Yesterday, Evan wrote a post about the monumental failure “Ex-Gay” Pride that took place on July 31. American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios predicted that “thousands of ex-gays” would be “descending” on Washington DC. But, the event fizzled drawing no more than 10 participants to a press conference in font of the US Supreme Court. Of those in attendance, the majority were professional “ex-gays” who are paid to say they had changed from gay to straight.
The remaining attendees were a documentary film crew, as well as relatives of the speakers. This included Jae Sook, the Moonie wife of International Healing Foundation founder Richard Cohen. She was kind enough to stay married to Cohen, even as he admitted in his book, Coming Out Straight, that he once had an affair and also once boasted to attendees at a NARTH conference that he gives good head:
“It was a very bizarre time. It was a most painful and lonely time for Jae Sook and our first son, Jarish. I was out running around New York City with my boyfriend, and she was at home alone taking care of our son, knowing her husband was out with a man.” (p. 9)
“I solicited all three of my straight male mentors,” Cohen told the NARTH crowd. “Would you like me to service you? I’m really good at it.”
Anyway, as Evan pointed out, this crowd is rebooting by rescheduling an “Ex-Gay Lobby Day and Dinner” for Sept. 29-30. So far, the event appears to be rather haphazard and thoroughly disorganized for a Washington, DC affair. When I worked at the Human Rights Campaign, we had lobbying days too – but the HRC staff helped set up the meetings and held trainings to maximize our time on The Hill. The same attention to detail and strategic thinking is clearly not part of the slipshod “ex-gay” effort. According to the itinerary, Christopher Doyle is too busy or incompetent to help his “citizen lobbyists” make appointments and is leaving them to their own devices:
September 30 (9:00am – 4:00pm) – Lobbying Congress and Senate on Capitol Hill (Appointments made on your own)
Of course, we know that there is no need to help make appointments. “Ex-gays” don’t exist, so there is no one to actually make appointments for. In the absence of real, live, unpaid, “ex-gays” to parade down the halls of Congress, Christopher Doyle has a slick plan: If you can’t find real “ex-gays” then create shell organizations to trick the media by giving off the impression that there is genuine popular, grass roots “ex-gay” movement.
Doyle has done just that — creating or leading several organizations. Consider that this one frenzied, frenetic dude is on the board of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX); he is an active member of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH); he is the Director for Cohen’s International Healing Foundation; he is the founder of the “ex-gay” multimedia propaganda company Ascension Productions; and the founder of two new advocacy groups, Voice of the Voiceless and Equality and Justice for All.
In a particularly pathetic defense of his failed “Ex-Gay Pride” (more like Ex-Gay Hide), Doyle said:
And that, pathetically, is what they’ve been forced to settled on. Just ONE, lonely, solitary, so-called “ex-gay” who has virtually no followers or unpaid examples of successful sexual converts. To underscore this critical point, Doyle had to ship in an “ex-gay” all the way from California to testify in Trenton, New Jersey against a bill to ban reparative therapy for minors. Could he not find a single, real “ex-gay” on the entire east coast? After all, Trenton is near the metropolises of New York City, Philadelphia, Newark, Wilmington, Boston, Providence, Baltimore and Washington, DC. Millions of people are in the vicinity, yet no “ex-gays.”
All this is to say that Doyle is a manipulative fraud. He is really just a coalition of one and his shell organizations consist of just four open tabs on his personal computer, two being his new “groups” and the others presumably Gmail and porn. His publicity stunts also reek of a naked sales pitch. The International Healing Foundation is a business, which profits from desperate and psychologically damaged people. Each time Doyle gets IHF in the media, it is a free advertisement for this counseling group. It’s a great marketing strategy, if your goal is to swindle money by offering magic cures to vulnerable clients.
Perhaps, the media should begin to ignore Doyle until his many and multiplying political organizations actually accomplish something. Right now, he is just a blowhard using blow fish techniques, to wildly inflate the number of “ex-gays” — none of whom ever seem to come forward. It is disheartening that the press keeps returning to the same circus, that consists of nothing more than an big, colorful, empty tent with a single, smiling, rambunctions clown, who keeps promising that one day “ex-gays” will come out of the woodwork and “Ex-Gay Pride” will soon be greatest show on earth.