‘Ex-Gay’ Is Now a Legally Protected Sexual Orientation. That’s Good


Newly straight? Formerly gay? Congratulations, a judge just decided you’re a sexual orientation that cannot be discriminated against.

When the National Education Association in 2002 refused to provide a booth at its annual convention to the Virgina-based Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) — something about limited space — the group filed a complaint (three years later) with the D.C. Office of Human Rights, claiming sexual orientation discrimination. OHR sided with NEA, which prompted PFOX (like PFLAG, but not!) to sue.

They lost. Sort of.

While D.C. Superior Court Judge Maurice Ross sided with the NEA, concluding they can discriminate against groups that promote an anti-gay message, they cannot discriminate against ex-gays “just because,” since they are a protected class under the D.C. Human Rights Act. A protected class, that is, because of their sexual “practices” and “preferences” — a ruling that affords discrimination protection to basically any sexual group which, uh, specific practices and preferences. (Judge Ross’ definition, purposefully, loosens the definition of “sexual orientation,” though we won’t even get into what this means for guys who screw sheep.)


PFOX, for one, is elated. They even said so in a press release. With the lawsuit, getting booth space at NEA wasn’t really the goal. Rather, they were after court-sanctioned recognition of their position. And they got it.

“All sexual orientation laws and programs nationwide should now provide true diversity and equality by including former homosexuals,” says PFOX director Greg Quinlan in the release. “I have experienced more personal assaults as a former homosexual than I ever did as a gay man.”

And ya know what? We’re sort of excited for these guys. We think the ex-gay movement is quite bizarre, and the idea of pushing it on young people revolts us. But if rational adults believe they can change their sexuality, or at least deny it, more power to ’em. And let the law protect their rights the same way we demand it protect ours. Would we want a trade organization to be able to discriminate against homos for any reason? No. We wouldn’t want it to be allowed for heterosexuals, either. And with ex-gays, who operate somewhere in between, the rules should remain the same.

Just because, here’s an Italian ex-gay anthem “Luca era gay”:

(Illustration via)

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  • nikko

    The video: offensive, classic psycho-nonsense.

  • Loveher

    I refuse to even watch this video for fear I’ll conjure up enough anger to disrupt my entire summer bliss.

  • Chris

    I think it’s more important that people realize what “ex-gay” actually means. One who turns from their innate sexual desires, and not necessarily one who is converted from gay to straight.

    You may be all cutesy jokes and eye-rolling now, but if “ex-gays” become a protected class before the government (um, not to mention before gays and lesbians do), then that sends out a message that being sexuality is a choice, and all the hard work convincing the general population that formerly condemned methods such as “praying the gay away” is hurtful will be completely reversed.

    I could not think of a more devastating blow to our efforts as a community.

  • John K.

    That’s the thing…the guy in this article says he’s been assaulted more for being ex-gay than for being gay, but really he’s probably been assaulted more for being ANTI-gay. No one gives a shit if ex-gays decide they want to have sex with members of the opposite sex. What we care about is when they get in our face and tell us that WE should start having sex with members of the opposite sex because we are immoral.

  • Dave

    That’s actually not at all what the opinion says, though.

    The ruling was that it was incorrect for NHA to hold as a matter of law that ex-gays couldn’t be a protected class because they did not have an identifiable, immutable characteristic. And that part of the ruling is 100% correct: there’s no requirement that a group have an immutable characteristic to be a protected class.

    The ruling does not consider whether or not ex-gays *actually are* a protected class, though, because it doesn’t have to. The court is saying that they *might* be a protected class, because there’s no requirement of an immutable characteristic, but that whether or not they are a protected class is irrelevant to this case because NHA acted appropriately in barring an anti-gay group.

  • John K.

    Chris: I disagree. All this decision did was say basically that you can’t deny people housing, a job, or public accommodations for identifying as ex-gay. Also, hate crimes laws would cover ex-gays, just like they cover gays and straights. As I have argued from the gay perspective about these laws since the beginning, they are to protect people in areas that have or should have nothing to do with the political debate over gay rights. They simply allow people to live their lives and take advantage of the everyday commodities of life regardless of where they stand on these issues. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this.

    This case did NOT require that we allow ANTI-gay people or organizations to be treated equally or to be given the same public accommodations and what-not as gays. The judge allowed the NEA to deny PFOX the booth at their convention. To the extent that ex-gays try to condemn and harass gays, this suit does nothing to help them. It only allows them to escape spiteful retaliation against them in areas that have nothing to do with the debate.

  • Angel Ventura

    Ex-gay it’s all a sham and a fraud. You cannot change your sexua l orientation

  • Chris

    @John K.: You have a point John, but it’s hard to vouch for someone’s personal experience. I know a guy who’s gay, married to a woman, and “practices” homosexuality frequently and openly. Even though he most likely doesn’t consider himself ex-gay, I’m aware of the stories of his adversity, describing times where he’s gone out with former friends who put him down behind his back or thought there may have been some underlying motive in him marrying a female.

