Outspoken: Thomas

Outspoken: Thomas

I would like to
thank the citizens of Boston for their support during a
difficult time in my life. I recently attended a Love Won
Out “ex-gay” conference there. My mother
wanted me to go, and to show her that I loved her, I
did. I told her I wasn’t going to change but would
listen to the conservatives’ point of view.

As I walked into
the conference, there were gay protesters outside,
chanting, “Hate is not a Boston value.” As a
20-year-old gay man, I felt embarrassed and ashamed
going into this church while my fellow LGBT people
were protesting outside.

After the first
session, which was on the causes and origins of male
homosexuality, I needed a break and went out for a
cigarette, almost in tears. One of the protesters came
over to me and asked me if I needed a hug. I
responded, “Yes.” I told her what was going on
inside and why I was there. She told me how brave I
was and that no matter what happened I would have
support from the LGBT citizens on the street. My spirits
were raised. I just need to say “thank
you” once again to the protesters for giving me
hope in a desperate time.

Also, I would
like to point out that during one of the group sessions, an
ex-gay minister was talking about how to start on the path
to fighting your homosexuality. When he opened the
floor for discussion, I immediately raised my hand. I
had pulled out a copy of The Advocate that contained
an article on the ex-gay movement. I cited a quote
from former ex-gay and founder of Love in Action John
Evans about how the ex-gay movement actually causes
depression and suicide. I asked him how they could continue
to preach this information when one of their own
leaders concluded that it was wrong to try to change
gay people. The minister just said that he has seen
nothing but joy come out of the ex-gay programs.

Still, it felt
amazing to stand up to the conservatives and voice my
opinion. I couldn’t have done that or made it through
without the protesters in Boston or The
I can’t express my gratitude

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