Friday, August 11, 2006
New Orleans needs tourists, but this? Is not what we have in mind
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — About two dozen protesters marched for an hour outside the American Psychological Association convention on Friday to protest the organization’s stand on homosexuality.
The group, which was sponsored by the conservative ministry Focus on the Family, was protesting what it sees as the APA’s views on the immutability of homosexuality.
“We disagree with the APA’s stand that people can’t change if they want to,” said Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a Los Angeles psychologist and president of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. “If someone wants to change, they say, ‘No, this is you, you must learn to accept it.’ We say people have self determination, they can make a choice.”
In 1974, the APA ceased listing homosexuality as a mental disorder. The protesters demanded that the APA change its current position.
Dr. Clinton Anderson, director of the lesbian, gay and bisexual office of the APA, said the group’s position is that homosexuality is not an illness and therefore not in need of a cure. The association is not opposed to people who decide to try to change their sexual orientation if it’s an autonomous decision, but would question the motives for such a desire, he said.
“If someone wants to change their sexual orientation, we feel that may be because of an atmosphere that is prejudice against homosexuality,” Anderson said. “We are concerned it is a coercive choice that has to do with pressure from their family, their community, or their church.”
Marchers, who stayed outside the convention for an hour carrying signs reading “Don’t tell me I can’t change,” and “Diversity includes me,” among others, were people who had changed from homosexuality, Nicolosi said.
Nicolosi, who works with people wanting to change their sexuality, said that he has found about a third of his patients experience no change, a third have what he called “significant improvement.” and a third adopt a heterosexual life style.
“They marry and are cured,” Nicolosi said. “They may have an occasional attraction, but not a major or constant one.”
The protesters also had a petition for the APA from a group of psychologists to accept both “gay affirming therapists and reorientation therapists.”
The APA does not believe the claim by Nicolosi and others that there is scientific evidence that people can change their sexuality, Anderson said.
“There has never been a well designed study to show that people can change,” Anderson said. “Our concern about the so-called conversation therapy is that it isn’t supported by science. There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed.”
You know, I was going to say something reasonable and rational about this. How people can choose behaviour, but that doesn't change orientation and blahblahblah. But you know what? Fuck that. My sexuality is not an abhoration. Nor it is deviant. It's a blessing and I'm sick of fucknuts like this telling me otherwise.
I love men. I love women. And what does that say about me, other than I can love either gender? Nothing. Period. Well, it could tell you I'm less bound to rigid social roles. Or that I'm more willing to look at people for who they are instead of what they are. But you know...
So, fuck off, okay? All you people out there who think there's something wrong with me because I can love a person with a penis or with a vagina, can just Shut.The.Hell.Up. A mental illness? Please. I've been mentally ill. Being bisexual doesn't even come close. Being bisexual is a blessing, not a deviation. Sexuality is a blessing, period. It's not dirty, it's not shameful, it's not something to deny. It can be comforting or intoxicating or bonding or just plain fun. So why don't you go try it and leave the rest of us alone already?