    From my understanding, he loves his wife, but prefers sex with men and prefers gay culture to mainstream culture. As different as his situation is, it’s actually pretty simple. And yet people still give him this look of “does she know?”

    Do I feel that “ex-gays” deserve special classification? Hell no. But I realize there is some discomfort with confronting gay people, as people in general tend to be rather judgemental.

  • Angel Ventura

    And what about “ex straight?”

  • Chris

    I made my last post before I got a chance to read Dave’s post and John K’s second post.

    I think I misinterpreted the article then, assuming that “ex-gays” are a protected class. But come on, look at the headline!

  • John K.

    @Dave: Excellent point. And, by the way, looking at it from this perspective, this might actually HELP the gay rights cause because it once again reaffirms the idea that a protected class need not necessarily be based on an immutable characteristic (e.g. religion), which has very often been the thing that allowed courts to escape classifying sexual orientation as a protected class.

    Basically, in court we need the qualifications for the standard and the facts about sexual orientation to line up. In other words, we need the characteristics of a protected class and the characteristics of sexual orientation to line up. Right now, many courts continue to hold that immutability is a necessary characteristic of a protected class, and then turn around and say that sexual orientation is not immutable. We spend most of our focus on trying to fit sexual orientation to the standard by proving that sexual orientation is immutable, but an equally viable solution is to move the standard to us by convincing courts that immutability is NOT necessarily a characteristic of a protected class, so it is irrelevant whether sexual orientation is immutable. We’ve had the most success by basically meeting in the middle, as in the California and Connecticut decisions which held that “immutability” itself was more loosely defined than previously held, in that while it may be possible to change sexual orientation, it is not reasonable for society to compel someone to do so by discriminating against one sexual orientation over another; it is enough a part of an individual that we should not consider it changeable even if it conceivably could be changed.

    All this to say, while this case does not move us toward the standard, it continues to move the standard toward us, which is just as good.

  • ChristopherH

    @Dave — Right on…

    @Queerty — Y’all REALLY missed the boat with this one. The court DIDN’T find that so-called ex-gays are a protected class. In fact, because the very notion of being ex-gay is intrinsically the rejection of an inherent characteristic, ex-gays CAN’T claim protected class status… for the most part, the court found that ex-gays can’t make the claim of protected class status… Except that in Washington D.C., the HRA is so broadly defined as to include practically anyone. Maybe you should have read the actual ruling instead of P-FOX’s press release.

  • John K.

    @Chris: What you described doesn’t sound like an someone who would consider himself ex-gay in the first place, just someone who is closeted.

    I must say though, I wish you wouldn’t refer to this as a “special classification” for ex-gays. That plays right into the hands of those who think that when sexual orientation is included in anti-discrimination laws that it is some sort of “special right” for us. This nothing special for ex-gays; it just acknowledges that punishing someone by violence or by denying him a job or by denying him housing for considering himself ex-gay is equally as bad as punishing someone in that way because he considers himself gay. This has nothing to do with the political debate, and it has nothing to do with ex-gays who are anti-gay and confrontational, and it has nothing to do with special rights.

  • John K.

    Christopher H:

    Is it your position that in, say, New Jersey where we have a law that protects people based on sexual orientation that if an ex-gay walked into a restaurant, and the manager or a waiter or someone happened to know that this person considered himself ex-gay that the restaurant can tell the person to leave because they don’t serve ex-gays? I don’t think so, and I should hope that not a single person in the gay community would think so. To this extent, I think ex-gay is definitely a sexual orientation that is and should be protected. Again, when it comes to giving ex-gays a booth at a convention so they can trash gay people, we’re talking about something completely different.

    I’m not taking issue with how you describe the court decision because I didn’t read it. It seems to me that Dave’s post is probably right on. But, I don’t think you should conclude that ex-gays can’t claim protected status based on Dave’s description of the court decision, even if 100% true.

  • Chris

    @John K.: I don’t know if you fully comprehended the example I was trying to make, but it may not be the best representation or I may not have made it clear enough.

    In any case, I understand what you’re saying John about “special classification” not applying in any sense to this situation.

    However, I’m slightly confused about the disregard of an “immutable characteristic” in considering protections. I understand that religion is one such example, but given that any mutable characteristics could be taken as grounds for protection, doesn’t that lead straight into the slippery slope argument?

  • amazingpenis

    Absolutely sick, but I think I understand: If this sort of behaviour becomes mainstream, everyone will realise how tragic it is, have pity on these “ex gays” and become more accepting of homosexuality.

