Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Another Gay Editor Goes Ex-Gay (and Anti-Gay)

Michael Glatze, the founding editor of the highly acclaimed Youg Gay America magazine has come out as ex-gay in two (1, 2) WorldNetDaily columns out today. I was actually quite saddened by the two articles--not the news itself. I'm not saddened because this guy has decided he doesn't want to be gay anymore, but because he falls into using the rhetoric that he fought so hard against back when he was an editor for YGA.

I read YGA's first issue when it came out in 2004 and found it amazingly compelling. All I could think of was how much I could have used something like that when I was dealing with being gay back in junior high and high school. The magazine is targeted towards gay young people, and it's positive stories about young gay life I'm sure provides hope to thousands of gay kids out there. It would have for me. Even as a 25-year old, it was heartening to see a publication dedicated to showing the positive side of being a gay teenager.

I was even more saddened, though, when I read that Glatze was a co-producer of "Jim in Bold," a compelling documentary about gay teen suicide. I heard about "Jim in Bold" about the same time that I found Young Gay America and just reading the website nearly brought me to tears when I first saw it several years ago. It's an amazing and award-winning documentary that talks about the pain and anguish many gay teens deal with and then shows how that anguish can lead to suicide, and did for Jim Wheeleter, the documentary's namesake.

So, for me, the problem isn't that Michael Glatze came out as ex-gay, it's that he decided to go to WorldNetDaily, an openly anti-gay publication to stir the pot and claim the evils of homosexuality. If Michael would have had the salvation of gays in mind, he would have sought to find another outlet, one where he could reach a gay audience to "save," not where he only reaches an audience of mostly anti-gay readers. All he does with this article is reaffirm the homophobia and negative view of gays the WND readers typically already have.

One of the WND articles says Glatze "doesn't mince words [about homosexuality]," and they're right. Instead of saying he came to believe that homosexuality was wrong for him, he goes on a tirade about the ills of being gay. From lust to sin to lies to calling himself and homosexuality repulsive--he resorts to using the language of the anti-gay crowd--the language that, according to his own documentary, directly leads to the depression and even suicide of gay teens.

The website of "Jim in Bold" says matter-of-factly that "Jim in Bold shows that homophobia can kill." Unfortunately, Michael Glatze seems to have forgotten that and what he has worked for all of his life, and he's sold saving the lives of gay teens for the anti-gay rhetoric of his new cause. So, Im sad, not because he's found a new way of living his life, but because he's already forgotten that the words he is now using can kill.


**On one side note that I won't cover in detail here, I'd like to point out that one WND article claims that Matthew became straight, although he personally makes no such claim in either article.

18 Comments:

At 3/7/07 9:11 AM, Anonymous Jarred said...

Truly tragic!

 
At 3/7/07 3:09 PM, Blogger Marty said...

If I had seen YGA in high school, i may very well have missed out on the fabulous wife and wonderful family I have today.

I could have chosen otherwise, but just didn't have the heart to do that to my father. And thank GOD I didn't!

 
At 3/7/07 4:40 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Jarred, I know.

Marty- I'm not sure what your background is, but I can tell you that I saw all the straight teen magazines and still turned out gay, so I'm doubtful a gay-positive magazine would be that much more effective in the long run at changing kids' orientations.

If you have a bisexual orientation that would be different, but I like to think that a magazine wouldn't be the soul thing to keep someone from marrying the love of his life (which I assume your wife is).

On the flip side- if YGA were around when Peterson Toscano were a kid (for example), maybe he wouldn't have had a marriage that ended in shambles.

 
At 3/7/07 7:50 PM, Blogger David said...

This is profoundly saddening, Brady!

I see in him so much of the ex-gay movement typified, though unmoderated (as he is new to this whole thing). He has conflated lust and pornography with homosexuality (as if heterosexuality were devoid of such things), and promiscuity too, though studies have shown what we already know: hetero's aren't as a whole any more chaste. But he makes these claims, from his 'expert' status, without anything to back them up. It is all very heartfelt but seems a house of cards to me.

