yet you went on in your post to respond to prior comments, which in turn requires a counter comment, etc. So if you understood my point, why keep going?
David I know this isn’t a religious-based blog, but wherever people will discuss theology, Jewish or Christian, i’ll be there to chime in. It seems to be an inevitable occurance since many ex-gays are those struggling with faith, too. I’m not defending the three of us, i’m just explaining myself.
That’s fine. The problem comes in when we say something about how your religion is wrong, or silly, etc, or how ridiculous it is for someone to believe in a mythical god, or how my belief is right so yours must be wrong (or any number of subtle ways this can be said). Saying that “in my faith we hold that Jesus is God” or whatever is fine.
And naturally, if we find hypocrisy in the actions or statements of an organization which claims certain beliefs, then we may have to dig deeper into doctrine. The main thing to remember is that our discussion of faith is incidental to how it relates to the ex-gay equation, not something we want to do for it’s own sake.
That is not to say that somewhere these are not valid discussions, just not here. We have enough on our plate as it is 😉
[…] David Roberts: Emily, That’s fine. The problem… […]
And the nominees for the most obsequious article are…
Sometimes I wonder if this is really a sincere conversion for Michael or if this simply is a ruse to get YGA Magazine up and running again. It appears that YGA Magazine had published 5 or so issues and then ran out of money (www.ygamag.com). In the April/May 2005 issue of YGA, Mike wrote an ed-op piece titled “God: You.” I don’t doubt that Michael wants a relationship with God, but his conversion came from looking at God from different religions and viewpoints, including meditation (he was working for Shambhala Institute during 2006(http://www.shambhalainstitute.org/Fieldnotes/Issue11/index.html). Mike then became involved with the Mormon Church in Halifax and was baptized in late April 2007. I wonder if Mr. Glatze really has a deep understanding of the true grace of God? It sounded like he went to a revival meeting of some sort and came back accepting the Lord as his savior and then decided to publically announce this to the world. If so, let us hope that as he grows in his faith, he will achieve a better understanding of God’s true and ultimate grace for all.
[…] member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS connection initially reported here before being confirmed by Warren Throckmorton). Mike also co-produced a documentary in 2003 called […]
I love Jerusalem. It is the most holy city in my Christian faith. But it always bugs me the structure that stands out the most, undeniably beautiful architectural wise, is the Muslim Dome of Rock at Temple Mount (the one with the huge pure gold egg-shaped dome). I wondered with all the mighty power of God, why He does not take the dome out of His most holy city? My last trip there, looking at this golden dome shining through Jerusalem night sky, I had a revelation, also is my point here:
Just like the Dome of Rock is a thorn in a Christian’s eye (me), a gay person can be a thorn in a straight person’s eye, a muslim can be a thorn in the eye of a Jewish person, or vice versa. Guess what, the problem is not about the thorn (or whatever bugging me, different from me), the problem is my heart. The real question is why God put the thorn in my eye?
We, as Christian are busy converting gay, convincing gay is wrong, but not that quick nor busy repenting hating gay people, hurting gay people, lack of love for gay people. It is not gay that is the problem, it is our wicked hearts that quick to judge others, condemning others, not loving others as our own that God is after! Love God, and love your neighbors as your own. Who are our neighbors? For straight, it will be gay, for Christians, it will be muslims, for human, it will be animals.
As a Christian, I found it ironic during my own encounters that many times gay people, muslims, or even dogs are way way way more loving and lovable than Christians. Point made, we Christians are not that much better than we will like to perceive comparing to others. As christians, we should be humbled by the love of God, out of the reverance of the love of God, love others, period. Otherwise, we Christians are the problem!!! We become the stumble block of God’s plan for gay’s salvation, for muslim’s salvation, or whoever we have labeled.
If God All Mighty allows a muslim golden dome in His holy city, who are we to say what is not allowed, except our own wicked hearts? If God All Mighty loves us all, not even left one kind of animal out of Naoh’s Ark, who are we to hate, except our own wickedness? If God All Mighty has reserved His judgement on the very last day, who are we to judget on this particular day, except ourselves?
Two comments: First, some here have said that Michael Glatze blames a life of addiction on homosexuality. Perhaps he states that elsewhere, but I don’t get that from his WND article. I think he is saying that, whatever else he was doing that was self-destructive before his change of heart, homosexuality was one of those things.
He wanted something good, like unconditional love, but sabotaged his own efforts by trying to find it using sex:
“Homosexual people – like all people – yearn for the mythical true love, which does actually exist. The problem with homosexuality is that true love only comes when we have nothing preventing us from letting it shine forth from within. We cannot fully be ourselves when our minds are trapped in a cycle and group-mentality of sanctioned, protected and celebrated lust.”