  • terrwill

    To anyone who is gay and giving even the slimmest bit of credence to these asshats: Shame the fuck on you!! YOU ARE BORN STRAIGHT OR GAY: END OF DISCUSSION- YOU CAN NO MORE CHANGE YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION THAN THE COLOR OF YOUR SKIN BY “WISHING IT AWAY”. Any gay person who does not refute with a vengance these gays in denial are doing a grave injustice to every gay person in the world. We are denied benefits and equality because these creatans are able to plant the thoughts that we chose our orientation. You don’t chose to be male or female hence the success of the Woman’s equality movement in the early 1900’s, nor can you chose to be black or white hence the success in banning laws permitting racial discrimination. Anyone gives credence or acceptance to these “ex-Gays” is simply giving our enemenys more ammunition to allow discrimination against Gays to continue. And this asshat is assaulted more probably becasue he is sucking dick in dark crusing places where thugs prey upon the closeted and “bi sexual” persons…………….

  • Jenda Shyles

    If the whole point is to turn straight, why call yourself “ex-gay” ?

  • Dick Mills

    PFOX director Greg Quinlan in the release. “I have experienced more personal assaults as a former homosexual than I ever did as a gay man.”

    I seriously doubt that this jerk has ever been physically assaulted since declaring himself to be “ex-gay”. If he has, then I want proof. But, as is more likely the case, the vile, contemptible, anti-gay rhetoric that he uses as a weapon against us has made him a lightning rod for well-deserved, reasoned dissent as the form of blowback from the LGBT community. And, that is true of anyone who has ever taken a controversial stand on any political issue. The day that he fades back into obscurity, is the same day that any of those contrary opinions of his lunacy will end – and by virtue, any of the “assaults” that he claims to be suffering.

    But, what they really are hoping from this, is that they will be able to parlay this into invitations to spread their hate speech under the guise of “diversity training”. They want to FORCE the inclusion of their speakers (who are among the least tolerant, and most vocally anti-LGBT on the planet) in diversity tolerance programs. And NOT because they are being discriminated against, but because they want to spread their brand of intolerance of LGBTs.

    But, the one thing that this decision portends, is that they will not be able to succeed at that. The decision to deny their relief specifically states that excluding them based on their rabidly anti-LGBT political rantings, is perfectly sanctioned under law. They may crow about winning a big victory, but it is empty saber rattling in their delusional minds.

  • TomE

    Well that was one helluva disgusting video. I’m glad he’s not gay: Too fugly.

    So now, can we have him deported…or does he (still) live in “The Old Country”?

  • John K.

    @Chris: Perhaps, but there are other things like a history of discriminatory treatment based on the characteristic and the characteristic itself not affecting the person’s worth as a citizen or ability to function. Another example that might fit is veteran status. Beyond that, it would be a public policy decision (familial status, which is protected in some states, for example. A woman having two small children at home might literally have less time to spend on work, but employers still may not discriminate against them on that basis in some states because of the public policy decision to value family). It might be a slippery slope, but the slippery slope is an erroneous argument in the first place. The slope is only as slippery as we let it get.

  • John K.

    @terrwill: I think it depends what you mean by give them credence. I don’t believe they are really ex-gay, but I also think that no matter what their attractions, who they decide to have sex with (and that is certainly a decision) is no basis upon which to deny them employment, housing, or public accommodations or to commit violent hate crimes against them, just as I don’t think who people who have gay attractions (and I believe people are basically hard-wired with that attraction) decide to sleep with should be the basis for any discrimination or crime. To that extent, I believe ex-gay should certainly be considered covered under sexual orientation discrimination. The purposes of these classifications are to protect people from “punishment” in areas of life that have nothing to do with the political debate.

    Believe me, I think every organization that attempts to do ex-gay therapy should be shut down, but that doesn’t mean that people who choose to live their lives whatever way they see fit regarding who they sleep with (again, no matter what their hard-wired attraction is) should be punished in other unrelated areas of life. Obviously, once these people step into gay-bashing mode, their protections stop.

  • John K.

    @terrwill: By the way, I’m bisexual, so I don’t know if you were trashing the idea, but please don’t be a douchebag if you were.

  • John K.

    @Dick Mills: I agree, and to the extent that they want to do anti-gay training, they should not and I think will not be protected.

  • jason

    Ex-gay is not an orientation, it’s a belief. The judge clearly erred on this case.

  • jason

    Ex-gays are either gay men who have made a vow of celibacy or they’re bisexual men who have turned away from their same-sex attraction in their physical behavior.

  • Andrew

    Ex-gay. Or, how to pretend your straight while lurking shopping-mall restrooms on weekends. Yay!

