Dr. Robert Spitzer has apologized to the gay community for a ten-year old study which claimed some gays could, through reparative therapy, go straight. He now says the study was flawed because how can one know for sure if the people who claimed to have changed were actually telling the truth. He says this despite earlier believing that certain aspects of the accounts couldn’t simply be dismissed. All fine and well. Except for one thing. If we can’t trust someone who claims they have gone straight, how can we trust someone who says they are gay?
Does he think the people who claimed they had changed were lying, confused, deceived, pressured? Why can’t those same criteria be applied to those who say they are gay? I know, I’ve heard it before, why would anyone claim to be gay and undergo such backlash by family, friends, the church? Why humans put themselves into situations where they are persecuted is multifaceted. But what is clear by a cursory view of human behavior both now and throughout history is that humans often do things for inexplicable reasons that bring them trouble. And they often do things for inexplicable reasons that allow them to remain “safe” and out of trouble, as is claimed of those who were changed through reparative therapy.
To say that those who were changed from gay to straight were wrong—for whatever reason—invites the same query of those who claim they are gay in the first place. For good or ill, this conversation needs to have a level playing field.