He has dealt with anxiety, a natural human phenomenon, and in his attempt to affirm himself before that anxiety he has blamed it on his sexuality. As if there is no doubt or dead spaces in life without it! But his attempt at affirmation has been a cheat: for he says he is still dealing with his guilt, that he finds himself repulsive, and that it would make him happy to 'atone for his sins'. And this makes me fear that despite his religious and deep-felt experience, he is still missing out on grace: this is more about his own proof against anxiety and doubt, rather than a salvation from God.

This sort of description and "conversion" makes me suspicious of religion in general. Glatze certainly sounds quite miserable in all of this, and to what end besides the demonstration of his own "holiness" (which he will never attain, even by his own standards) through his ascetism and loathing? I could never have thought of beings with a greater and more insatiable propensity to destroy themselves than human beings, and on all levels of life. And it makes me wonder that we should need to believe in a God or a devil at all to have a hell: we are a far worse hell unto ourselves.

Dang, Brady, that was a very heavy pair of article. I need to go listen to some music now.

 
At 5/7/07 12:49 PM, Blogger Pomoprophet said...

Interesting. I had heard about this but not the details. I wonder though, why he's immediately labeled as hateful because he shares his own experience of being gay. I too, think it would have been more beneficial for him to take a different approach. Perhaps like the one i am trying to live as I wrestle with this stuff. But certinly you respect his right to choose and his right to share his experience???

I think every case ive ever read about where a person comes out as gay is celebrated. And every case where a gay person decides they no longer want to live that way is marginalized and dismissed. And the church has the exact opposite responses to those situations.

It saddens me. There is no tolerance or acceptance there. Both sides are biased and narrow-minded when it comes to such things. How is there ever to be dialogue on this issue?

 
At 5/7/07 1:25 PM, Blogger Brady said...

David- Thanks for stopping by. Very good points. I agree, quite a heavy couple of articles. They're still very on my mind now, two days later. I guess that's why I created this blog--so I can talk about things like this instead of just letting them way heavy on my mind.

Pomo-First, I agree that I think your approach to the issues is the better one, and I think Michael needs to try to move that way. That is the issue I have with all of this--not that he's ex-gay or not gay. If he's happier now, then I'm glad to hear it, but I don't think his happiness needs to come at the collective expense of gays.

Second, I certainly am not labeling him as being hateful because he's going the ex-gay route. I'm just saddened that he once co-produced a movie that openly acknowledged that homophia leads to teen suicide, yet he comes out in this article without seeming to even remember those days.

He basically uses the exact same negative and inflammatory language that he once admitted drove kids to suicide. It's very sad--stunningly sad from my view of it. That, and he categorizes his experiences with being gay as all experiences with being gay. Certainly you can see the huge problem both of those things cause.

I actually wrote an email to Michael and he responded. I'm going to post soon about my email and his response. I can assure you that neither of us were hateful. I think right now we're just looking at things from different angles. He wants to convince me that being gay is wrong and I want to convince him that saying homosexuality is repulsive and built around lies, lust and promiscuity not only doesn't help anyone that is gay, but it can do some terrible damage.

Not to sound too cheesey, but I really do think lives are at stake with these kids (and he once seemed to agree with me). Now he seems to have forgotten that.

 
At 6/7/07 6:47 AM, Blogger Michael said...

To My Friends Who Are Trapped In Homosexuality
By Michael Glatze

Dear friend,

Thank you for your kind comments and keen observations regarding my story and my revelation about no longer being homosexual and now being heterosexual. I thank you for the time that you have spent in considering this issue, deeply, and with great passion. God loves you.

God is right there, within you, whether you like to see Him or not. Can you humble yourself to Him? It’s a really nice feeling. I know that, in some small way, you want to. We all do. We don’t like being separated from our Father; it makes us sad and lonely, forcing us to be angry, to act out, to get vulgar… well, I won’t go on; many of you have already demonstrated, on your blog comments, exactly what I’m talking about. ☺

God love you, Yes! He does! And, He wants you to be free from homosexuality. God made us men and women. Think about that; you could – really – be a man or a woman! Not a strange creature… but, real! That’s awesome… ☺

Change is very difficult and takes a lot of inner strength. Do you have that strength? I promise you that the Gay Identity does not exist, that it is a fabrication of mankind (look it up, if you don’t believe me), and that you are not “trapped” in same-sex-orientation. To believe that you are Gay is to be stupid. I’m sorry, if that sounds cruel; it’s not cruel. To believe that you are a false identity, created by man, unnaturally, to participate in social engineering, is to be stupid.