  • terrwill

    John K: What Planet are you visiting from? Just curious. Because any intelligent being from Planet Earth should be able to clearly see that there are two factors here with the “Ex-Gay” tag. One you have a gay person in denial, or someone who is simply following an agenda. Two you have the right wing-nuts embracing these persons in order for posts like yours to materialize. You spew “ex-gay should be considered under sexual orienation discrimination” Discrimination laws are enacted to prevent people who have NO CHOICE IN THIER BEING A MEMBER OF A SPECIFIC GROUP FROM BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST. Women have no choice in their gender. African Americans have no choice in their skin color. Therefore there are statues enacted guaranteeing the majority who are not members of that class from discriminating against said class. Gay people have NO CHOICE IN THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION. We are born that way and therefore entitled to protections against those who would chose to discriminate against us based upon our orientation. Same as a woman should not be discriminated against based on her sex. And a Black person should not be discriminated against based on the color of their skin. Therefore these “Ex-gays” are either in denial about their true sexuality, or using this made up class to cast doubts about our sexuality being predetermined and therefore proping up the argument against entitliing us the protections granted under discrimination statues. Chances are your posts are subersive, if not and you are truly naive I hope that this explanation has enlightened you as to why these “Ex-gays” deserve no protections, credence or sympathy from anyone truly from the Gay community……………

  • jason

    Ex-gay is just a gimmicky term for men who have same-sex feelings but who have consciously decided to deny it or to avoid exercising them. Simple.

  • jason

    You are NOT born straight or gay only. You may also be born bisexual. In fact, I’d say most men are born bisexual in their orientation.

    If you’re bisexual in orientation, what happens when you grow up is up to you. You can decide to avoid same-sex behavior or you can decide to avoid opposite sex behavior. This doesn’t change your orientation, it simply means you have made a conscious decision to avoid one gender.

    If, as a bisexual in orientation, you lean heavily towards one gender, the decision is pretty much made for you. It is entirely possible that, without really “deciding”, it is satsifactory that sexualizing with that gender is sufficient to satiate your sexual needs. You are still bisexual in orientation but heterosexual or homosexual in behavior, depending on the gender with whom you reserve your sexual behavior.

  • DeAnimator

    Whatever. Let them, it’ll make their discriminatory arguments even weaker. Way to set a precedent that will eventually lead to your downfall, morons.

  • rudy

    The day I see big numbers of guys in same sex-marriages cheating on their husbands with women is the day I believe all these married queens getting their jollies in park bushes and men’s rooms are real bisexuals.

  • Everyone out there

    Wow this editor sucks if he would let a story like this be published.

    The fact is ex-gay people are being manipulated and guilted into being something they are not. I understand that we all want to be open minded, but the people pushing this are using the language of multiculturalism in order to destroy diversity and acceptance of LGBTQ people. They want us gone and they are smart enough to use our own rhetoric against us.

    As for that video, it’s offensive. He explains that he was gay because his mom was overbearing and his father distant! That is straight out of a 1950’s psychiatry textbook. It’s lies and stereotypes like this that we need to stop, not propagate.

    Do a better job Queerty to see through this B.S.

  • Friedrich


    “Discrimination laws are enacted to prevent people who have NO CHOICE IN THIER BEING A MEMBER OF A SPECIFIC GROUP FROM BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST.”

    So, you think that anti-discrimination laws should only apply to those groups where there is no choice in membership of that group? In that case, do you therefore believe that anti-discrimination laws should not apply on a religious basis? After all, in Western countries like the USA, freedom of religion and the ability to change one’s religion is guaranteed.

  • kelehe

    I guess this whole things means when I overcame all of the hetero expectation dumped on me in my youth, I am now an ex-straight.

  • terrwill

    FRIEDRICH: Actually I have issues with including Religion in discrimination laws. In their truest form originating from original intent in the Constitution any group seeking protection as a member of a class of which they have a choice of inclusion or not is subject to debate as to the inclusion of the protected class. This prevents members of a class or group from seeking protection as a way to enable discrimination of a true member of a protected class as defined by being a member of that class thru birth. Those seeking protections through creating or defining a class not determined thru birth should not be accomodated the same protections as those who are entitled to the protections as inclusion through birth. In less legalspeak here is the crux of what these “ex-gays” are seeking: To weaken the case for inclusion of gays in discrimination laws and denying equal protections for gays. Anyone who gives any credence to these “ex-gays” is basically bolstering the argument that gay persons should be denied any form of equal rights and be allowed protections granted thru anti discrimination and or hate crime laws…….There may be shits and giggles about the absurdity of these “ex-gays”, however make no mistake-this is a very cleverly designed movement by the extreme right wing-nuts to have a seriously negative impact on all aspects of gay life including marriage and or civil unions, hate crime legislation, housing and employment discrimination……….

  • Will

    That music video was hilariously lame but also kinda catchy. Although the guy contradicted himself – he said he didn’t look to psychologists or psychiatrists for the answer, and then he uses Freudian theories to back up his argument that being gay is unnatural. Freud was a douchebag.

  • Gary

    This is absolutely sickening, and Japhy, this couldn’t be further from “good news”.

