29 October 2010

Gay community to blame for own suicides

At an Evergreen Conference I attended, I learned about the startlingly high incidence of mental illness or disorders among gay youth compared to their heterosexual peers, a fact you would not hear, they said, in the media because it wasn't politically correct to point that out about a minority sexual orientation demographic. This was accompanied by the explicit connection that their homosexuality and their depression, OCD, and other disorders are borne of or exacerbated by similar developmental issues, probably related symptoms of root causes. In addition, a presenter suggested that suicide rates are higher not because of social disapproval--a notion they attempted to debunk by pointing out the consistently higher gay youth suicide statistics of predominantly secular/non-religious nations in Europe where homosexuality is supposedly socially/institutionally/politically embraced--but because these youth unfortunately are fundamentally unhappy or suffer from a combination of mental health issues making them susceptible and lifestyle choices based not on healthy variation of normal attraction and intimacy but on insecurities and warped intimacy due to the emotional developmental retardation which created their homosexuality.

This assessment was followed by a somewhat scathing denunciation of the "gay community's" practice of thrusting impressionable youth into a destructive lifestyle, using them up sexually, hooking them on drugs and alcohol, telling them there's no hope they can change and they shouldn't choose their own course but should toe the gay activist line and stick with gay culture dogma, and then acting surprised and pointing a hypocritical finger outward when the hopeless youth end their lives. It's not that gay youth "bring the misery on themselves" but that they are often ill-equipped victims of an insidiously self-perpetuating pattern of destructive living, of a victimization mentality pushed by gay activists in the media, and of an exploitative gay culture which would use them to achieve its own acceptance in society. The presenters taught that gospel-centered support offers not only true love but real hope which can break through the darkness to show struggling youth their true, eternal potential as glorious sons of a living God who has better in mind for them than anything the "gay lifestyle" has to offer.

Such perspective was accompanied, naturally, by a confident reassurance that organizations like Evergreen exist to offer such hopeless youth a "way out", to release the shackles of being beholden to their attractions and to a society they never really wanted to become a part of but which selfishly clung to its members to their own detriment. Evergreen exists to show them that there are alternatives, and they don't have to let gay culture or anyone else tell them how to live or convince them that they can't fulfill their destiny as excellent fathers, wonderful husbands of wonderful wives, and men of honor and righteousness as they've always wanted to. It was an empowering message of shaking off the chains of resignation to a life they wouldn't choose and reaching upwards for joy greater than any temporary relationship and culture built on developmental disorder can offer.

They sincerely, passionately insisted that those who teach that change is possible and that living church standards is possible with or without change in orientation, are not the cause of the suicides but could save youth from suicide if only they could reach them instead of having the gay community selfishly and defensively surround and blockade them from the help and love of their parents and therapists by demonizing them and telling the youth that their parents and therapists don't understand or even hate "who they are". There were references to rights of free speech being hampered by intimidation and threats leveled by gay activists against people who are presenting options some people don't want to face.

The presenters said there's no excuse for hateful or demeaning speech about gay or SSA individuals or "gay community" as a whole, and there's no excuse for bullying or bigotry. They insisted that anyone who knows SSA people personally would know how big-hearted, sensitive, talented, and wonderful they are and would never accuse them of being dark or evil because of their attractions. They highlighted the importance of understanding the issues beyond the stereotypes and talking about them rationally, using gospel principles and sound research. They explained that to point out such statistical realities as those previously mentioned would be regarded as hate speech by politically motivated activists but is merely looking at the realities and responding to them in an effort to help people who experience "unwanted" homosexual attraction and who want to know there are alternatives for them.

They stopped short of saying, "If anyone is to blame for these suicides, it's the gay community, not groups like us." Nobody ever explicitly said that. My title for this post is admittedly provocative beyond what may have been the intended message of the presenters but is exactly how I think most anti-Evergreeners would simplify it.