It’s not the acts, as much as it is the Identity. No one ever told you that, before, because they wanted to feed you with the lie that homosexuality is a set thing. Any intelligent “homosexual” knows there’s no fixed Gay Identity. If you don’t believe me, ask the theorists or “intellectuals.” ☺

Gay Identity has been packaged and fed to you, and – if you believe yourself to be “Gay” – you have eaten it, preventing you from further growth and understanding of your true and real self.

Coming out from under this packaged lie requires strong self-confidence and will and desire to know the Truth. Yes, Truth is capitalized. It is that way for a reason. There is only one Truth.

That one Truth is the fact that you are beautiful, perfect, and glorious, in the image of He who created you… God. There is only one God. I know it may be hard for you to get your head around the paradoxical nature of God… but, He is everywhere “out there” and – at the same time – right inside your soul. He sees and knows you. He loves you. ☺

He wants you to be free of homosexuality. I promise you that. He’s rooting for you; He knows you can do it. Remember, He loves you! He’s not judging you – those angry voices in your mind, planted there by Satan, might scream and judge and ridicule – but, no; He’s not judging you. He has patience. He’ll give you strength. All you have to do is pray to Him.

Prayer and love – True Love, my dear friends – requires total humility. Can you do that?

I know, in my heart, that all homosexuals desire to be free.

It is a new world, one in which the lie will not stand much longer. The tide is turning. Be not afraid! It’s a good change! Jesus will come. ☺ And, when that day happens, will you be – truly – yourself!? Or, will you be a demon, trapped in a fabrication not your own, lusting and hating and destroying your soul to hell? Consider this one last thing: all the love you may believe you feel for yourself or for someone else, while trapped in the homosexual mindset, is a grain of sand on the beach of the love that you could feel. Healing is possible. When you choose to go there, you know who to call on for help. His name is Jesus Christ.

Michael Glatze

 
At 6/7/07 7:45 AM, Blogger Brady said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6/7/07 7:45 AM, Blogger Brady said...

Michael-

Thanks for your comments. I honestly am glad that you have found happiness in your life. I can't imagine anything harder than having to live a life filled with strife.

To that point, I'd like you to know that I do not fault you for turning away from being gay. That is certainly your choice, and if you have found peace following that path, I would never want to be one to take that away from you.

However, I'm saddened to see that you (at least from where I stand) seem to have forgotten what you once experienced. Do you remember speaking to kids that were in terrible depressions because they heard someone say they were repulsive or going to hell? Do you remember dealing with kids that were on the brink of suicide because their parents had kicked them out of their houses because they were gay--liars and lustful according to the words you now use?

I'm sure you would never kick a child (or any person) on the streets because he was gay and had not found the answers you have found, but your essays seem to have ignored that those people--the people that would turn a blind eye to the gay person in need of help or kick a child onto the streets--are out there. None of your essays has once called these types of people to love gay people as they help them with the "sin" of homosexuality.

Sadly, what I see from what you have said is that you have empowered (inadvertantly I'm sure, but empowered nonetheless) those anti-gay parents, family members, and others to respond to gay people without the love they really need.

Let me use an example: If I already disliked all things gay and then read your essays reaffirming that gay people and homosexuality are repulsive, liars, lustful, etc., I'd feel ok ignoring a gay person that does not want to try to become ex-gay. If my child is going to continue to "live in sin," then he can do so elsewhere.

So, those are the dangers in what you are saying now, Michael. It's not that you have changed. I'm not even here to question that. I just think your approach uses the same language that caused such strife, and even death, in the kids you worked with back when you were gay. I'm glad you're happy, but I wish your new calling would be to reach out to the anti-gay folks asking them to love the gay people and gay teens you used to work with. Salvation comes through grace. No one is going to turn to God because you reminded them (for the millionth time) that they are sinners, liars, and repulsive. People will turn to God because someone with the compassion of Jesus came to them in love. What you are doing, especially in the WND articles sounds like pure condemnation--it didn't sound like trying to reach out to gays in love (that may have been your intent, but it wasn't what you accomplished).

