November 23rd, 2009 by Admin
Here is the speech given by Enid Jackowitz at the Stand Up Florida rally this weekend in West Palm Beach
I am honored to be here today as the proud mother of a gay son and a PFLAG mom.
When my son came out over twenty years ago I had a very hard time accepting that he was gay. Back then I thought being gay was a choice. I didn’t know it then but I was filled with homophobia. A word I didn’t know but one I would become very familiar with. Thankfully I found a wonderful therapist and as I began educating myself, I learned that what I knew about homosexuality was tinged with half-truths and misconceptions. Over the years I went back to school and became a psychotherapist. Now I specialize in Gay & Lesbian issues.
One of the things I’ve learned is that we can change many things about ourselves—like the color of our hair, or with contact lenses even the color of our eyes, and with surgery we can change the shape of our nose.
But, what we can’t change is our sexual orientation. That is part of our fundamental nature. And that is what these reparative therapy groups try to do. The reality is if someone is gay, he or she is gay. No matter how hard you try, you can’t change a bird into fish because you don’t like the song it sings. You might teach a bird to swim, But eventually it will fly; that’s what birds do.
To purposely try to change someone who’s gay into someone who‘s straight by attempting to change his or her natural sexual orientation is not only psychologically damaging, it’s downright Orwellian. And why is this done? For what purpose —To make gay people “straighter” and therefore more acceptable to mainstream society.
These “reparative therapy” programs persist, even though organizations like the American Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological Association, and the National Association of Social Workers, almost ½ million mental health professionals have rejected and discredited their position.
There is nothing wrong with our children. They do not need to be cured or changed. Homosexuality is not the problem in our world today. Homophobia is—and it’s not a gay problem. It’s society’s problem.
Knowing personally as well as professionally how difficult the coming out process can be for both parents and gay children I wrote a book to help parents through the coming out process.
The book is called, The Rest of the Way.
The title comes from an ancient story about a king and son who had a major disagreement. The son, feeling angry and misunderstood, gathered his belongings and departed his father’s kingdom and settled in a distant land. After many years had passed, the king, missing his son greatly, sent word for his son to come home. Although time had healed some of the pain, the son could not bring himself to return to his father’s kingdom. So he sent word that he would not come because it was too far to travel. The king then sent this reply to his son: “Then come as far as you can, and I will meet you the rest of the way.”
Isn’t it time for all of us to travel the rest of the way and end homophobia NOW.
Acceptance Changing Sexual Orientation ex gay ministries ex gay therapy Gay Lesbian harassment Homophobia PFLAG Stand Up Florida rally