Zach. Sixteen. Gay. Came out. What happened next?

The phrase “what the fuck is wrong with you people” has never been more appropriate. Meet Zach. Sixteen. Gay. Just come out to his fundamentalist Christian parents.

Response? Forcibly enroll him in an camp for “ex-gay” adolescents run by a group called “Love in Action”. (As long is it’s married heterosexual Christian love of course). A bunch who’ve said, on the record, that :

“I would rather you commit suicide than have you leave Love In Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection; whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a spiritual death from which there is no recovery.”—The Final Indoctrination from John Smid, Director, Love In Action (LIA), San Rafael’s “ex-gay” clan.

Thats right, better dead than gay.

Zach blogged about his upcoming incarceration and his discovery of the camp ‘rules’ that he wasn’t meant to see. Visit his blog by clicking here.

He’s still in there, who knows what’s happening to him. But from the number of messages of support the vast majority of people think this is just so wrong.

And so do I.

God Bless America huh? I’m so glad I don’t live in a place where religion has such a corrosive influence on society.

41 thoughts on “Zach. Sixteen. Gay. Came out. What happened next?

  1. Yikes! 

      I’ve got to wonder if a kid can sue his parents for violating his civil rights?

      I wonder if forced reeducation camps can be considered a violation of civil rights?

      This is just fucked up in so many different ways.  I’ve gotta say, I think that kid might have been better off waiting until he was 18 to tell his parents.

  2. His blog is painful to read.  How awful.

    God Bless America huh? I’m so glad I don’t live in a place where religion has such a corrosive influence on society.

    < perspective >

    Think about Taliban goons (or Saudi “morality police” walking around roughing up people who cause any offense to Islam.  Women in Burkas, not allowed to hold a conversation with any male outside her family.  Polio hanging on in the human population because Imams spread rumor about US vaccines causing AIDS.  Death fatwa on Salmon Rushdie, etc.

    < /perspective >

    What is happening to Zach is terrible but is relatively uncommon in our society.  I just hope he gets through it with minimum psychological damage, writes a book about it, goes on talk shows, gets a scholarship to an Ivy-league university, becomes rich, meets the man of his dreams, and lives happily ever after.

    He’s certainly had his share of grief and pain. No child should be treated so by his parent.

  3. “I would rather you commit suicide than have you leave Love In Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection; whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a spiritual death from which there is no recovery.

  4. chief: Umm… since last I checked suicide is a big no-no in the church’s eyes… that might only be Catholics, but there is little “spiritual resurrection

  5. What DOF said, and how about a camp to convert those people into human beings? What a pity that heterosexuality is as terminal as homosexuality. “What the fuck is wrong with you people?”

  6. Well, yeah, protestants don’t generally make a distinction between types of sins, so if you have the saving grace of Jesus, you’re set in the afterlife. 

    This downright bugs me.

  7. OMG they are making him cut his hair, get a job, and go to church.  This is an outrage call the UN.

  8. “I would rather you commit suicide than have you leave Love In Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle

    Yer right.  All these whiny libruls are just overreacting.  I’m sure everyone involved just wants what’s best for the little guy.

    LOL.

  9. Brainwashing school.

    It IS possible for a minor to get an attorney and “divorce” his parents. And in this case, I’d say he should.

    These people are thugs.

  10. People like those parents make me want to vomit.

    My best wishes to poor Zach and anyone else subjected to such nonsense.

  11. I wonder if forced reeducation camps can be considered a violation of civil rights?

    It IS possible for a minor to get an attorney and “divorce

  12. Provided the child wants to be raised to believe that religion.  Come on, the kid is 16, not 4.  This is a decision he’s made himself, not one his teacher crammed down his throat.

  13. Yup, he’s 16.  Last I checked, the age of majority in this country is 18.

    That means if he wants to be gay in a couple years, his parents will have to settle for disapproving looks and maybe writing him out of the will.  Until then “Zach” is their responsiblity.  That means they’re responsible for pushing him away from unhealthy life choices like homosexuality, shooting heroin, or selling Amway. 

    shana: Come on, the kid is 16, not 4.  This is a decision he’s made himself, not one his teacher crammed down his throat.

