It is fair to say that I have officially driven the so-called “ex-gay” industry to distraction. The proof is in the pudding.
The group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) is now trying to discredit me by making false accusations about an alleged incident in Orlando. A couple of years ago, I organized a protest in this city against the “Ex-Gay Educators Caucus,” which hosted a booth inside a convention hall at the National Education Association’s annual meeting.
Following our protest, I wandered in to the hall and approached the “ex-gay” booth. I did not think twice about doing so, since I had been to dozens of ex-gay meetings, booths and conferences over the years without incident. I had even written an entire book and interviewed dozens of ex-gays – with no confrontations.
Once at the booth, I asked a single question: How many ex-gay educators were in the so-called “ex-gay caucus?” I asked, because all I saw were professional anti-gay activists posing as legitimate educators.
Before I got an answer, I was verbally and physically accosted by anti-gay activist Greg Quinlan (pictured). I told him in no uncertain terms to back off. I do not apologize for this – as it is my right to basic self-defense. I’d do it again without hesitation.
In a bizarre twist, after deliberately trying to provoke a confrontation, Mr. Quinlan called the “mall cops” to play victim – even though he was the aggressor. It was the most bizarre thing I had seen in my 20 years of activism. The incident was as pathetic, as it was perplexing.
Of course, the outcome of the non-incident was that I peacefully walked away with the mall cops and immediately went to a meeting with the GLBT educators caucus. I gave a short speech. There was no police report – not even questioning – of the alleged “incident.” No time in the cell block at the big house. Indeed, no one in the hall really noticed that anything had happened – because it really hadn’t.
Yet, PFOX is now sending out a surreal press release that exaggerates the truth and is pure fiction. Why? Because PFOX is on a pathological campaign to create fake “hate crimes” out of thin air that supposedly took place against ex-gays. The group’s goal is to get “ex-gays” included in the hate crime bill in Congress. Thus, if you approach a booth, they call the cops and make false charges and allegations.
Indeed, they did this last year at a state fair in Virginia. They blew an incident out of proportion and claimed to be victims. Interestingly, once again, there was no police report. The police did confirm that something happened – and that PFOX complained – but, again, there were no arrests and no charges filed. I wonder why?
A few weeks later at the Falls Church, Va. fair, Mr. Quinlan tried to create another fake hate crime. Unfortunately, he threatened to call the police on Nick Benton, publisher of the Falls Church News Press. Thus, Quinlan’s agenda was exposed in the media and his credibility shattered. (His credibility had already been damaged by claiming to have worked as a key volunteer at the Human Rights Campaign. While I worked at HRC, no one had ever heard of him.)
A disturbing pattern has emerged from PFOX.
1) They buy a booth at a local fair.
2) They provoke a confrontation
3) They call the cops, even as they have no evidence, thus there are no arrests, nor police reports.
4) They send out propaganda to the media blowing these non-events – that they provoked – out of proportion. Or they embellish or simply make things up.
In light of this creepy and alarming trend, I would strongly advise all GLBT people and their allies to stay away from PFOX booths. They are looking to create trouble because it is an organization that relies on fakery and trickery to disguise the emptiness of its mean-spirited agenda.
I’m not mad, really. At this point, I just feel sorry for these folks. They can’t accept their gayness and refuse to love their gay children. Instead, they have created a poisonous house of cards designed to vindictively harm their own families. PFOX is losing this battle and they have become more desperate and more outlandish by the day. I just hope those involved in this organization seek the help they need – before they further self-destruct in anger, confusion and bitterness.