I’m glad he points out that all people want “true love”. We do. Yet, whenever we use sex outside God’s intended purpose, we will always sabotage our search for the kind of intimacy Michael is referring to here.
Secondly, I can appreciate the spiritual search that some here are on. The God of the Bible does love them. However, the Holy Spirit never contradicts the Bible. If you think that God the Holy Spirit has told you that homosexuality is ok, that is not the Holy Spirit. One of the nicest things about God is that he gave people a book to clarify where he stands. If an impression of what God might be saying to me contradicts what he’s already said in the Bible, then my impression is not from him. That may seem too simple, but why wouldn’t God make what he wanted us to know simple? The best teachers I’ve ever had were good because they could bring tough subjects down to my level, not just because they knew a lot. And wouldn’t an infinite, all-knowing, and loving God be the greatest teacher?
Statements by Glatze are all over the place, and I’m not going to regurgitate them here any more than they have been. They don’t all contain the same messages so I’m not sure how you or anyone else can say with certainty what he actually means.
As to your other comments, I would encourage you not to speak to others as though they are spiritual infants – I weaned off the scriptural milk decades ago. My belief in the core tenants of the faith is strong and no one will shake it. My understanding of less central issues, such has homosexuality, is in harmony with my actions. Is my entire life perfect, hardly. But God has my permission to alter my understanding as He sees fit.
I actually wish much of the church was as self aware and contemplative of these issues as many gay Christians I know. Divorce and remarriage for reasons other than death or unfaithfulness is not only tolerated, but many believers don’t seem to even be aware that their remarriage is considered adulterous by scripture in a far more specific and authoritative manner than even the most negative view of homosexuality.
The clarity and urgency of scripture seems to exist in the mind of the rebuker more than you might admit, Robb. Why do you act as though it is all so cut and dry?
Robb, heterosexual people do this too.
Robb, there are so many unstated assumptions in your post that it would take forever to untangle them (like what is true love vs. love?). As far as scripture goes, I doubt anyone follows the scriptures as stated (when was the last time you stoned your child? When did you last eat shrimp? etc. I know, I know–later on some law remained and others did not…I have heard that a million times, but if it is true, how do you KNOW what law to stick to and which law is no longer there? Jesus gave two laws, and homosexuality is fine with those two laws).
As for homosexuality, some people have lust; others do not. My spouse and I have our 15 year anniversary next week. Trust me–it is not about lust or sex, and even if there was more of that in the beginning (hey, heterosexuals go through that too), it is purely about love and companionship. Last week we went to my mother-in-law’s place. She is invalid, and we had to help fix her computer and help her around the house. Today, we drove and hour and a half to fix a ramp for my spouse’s aunt and uncle. If our relationship was lust based, this would not be happening. We take care of each other and love each other unconditionally. What I found is true love. If something happens to my spouse, I doubt I would be able to find someone so perfect for me. I truly feel that if there is a “one,” I found him. We have as much intimacy as any straight couple I know. While some gay people (or straight people) may not acheive this, we have, and it has nothing to do with homosexuality. We love each other pure and simple. We were talking today about retirement, and part of our plan is that I will help cover him since I will probably always work–this is not fly by night lust. This is long term planning love. I hope that it is the same thing you and Michael seek, but don’t assume gay people can’t have true love.
Sounds like more than a lot of straight people I know ;). The truth is, with a nearly 50% rate of divorce in the US, a lot of people seem to have trouble finding unconditional or “true” love from another person, even in an opposite sex relationship.
[…] of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). Glatze announced a couple of months ago that he was no longer gay, believed homosexuality was death and was baptized into the Mormon […]
It’s kinda weird but I actually like this. I mean, homosexuality is different for everyone. For some it’s not deep rooted but for others it is. When I first heard that a gay man can change his orientation it scared me, because I would not want to be pressured into changing my orientation by an outside source (namely friends, family, employers etc.). This would be a way society would combat the homosexual population and it would only get tougher for those who choose to remain gay. In addition, it’s hard because if you had personal bonds with that person who decides to change, you would then lose common ground with that person.
The part that boiled my blood is these freakin websites that promote the change or these scientific studies that would declare a whole population as one that has a condition or a problem. That in itself is wrong. No one has the power to condemn or diagnose someone they have never met. Also, some of the statements of the “so called” ex-gay are really harsh and demeaning to the people who still live a gay lifestyle.
My point hear is, there are really no definates when it comes to people (gay or straight). There are men and women who are deeply conflicted with their gay attraction, to the of suicide. The one thing I can say is don’t be afraid or angered by this, because it’s better to see a person happy than unhappy.