    Oh ok, if he’s made his decision I guess that’s the end of it.

    Say, how about if my little girl turns 16 and decides she wants to take up smoking, live with her boyfriend, or walk the street for money?  I suppose I should just throw up my hands and get out of the way?  She’s made her decision, right?

    And what makes you think you know what’s been crammed down his throat?  There’s plenty of older gay men who would love to “turn out” a 16-year-old who’s going through a rough patch.  “Just come with me, I’m the only one who understands the real you.  Here, have some crystal meth mixed with Viagra!!”

  14. Oh ok, if he’s made his decision I guess that’s the end of it.
    Say, how about if my little girl turns 16 and decides she wants to take up smoking, live with her boyfriend, or walk the street for money?  I suppose I should just throw up my hands and get out of the way?  She’s made her decision, right?

      Legally, the only approach they have is if he is actually engaging in sexual activity and even that is somewhat regulated differently from state to state.  Prostitution is illegal even for people of majority in most states so that is not a very good analogy.  Would you be supporting such drastic actions by his parents if he said that girls gave him an erection?
      It is certainly within the parents’ rights and responsibilities to protect their child from possibly dangerous activities.  As long as he is merely proclaiming sexual orientation and not practicing promiscuous, unprotected sex, then he is not endangering himself.  At what point do you allow the person self-determination?  If you had a sixteen year old child who told you that he was an atheist would you send him to an indoctrination camp?

  15. unhealthy life choices

    Suuuuuuure.  That’s their motivation.  They’re concerned about his health

    “I would rather you commit suicide than have you leave Love In Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle

    LOL. 

    Yeah, I can see how this qualifies as “raising a kid” in your chosen faith.

    During that previous discussion of parental rights, were there a lot of people advocating the position that parents should be allowed to engage in ritual sexual abuse of their kids, provided it was ‘part of their faith?’

    Welcome to Satanist reeducation camp.  Rules: Ritual sodomization will take place before every meal, just after the chicken sacrifices.  Do NOT use the chickens in the pen labeled ‘food’ for the ritual bestiality.

    If you had a sixteen year old child who told you that he was an atheist would you send him to an indoctrination camp?

    Don’t be silly.  The appropriate action, in this case, is to torture them until they repent, and then urge them to commit suicide before they ‘backslide’.  After all, better their ‘body at the stake’ then their ‘soul at stake’.

  16. Liking men is nothing like shooting heroin. WTF

    Also, gay men don’t work like Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    “Just come with me, I’m the only one who understands the real you.  Here, have a copy of our doctored Bible and the Watchtower.

  17. warbi: Legally, the only approach they have is if he is actually engaging in sexual activity and even that is somewhat regulated differently from state to state.

    Hey, warbi the lawyer showed up to offer us a legal opinion.  Tell me, counselor, how many times have you failed the bar exam?  I only ask because you don’t seem to know jack about the law.  Legally, these parents are responsible for Zach.  If they want to send him to “Love In Action,” or military school, or tell him to cut his hair or get a job, they can.  End of story.

    Everyone seemed to agree on that when it was parents raising their kid as wiccan.  Why the sudden change of heart, everyone?

    warbi: It is certainly within the parents’ rights and responsibilities to protect their child from possibly dangerous activities.  As long as he is merely proclaiming sexual orientation and not practicing promiscuous, unprotected sex, then he is not endangering himself.

    Warbi’s conception of the law seems to be “the law says whatever I think it does.”  You’ve made a new precedent; we can call it the “As Long As He’s Not Endangering Himself Test.”  I’ve never heard of it before, counselor.  What case law can you cite?

    In any case, deciding to be gay is certainly a “dangerous activity”.  The best way to maximize your child’s exposure to “promiscuous, unprotected sex” would be to encourage them to join the homosexual culture.

    warbi: At what point do you allow the person self-determination?

    After a long and healthy debate, the country decided: eighteen years of age.  Been that way since before there even was a United States.

    warbi: If you had a sixteen year old child who told you that he was an atheist would you send him to an indoctrination camp?