The message I heard was:
  • SSA youth experience undue pressure and lack of understanding from well-meaning people who incorrectly think they chose to be how they are.
  • SSA people are so because of the interaction of certain traits and tendencies with environmental, developmental factors which hampered the natural development of heterosexual, masculine or feminine identity. Incidentally, keep in mind that certain other presenters shied away from firm explanation or claims that we know why some experience same-sex attraction but focused on every person's ability to choose how to respond to those attractions and whether to live in harmony with gospel principles and church standards.
  • SSA youth experience higher incidences of mental health issues which worsen their mental state and ability to cope with the stress they face. Their issues around conflicts about homosexuality are often compounded by depression, OCD, etc.
  • The gay community worsens this situation with their messages of persecution and victimization to serve their own political self-affirming agenda.
  • The gay community increases their unhappiness and conflict by pushing an unhealthy lifestyle of substance abuse and promiscuity.
  • Evergreen and similar organizations are misunderstood and exist to invite and empower those who want something better to reach for greater, more eternal goals, not to change those who don't want to change.
And you know what? I believe that perspective should not be defensively dismissed but should be addressed honestly, rationally, and openly.

I have to run, but maybe later, I'll expound on my own personal response and the many questions hearing all of this brought up in my mind. For now, feel free to share any thoughts...or go out and do something 'cause it's Friday night. :-)

5 comments:

BLB said...

Was this Evergreen conference recent or was this pre-August/September '10 suicides?

Original Mohomie said...

Oh yeah. It was 3-4 years ago.

Rob said...

I think this is the most elaborate example I've ever seen of an artificially constructed and flawed "reality" intended to trick a trusting listener into buying a harmful product.

Original Mohomie said...

Rob, you may be formulating responses in your head, but in the meantime, the comment you made here, if it were your ony response to someone who had been to Evergreen and was considering what to do with it all, is a clear example of the kind of dismissive rhetoric I was talking about in my recent post: motive-assuming, demeaning, villainizing, and lacking any direct response to the many assertions made.

The problem is that those who actually were there and met the presenters could see these were people who seemed to mean well, who seemed very loving, who seemed to have done a lot of research and clearly were not ignorant of what a gay guy or gal goes through in coming to terms with his or her sexuality and reconciling it with religious beliefs, and who cited statistics and studies to back up their claims and admitted some would find their assertions unpalatable but suggested they wouldn't be able to rationally refute them.

To an intelligent young guy who is trying to step back and approach the issue objectively, he's going to think back on arguments like your comment here and see that they may only confirm that the "gay community" doesn't have a real response other than to say, "Well, they're meanies and fake and pseudo-intellectual," and it's likely to push them more towards trusting the statistics-backed folks at Evergreen.

I know: comments aren't necessarily the place to make a point-by-point refutation, so I realize your comment doesn't "prove" anything in any final way. I'm just saying, "OK, fine. But at some point, calling them slick, tricky peddlers is no more rational than Evergreeners calling the 'gay community'...well...the same things, and what is required is a rational response to their more rationale-targeted claims and concession of their accuracies."

Rob said...

@OMo:

You are correct, a blog post comment is no place for extended analysis. Mine was a single sentence conclusion, back of which I could provide a point by point refutation of everything Evergreen presented but time and space simply don't permit. I would hope an "intelligent young guy trying to step back and approach the issue objectively" would understand that.

I freely admit to a bit of emotional response to claims like Evergreen's, however, when I see that they're all dressed up nicely in the language of love and concern and alleged statistical validity, yet at the same time I see and hear so many stories of people who've tried desperately to do what Evergreen advocates and ended up suicidal as a result. As a lawyer, I'm trained to examine and weigh evidence and results. While I'm certainly always open to more evidence, the results I've seen so far from Evergreen's advocacy seem to have too much damage and hurt and despair and failure and in some cases death. There are always exceptions of course. But overall, this is not a good track record IMHO. So you'll forgive me if, when confined to the brief forum of a blog post comment, I stick with my summary conclusions.