So just in case those in the LGBT community think everything is hunky-dory, and that rights-galore are just a-springing, that people are just accepting... honey, think again.
While I was gone to ATL...
First, in ATL. I didn't think this was happening anymore. The so-called "Ex-Gay" ministries. Well, I knew. But I didn't know they'd be in force, and undercover, at ATL Pride. Two new friends anecdotally shared their encounters with "Ex-Gays" -- one in lobby of host hotel; one at a club. Kinda laughed it off... and thought, "This still happens?" Then another new friend, a fellow author, shared that he got "picked up" while marching in the Black Pride Parade on Monday. They exchanged e-mails, since my friend was heading back to his hometown, and then he got flooded with "Ex-Gay Ministry" propoganda. He shared one of the e-mails, complete with the website. Homie wasn't playing. He was trying to convert my friend.
And then... upon my return to L.A., one of my students confides that he was arrested Friday... in a popular L.A. mall, in one of those undercover officer "I'm getting hit on/lewd conduct" kinda events. Circa George Michael in L.A. in the 90s. He's like 19, scared crapless, and like most folks in trouble for the first time, fears doing time. For those of you with "friends" this has happened to, is this a doing-time kinda thing? I've already talked to the kid, circa big brother/uncle/teacher "are you crazy?" talk, but I'm no legal expert. But referred him to a local resource that may provide free to low-cost legal aid for LGBT folks.
Now, boys... and girls... Lord knows you're not gonna find "love" in a bathroom, or a park (and I'm not-so-hot on the internet either...) so don't get all googly-eyed at folks eyeing you in mysterious places. We know the undercovers work the gays and those spots all the time. So... keep the looking-for-love thing to places you won't come under suspicion. Because even if your "love looking" is completely innocent and harmless, there is a thing called ENTRAPMENT that many folks get caught up in. Regardless of their intentions.
And as for the "Ex-Gay Ministries"... well, did you get approached in ATL? Or have you been approached in your own town? I'm curious about this. Again, like in the "bathroom love" case, the three were approached under the guise of potential romance... Are we so vulnerable, that we let our need for love put us in compromising positions? And as for being converted, and becoming an "Ex-Gay", that's like praying that your brown eyes turn blue. You can mask them with store-bought contacts, but when you sleep at night, your eyes are still brown.
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