    No, but it would certainly be my right to.  Anyway, I think I could do a better job than some yahoos in Tennessee.  I’d certainly tell him that until he was 18 and living on his own, he would be coming to church every Sunday with the rest of the family, like it or lump it.

    shana: Liking men is nothing like shooting heroin. WTF

    Nothing like?  Off the top of my head, I’d say they’re both great ways to end up dying from AIDS.  Also they’re both escapist, short-term non-solutions to real, long-term challenges.

  18. Cantrell, you must still be one of those people who have no idea how AIDS works.

    Being gay does not mean you are automatically infected.  AIDS is causes by a virus.  It has to be caught…and, being a virus, it does not care what sort of a person it infects (gay, straight, heroin user, blood transfusion recipient).

    Being gay does not mean you are going to go around and screw every gay man in sight.  Promiscuous unprotected sex is found among heterosexuals and homosexuals.  In fact, more heterosexuals engage in unprotected sex on a daily basis than homosexuals (due to the fact that there are more heterosexuals than homosexuals).  The real problem here is not being gay, its being irresponsible with one’s sexual lifestyle (gay or straight).

    As far as I can tell, the kid’s parents are not up in arms because he is being promiscuous, they are just up in arms because they are fundamentalists and he is gay.  Sexual promiscuity and AIDS is not factored in (except by those who think that “gay = AIDS”).

    This kid’s parents has the legal right to send him to this “school”.  The parents are wrong, though, to try to force him to become something that he is not (a straight, god fearing individual).  What they should do is try to accept him for what he is (gay) and teach him responsibility so he doesn’t fall into a destructive sexual lifestyle.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if this “school” twisted him to think he was straight yet he caught AIDS anyway from being promiscuous with women (heck, make ‘em Christian women).  How would you, Cantrell, explain that since you seem to be stuck on the “gay = AIDS” concept?  Could somebody use this to start thinking that “Christian straight = AIDS”?

  19. I’m guessing the whole “better to commit suicide” means only slow suicide, or jumping off something.  That way, you can commit an unreversible suicide and still have time to repent and save your soul?

    Daryl said: Legally, these parents are responsible for Zach.  If they want to send him to “Love In Action,

  20. Being gay does not mean you are going to go around and screw every gay man in sight.  Promiscuous unprotected sex is found among heterosexuals and homosexuals.  In fact, more heterosexuals engage in unprotected sex on a daily basis than homosexuals (due to the fact that there are more heterosexuals than homosexuals).

    True.  Analysis of sheer numbers aren’t good, because the homosexual community is so small. (In a US study, the prevalence of homosexuality was estimated to be 2.1% of men and 1.5% of women. (Gilman SE. Am J Public Health. 2001; 91: 933-9.) Another US study estimated the prevalence of the adult lesbian population to be 1.87% (Aaron DJ et al. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2003; 57: 207-9.)

    So what we should look at is promiscuity rates within the homosexual communiy.  An early study, done prior to the AIDS epidemic, reflects that more than 75% of homosexual men admitted to having sex with more than 100 different males in their lifetime: approximately 15% claimed to have had 100-249 sex partners, 17% claimed 250-499, 15% claimed 500-999 and 28% claimed more than 1,000 lifetime sexual partners. (Bell AP, Weinberg MS. Homosexualities. New York 1978).  This study has come under some criticism for the methodology used.

    A more recent study of the homosexual population in Chicago reflects:

    …a high level of promiscuity and unhealthy behavior among that city’s homosexual male population.

    According to the researchers, 42.9 percent of homosexual men in Chicago’s Shoreland area have had more than 60 sexual partners, while an additional 18.4 percent have had between 31 and 60 partners. All total, 61.3 percent of the area’s homosexual men have had more than 30 partners, and 87.8 percent have had more than 15, the research found.

    As a result, 55.1 percent of homosexual males in Shoreland—known as Chicago’s “gay center”—have at least one sexually transmitted disease, researchers said.

    The three-year study on the sexual habits of Chicago’s citizens will appear in the upcoming book, “The Sexual Organization of The City” (University of Chicago Press), due out this spring.[2005]

    It does appear that the appearance of higher promiscuity rates that would be suggested anecdotally from a quick view of the culture does in fact exist. 

    Furthermore, anal sex, whether homosexual or heterosexual, allows for the easier transmission of HIV. Anal sex can also cause small tears in the anal lining and on the penis, making it easier for the virus to enter. 

