Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cultivating Our Queer Community

I am personally very excited about 2009, because I have some exciting plans in my agenda that will help transform not only communities, but myself as well.

February 13-15, I will attending the 19th Annual Western Regional LGBTQIA College Conference at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  The mission of the 2009 Western Regional LGBTQIA College Conference is to educate and empower queer youth, students, families, professionals, community members, and allies by providing an all inclusive space to dialogue about critical issues, to network with other leaders, and to mobilize our community from the ground up---all in line with their theme for this year:  "Cultivating Our Queer Community."

At the conference I will be facilitating a workshop on the ex-gay movement and the ex-gay survivor movement.  I will discuss the various reasons why some us chose ex-gay programs, potential harms, and what the LGBTQ community can do in response to reparative therapies and how to reach out to survivors and those considering going through reparative therapy.  I will draw on my own experiences and the stories of other ex-gay survivors.  I also plan to share a couple scenes from "Doin' Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House" by Peterson Toscano.

It is going to be a fantastic weekend of fellowship with other LGBTQ advocates and our allies.  I am really excited about having the opportunity to continue sharing my story with others (especially young people).  It's exhausting at times though (emotionally and physically) when we recount these events and experiences in our past, but it is also rewarding.  I encourage people to begin to share their life stories through any means of communication, whether it be through writing, video, poetry, art, etc.  You will find that these outlets are a great catharsis.

This year we should commit ourselves to sharing our stories!  At least through one way, even if that means sharing your story with a friend over coffee.  Get out there and share your story!

UPDATE:  I will also be co-facilitating an open caucus for Queer People of Color and First Generation college students.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Prayers For Bobby

This is the story of Mary Griffith, a gay rights crusader whose teenage son committed suicide because of her religious intolerance.  Based on the book of the same title by Leroy Aarons, actress Sigourney Weaver does an amazing job sharing this emotional experience through her character of Mary.

This trailer brought tears to my eyes, I can only imagine how much more powerful the film will be in it's full length.  This movie is such a great resource for parents that don't know how to handle with their LGBT child comes out to them.  The movie airs on Lifetime on January 24th, check your local listings.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Peterson Toscano: Why I went ex-gay

Recently Peterson has been reflecting on the many reasons why he chose to go "ex-gay."  He mentions that as we have these conversations about why we would choose ex-gay route, we often add depth to the conversations as we begin to go through this process of sharing.

Below is a video of Peterson sharing in his own words some of the reasons he chose to go ex-gay.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"In The Life" focuses on former ex-gays

The ex-gay movement and its survivors become the focus of the latest segment of "In The Life;" the segment draws on the stories of ex-gay survivors and faith leaders.  The Ex-Gay Survivor's Conference that was held in Irvine, California is also featured in this segment; sharing the process that many of us have gone through to begin healing the hurts and wounds that were left through our experiences in ex-gay therapy.

The segment shows a few clips of me sharing parts of my ex-gay experience.  It was recorded at a time that I was just beginning to become comfortable with sharing that part of my life with other people.  My hope was that my story would serve as a witness to the many men and women, young and old, that consider the thought that they are unholy and unworthy of God's love because they are LGBTQ.  Today, that is still my hope and goal of sharing my story, wherever that may be.  Follow the link to view the segment!