Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New Ex-Gay Article (and Michael Glatze)

Edge, of Boston, has an article out currently that discusses the Michael Glatze story and ex-gays in general. The article is the first installment of a four-part series on ex-gays, and is definitely worth taking a look. So far, this first article does a good job of being fairly well balanced about the ex-gay issue.

The parts about Michael Glatze don't cover a lot of new ground except to quote Michael as claiming he is "totally, extremely heterosexual." This is the first time I've seen Michael be that up front on the issue without being pushed to say he is straight, rather than just celibate. He does not elaborate, though, on whether or not he is pursuing heterosexual romantic interests.

As long as we are on the subject of Glatze, I mentioned in the comments here and at Ex-Gay Watch that I'd discuss my personal email conversations with Michael Glatze here on the blog. I've been trying to put my thoughts together about all of this, so sorry for the delay. Here's what I've come up with though..

Unfortunately, my email exchanges with Michael (which were personal and were not part of the "open letter to gays" that Michael posted on this blog and many others) were a bit frustrating for me. In fact, I commented to J that my only post on the subject was going to be to write the unfortunate motto I've come to use at work, which is, "you can't reason with crazy people." In my line of work, it's a motto that is sadly true and comes in handy sometimes, but J helped me realize how unfair and short-sighted such a response would be. Michael was kind and gracious (if frustrating) to me in his responses, and I deeply appreciate him taking the time to respond to my emails. So, to respond so negatively wouldn't be right or fair.

Let me be clear that the "crazy people" response had nothing to do with Michael's decision to become ex-gay. It had everything to do with the way in which he was responding to my questions and emails. For example, Michael quickly glossed over answering my questions in about a paragraph or so into his response and moved on to say how homosexuality was indeed disgusting and how it needed to stop. Even going as far as to say that he "happen[ed] to know that [homosexuality will stop]" and that "God will cleanse the earth of this sin." He signed the email by thanking me for helping him in his quest to rid the earth of homosexuality (I'm assuming I'm "helping" by posting about his story on my blog). Hopefully you can see my frustration, and utter disbelief, in that exchange.

I appreciate Michael's time and responses, but to spend a fraction of an email answering my questions and then to go on a tangent about how he is positive that homosexuality will end is too much for me to take. I'm not sure what Christian denominations believe that any sins will end completely (except for in heaven--but that's not what Michael was alluding to), but I know it's not mine. That whole part of the email left be completely confused.

As for the parts of the emails that he did answer, I spent a good deal of one email asking Michael to keep in mind how damaging the terrible descriptions and words he used about gay people would be to vulnerable gay teens. His first response was that we all (he included) basically needed to toughen up, which I found worlds away from the person that once worked with suicidial youth.

However, Michael did acknowledge that his article in WND was indeed "harsh." And then admitted to initially sending two articles to WND--one harsh one and one with a softer tone (I'm not sure if the "softer" article was this one that was released later). Much to no one's surprise, WND chose the harsher one, "for a reason" according to Michael. I agree they chose it for a reason, I just wish Michael could see what that the reason was--to demonize gays rather than to help them. Calling people and people's families and lives disgusting never helped anyone. Telling them they need help without being offensive is where the help and salvation comes. He's new to this, so maybe he'll realize that at some point in his quest.

Recently Michael Glatze has agreed to, and then cancelled a few interviews with both gay-positive and mainstream media. He told me he'd be doing some stories with the gay media that would show me that my concern about him appealing to the anti-gay crowd and not really trying to offer any salvation or hope to gays was misplaced. Hopefully he's still trying to get out there. I know it'll be somewhat of a disbelieving audience, but when you tell someone their life is digusting, you have to expect to get some heated responses in return.

If I continue to have conversations with Michael Glatze, I may post them here, but for now I think I may lay this story to rest.


At 15/7/07 3:40 PM, Blogger Rick Brentlinger said...

I appreciate your kind-hearted approach to Michael's coming out of a sex and drugs, gay life.

I think many gays and lesbians are so confused by sex, drugs and alcohol that they cannot separate the abuse of those from their gay or lesbian orientation.

Many gays and lesbians, both Christian and non-Christian, do not live promiscuous lives and are not involved in the drug scene and do not abuse alcohol.

If Michael discovers down the road that his SSA is still part of his core nature, I wonder if WND and the ostensibly Christian folks now supporting him will cast him aside?

When and if that happens, we need to lovingly remind Michael that God knows him intimately, loves him deeply and intends good for his life.

God bless you Brady!

Rick Brentlinger


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