This past week looks like it was a big one for you. It was for me too. You see, while I may not have been a featured TV star in the 1980’s, some people have been noticing me lately for the work that I’ve been doing, as someone who grew up deeply religious and gay, a survivor of so called “ex gay” therapy, and ultimately came out to save my own life, literally to save my life, and as is evident by now and through the feedback on my recent articles, other people’s lives as well.
I’m 22 years old, fairly young, and while some people think that’s the biggest reason not to voice my opinion, “because older people know better”, I have to share something with you. When I was 18, I went into “ex gay” therapy on my own volition without explaining to my parents why I was really going to this “therapy”. As is well documented at this point, I faced extremely abusive practices conducted under people who claimed to know how to “change me”.
This past Friday night you told your five children, millions of children worldwide, that if they come to you to honestly share a part of their lives, they face potentially serious rejection that can lead them to suicide, depression, or other emotional problems. These problems can also be because of the rejection that they faced by their friends, parents, community and in this case, maybe even their former idol, Kirk Cameron.
Do you really think people are attacking you because they want to infringe on your right to free speech? No. This isn’t an issue of free speech. The issue is the poisonous and dangerous message that you tell the entire world when you say things like: “I think that it's - it's - it's unnatural. I think that it's - it's detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization." You are spreading such a hateful and intolerant message to so many people, gay youth, friends and family of gay people. Even worse, you are giving permission to parents to put their child in a situation where they don’t accept them for who they are.
Although I’ve been making quite a lot of noise in the blogosphere over the past several weeks, I wasn’t interviewed by Piers Morgan or any other national TV station about my message. Maybe that’s because my message is too simple: give people hope. It’s sad that you were able to utter such hurtful comments. If I were as lucky to be as influential as you I’d strive to send a positive message, a genuine message of love and tolerance. Most importantly, if I had kids, I’d let them know that I loved them and accepted them the way they are. Even my own parents finally found their way without compromising on their religious beliefs. Today they love me and accept me as I am, even though I never believed they would. Tou had the chance to use your faith to help you love people more, but unfortunately you chose fear. You now join the ranks of all those people standing on the wrong side of history in denying people the right to live equally, fairly and with basic human dignity, and spreading this dangerous and volatile message to so many questioning and confused people out there.
In case you haven't seen Kirk's interview on CNN, here's the video