    This just reinforces the lie that sexuality is a choice and we can change if we want.

    This will also now allow them to incorporate their evil bullshit into workplaces, schools, etc, working against us the entire time.

    This also makes a joke out of the entire definition of “sexual orientation”.

    Not to mention making a complete mockery of the likes of us.

    NOT good news Japhy – not at all.

  • robert

    Oh, so what exactly are the ex-gay “practices” and “preferences” protected from? I don’t care what people say, if a so called ex-gay, any oxymoron if ever there were, marries and has sex with his wife which I doubt, it doesn’t make him straight. Any gay male could do a woman if he had to, but it doesn’t make us straight. So can anyone explain what these practices and preferences are for the “ex-gay”?

  • sydneyfamous

    LOL @ PFOX.

    They gave out the flyers for PFOX at my school one time. Unbelievable shit right there.

  • M Shane

    @No. 30 · jason You’ve really been indoctrinated andtoo dense to realize; morover it’s too bad you don’t have the balls to go where your heart is. People may according to Freud be pansexual when born, it is not known weather their orientation to men or women is inborn or also developes before they are very concious. There is no Bisexual orientation. Because you can fuck women and even enjoy eating pussy does not make you straight. Sorry. The needs that you first recognize as your primary needs are the ones that are your orientation whether you get accustomed to pussy or not. It takes more courage to live as a gay person, but that’s what takes gumption. Go somewhere else and lie, apparently you’ve been doing it to yourself for a while.

  • jason

    M Shane,

    What about men who are equally oriented to men and women? What is their “primary” need? Simply put, these men disprove your notion.

    I find that gay men have been shockingly unsupportive of the concept of male bisexuality. Perhaps it’s because male bisexuality exposes the fraud of the gay rights movement. The fraud is this: the gay rights movement is based on a sex act, it has become a sex scene, and is steeped in sleaze.

    Rather than being about rights, the gay rights movement has become a sex club scenario with a political bent.

  • Amber

    I believe that no one should be discriminated against because of who they choose so sleep with. HOWEVER it is VERY WRONG to call these people ex-gay. That is like calling someone an ex-black because they chose to bleach their skin. Or an ex-blond because they dyed their hair. There is no such thing as an ex-gay, and it shows a very wrong understanding of sexual orientation.

    Now, some people may be gay and choose not to act on their impulses. Some people may be bisexual, and have a sliding scale of preference. Some of those people may opt to focus only on their 20% attraction to women or whatever they have, and ignore all of their other urges.


    I really think this needs to be talked about more, and that people need to be more educated about what bisexuality is and how it works. Gay is not something that can be cured and leave you wanting to have sex with women. These ‘conversions’ have nothing to do with actual gay people.

  • rudy

    @jason: “What about men who are equally oriented to men and women?”
    There is no scientific study of sexual arousal that shows such men actually exist.

  • robert


    Jason, you claim that ours is a life of sleaze. If you check you facts, you’ll probably find more straight swingers clubs across this country that far outnumber any such thing in our own community. Why aren’t you denigrating them? What about the philanderers, single or married and in the case of the married ones, the adulterers? One could argue that their lives are about sex now couldn’t we? Why aren’t you decrying that behavior first?. To state that the gay rights movement is a fraud is an outrageous statement and something about which you have NO knowledge. The problem with many so called “bi-sexuals” is that a lot of them don’t support our equality. Many of them are just liars who would deny their natural attraction to men if push came to shove. Marrying someone of the opposite sex (usually for cover) and in some cases having children doesn’t prove that one is straight. Any gay male could do that if he were so oriented or if he or she had to. So your argument is deeply flawed. You need to sort out just exactly who you are, you obviously seem to have a lot of problems conflicts with your own orientation and need to learn about acceptance. Get help, fast!

  • M Shane

    @No. 42 · jason I think that Rudy and Robert (above) pretty well responded to your challege. Why, if someone was ‘equally ‘ oriented to men and women, would they even bother to admit or examine the former(gay )option experientially. There is far too much guilt associated with being gay. With the onset of HIV , I decided to develope a taste for women–you can get used to horses if you’re persistent and imaginative enough. Being gay is much more complicated emotionally and requires a sharp mind . Any dildo can be straight. I'[ve run into many “bisexual” men who for convenience hook on to some dreary lesbian to hang out with under the pretense of having sex, but they strangely spend all of their time chasing men.

