Sunday, February 20, 2011

Guest Blog: What a Horrific Conference with a Horrific Message

Welcome Guest Blogger Christopher Jay Hall, who documents his experience at an anti-LGBT conference led by Exodus International called Love Won Out. Christopher is the Executive Director/Founder of the Central AZ Rainbow Education (CARE) and a member of the Steering Committee for the Human and Equal Rights Organizers (HERO).

Meg Sneed, Jason Hoppe, and Christopher Jay Hall
As many of you already know, I attended an anti-homosexual conference yesterday! Many of you may ask why, but the answer is quite simple. I truly believe the best way to have an intellectual conversation with those who have different views than us, is to try and understand where it is they are coming from. Unfortunately, their message made this impossible as they closed the conference stating that they were only here to serve the homosexuals and that compromise was out of the question. (Their words not mine)

The conference was well over nine hours long and nearly 90% of the messages delivered were filled with hate and untruthful “statistics” about the LGBTQ community. We must have compassion for their ignorance as we should never hate. I must admit it was very difficult to sit and listen without saying a word, but I remained true to my intentions in trying to truly understand their logic.

In my opinion, some of the most disturbing messages of the day included the following:

- It was hard for some of the speakers to grasp the concept of respect when it came to transgender issues. They said they were going to call a person by the way god intended them to be, not by what they wish. This really irked me especially the way it was presented and the audience laughed and agreed with every hateful word.

- Heterosexual couples have a life-long interest in their relationships which apparently homosexuals lack.

- 91% of women who identify as lesbian are apparently the way they are because of trauma from their childhood (67% sexual abuse). What is abuse? Are we considering verbal abuse, a small punch in the arm when we yell slug bug no slug backs, or simple birthday spankings? I mean… women all over the world are abused both homosexual and heterosexual. They also believe women are gay because of their relationships with men went sour. If this is the case, so many heterosexuals today would be gay as I don’t know any relationship that has not had its moments.

- In a healthy mother-daughter relationship, the child should want to be like her mother otherwise there may be worry for lesbianism. I know many heterosexual women who do not want to be like their mother and I know many lesbians who would like to be like their mother so the “facts” are a bit odd to me. I would think the best way to understand the LGBTQ community is to ask us of our cause and listen to the medical professionals who are telling them otherwise. The church states, even if we are proven to be born gay, they will keep their stance saying that we are not born perfect so the battle almost seems never-ending. Why don’t we focus on what makes individuals heterosexual? There is a thought!

-The gay gene is like any other gene that cause alcoholism, violent behavior, depression, etc. They are all unwanted genes that have a negative impact on our lives. Well, let me tell you, I am a happy homosexual who wants to be the way I am.                                                                                                                      

Although there were several other messages that ruffled my feathers, those were among the most absurd.

Fortunately, I fell within the age bracket for the youth portion of this conference so I got to listen in on what they are telling our youth. Apparently, there is no such thing as homosexuals as we are all broken heterosexuals. They told the youth that homosexual behavior is always a sin. People who believe they are homosexual are not the sin itself. The person is not an abomination rather their behavior is the abomination they must seek help in overcoming. They end by saying all sin is an abomination to god, but the youth were very intelligent and to some degree liberal. They were curious as to why our “sin” of homosexuality was a focus of the church when there are so many other sins within the church itself that are being ignored. The best question that left the presenters baffled was, “If it is bad to change one’s sex because it was god’s original intention to have us born the way we are, than why do we dye our hair, wear braces to “fix” our teeth, receive plastic surgery, etc. I was happy to see the amount of liberal individuals who attended, I am just saddened to see so many hurt souls who are forced to attend and the church feels they have no role in the high rates of suicide amongst our LGBTQ youth. What ignorance!

I can now say I have tried to understand the opposition and I can now speak against what I have always been against!

When I left the conference with the anti-homosexual philosophy behind me and our supporting LGBTQ community in front of us peacefully gathering to let these individuals know they are loved regardless of what they may have been forced to listen to, I felt as though I was going home. It was a feeling unlike any other. Thanks to all those who came out to show their disapproval in what these individuals were teaching.

While in attendance, I did gather some of the youth’s information so that I can later provide resources to them in the hopes of helping! This was truly an experience I will never forget. I was happy to have shared this expereince with some individuals that I admire within the community such as Meg Sneed and Jason Hoppe! What great individuals they are and you know what..... they too are gay! Hmm... who would have imagined such great people who identified as homosexuals too bad they are broken (ha).


  1. Good on you, Christopher! As a straight ally, understanding those who disagree with me is simultaneously my highest priority and my greatest challenge. Lately I've been so enraged by people who compare same-sex marriage to man-dog marriage that I can barely think straight. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for you to sit there and listen.

  2. Christopher -- Thank you for sharing this information! It was very proactive of you to observe this event and share your observations with others.