    A relatively recent study in Britain found that the majority of homosexual men (60%) engage in anal sex, frequently without condom and even, if they know that they are HIV positive. (Mercer CH et al. Increasing prevalence of male homosexual partnerships and practices in Britain 1990-2000. AIDS. 2004; 18: 1453-8)  We can’t extrapolate the British numbers to America, but I think its fair to say that on a percentage basis a homosexual will be much more likely to engage in anal sex than a heterosexual.

    So if we revisit Uber’s comments, specifically this one:

    The real problem here is not being gay, its being irresponsible with one’s sexual lifestyle (gay or straight).

    I would agree on an individual basis.  However, from the studies available, as a general observation we can conclude that the homosexual lifestyle is much more likely to involve an irresponsible sexual lifestyle.

  21. Consi states:

    we can conclude that the homosexual lifestyle is much more likely to involve an irresponsible sexual lifestyle.

    I can’t conclude that until I see a study that compares heterosexual lifestyle to homosexual life style.  A recent study (less than 20 years old) would be good.

  22. Uber Gaijin: Cantrell, you must still be one of those people who have no idea how AIDS works.

    Being gay does not mean you are automatically infected.  AIDS is causes by a virus.  It has to be caught.

    Umm, thank you Captain Obvious—I thought AIDS was from dirty toilet seats and mosquito bites.  Thanks for setting me straight. (ha-ha, a pun, get it!!)

    What are some of the best ways to catch the virus which causes AIDS?

    > Becoming homosexual is a great one
    > Become an intrevenous drug user: also a very effective way to expose yourself to HIV
    > Being promiscuous works too

    Of course, it’s easy to prevent AIDS:

    > Don’t have sex before marriage
    > Once married, remain faithful
    > Don’t use drugs

    This approach, which offers 100% protection against AIDS (not to mention a host of other social ills), is considered far too “radical” by many on the left.

    The left is still enamoured with condoms as a method of HIV prevention.  They know perfectly well that in most cultures, getting men to use condoms is essentially impossible.  Instead of pursuing a strategy which actually works (stigmatizing illicit sex, promoting monogomous marriage), they flail ineffectively while millions die.

    Uber Gaijin: Being gay does not mean you are going to go around and screw every gay man in sight.

    Actually, it pretty much does.  Promiscuity is vastly higher in homosexual communities than heterosexual.

    Uber Gaijin: What they should do is try to accept him for what he is (gay) and teach him responsibility so he doesn’t fall into a destructive sexual lifestyle.

    Yes, and if my daughter decides to take up smoking, I shouldn’t try to stop her.  I should just accept her for what she is (a smoker), and teach her responsibility (keep it under a pack a day, all right?).  That the idea?

    What a bunch of crap.  If you aren’t a tree-hugging hippy, you understand that your job as parent is to overrule your children when they make self-destructive choices.  If my child “decided” they wanted to smoke, or use drugs, or drop out of school, or sleep around, or be gay, they’d have another think coming.

  23. The findings give no support to the idea of a promiscuous society or of a dramatic sexual revolution reflected in huge numbers of people with multiple casual sex partners. Nearly all Americans have a very modest number of partners over their adult lifetime and in the past year: 56% have had 1 to 4 partners over their lifetime and only 20% have had more than 10. The more educated people are, the more partners they have had over their life time. Of all people questioned, whether old or young, 83% had 0 or 1 sexual partner in the last year. The number of blacks or whites with more than 5 partners in the last year was small (6% and 3%, respectively).

    Source http://www.rwjf.org/portfolios/resources/grantsreport.jsp?filename=018403.htm&iaid=141

    Contrast that with the other studies.

  24. For someone being coined Captain Obvious, I am obviously not being obvious enough.

    Still-not-quite-straight-in-a-non-sexual-way Cantrell states:

    What are some of the best ways to catch the virus which causes AIDS?

