Friday, February 02, 2007

Gay Magazine Goes Ex-Gay

I just read over at InterstateQ that Venus Magazine, a magazine that targeted the black gay and lesbian community has changed its focus from a pro-gay magazine to an ex-gay magazine. The reason for the change is that the magazine's publisher is no longer a lesbian and wants to spread the word of change and salvation to her readers.

The publisher, Charlene Cothran, says she doesn't plan to change her target audience because she wants her gay readers to experience what she has been able to find in Jesus Christ. While I think that's a commendable idea (if her honest goal is to help people rather than condemn them), I'm not sure how good of a business decision that is going to turn out to be. If you have to take all of your 13 years worth of archives off of your website, something tells me you and your readers aren't sharing the same experiences anymore.

You can see Charlene's "ex-gay coming out" and testimony on Venus' website. It's an interesting piece, but I can't help but notice the ex-gay-speak she uses throughout the article, which is unfortunate. I would think a self-proclaimed gay activist would be weary of reverting to using such methods (and at the very least would realize the inneffectiveness of them).

Even the article's title, "10 Ways to Get Out of the Gay Life" refers to some sort of "gay lifestyle," which is common among ex-and anti-gay folks. Quickly into the article, Charlene refers to a someone as an "ex-lover" rather than a partner or girlfriend (maybe this is just a generational thing, but to me it sounds dismissive). Point number 2 of the article refers again to a mysterious gay lifestyle (she'll do this again several times), notes a gay agenda (honestly, when do I get my copy? Maybe I can have her old one.) and reminds readers that they aren't born gay.

My favorite point, though, is number 7, which tells readers that there is a life outside of the clubs, the parks, the random hookups, and the material possessions. It's like I'm reading a NARTH or Exodus catalog here. The last thing I noticed was that while she says she found change and help through Jesus, she never mentions a change of attractions to heterosexual ones or a diminishing of her lesbian attractions. If she has indeed found happiness and God, I am certainly happy for her. I just wish she could find solace and a way to help others without falling into the old "not born that way lifestyle with an agenda" traps.


At 3/2/07 6:53 AM, Blogger Jay said...

I'm really just beginning to wish NARTH and Exodus could get beyond the clubs and random hookups. Really, that's all they seem to talk about. I'm just saying that it's pretty alienating for a lot of us.

At 3/2/07 10:22 AM, Blogger Brady said...

I agree, Jay. I've said it many times here, but if being gay (or acting out on gay attractions) is a sin, then let it be a sin. Don't constantly paint gay folks in the most negative light possible to try to make your case.

At 10/2/07 10:37 AM, Blogger Bruce Garrett said...

You should check out the post on this at Ex-Gay Watch. Two interesting facts come to light there. Firstly, D.L. Foster is now one of her editors. Nice guy that one. Secondly, she seems to have a lot more money now to print copies of the magazine.


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