  • robert


    Jason, your claim that people are not born gay or straight. Have you asked a straight married man or a straight single man for that matter if they’ve ever had the urge to have sex with another male and their answer will be an overwhelming NO. Also, ask a straight male or woman when they CHOSE to be straight. You can’t ignore one’s inherent sexual orientation. If someone chooses to remain celibate and not act on those urges, it doesn’t mean they stop being gay or straight. I can remember as far back as the age of 7 that I was attracted to males. I had the perfect family setting, two loving parents and I can honestly say that neither of them was the more dominant force in my life which debunks the myth promoted by so called “ex-gay” ministries that having an overbearing parent causes a child to be gay. The feelings I had at 7 were as natural as eye color and I wasn’t bothered by it. My two other siblings turned out straight and always knew they were attracted to the opposite sex from an early age. So your reasoning about sexual orientation is dead wrong. Its been proven that the hypothalamus in gay men is significantly smaller than that in the straight male and may play a significant role in sexual orientation of the gay male. Read up on Simon LeVay’s research about that. The majority of what you call bi-sexual men marry the opposite sex to disguise their natural same-sex orientation. Most of them go through life in denial and in a way are deceiving their wives and their families, dishonest marriages if you will. I don’t find that to be a particularly very healthy way to live either.

  • B

    Jenda Shyles wrote, “If the whole point is to turn straight, why call yourself ‘ex-gay’?” The pragmatic reason is so that the people you know won’t be surprised when you later become an ex-ex-gay.

  • SanFranciscoJim

    Actually, there are lots and lots of bi men out there, I know dozens of them and am one myself. I probably prefer women slightly, but I have had long term relationships with both women and men. And yes, I took the easy way out and married a woman and had kids, so now my family is relieved that I am finally straightened out, LOL.

    I don’t cheat on my wife though we sure do have lots of anal sex. I hope I can say that on this forum. If we divorced I am not sure what would happen, but I notice as an older guy I get lots of attention from hot women and less from hot guys than I used to. But I can seriously swing either way.

    Does this make me “ex-gay”? No, most certainly not. I support gay rights, campaign for gay candidates and am a member of HRC and GLADD. But I guess some might think that.

  • Robert, NYC


    You are one of the few bi men who I respect. I’ve known a total of 7 personally who were not open with friends, girlfriends and family about their gay side. Not one said he could commit to a permanent male/male relationship. Three of them actually told me that kissing and romance are reserved for women, with men its just about sex. How superficial is that? Obviously they need help. It would, however, deter me from ever getting involved with a bisexual male unfortunately. I turned one down because of that, he couldn’t guarantee that he wouldn’t want to be with a woman again. My question to all bi men and women is this. If you were going to marry someone of the opposite sex, would you confide your bisexuality in them or say nothing and live a life of deceit or worse yet, cheat on your partner because of your same-sex urges and needs?

  • John K.

    @terrwill: Drop dead shithead!

    I am not an ex-gay apologist by any stretch of the imagination. I’m a board member of an organization that is starting up to try to do whatever we can to stop or limit what groups like Exodus International can do and to help people who are threatened with being disowned by their families for being gay in an attempt to coerce them to go to these evil camps. I am not saying that ex-gays are anything but confused and used and abused by their religions and their families. That’s not the issue. The issue is whether ANYONE should be denied a seat in a restaurant based on things like this, and in a civil society there’s no way they should!

    For the record, these protections are NOT only reserved characteristics that cannot be changed. Religion, military status, and familial status are often covered under these statutes. So don’t sit here and pretend to be a lawyer with someone who just graduated from law school and took the bar. And don’t patronize me.

    Ex-gay is an orientation insofar as it is a gay person who chooses not to have gay sex. That is a fact, whether they are foolish for tormenting themselves that way by suppressing their desires or not, the fact remains they are gay people who choose not to have gay sex, whether we like it or not. Why should we get to run their lives any more than they should get to run our lives? If you believe I should spitefully be able to throw an ex-gay out of my restaurant or fire a person simply for identifying as ex-gay and not because of any anti-gay actions they took in my restaurant or at my job site, you sound like an extremist, and I have never before said this to someone who generally shares my views on gay rights, but you make us look bad. Get a clue.

  • John K.

    terrwill: You’re just as bad as the religious extremists from what I can tell.

  • John K.

    @terrwill: RE: your argument that this is an attempt to undermine our argument for gays being included in these laws.

    It does not weaken the argument for anyone who has a brain that is capable of middle school level thinking. We lose nothing by including ex-gays in anti-discrimination laws, again, not extended to their ability to promote ANTI-gay views. That is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about simply identifying as ex-gay without being an activist about it.

    Now, perhaps for the stupid general public it could weaken the argument, but that’s the price we have to pay for actually being logical about this from a moral standpoint. I believe it is a moral imperative that gay people be covered under by these laws, and I believe it is a moral imperative to allow ex-gays to be covered because NO ONE SHOULD BE DENIED A JOB OR A SEAT AT A RESTAURANT BASED ON HOW THEY CHOOSE TO LIVE THEIR OWN LIFE, NO MATTER WHAT THEIR ORIENTATION IS OR WHETHER THEIR LIFE CHOICES ARE IN CONFLICT WITH THEIR ORIENTATION! ONE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE OTHER! The only reason for EXCLUDING ex-gays from these laws has nothing to do with the logic and morality of including them and everything to do with winning the political debate. You may be willing to sell out to win the political debate, but I’m not. Fair is fair. That’s what sets us apart from the religious extremists (or at least it’s supposed to).

