Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) sent out a mailing today titled “NAACP Rocks,” referencing a 2006 letter of appreciation from the organization to PFOX. According to the attached copy, PFOX held an exhibit at the NAACP annual convention that year. It is not yet known if they participated in 2007 or if they will be there this year, but the email suggests they plan on participating in 2009.
The PFOX exhibit displayed useful information on unwanted same-sex attractions and tolerance for the ex-gay community. We distributed many brochures, flyers, stickers, and buttons. The attendees were enthusiastic about our booth and our ex-gay volunteers staffing the booth were well received. Many people remarked at how glad they were to see us and took extra handouts to distribute at their church back home. Gay groups like the Human Rights Campaign have exhibited at the NAACP for many years, but PFOX was the first and only ex-gay booth there.
We would like to exhibit there next year. Please make a love offering at http://www.pfox.org/donate.htm or send a gift to the address below so we can pay the exhibit booth fee.
Thanks and see you at the NAACP convention next year!
Here are examples of the brochures PFOX might have circulated.
According to the NAACP contract for exhibit space (as of this year), PFOX could secure a presence for as little as $500. The rules to exhibit seem pretty lax, though one would hope that groups which seek to curtail the rights of others would be antithetical to the goals of the NAACP. Ironically, PFOX considers themselves a civil rights group, protecting the rights of ex-gays, and referring to them as a separate and distinct orientation. This enables them to use verbiage lifted from organizations working for GLBT rights, the very rights that PFOX seeks to negate. That bit of sad logic is an apt testament to the anger and bitterness so common to PFOX.
It is not known why there was a two year delay before this was announced. XGW has no record of the information being public before now, and we haven’t yet received a reply to our query from the NAACP. The letter has a boiler-plate structure to it and could be the standard sent out to all participants.
It is a pleasure for me to express appreciation to you for having been an exhibitor during our 97′ Annual Convention Commerce and Industry Show in Washington, D.C., July 15 – 18, 2006.
It is a pleasure for me to express appreciation to you for having been an exhibitor during our 97′ Annual Convention Commerce and Industry Show in Washington, D.C., July 15 – 18, 2006. We value your support and participation as the NAACP works to assure full rights and equal opportunities for all of our citizens. Cooperatively addressing shared concerns contributed significantly to the effective implementation of our vital
The success of our 97′ Annual Convention was due in large measure to the support provided by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays + Gays. We were gratified by the enthusiasm and avid participation of our delegates, members and friends from across the nation who expressed many favorable comments about our convention. The additional audiences we reached through our web cast are also aware of your involvement as a contributor to our historic 97thAnnual Convention.
One still must wonder if an organization with antisemitic or racist overtones would be approved to exhibit, much less receive a letter of thanks for doing so. Perhaps they were confused by the “and Gays” that PFOX tacked onto their name some years ago. It has been suggested that this was done at the advice of civil rights attorney and longtime PFOX Vice President Estella Salvatierra to enable greater access to groups which would not wish to be part of anti-gay efforts, but who might see “Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays” as more neutral. But again, a simple Google search (or even a scan of their website) would reveal the more accurate and odious nature of PFOX, so this is indeed puzzling, even disappointing news.
The letter is signed by Bruce S. Gordon, President and CEO. Gordon resigned in March 2007 after expressing frustration with the job.
The NAACP says they welcome comments. If you reach them, please be civil and share any responses below. They may honestly be unaware of the nature of PFOX and their goals.
No word yet on whether PFOX representatives managed to generate any “attacks” during this event.
NAACP National Headquarters
Mailing Address: 4805 Mt. Hope Drive, Baltimore MD 21215
Toll Free: (877) NAACP-98
Local: (410) 580-5777