Meeting Report

Jan 8, 2010

Ted Cox
Turning Gay People Straight

Ted Cox is a freelance reporter, many of whose articles are published in the Sacramento News & Review. As a freelancer, he gets to decide when a subject interests him enough that he spends countless hours investigating, then writing about it. That’s how it happened that he went undercover to see for himself how gay people might be turned straight.

Thirty-two of us listened and watched raptly, as Mr. Cox gave his presentation, What I Learned at Straight Camp. In the talk, he revealed the religious rationale for homosexuality (although God made everybody straight, some people choose to be gay due to sinful outside influences), the methods employed by the “therapists,” (most of them unspeakable, but many involving aversion therapy—pain), and the supposed success rate of the “therapy.”

Mr. Cox had an impressive number of visuals, which he presented via his laptop computer. He also enticed five male members of the audience to demonstrate one of the (non-painful) kinds of “straightening” therapy, which was having men embrace each other. I know this sounds bizarre, but the rationale for this therapy is that young males who did not experience normal fatherly love as children tend to turn gay; and this condition can be reversed in adulthood if a father-substitute embraces the “patient” in certain prescribed ways for a prescribed length of time.

Well, one of our demonstrators said it all: “This is the gayest thing I’ve ever done!”

The bottom line, though, is the question: Does it work? Do electric shocks and other painful aversion activities have an effect? Does being embraced by another man help?

By way of an answer, Mr. Cox closed his presentation with a quote from a leading light in the “Straight Camp” movement—a man who is married with several children, and who is a minister who seemingly was transformed from an active gay man into a true-blue family guy. This man says he is still attracted to men all the time, and that the only way he stays “straight” is by praying to Jesus every morning, as soon as he wakes up.

So it seems that, in the end, the most that can be done to “cure” a gay person is to make him feel guilty about his “lifestyle choice,” so that he behaves “straight.” Is this a cure or a manmade hell on earth?

Thank you, Ted Cox, for your enlightening presentation. I’m sure we will hear more from you in the future.

Report prepared by Roger Zabkie

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