This comment is getting long, but let me also say that the bulk of your comment here ignores all the gay Christians in the world. Those people that have found Jesus Christ and God and are still gay. Please don't presume because someone is gay that they do not love the Lord, because many do.

 
At 6/7/07 11:53 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Hi there,

Since you were so kind as to reply, I will reply to you.

First, I assure you that I am encouraging Christians to love, nonjudgmentally. That's what my aunt did for me. All these years later, I am free because of that constant love.

Second, thank you for your thoughts about "all those kids." Yes! It was the thought of all those kids whose lives I was influencing that made me have to leave the magazine, when I wasn't certainly that spreading the message of a Gay Identity was a good thing to do. It took me a year and a half from that point to decide if I should ever say anything about what I had continued to learn, grow through, and see. Despite what some people seem to be saying, I'm, definitely, not an unhappy or troubled man. I'm kind, friendly, loving, and intelligent. As I sat here, in my life, I saw news stories about "gay" books in grade schools... and I realized... what if I had never heard of the false concept of Gay (you know, as well as I do, that it is false. Gore Vidal, himself, has even said, "there is no such thing as homosexuals or homosexuality, just homosexual acts." It's the Identity that poses the problem.) when I was a teen? What if? If I'd been firmly told that everyone experiences the potential of same-sex desire, but that it is, decidedly wrong, I'd never have made that mental "click" that said.. I must be "Gay." I'd never have thrown myself into that identity.

This is about a deception that human beings have been under. "Homosexual" was invented in 1867 in Europe. Same-sex temptations and desires have been around for a long time... but, the Identity is manmade. And, keeping the perpetuation of that Identity is not something -- I believe -- we should do. I have been fortunate enough to see beyond that (thanks to God). I have been fortunate enough to root through my mind, carefully, and thoroughly, and understand the nature of homosexual desire as what it is. I have been able to arrive at a deeper truth. That means that anyone can.

Michael

 
At 6/7/07 1:21 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Thanks again for responding, Michael. I always enjoy learning the thoughts behind people's actions, whether we agree or disagree on certain issues, and I appreciate you sharing yours here.

With reference to your thoughts on homosexuality and identity being a social construct--I agree that the idea of "gay" is relatively new as a sexual orientation, but I see that as society finally realizing that something existed and finally labeling it rather than having invented it out of thin air. People that were predominately or exclusively attracted to the same sex have been recorded in all societies since the beginning of time. Just because we only relatively recently gave this a label and open acknowledgement doesn't mean it didn't (or doesn't) exist.

With regards to my other comments about your articles- my issue can best be summed up this way: I don't see the article you wrote for WND or the article that was written about you for WND as showing the grace you claim your Aunt showed to you. What I see in your initial words is utter condemnation of all things and people gay.

I see a shunning of gays, not an honest reach out to them. When you were gay, who did you reach out to, your loving compassionate aunt or the protester on the street telling you you were going to hell. Sadly, while I honestly don't think it is your intention, I see your words as being more aligned with the damning protester than the loving aunt, and I don't think you'll save any souls that way.

 
At 6/7/07 3:34 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

I'm glad to know that Mr. Glatze has arrived at some "deeper truth." I'm not a simpleton. I have a rock solid fundamentalist pedigree. I spent the requisite years in the wilderness, some of them quite alone, struggling for answers. The truth is that we don't always have, nor will we receive, the answers we look for. And to be told that he has magically found some deeper truth (which sounds remarkably like a mixture of Roy Masters and some self-help books with maybe a little meditation ala Buddhism thrown in) that we can all attain, if we are really humble is quite revolting to hear if you've spent a large portion of your 37 years prostrate before God asking him for that "deeper truth" that will bring about change. Maybe I'm a skeptic, but Mr. Glatze appears to be doing this more for his own personal ego stroking than anything else. Because if it was really about helping the people he claims to want to help, he wouldn't be preaching to the choir.

j.

