ONTD Political

US student forced into ex-gay therapy

7:55 pm - 07/20/2009
A gay pre-med student from Arkansas has been "forced" into therapy to cure him of homosexuality.

According to his friends, Bryce Faulkner, 23, was preparing to come out to deeply religious family when his mother discovered emails to his boyfriend, who lives in Wisconsin.

He was then given an ultimatum of being kicked out on the street or going into ex-gay therapy, a controversial "cure" for homosexuality through prayer.

Gay rights activists say it does not work and can be emotionally devastating.

Friends say the college student was left with no choice, as his parents took away his phone, his car and his money.

Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk, his boyfriend Travis Swanson, 24, said he was "very worried".

Swanson said: "Bryce was taken to this place on June 15th. The last time I spoke with him was on that day around 4:30am.

"He called me and was crying uncontrollably saying, 'You should have heard the mean and hateful things they said about me. They made me read out loud passages from the Bible'.

"One of the last things he said to me before falling asleep was, 'Promise me you will be strong for me and for us'."

Swanson believes Faulkner may be at an Exodus International ministry in Florida.

He said a friend of the family had heard Faulkner would be in Mississippi for three weeks and then in Florida for 14 months.

Exodus International has six ministries and 16 churches in Florida. Swanson believes Faulkner may be at one in Pensacola.

The church movement promises "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ".

Peterson Toscano, who has campaigned against so-called homosexuality 'cures' after spending 17 years in ex-gay therapy, told PinkNews.co.uk: "Like in the UK, so much of the ex-gay treatment in the US these days, especially for young people, happens under the radar through Christian counsellors, church youth programs and summer camps.

"Parents can wield tremendous pressure on college-aged children, threatening to withhold funding or even to disown their own children unless they submit to the 'de-gaying' process.

"Through the over 1,000 ex-gay survivors in the US and UK I have met through www.beyondexgay.com and in my travels, I have seen firsthand the devastating emotional, psychological and spiritual damage these 'treatments' and theories inflict on people, often derailing their personal and professional development for years.

"The fruits of these so-called treatments are depression, confusion, isolation, and a damaged sense of self. When parents insist that their child receive these unsound and unregulated procedures, they not only harm their relationship with their own child, but also open up their son or daughter to the potential of personal harm."

To support the campaign to find Bryce Faulkner, visit savebryce.ergonomicalministries.org
recorded 21st-Jul-2009 04:32 am (UTC)
I think I just know way too many people who have been cut-off and are managing just fine, so I can't feel like this guy had no options here.

I go to a community college, so a large portion of the students are financially independent.
haruhiko 21st-Jul-2009 06:42 am (UTC)
Dude, I got cut off by my father for being gay and had to leave an Ivy League school because of it, and yes, despite having to "settle" for a community college I am doing just fine.

But you know what? That doesn't mean that using the threat of "LOL NO MORE TUITION MONEY OR TRANSPORT FOR WORK/SCHOOL FOR YOU" to control your adult child's life isn't emotional abuse. Being jerked around and having your LIFE PLANS RE. UNIVERSITY/DEGREE/POSSIBLE FUTURE JOBS abruptly, maliciously, and negatively altered by the people who raised you is not right, no matter how old you are and how independent you are.

I would also add that in many cultures/families, 18 is just a number. Family are supposed to look out for each other no matter their disagreements with each other, and not go around needlessly fucking up another family member's life plans. Which is why in my traditional Korean family, many of my traditional, not-so-gay-friendly relatives were/are still appalled and disgusted that my dad basically forced me to leave an Ivy League school over my sexuality.

Get a fucking clue and get off your holier-than-thou high horse.
phoenixwish 21st-Jul-2009 09:31 am (UTC)

Especially since the med students I know are all counting the days until they can get out and help people, I can imagine caving in to your parents not only because you love them and they can seriously fuck with you, but also because you are thinking of all the lives you can save.

And hey, in the US sometimes TWO jobs is not enough to get by on.

recorded 21st-Jul-2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
I never said the parents werent dickweeds.

My main complaint here is "that kid had options." Were they tough? Yes, but he CHOSE to go to that exgay camp :/
keeperofthekeys 21st-Jul-2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
I agree.

Not to put down community colleges, but med schools are politically and academically vicious. Since applications typically get reviewed by a panel of Old White Men, having a community college on your application following time at a state or private university can be seriously detrimental--academic snobbery is still very prevalent. One of my friends wasn't accepted to med school on the basis that he should have worked less, taken out more loans, and have been involved in more extra curriculars. Not all reviewers are super assholes like that, but it happens. In the same vein, in order to get into med schools, you really need to make connections with people who have made a name for themselves in the field. It's very difficult to do that at community colleges, again, because of academic snobbery.
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