    > Becoming homosexual is a great one
    > Become an intrevenous drug user: also a very effective way to expose yourself to HIV
    > Being promiscuous works too

    This is exactly what I am talking about.  With this statement, you imply that the virus can tell the difference between a homosexual and a heterosexual and prefers the homosexual.  Tell me (since you seem to know), what is it about a homosexual that makes them more prone to AIDS.  If you say “their promiscuity” then it is promiscuous behavior that puts them at risk, not their orientation (thousands upon thousands of promiscuous heterosexuals are infected with a variety of STDs).  Your statement makes you seem to believe that it is orientation alone that causes an increased risk of AIDS, which is factually WRONG.  Straight now?  Doubt it…

    Also, “becomming homosexual” is a strange statement.  I do not see how someone can “catch” homosexuality and thus become homosexual or would willingly choose an orientation that goes against biological drives and exposes the person to a whole slew of abuse.  Homosexulaity is not simply “a choice”.  I know this as a fact because I have seen a person re-evaluate their sexual feelings about certain people, and it almost destroyed them.  This person, under normal circumstances, would NEVER put herself, or her family, in a such a situation willingly.

      Uber Gaijin: Being gay does not mean you are going to go around and screw every gay man in sight.

    Actually, it pretty much does.  Promiscuity is vastly higher in homosexual communities than heterosexual.

    While I could agree that the level of promiscuity in the homosexual community is higher than the heterosexual community (especially if I saw some solid numbers), you make a gross assumption when you state that gay man = screw every gay man in sight.  I, as a heterosexual, have not screwed every woman in sight.  A friend of mine, who is rather promiscuous, has not screwed every woman in sight.  You, who I assume is sexually straight, probably have not screwed every woman in sight.  Why would you assume that a gay person would screw every gay person (of appropriate gender) in sight? 

    and if my daughter decides to take up smoking, I shouldn’t try to stop her.  I should just accept her for what she is (a smoker), and teach her responsibility (keep it under a pack a day, all right?).  That the idea?

    Did you remember that question?  Smoking is dangerous to one’s health, this is proven.  You assume that when a person “chooses” to be gay, they are automatically at a higher risk for AIDS infection.  This is not true; it is behavior, not orientation, that puts people at a higher risk. 

    If you aren’t a tree-hugging hippy, you understand that your job as parent is to overrule your children when they make self-destructive choices.

    “Tree-hugging hippy”…you really do a good job at defining your character here.

    As a parent my job is to overrule my children when they make self-destructive choices.  Agreed.

    Choose to do drugs = bad, overrule
    Choose to smoke = bad, overrule
    Choose to to be promiscuous = bad, overrule
    Choose to drop out of school = bad, overrule
    Choose to be gay = ???  Being gay is not automatically bad…it may not even be a choice…

    Now, if you really want to be straight, understand this obvious statement: being gay does not automatically cause someone to be AIDS infected or automatically make one promiscuous.  Being gay does not make a person deserving of “reeducation”.

  25. So…every gay person is promiscuous.

    Just like every black person is a criminal, every Mexican is illegal, every atheist is evil and every Christian is a bible thumper.

    I find a mentality like that far more dangerous than homosexuality.

    Anyway, promiscuity isn’t the point here, the point is whether Zach’s rights are being violated. While you certainly seem to be under the impression that anyone under 18 not only has no rights, they also can’t think and decide for themselves, I can guarantee that many courts would see otherwise. No, I can’t cite specific court cases, but there have been instances where, when a minor’s decisions clash violently with their parents’, the courts have ruled that a minor’s rights are being violated.

    Usually this happens when the minor’s life is jeopardy, and that isn’t the case here. But while sending Zach to that camp probably won’t kill him, it still isn’t right. The parents are sending him the message that there is something wrong with him, something worth revoking their love for him over. Would you tell your daughter, if she started smoking, that you won’t love her unless she quits? If having total control of your kids is worth that then I’d have to question your parenting skills.

  26. As a parent I completely understand going to unreasonable lengths to protect my child.  We parents are a little bit nuts about it.  You’d jump between your child and a grizzly bear without a moment’s thought – that’s what you’re there for. 

    With perceived behavioral dangers, there are many “experts” telling you what to do.  If you can’t dope out the right response on your own, you’ll have to pick one, as Zach’s father apparently did.

    For that reason, not every intervention a parent might choose is wise, and not every parent has the knack of dispassionate analysis.  I know there were times when I did not.

