Wednesday, January 20, 2010

An Ex-Gay Survivor Speaks.

Today in San Francisco at the Proposition 8 Trial, Ryan Kendall testified to his own personal experience in an ex-gay cult called NARTH at their facility in Encino, CA, which is just north of San Diego. Despite our stories for over 40 years, gay kids are still joining these cults, whether by their own free will, manipulation, blackmail, or even force.

Plaintiffs' counsel Flynn led the direct investigation.

[Note: K = Kendall, F = Flynn]

K: I am an NCIC agent, it is a database maintained by the FBI. I have a secure clearance for this work.

Flynn: When were you born?
K: 1983.
F: 26 years old?
K: Yes.
F: School?
K: Evangelical Christian University.
F: How did you hear about homosexuality?
K: Proposition 2 in Colorado where I was raised.
F: Did your family talk about it?
K: Yes, it was very scare, homosexuality was wrong and evil and threatened our family, my parents said.
F: What is your sexual orientation?
K: I am a gay man.
F: How long have you known that?
K: Since I was 12 years old.
F: How did you feel when you realised you were gay?
K: ...and what your family and community did NOT like this concept, so I kept it a secret, hidden away from everyone.
F: What names were you called?
K: Homo, faggot, queer
[This shows that our natural comportment gives us away even if we don't tell a soul about our natural sexuality]
F: What else happened?
K: Played keep-away with my glasses and broke them.
F: What was it like being in that Christian School?
K: They were taunting me with a word that was so close to the truth. My parents changed schools.
F: When did your parents find out you were gay?
K: My parents discovered my journal when I was 13.
[His parents did not respect his privacy, nor his boundaries -- for they obviously read the journal.]
F: What happened?
K: My parents flipped out, they yelled, it was pretty scary the way they reacted.
F: Do you remember anything they said?
K: My mom said I was going to burn in Hell.
F: Was your family religious?
K: Yes, Church was a big part of our lives.
F: How did you feel when your mom said that?
K: I was totally stunned. I could not believe I was eternally damned.
F: What therapy did your parents send you to?
K: I was sent to a "Christian therapist" who would make me a heterosexual.
F: How many times did you go?
K: I went two or three times.
F: Did you recall much?
K: Inconsistent with Christian teachings, disapproved my parents, and that I was a bad person and evil.
F: How bad did you feel?
K: I always wanted to please my parents, now I was a bad and evil kid.
F: Was therapy successful? Did it make you heterosexual?
K: No, I was still gay.
F: Did you try to be straight?
K: No I knew I was gay the way I know I am short and half-Hispanic.
F: Next, where did you go?
K: NARTH: National Association of Reparative Therapy for Homosexuality, Encino, CA...
F: For how long?
K: Two, three years, 14 to 16.
F: How was your home life?
K: It was like night and day. My parents used to take me to school, make notes and put them in lunch, pick me up. Afterwards they called me names and that they hated me and that I was disgusting. My mom told me she wishes she'd had an abortion instead of a gay son, or Down's Syndrome or a retarded kid... instead of a gay son, me.
[Interesting, how the parents' unconditional love turned to unadulterated hate. They should be ashamed of themselves.]
F: Who at NARTH?
K: Joseph Nicolosi, Executive Director of NARTH.
F: Where did you meet with him?
K: Over the phone, an hour, 90 minutes. Then travelled to California.
F: What did you talk about?
K: Homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teachings, and not what your parents want for you.
F: Advice how to repress homosexuality?
K: No specific advice, just general admonishments.
[Just like my experience in the Boston Church of Christ! "Homosexuality will lead you to a bad lifestyle, you'll catch diseases and AIDS, you'll meet an early demise blah blah blah and then you're going to hell!" The only so-called "advice" they gave me was to pray, "Lord deliver me from these lusts!," and the like. Fat lot of good that did. I almost became an Atheist because of them.]
F: How did your NARTH experience help you reconcile your gayness and your faith?
K: At NARTH I was told I was dirty and bad, the therapy played no role in making me better or healthier.
F: Were you straight when you were done?
K: Just as gay as when I started.
F: Why did you stop going?
K: My life had fallen apart: my faith, my family, everything. If I did not stop going to NARTH, I wouldn't survive. I would kill myself.
[And by suiciding, he could have exiled himself into the Outer Darkness!]
F: How were you able to stop?
K: At 16 I surrendered myself to the Colorado Department of Children.
F: How does that work?
K: I told a social worker I was going to kill myself if I didn't leave my parents. They strated an abuse and neglect proceeding against my parents.
F: How was that?
K: I was incredibly suicidal, I turned to drugs to escape reality, things did not get better, I had lost everything.
F: How long did this period last?
K: Four to five years.
F: How did you support yourself?
K: It was a struggle.
F: On Public benefits?
K: I had to go to the emergency room for health care.
[This is why we need a National Health Service with a network of clinics for the uninsured. Instead we get Obama-Romneycare! But that's a different subject.]
F: How long have you worked for the Denver Police Department?
K: two to three years now.
F: Are you stable and can you support yourself?
K: Yes, it has been really hard, but I have been able to do that.
F: Just a couple more questions. Are you aware of organisations that are supportive of gay rights?
K: Yes. I am a member of Log Cabin Republicans, and a member of Denver Commission on LGBT Rights.
F: Are you testifying for them or you?
K: For myself, Ryan Kendall.
F: Have these organisations shaped your testimony?
K: No.
F: No more questions.

[Cross examination]
Campbell for the Defendant-Intervenor
C: Do you live in California?
K: No.
[But he went to the NARTH cult facility in Encino and even if he didn't, this is relevant.]
C: Did you participate in No on Proposition 8?
K: No.
C: Were you contacted by the San Francisco City Attorney's Office, yes?
[So Ryan Kendall knows someone in San Fran! (-: ]
K: Yes, in October.
C: Have you studied human sexuality?
K: No.
C: Have you known people who profess to have changed their sexual orientation?
K: In public, yes.
C: Were you compelled by your parents to go to conversion therapy?
K: Yes.
C: It was all your parents, without your consent?
K: Yes.
C: You told your parents your objections.
K: I told my parents and my therapist.
C: But that did not matter?
K: Yes, it did not.
C: Did you have the goal of changing your sexual attraction?
K: Yes, I just wanted to survive it.
C: But your goal was not to change.
K: No.
C: You talked about things your parents said to you?
K: Yes.
C: But your family experience was just as damaging as the therapy itself?
K: Yes, I said that.
[Of course it would be! What do people expect, when unconditional love turns to unadulterated hate?]
C: At some point your parents lost custody with you?
K: Yes.
C: After that, did you go back to live with your parents when you were 18?
K: Yes, briefly.
C: Some people volunteer and choose to go into conversion therapy?
K: That's not my experience.
C: So no one has ever gone to conversion therapy voluntarily?
K: I don't know EVERYONE; but in my experience, no.
C: But you have acknowledged that some people have success with conversion therapy?
K: I don't know that.

F: Have you met anyone who succeeded in conversion therapy?
K: Yes, Nicolosi trotted out his perfect patient, named Kelly, who (when the doctor left the room) told me he was going to a gay bar that night and was pretending success in conversion for his family.
[HA! So not only are these ex-gay ministries cults, they are scams.]
F: You said you went back to our parents when you were 18?
K: Briefly.
F: And do you talk to your parents now?
K: No.
[Why should he? They proved to him that they were horrible parents after discovering his sexuality.]
No more questions.

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