 
At 6/7/07 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael, I am older than you. I knew that I was gay (same-sex oriented) since I was a young child. I never knew the words; I was never taught or approached on TV, books, or anything about what "gay" was. Yet, I turned out gay. My life is better than it ever could have been if I tried to play it straight. I came out (after a Mormon mission) at 21. I met my spouse, and we have been together for 15 years. If I had pretended I was straight, I would have had a horrible time and destroyed the lives of others (a friend who married in the Church and had two daughters killed himself after 13 years because he could not deal with the gay desires). Being gay is not a new concept--the Greeks, Catholics, etc. had language and ways of dealing with same-sex attraction. As long as I am attracted to men, I am gay.

 
At 6/7/07 4:54 PM, Anonymous Joe Brummer said...

Michael,
I have read, written about and thought about your words and how they effect not just you but the world around us. I offer you this. Email me, and I would be happy to give you my cell number. I think these public talks don't really get at the heart of the damage you are doing to gay youth, gay adults, children of GLBT folks or those who struggle.

I would be happy to listen to you, and offer you my thoughts on things. I really believe you have not been exposed to that many happy and healthy gay people. Perhaps meeting and speaking with some would take the bite out of your words.

I am happy you have found your own truth, but not happy it is at the expense of others.

 
At 6/7/07 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I don't think most people say there was a same-sex potential in their lives. Essentially you are saying everyone is bisexual to a degree. I tend to think that is faulty (and from a strict Christian viewpoint wrong since most see themselves as always straight). As a gay male, I have never had any potential desire for a female. I love females and find them attractive, but not sexually attractive.

 
At 7/7/07 1:27 AM, Blogger Lynn David said...

Michael Glatze is a robot who cannot speak his own mind, but must speak the words of others. This is the third place I have seen him post his "Screed."

 
At 8/7/07 2:58 PM, Blogger KJ said...

Michael,

I knew I was gay before I knew the meaning of that word. I lived in an evangelical Christian environment in which I was loved and sheltered. In that environment I lived until at mid-life, the Spirit of God made it clear it was time to live a life of authenticity which inconveniently did not dove-tail with the misconcopetions regarding homosexuality I was surrouned. I found that dying to myself and what I wanted (i.e., heterosexual sexual attraction) led to new life for myself and to others, as I could share God's love as a "transpartent' child of God.

Peace to you as you seek God's guidance in how you should strive for authenticity, but please do not assume for a moment that all with same-gendered sexual attraction have had experiences that have paralleled yours.

 
At 14/7/07 7:54 AM, Anonymous L said...

Oscar Wilde adored his wife and kids. I am quite sure you can be a gay guy married with a family and love them to bits, and still be gay.

Ultimately I hope people are happy with what they do in their lives. If Glatze is happy how he is then good for him. What I don't get is why anybody thinks their experience should be EVERYONE'S. If Glatze now truly is an "ex-gay" and that is where he wants to be, I understand wanting to tell the story, but I don't understand as you say why the need to go to WorldNetDaily and why with some people there is always this idea that they have found the answer or the truth and that it is equally true for everyone else and that those unenlightened others just don't get it. When Glatze came out as gay did he think everyone was capable of being gay and should make that move? I doubt it. Why then if he is an ex-gay does he have that idea - or why do any ex-gays have that idea? A lot of the time it is tied up in religion and it seems to be to do with hating homosexuality rather than a person's own journey towards being true to themselves. That's where I have trouble with it.

There are millions of people all over the world going from gay to straight and back again, or vice versa, without the need to pronounce to others at any stage that *this* particular stage they are at is where everyone should be. I wish them all the luck in the world. In my own experience (albeit of gay women mostly!), the two types of people who are most unsure about their sexuality or struggling with it are those who completely hide it, or who shout it from the rootops loud enough for the entire planet to hear. Those who quietly acknowledge the fact and neither hide their relationships nor go on and on about them and how gay they are, are usually the most assured of what is happening. I had a girlfriend who was President of the LBGT society at university; she cheated on me with a guy and now has been with him for the last four years. I didn't join that society until my final year of university, because of her position in it; I have been with my lovely girlfriend for the last four years...!

I just think people should do what they want - I am not one of these "I am not into labels" types, as I identify as lesbian, but at the same time there is not such a major issue over it that I make films or start magazines about it, and then tell everyone a while later how straight I am.

 

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