  • John K.

    @Gary: Everyone here needs to grow a brain. I’m sorry.

    I’m usually with you all, obviously. I am a gay (technically bi, but who cares) man who feels very passionately about lgbt rights. You are all being just as bad as our opponents here with the scare tactics to score political points, and I’m calling you all out on it.

    This case will NOT allow them to infiltrate schools with their bullshit. The case went AGAINST them being able to have a booth at the NEA convention! They are simply covered in the cases where they are specifically targeted for discrimination based on being ex-gay. Why should a gay person that has gay sex be covered but a gay person that has only straight sex (or no sex) not be covered? Who are we to control their lives? Get a grip.

  • John K.

    @M Shane: You can drop dead too. I am bisexual. I was attracted to women first at the age of 10. I noticed attraction to men at the age of 11. I am much more attracted to men, but I can be unbelievably attracted to women. I am bisexual. I am not confused. I don’t go out of my way to get women, but if the opportunity arises with a hot woman, I will fuck the shit out of her and enjoy every second. This, by definition, makes me bisexual. Accept it and stop being a douchebag.

  • John K.

    I suppose by the discussions I’m hearing on here that soon we’ll be excluding people who identify as bisexual from these anti-discrimination laws because it might hurt the gay rights movement to include bisexuals.

    Everyone might think I’m some kind of ex-gay apologist or a plant or have some reservations or confusions about something. Make not mistake. I am a “militant” lgbt activist if there ever was one. This entire discussion makes me very uncomfortable with where we are at as a movement.

  • John K.

    I’m simply being realistic and not lying to myself or anyone else. That’s what we want people to do, right? Be honest? I am attracted to both men and women, and can enjoy sex with both immensely. Does that mean I will always have sex with both? No. I will probably end up with a man because I am attracted to men more. That does not change the fact that I am attracted to women as well. I may choose not to have sex with women after I settle down, but that doesn’t change my bisexual orientation.

    It’s a shame that the political debate has caused BOTH SIDES to descend into absurdity.

  • John K.

    @SanFranciscoJim: Thank God you are here!

  • John K.

    @Robert, NYC: I would tell my spouse/partner that I was bisexual.

    Look. I usually just call myself gay. It’s all that’s necessary most of the time. But, lately I’ve made sure to say that I’m technically bi, but pretty much gay, just in case I end up finding a woman that exceeds my attractions to men. I don’t think it will happen, but I don’t know everything.

    It makes me very angry when gay people tell me that I’m not bisexual because bisexual people don’t exist. Who the hell are they to tell me that!? It is so presumptuous.

  • John K.

    I think I’m gonna go start a new facebook group for most of you guys here: Gay and Narrow.

  • Robert, NYC

    @John K.:

    John, I respect that. However, I think its a lot easier telling one’s same-sex partner, hopefully with whom one would want to settle down with, that you are bisexual. However, in the straight world, most bisexual males dating a straight female would probably have a harder time revealing that part of their identity, especially when it comes to marriage and commitment. The majority of straights once learning that would probably not want the relationship to continue let alone take that important step to get married with that information in hand. I for one could not consider having such a marriage to a man who “may” not be able to settle down because of the opposite sex attraction, no matter how strong that attraction may or may not be. I’ve met a lot of bi-sexual married men who never told their wives about their other side while straying with men for fear of not only rejection but for the financial loss that would arise and the stigma associated with a gay orientation. I would find it very difficult to live with the guilt and the dishonesty, living an actual lie. That’s just me, not a generalization or condemnation and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

  • John K.

    @Robert, NYC: But you can settle down with a man who “may” not be able to settle down because he might not be able to give up sex with other men, right? I’m sorry, but you are not making much sense here. Obviously, if an individual person– gay, straight, bi, whatever– is not able to make a commitment to marriage because they cannot handle monogamy, you have every right to decline to marry or have a relationship with that person. However, to single out bisexuals as people who can’t settle down is silly. Anyone who commits to marriage has to sacrifice their ability to sleep with other people, and that is the same no matter what orientation you are.

    I do agree that there is still a stigma out there about bisexuals, and that it would generally be easier to confide in a same-sex partner than an opposite-sex one. However, the reason there is even an issue about disclosing such a fact is attitudes like yours. You do the same thing with bisexuals that so many straights have done with gays over the years: assume that we are all sex-hungry whores that have no interest whatsoever in settling down with one person, male or female. And it arises out of the same lack of understanding of bisexuals that straight people have of gays.

