Monday, July 02, 2007

What a week in the Ex-Gay World!

It has been a whirlwind! Do a Google News search on ex-gay and you get scores of article written in the past week. We had the LA Times article which announced that Alan Chambers doesn't believe anyone truly changes their orientation. Then all the fallout from that by folks who disagreed.

Then we had the big news with a press conference sponsored by Beyond Ex-Gay and Soulforce where three former Exodus leaders came forward to issue a public apology. That story got picked up by the LA Times, the Associated Press, CNN, tons of bloggers and papers all over the globe.

Then we saw some ex-gay survivors inviting Exodus leaders to dinner with some of them coming to listen.

Then we had the Ex-Gay Survivor Conference with a powerful Chalk Talk, interactive workshops and some powerful healing and networking. You can see photos here.

Then after some spectulation Morgan Fox at the QAC confirmed that after two years of activism the Love in Action Refuge program (for participants under the age of 18) has officially closed.

Phew, I need to catch my breath. Can there possibly be more? Well, can there? Hmmmm.

I left LA on Saturday night after the Ex-Gay Survivor Conference Closing Gala and hoped on the red-eye to Minneapolis. Then my new buddy, Kathy, picked me up and drove me to the University of Wisconsin in River Falls for the Friend General Conference (Quaker) yearly gathering. The morning I arrived (was that only yesterday???) I kicked-off a 6 day workshop with a group of 21 high school students. It's called Looking In/Looking Out. We will spend time explore ourselves--personalities, interests, passions, fears, etc and then look out at the world to the needs and beauty around us. Lots of art, theater, discussion, movement and worship.

After all the activity, these young people really help to ground and center me. I mean after a week of cameras and microphones and conference organizing, it grounds me when a teen turns to me with their major concerning being "Wait, aren't having snacks!"

It's great to be among Friends, but I also feel sad that I had to leave so soon after having such a deep experience with so many other survivors. I feel I am so connected to all of you who shared so much of yourselves in Irvine--Dee, John, Zion, Shawn, Worthie, Karen, Jaylen, ahhh, so many more.

But the lunch line just died down (Quakers have a major vice at these types of gatherings--We EAT a lot of food).

Thank you all for your comments and thoughts. I know Alex was away in Stockholm to see Rufus Wainwright (I am so envious!). But thank you all for all the ways you have walked with me through this week.

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At 6:55 PM , Blogger Alex Resare said...

I was very happy to have you by my side when I (we - you, me and Noa) listened to Rufus. He was so much better than I hoped and I had my hopes up in the sky. Ahh, what a night. He is...(looking for words, don't find anything worthy)

Glad to have you by my side, even if it only was in my thoughts.

At 8:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that I couldn't make the (I am so)Beyond Ex-Gay shindig. I had to spend the weekend on the dissertation: I had to prepare it for final submission on Monday morning and I was awaiting comments from my Chair to complete that. Thankfully, it's all finally done. Not that you care...

Have fun at FGC! Do the parents of these youngsters know that someone like you is facilitating???

At 10:03 PM , Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

Joe g. sorry we couldn't see you, but I understand. Today at FGC we used your name in vain (is there any other way) and I provided Quaker bloggers strategies for luring you out of your lair.

You ask: Do the parents of these youngsters know that someone like you is facilitating???

Yes, dear Friend, they know I am a Christian and they still trust me with their children.


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