    I’d say both the Wiccan parents mentioned upthread, and the Christian parents, are within their rights to teach their kids about their faith and even to tell them it’s the only correct faith if that’s what they think. 

    But if the “De-gayification” camp includes sleep deprivation, social isolation, or verbal/physical abuse that crosses over the line of violating the child’s autonomy in a big way.

  27. What are some of the best ways to catch the virus which causes AIDS?

    > Becoming homosexual is a great one

    Uber already addressed that—it’s the behavior, not the orientation.

    > Become an intrevenous drug user: also a very effective way to expose yourself to HIV

    Only if you’re sharing needles with other people.  New, sterile needles, or even previously used and re-sterilized needles that one has only used on ONESELF have ZERO chance of exposing one to the HIV virus unless it’s already present in one’s own body.

    > Being promiscuous works too

    I and most of the people I grew up with pretty much indiscriminately fucked our way through the early 80s until AIDS finally came to public attention in a big way, and as something other than “gay cancer” or “gay bowel disease.”  Nary a one of us has been exposed to HIV.  In light of the warnings about HIV/AIDS that “when you have sex with someone, you’re having sex with everyone they ever had sex with,” as promiscuous as we all were, after sleeping with what amounts to thousands of people, we were either extremely lucky, or those condoms we were using actually prevented any of us from being infected with HIV (or any other STD).

    The point is that even though there are undoubtedly certain behaviors that carry a higher risk of infection, there ARE in fact ways to engage in those behaviors, while minimizing the risk.

    I don’t know what to say about Zach.  While his parents are, I guess, within their legal rights to send him to a hellhole like Love In Action, they’re alienating their son and I don’t blame him for taking whatever measures he’d like to publicly out them as the shitty parents they are – whether that’s suing them, getting himself emancipated or simply writing a book about his experience at LIA and warning other gay teens with fundy parents to stay the fuck in the closet until they’re 18 and no longer subject to their parents’ ideas of what’s “good” for them.

    What happens when he gets out of this camp and is still gay (which he WILL be)?  What else will his parents put him through to “cure” him?  Enough to drive him to suicide?  I’d hope he can fake his way through the next couple years until he can get away from his insane parents but if not, and he DOES kill himself, they have no one to blame but themselves, for their gullibility and their caring more about a bunch of superstitious nonsense than their own child’s mental well-being. If anything like that happens to that kid, I hope his parents live with crippling guilt, emotional agony and never have a moment’s peace til the day they die.  Couldn’t happen to more deserving parents, IMO.

    If you love your God and your Bible more than your own flesh and blood, LIVING, REAL kid, something’s terribly wrong with you – and you shouldn’t breed.

  28. Everyone seemed to agree on that when it was parents raising their kid as wiccan.  Why the sudden change of heart, everyone?

    The difference is that we don’t want teachers and lawmakers telling us that we can’t teach our children our religion, not that our children shouldn’t have any say in the matter themselves.  It’s a BIG difference.

    I think that the high degree of promiscuity in the gay community is fostered by their persecution.  Though gay culture has changed a lot in the last 20 years, and I expect the degree of promiscuity has diminished as they’ve been able to settle down and make families.

    AIDS is now spreading faster among heterosexuals than gays right now.  Many heteros engage in anal sex as well, and it’s often unprotected because you can’t get preggers in your butt.  As others have said, the real problem is irresponsability in general.  The parents would be far better off encouraging him to be careful no matter whether he sleeps with women or men.

    Also—
    Of course, it’s easy to prevent AIDS:
    >Don’t have unprotected sex until you and your partner have both been tested
    >Only sleep with people you trust and know to be HIV-negative
    >Don’t share needles

    As for “most cultures” (WTF do you mean?  I would never sleep with a man unwilling to use a condom, and most women I know agree…so I don’t see men getting too much action without one.):

    What makes you think that encouraging monogamy would work any better than encouraging condom use in those cultures?

  29. you are all wrong! haha i’ve always wanted to start a comment like that. but no, seriously, i feel bad for this kid. but he forgets… his parents can’t FORCE him to do shit! Sadly, thats what i had to do to my folks when i was 17. they were oppressive christians as well. they have the right to do whatever they want, i suppose.

    repeat after me, Zach:
    “Fuck you mom, Fuck you dad! I’m out!”

