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7/23/06
Love Needs No Cure/Love Won Out

Dear Kim:

I am feeling like a half-assed activist today.Or maybe what I am is an activist in transition. An activist who is looking for a different kind of activism.

You may have heard about the vigil planned for today called "Love Needs No Cure." It is being held in response to the anti-gay message promoted by "Focus on the Family" and "Exodus International" in their national "Love Won Out" conference meeting in St. Louis today.

These organizations are asserting, against established, educated, and scientific studies and practices, that people can be "cured" of
homosexuality.They have posted billboards all over town of alleged ex-gays who joyously proclaim their conversion.

(Kim: I believe that their are some who choose their orientation for various reasons, and then some who naturally are attracted to those of the same sex. It shouldn't be any different than the set of people who make any choice.

Though what you are talking about is that you are tired of protesting ("but he protests too much"). I think you aren't tired of protesting, and that you'll never be tired—it is just that you have found your own way to be a champion of the LGBT community.)

It is sad, pathetic, maddening.

A number of the billboards have been defaced. In a different kind of response that follows in the beautiful nonviolent tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, some people in the LGBT community have organized a peaceful vigil today to take place opposite the church where the conference will be held.

My response surprises me. Especially since I grew up going to protests.

But I find that I just can't bear to go.

I no longer care if some think people like me are sick and need to be cured. Hell, my own brother thinks homosexuality is abnormal although he has long since given up on curing me of anything. I just ask that he treat me with respect. Because there is no reasoning with that level of bigotry.

And the idea of standing sweetly and solidly—if thankfully in solidarity with others—makes me uncomfortable. It will make for good television and print copy. But it feels like coming from a place of defensiveness, not of strength.

I support and appreciate anyone who chooses to go to the vigil. But I have thought a lot about it and it is not for me.

I care very much about lgbt kids. I was one. And that can be hell. I care for anyone who is struggling to reconcile their desires and identity and to arrive at an integrated place. I know my own version of that journey and it is a tough one. If I thought that standing outside a church full of falsely pious self congratulatory bigots might actually accomplish something, I would do it. But I don't.

I would rather live boldly and openly and do good work, including creating opportunities for young LGBT people. Then when someone realizes that I am a lesbian, they will have to deal with the whole of me. I would rather insist on living a life with creativity, love, sex, generosity and joy that makes apologies to no one.

Later,

Joan

Saturday, Feb 25, 2006

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