  • Robert, NYC

    @John K.:

    John, there are no guarantees that a man or woman won’t stray while married, gay, straight or bi for that matter,I grant you that, given the fact that one in two straight marriages fail either through adultery or financial reasons or whatever. The problem with the stigma of sexual orientation today is that a lot of people aren’t out of the closet, bisexuals and gays alike, although I think gays have a better record on that. If more of that were to occur, I dare say that much of the stigma associated with it would gradually dissipate among straights in particular. A lot of friction exists towards bisexuals among some gay people because many bi’s are loathe to admit their gay side and I suspect is one of the reason why they can’t be honest when embarking on a relationship with the opposite sex. In fact some don’t even acknowledge it because they are attracted to the opposite gender, so in their reckoning, gay doesn’t apply to them. I fail to understand the disconnect and the refusal to acknowledge their gay side, unlike yourself. I’ve not met many like you either. I take it you reveal your bisexuality to women you are interested in? What is the reaction?

  • GirlyQ

    @Robert, NYC

    I always, always tell my partners that I am, in the most technical sense, bi. Sometimes online and such I identify as lesbian, just because it’s easier to say that than “I am attracted to one man in 100,000.” But with my partners? ALWAYS the truth.

    I don’t think it’s fair to ask a bi person to never be attracted to someone of the opposite sex in order to be in a relationship with you, anymore than it’s appropriate to ask a gay person never to be attracted to a member of the same sex in order to be with you. Monogamy is monogamy, but attraction just can’t be contained.

  • Robert, NYC

    GirlyQ, its far easier for bisexual to admit it to a straight male because many straight men are titillated and aroused knowing their girlfriends get it on with other women and love watching and participating with them. Conversely, it is mainly the bi men who have more conflicts because coming out to a lot of straight males will often be met with revulsion and in many cases, rejection. To many straight men, the thought of having anal intercourse with women is thoroughly acceptable but when its two males, not even among a lot of bi men. Why is it that a lot of bi males find romance and kissing someone of the same male gender improper and reserved only for females, yet think totally the opposite when its two females, just like many straight men do? I find it hypocritical to say the least, a classic case of a double-standard, bordering on if not bigotry.

  • jason

    Robert, NYC,

    It’s called the bisexual double standard. Unfortunately, women have contributed to it. Women are sellers, not buyers. They use their sexuality as a marketing ploy. You can see this in their clothes (compared to men, it’s more revealing) and you can see it in the notion of bisexuality (using their so-called bisexuality as a marketing ploy whereas men often get derided for expressing theirs).

    In a nutshell, women exploit double standards in order to get preferential treatment for themselves.

  • Robert, NYC

    Jason, good points and I also think its a double standard on the part of straight males too who are more accepting of bi women than they are of bi men. Bi women are potential conquests to many straight males and explains why they’re no revolted by female on female sex and kissing. Its a combination of not only the double standard but of hypocrisy and bigotry.

    Chris, don’t fall into the right wing trap when they claim that religion is immutable and a protected class that they support. The fact of the matter is, religion IS NOT immutable. NOBODY comes into this world religious, its all learned behavior that many of us reject later in life as we mature. Homophobia is a by-product of it, people are taught to hate as evidenced throughout history especially where you find religious cults holding power, it is they who institutionalized it to this very day. Anyone can CHOOSE not to believe or believe or change a religious belief system for another. That alone proves that it is not immutable, unlike our orientation. Refraining from same sex relations doesn’t make one straight either. Has anyone ever proved that straights can convert to a gay orientation? I don’t think so nor do I know of any ex-straight scam organizations.

  • GirlyQ

    @Robert, NYC

    Actually, I was thinking more about telling women. Because while men generally have no problem with it, women usually HATE that I am ever attracted to men, and refuse to date bi women. Even though I am much more often attracted to women, lesbians are always afraid that I’m going to leave them for a man, and some refuse to date bi women. Bi men get it from both sides, which totally sucks, but bi women get it from lesbians as well. Can’t we all just get along??

  • Robert, NYC

    GirlyQ, not a problem. I for one, having had first hand experience with bi men, four in fact, would never date another one. I have a few for friendship now but that’s as far as it goes. None of the four I dated were interested in a permanent relationship, just a casual affair as and when it suited them, too unstable for me personally. I’m not saying there aren’t gay men or women just like that, but out of four men, I would have thought one would have had some stability and interest in sustaining an ongoing relationship. Three of them are now in long-term relationships with women. I wonder if they’ve been honest with them? That’s in the past now, I’m now in a longterm relationship with a wonderful guy, almost 17 years now and it gets better by the day. Oh, and he’s definitely not bi.

  • skye

    I just wonder if anyone in the “ex-gay” community has heard of bisexuality, or pansexuality for that matter. I mostly feel attracted to women, but I’m with a man now, does that make me “ex-straight”? Of course not, I just like both. Their movement seems to be fueled by fear and ignorance.

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