    I then proceeded to make a life for myself. I traveled, saw a lot of different cities, and met a lot of different people on my own, and realized i should’ve left those sorry fucks when i was 13!

    sure, my dad tried to stop me, i’ve been chased down by hoardes of “friends” from church+1 cop car, had my car stolen by a PASTOR “for my own good” (i.e. trying to stop me from escaping), but eventually they caught on. or i ran faster.. i don’t know

    zach, are you just gonna sit there and let the world shit on you or get up and leave the toilet?

  30. A couple of people have been trying to draw connections between raising your kids with your religion and sending them to this camp.  It would be a good point, except that they’re not really parallel.

    Zach’s parents have raised him Christian.  Nobody has interfered with their raising him Christian.  He has broken with their version of Christianity, at least a little, by accepting his homosexuality.

    They are legally allowed, as parents, to punish him for what they see as bad behavior.  They can ground him, they can spank him, they can tell him he’s going to go to Hell if he acts on his gay impulses, and they can tell him they want him to go to that camp.  However, they are not allowed to do significant harm to him; there are laws against child abuse.  Sending him unwillingly to a place in which suicide is preferred to acting naturally certainly seems to fit the bill to me.

  31. Welcome to Satanist reeducation camp.  Rules: Ritual sodomization will take place before every meal, just after the chicken sacrifices.  Do NOT use the chickens in the pen labeled ‘food’ for the ritual bestiality.

    Nowiser, are these good Christian Satanists we’re talking about here, or Axis-of-Evil Satanists?

    …She tells of an interesting ruling by the Ayatollah Khomeini concerning chickens you’ve had sex with, a practice permitted so men would not vent their urges in illegal ways, on women. Are you allowed to eat such chickens? No, said the Ayatollah: Neither you nor your next-door neighbour may eat the chicken, but the family two doors down is allowed to do so. One envisages a lively local street traffic in chickens.

    – from Reading Lolita in Teheran, by Azar Nafisi.

    Coincidence?  I think not.

  32. Sometimes I wanna be gay just to piss off people like this!

    Truthfully it isn’t as easy as it looks on TV and is mostly done with mirrors and scaffolding. You’d be better off learning some easier Bi tricks. Those can be executed quite easily and typically require fewer assistants.

    I’m an expert. You’d better leave the hard stuff to trained individuals like me.

  33. Truthfully it isn’t as easy as it looks…

    Hardly anything is!  Being straight is not without its challenges, but since most people are straight I could be fairly inept at it and still manage to establish relationships. 

    I have often wondered if that would be the hardest part of being a closeted minority, dividing the set of potential partners by one’s natural shyness (or other challenge) and then dividing that set by the relative rarity of one’s persuasion.

  34. Part of this seems to be with ‘age of majority’.  While I can not agree with the place Daryl stands, and how he uses the law, he is right in the fact that there has to be a point where a person is considered a child, and therefore the responsibility of the parent/guardian.  However this power is not without restriction: you may set a curfew, but may not enforce it with a bloody beating.

    Would anyone argue with the fact that there has to be a legally defined age?  I’m not asking do you agree with the age as it stands, but do you think there should be a point before which a parent can say no?  If the methods used before that age are cruel then society steps in- the parents right is not unlimited. 

    Zach’s story saddens me, let no one think I believe him wrong.  I hope he has the strength of mind to be ‘him’ when he is fully grown and mature, and not scarred by his parents.

    However if a parents attempt to ‘convert’ a gay child was done in a gentle and loving way would we still belive the child should be away from that parent?  If so should we remove a child who is taught to deny scientific facts on the basis of a religeous belief system?

  35. If you read carefully upthread, Last, you will see that most of us support the parent’s right to teach their beliefs or to try to pursuade the child.  The problem is abuse – most of us are against that.

  36. Does anyone know what’s happened to this lad since?

    (I haven’t yet read his own blog, which I am just about to do. It’s on MySpace, so I’ll have to breathe deeply first. Can’t stand MySpace.)

  37. It’s four years out since his parents sent him to that re-education camp. Is Zach okay? Rumor is out on the internet that he suicided and I found no confirmation of that.

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