Monday, August 20, 2007

When the Real Love Ministry Is Confused: Understanding The Ex-Gay Ministry Part One (Basics)

This is a piece about the serious level of misinformation and lies (it is yet to be ascertained whether it is by purpose, or accident, or oversight) presented by the ex-gay ministries in South East Asia. The ministry closest to home would be examined, namely the Real Love Ministry or RLM (Edmund Smith), an ex-gay ministry (scientifically called 'transformational ministry') in Malaysia supported by NECF (The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship); it has certain affiliations to Choices Ministry in Singapore, which is tied to Exodus Asia Pacific, under the umbrella of Exodus International.

What would be uncovered here are undisclosed scientific evidence, stances on medical professionals, reality facts and hard truths in regards to homosexuality, which would not be mentioned in any of Real Love Ministry's seminars, talks or articles. It is a ministry based not on science but on scripture, not on reality but on dogma, not on facts but on beliefs; this ministry is set to re-educate a new generation of untrained minds, not into the affirmation of the existence of homosexuality and transsexuals as a valid condition, but preaching the affirmation of intolerance on an existing orientation and identity that is based on prejudice and discrimination.

Most people that hold up Sodom against GLBT people do it to support their own hatred (self hatred or otherwise). You might as well bang your head into a wall 10000000 times as to try and explain Sodom to them. - Marti Abernathy (http://transadvocate.com/)

The Basics About Homosexuality and 'Change'

[From: Just The Facts About Sexual Orientation And Youth by The American Psychological Association: (www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/facts.pdf)

"The reason for publishing this factsheet now is the recent upsurge in aggressive promotion of 'reparative therapy' and 'transformational ministry'. 'Reparative therapy' refers to psychotherapy to eliminate individuals' sexual desires for members of their own gender. 'Transformational ministry' refers to the use of religion to eliminate those desires. Since mid-1998, a number of organizations have invested significant resources in the promotion of reparative therapy and transformational ministry in the press, in conferences targeting educators, and in television and newspaper ads.

... more than 477,000 health and mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus there is no need for a cure."]

[From: Attempts To Change Sexual Orientation by Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D. (researcher and writer of Lesbian, Gay and HIV/AIDS issues)
(http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_changing.html)

"Some psychoanalysts claim to have conducted empirical research demonstrating that their "therapies" are able to change gay people into heterosexuals. Their studies have multiple flaws, including a lack of safeguards against bias and a lack of control groups. Rather than having patients evaluated by an independent third party who is unaware of which patients received the "reparative therapy," these studies are simply compilations of self-reports from psychoanalysts who are attempting to change their patients' sexual orientation (and who are highly motivated to report "success").]

Thus far, The Real Love Ministry had yet to compile any report of any success stories of changes in orientation. Even 'testimonies' are rare, and also vague because of the non-existence of a person. It is either just a name without a true identity, or just a note “the name and personal information of the writer of every 'dear rlm' email is always changed to protect the writer.”

Change Is Possible!... Or is it?

(... that sort of person will often need some assistance. but the best assistance would come from a professionally trained psychologist, not form a amateur who approaches the situation from a dogmatic position. a person who (now that we have a glimpse of the inside of rlm) is showing all the signs of cultish behaviour, and who would probably benefit from therapy himself. - Kenny Clarke (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Exex-gay/))

[In 1998, December 12, the American Psychiatric Association meeting.

"The potential risks of 'reparative therapy' are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient."
"Many patients who have undergone 'reparative therapy' relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction."

"The possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed."

"Therefore, the American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as 'reparative' or 'conversion' therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon a prior assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation. The American Psychiatric Association recognizes that in the course of ongoing psychiatric treatment, there may be appropriate clinical indications for attempting to change sexual behaviors."]

Coming up on part two, the establishment, and some of the musings by the Real Love Ministry in regards to Lesbians, Gays and Transgenders would be closely examined.

4 comments:

MarcusLoewe said...

Dear Yuki: let me ask you a personal question. You claim that it is harmful to try to change one´s sexual orientation. And yet you want to change your gender/sex. What is most dangerous to change one´s sexual orientation or one´s sex? I had 2 friends who changed their sex and became women. They both committed suicide. And what about the post-op transgendered. Those who regretted that they made a sexchange? These men can not get their penises back, whereas it seems some ex-gays lied about their change and become ex-ex-gays.

Yuki said...

Have you ever asked why your two friends committed suicide? Are they really transsexuals or they are transvestites? Are they really SECURE in their sexual identity?

That is the reason why most transsexuals are required to undergo two years, maybe more to learn to manage their lifes in their new gender role. Only with valid doctor's approval can they receive the surgery.

Sadly, there are some that do not follow the guidelines set and ventured into transitions themselves, this happens frequently in Asia, where medical professionals in this field are lacking.

That is why more information is needed to combat misinformation given by various dogmatic groups. Stigma and discrimination also would play a role in how transgenders settles in their respective new gender roles.

MarcusLoewe said...

Yes I am sure that they were transsexuals and especially the tragic death of one of them was very hard, since I had known him since Elementary School. He was 13 when he began talking about becoming a real woman. Both of them went through Psychiatric treatment for years in order to be allowed the sexchange.
A girl I got to know wanted to become a man. She had her breasts removed surgically when she was 25 and also took hormones (illegally). She did however not go through with the sexchange. In many ways she acted like a lesbian. She had female lovers. Because she considered herself a man. A brief period she got me pretty confused when she had a relationship with a guy. I asked her if she was gay then?
I apologize for my ignorance about transsexuals.

I do however respect transsexuals even though I do not totally understand this issue. Many do however think it is totally unacceptable and that sexchange should not be allowed. I do however understand that people want to try changing their sexual identity/orientation. I have not seen any being harmed for trying to change their sexual orientation, but I saw how harmful sexchange was for the transsexuals I knew.

Yuki said...

"He was 13 when he began talking about becoming a real woman. Both of them went through Psychiatric treatment for years in order to be allowed the sexchange.
A girl I got to know wanted to become a man."

I wished I could have known them instead of hearing it from you. But taking it that you know them, I do not think they are transsexuals. Like me, I do not BE a woman or WANT TO BE a woman. I already AM a woman, and I would remove the defect on my body that causes all the medical and mental imbalances in me.

Maybe it is unfortunate that two of your friends commited suidice. My condolences to their friends and families. This is why it is important to let researches do their jobs properly and transsexuals having their transitions without anyone injecting prejudice and stigma into the mold.

There is also important to know and understand the differences of what is biological and what is socially constructed. I know I am a girl but something is wrong by 6. Your friend by 13.

Edmund Smith (RLM) was 14 when he 'realised' he was
'gay'. But looking at the circumstances he was born straight, and was socially constructed into a 'gay'.

Peterson Toscano on the other hand, had always been gay. That is why ex-gay ministries work for Edmund, but would definitely not work for Peterson.

Both have contrastingly different childhoods. Therefore I would disagree with you saying 'some gays' lied about their change and become ex-ex-gays; rather, they were blurred and lied to by these ministries that they could change, and being human, it was an easy why out for them. But it is much more easier to just be yourself.

Ex-gays will survive as you said. Not all transsexuals will. That is why the person undergoing the transition need to understand that it is a lifetime process. Life after the SRS is just as life before the SRS. It is just for a girl to grow up with a birth defect to be on medical assistance for life. But if you were to be a confused crossdresser like some I know, trouble will be looming.

Maybe this article will help clear the air a bit:

http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Warning.html

For me, taking the surgery is not really that important. If it comes it is a bonus. Because it does not change the fact of who I am, a lady.