Monday, August 13, 2007

Geh wie ein Cowboy

Some of you know that a German TV crew trailed me for about a month filming me in my home, in NYC, at the Ex-Gay Survivor Conference and at shows in Connecticut and California. Michael Heussen, the TV correspondent from ARD TV saw the film, But I'm a Cheerleader, a few years back and had been fascinated by the ex-gay story ever since.

Although I learned no German during my experience, I enjoyed getting to know Michael and the various cameramen and sound guys.

Sunday night on German prime time national TV, ARD aired its piece about the ex-gay movement. In it they show bits of interviews with Alan Chambers, Michael Bussee, some folks at the Exodus conference and me (see me in my backyard among the flowers and in Times Square).

You can see the 7 min + clip on-line (link on the bottom left of the page). If you do, you may be able to figure out what Geh wie ein Cowboy has to do with me.

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At 3:02 PM , Blogger Bruce Garrett said...

I had to Babel Fish it: "Go like a Cowboy." Eh? I guess I need to see the piece...

At 9:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey cowboy! You're just as interesting in German as you are in English.

Good show, what little I could understand.

At 8:26 AM , Blogger Alex Resare said...

I wonder if the cowboy walk instructions changed after the success of Brokeback Mountain...

At 3:21 PM , Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

My buddy from GCN UK_Canuck did a little translation. He wanted me to let you know that he is purely amateur at it (but is looks great to me)

Nobody turns to look if men hold hands. Openly lived gay culture is everyday life in the New York Village. Here homosexuals fought 40 years ago with the police - for their rights, for their equal rights, against discrimination. The Village is the historical foundation of the gay movement. But Peterson had to fight very hard, indeed against himself, in order to live an unencumbered gay life. As a fundamental Christian, his own homosexuality was contrary to what he believed. "I knew already as a child that I was different. My parents probably suspected that I was gay, approximately at the same time that I became a born-again Christian. They were more concerned about that than about me being gay."

“To be gay and to be Christian just doesn’t go,” say the fundamentalist churches in the USA. Whoever has gay inclinations has to pray them away. This movement is called Exodus, the way out of homosexuality. Jeff Buchanan achieved heterosexuality with Bible study. In the meantime he married Angela. “There are temptations now and then but a lot less than there used to be. These homosexual thoughts do not affect me any longer." The success ratio of Exodus is small, however. Not even a third of the participants achieve it.

Peterson Toscano is convinced that Exodus is dangerous; that the attempts to change cause more harm than help. In a [re-education] camp he was supposed to change his clothes and his hairstyle, he was supposed to change the way he walked. “After I had spent more than 30,000 dollars and had therapy on three continents, I came home one day completely exhausted and thought to myself, “What the hell am I doing? This is crazy.” It was like waking up from a coma. The people of exodus act like experts. Many, who hope for healing of their homosexuality, believe everything they’re told."

Peterson now wants to help others that are referred to the clutches of Exodus. He invited all ex-gay survivors, as they call themselves, to a conference in opposition to the ex-gay movement. They can learn how one can be gay and nevertheless lead a godly life. Michael Bussee co-founded Exodus 30 years ago but came back out of it because he found the methods of the organisation questionable. Today he participates in the ‘counter’-conference: “One day a young man came to me. He explained that he’d had anonymous sex and felt so guilty afterward that he mutilated himself. At that point I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t preach against homosexuality anymore if it causes such damage.”

One small success that the gays can claim: Exodus has promised to cancel their re-education programme for youth, at least. Peterson, however, wants more: he demands that gays are finally tolerated in all of America’s churches.

Caveat: I'm not a translator so, I dare say that with the double translation - first into German and then back again - Peterson might not even recognise his own words. I make no warranty as to its accuracy.

At 3:49 PM , Blogger nr davis said...

It's the truth in any language: Exodus is dangerous.

You rock, Peterson.

At 7:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting up with the camera for so long :-)

Gosh, I love our public TV. Most of the time. :-)


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