Update on PFOX’s eviction from VSCA conference

PFOX released a statement today about the incident at the VA School Counselors Association conference.

On March 30, 2006, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) exhibited at the Virginia School Counselor Association (VSCA) annual conference. We exhibited for approximately three hours before the VSCA and the Holiday Inn Select/Koger South Conference Center in Richmond approached our booth and asked us to leave. The hotel offered us free lodgings if we would leave. We refused, citing breach of contract by the VSCA which had approved our exhibit application. Nonetheless, the senior sales manager and the front office manager of the hotel forcibly removed our exhibit with the approval of the VSCA president and past president.

That day the VSCA was scheduled to present a conference session entitled:

“Sexual Orientation: Meeting the Challenge to Promote the Health and Well Being of All Students. The presentation will be based on the concept of sexuality as a continuum and will provide a brief overview of gay history and culture, followed by a discussion about sexual identity development and the ways in which cultural attitudes and societal institutions have a negative impact on the health of GLBTQ students. Handouts will be provided and implications for school counselors will be discussed. Level: Elementary/Middle School”

When VSCA threw us out, we asked them why they were presenting a gay seminar but not allowing an ex-gay exhibit. They denied it and agreed we could attend the seminar and pick up the handouts. When we arrived for the seminar, a sign on the door said that the seminar had been cancelled because the speaker was unavailable.

This is the first time we have seen a gay seminar presented to school counselors for the elementary school level, at least in Virginia.

Although the VSCA liked two of our PFOX brochures on teens and bullying, they still would not permit us to exhibit at the conference, although we were listed in the conference brochure and school counselors at the conference showed great interest in our materials.

Still no word from the VA School Counselors.

Free Speech is controversial: Article about First Amendment Center’s guidelines

Chad Thompson and I released an article today that supports the First Amendment Center’s framework for having discussions about sexual orientation in public schools. You can read it at Townhall.com or on my site (Sexual orientation: When conflict rules the school).

PFOX evicted from the Virginia School Counselors Association Conference

Thursday, March 30, PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-gays and Gays) was evicted from the Virginia Schools Counselors Association annual convention. They had applied for, paid for, and received permission to exhibit at the conference. While setting up their booth, several members of the VASC leadership, including current president Tammy Davis, and past-president Carol Kaffenberger, requested to meet Regina Griggs, PFOX director. The school counselors objected to some materials on their table and said PFOX would have to leave. After some discussion, the school counselors said the bullying brochure (most of which, I wrote) and the PFOX teen brochure were ok. However, the PFOX representatives were still asked to leave since offering only two brochures would not be worth their time. At that point, the hotel staff intervened and demanded that the PFOX people leave. One of the staff began to dismantle the table and the police were called. The two grandmothers (Regina and Retta Brown) were not hauled out by the authorities since they decided to leave.

I have emailed the VSCA officers to confirm this event and will post their replies. This amazes me. PFOX was invited to come to exhibit and then when they arrived, they were promptly evicted. PFOX was willing to take away anything that seemed offensive (they had a copy of one of Nicolosi’s books that they put away and a story of a trangendered person who warns about surgery) but they were still ushered out.

UPDATE: Dr. Tammy Davis emailed to say that she would be providing a comment about the incident sometime later today or this evening. Stay tuned…

David de Alba: Masculine gay males in denial

Today in social psychology class I showed the Christmas Day, 1977, episode of All in the Family where transvestite Beverly LaSalle is killed by thugs and Edith has a crisis of faith as a result of the loss.

In looking for more information about the man who played BLS, Lori Shannon, I found an interview with female impersonator, David de Alba. The interviewer was Chris Lee and I found this exchange interesting.

Chris: What’s your explanation of the connection between Female Impersonation and Gay men? What’s all that about? I’m speaking both from the standpoint of most FIs being Gay and most FI fans being Gay.

David: I hope I am answering your question correctly, but although most of the FIs I knew were gay, there are some who claim that they were bisexual and were married to straight women. In fact we had several FIs like that at Finocchio’s. There are many gay men and lesbians who I have known in my showbiz past who loved FIs and my work as an FI, but there are some gay men trying to be so ‘butch’ that they claim they don’t like female impersonators. Somewhere in their personalities there are femme characteristics they want to deny. Putting us FIs down makes them feel like a straight male talking rough and putting down a gay male. Strange how some people feel they have to play roles. If people were true to themselves this world would be an easier place to live in.

In light of discussion on this blog about masulinity and homosexuality, I thought it was interesting that this icon in the San Francisco gay community described masculine gay males as being in denial about their feminine side. Being a masculine gay male seems to be doubted from a variety of perspectives. I am not making an opinion statement here, just blogging.

Invisible Children Documentary

I interrupt the normally scheduled blog to bring you this important public service announcement. Everybody reading this, please go to www.invisiblechildren.com. I saw the documentary this morning in church and I was blown away. The documentary is a call to action for the West to help the children of Sudan and Uganda. I think we will be doing the Global Night Commute later in April. Pass the word (maybe it is all over blogosphere already, I don’t know, but here is my little part).