GUEST SPEAKER: Gabriel Arana On ‘My So-Called Ex-Gay Life’ 4/27

This Friday we will be joined by Gabriel Arana, web editor of The American Prospect, who recently wrote “My So-Called Ex-Gay Life.”

In the article, he recounts his experiences with ex-gay therapy, which he underwent during high school after his parents discovered he was gay. He also reports on the ex-gay movement, and talks to Robert Spitzer, the author of a 2001 study claiming that the therapy worked. Spitzer, interestingly, also led the effort to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. In his visit with him, Spitzer renounces the study.
Today, news broke that Spitzer apologized for the study.
Join us at 8:30 Friday at St. Margaret’s. Afterwards, as always, we will go out for dinner.
Read the article, it’s a gut-wrenching personal essay combined with reporting on the ex-gay movement. Here’s an excerpt:
Early in my freshman year of high school, I came home to find my mom sitting on her bed, crying. She had snooped through my e-mail and discovered a message in which I confessed to having a crush on a male classmate.
“Are you gay?” she asked. I blurted out that I was.
“I knew it, ever since you were a little boy.”
Her resignation didn’t last long. My mom is a problem solver, and the next day she handed me a stack of papers she had printed out from the Internet about reorientation, or “ex-gay,” therapy. I threw them away. I said I didn’t see how talking about myself in a therapist’s office was going to make me stop liking guys.

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