Queer Action Coalition

Monday, August 29, 2005


Due to the hurricane which is taking it's toll on alot of people, Sen Lott had to cancel his booksigning.


Tuesday, August 30 at 6:00 pM Davis Kidd Booksellers
(387 Perkins Road Extended)

QAC will be in attendance at this booksigning, meeting at the entrance of Davis Kidd that faces East(by their Restaurant, Bronte) at 6pm, a small meeting will take place outside and we will then "distribute positive messages" to deflect the stances Sen. Lott has heald that we feel are misinformed, and harmful to the well-being of our fellow citizens. Email us at fighting.homophobia@gmail.com for more info

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Hip-Hop artist Kayne West goes on MTV show "All Eyes On.." and calls for an end to homophobia in Hip-Hop culture.

In talking about a song called "Hey Mama" from his new album, West responded:

After my parents got divorced and we moved to Chicago when I was 3, I would go see my father on Christmas, spring break and summer. My father was my everything, but during the rest of the time, my mother was my everything. Of course there's a good side to that, but the bad side of that is that people call you a mama's boy. It gets to the point that when you go to high school and you wasn't out in the streets like that, and you ain't have no father figure, or you wasn't around your father all the time, who you gonna act like? You gonna act like your mother. ... And then everybody in high school be like, "Yo, you actin' like a f--. Dog, you gay?" And I used to deal with that when I was in high school.

And what happened was it made me kind of homophobic, 'cause I would go back and question myself, like, "Damn, why does everyone else walk like this, and I walk like this?" People be like, "Yo fam, look at you. Look at how you act." If you see something and you don't want to be that because there's such a negative connotation toward it, you try to separate yourself from it so much that it made me homophobic by the time I was through high school. Anybody that was gay I was like, "Yo, get away from me." And like Tupac said, "Started hangin' with the thugs," and you look up and all my friends were really thugged out. It's like I was racing to try to find that constant masculine role model right there, right in front of me. I would use the word "f--" and always look down upon gays. But then my cousin told me that another one of my cousins was gay, and I loved him, he's one of my favorite cousins. And at that point it was kind of like a turning point when I was like, "Yo, this my cousin, I love him and I been discriminating against gays."

But everybody in hip-hop discriminates against gay people. Matter of fact, the exact opposite word of "hip-hop," I think, is "gay." Like yo, you play a record and if it's wack, "That's gay, dog!" And I wanna just come on TV and just tell my rappers, just tell my friends, "Yo, stop it fam."

If just a few more popular, straight artists would take similar stands, then what we'd hopefully see is a huge shift in the stigmatization of GBLT people in the media, and hopefully beyond. We know that people amongst the religious right aren't going to change their idea's anytime soon, HOWEVER, we do know that the media has alot to do with public opinion, and also that the media is controlled by money. If it's becomes "ok", that is, if it will not risk loss in revenue for popular media to portray positive messages/images of GBLT people, then the ignorance, and miseducation about GBLT people would hopefully begin to decline, and in turn less kids would be exposed to homophobic views that are now entrenched in popular culture.

What do we learn, mainly from his story? That homophobia breeds homophobia, and that if GBLT people simply can find the means to openly be themselves, as the human beings that they are, then they will help educate the people around them.


Senator TRENT LOTT signs his new book Herding Cats: A Life in Politics

Tuesday, August 30 at 6:00 pM Davis Kidd Booksellers
(387 Perkins Road Extended)

Take a second and consider whether we're comfortable having this Senator come to Memphis, and profit from a booksigning without letting him know we don't all agree......

When asked if being gay was a sin, then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) responded:

Yes, it is... in America right now there's an element that wants to make that alternative lifestyle acceptable. You still love that person and you should not try to mistreat them or treat them as outcasts. You should try to show them a way to deal with that problem, just like alcohol ... others have a sex addiction or are kleptomaniacs. There are all kinds of problems and addictions and difficulties and experiences of this kind that are wrong. But you should try to work with that person to learn to control that problem.1

In case you didn't notice, that's direct advertising for ex-gay programs...."show them a way to deal with that problem, just like alchohol"....equating such destructive behaviors with who someone can fall in love with is completely insulting, and it's an exact tactic of Love In Action and other ex-gay get-up's. It's interesting that this statement was made by Lott at a time when Focus On The family, and the Family Research Council were putting millions of dollars behind an ad-campaign for Exodus. Wonder howmuch the ad out of Lott's mouth cost?

But it continues....

At the 100th birthday party of long time controversial senator, Strom Thurmond, who ran for president as a segregationist(i.e. keep the colored folks from drinkin out of my fountain), Lott had the following to say:
I want to say this about my state [Mississippi]. When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years either.2"

Sounds like the type of guy you want at the neighnorhood bookstore? Sounds perfect to us at QAC, that's why we plan to give him a visit, maybe even get a copy of "QUEER HISTORY" signed. You should too. More info on actions planned soon.


Friday, August 26, 2005

Straight and narrow: church's 'gay cure'
Alarm raised over Memphis evangelicals' therapy

Julian Borger in Memphis
Friday August 26, 2005
The Guardian

Love in Action International stands on a bluff in north Memphis, the steep roof of the ministry's angular modernist church offering itself as a beacon of hope for the world's reluctant homosexuals.
That should include every gay man and lesbian on the planet, according to the Reverend John Smid, the head of this evangelical group, whose mission is to take gays and straighten them out.

"I hope we can help men and women overcome ... mindsets counterproductive to their walk in Christ," Mr Smid said on a sweltering Tennessee afternoon as he showed Love in Action supporters around the new mission headquarters.

Thursday, August 18, 2005



BACK IN JULY Love In Action removed The International Organization of Heterosexual Rights as a source on their REFUGE Home page for a couple of very biased and seemingly unfounded statistics about gay people. The following stats still remain on their REFUGE site, however the source has been removed, seemingly due to complaints about the source of these quotes, and how hate-fueled, and nasty the rest of the IOOHR website, in fact, is.

People who engage in homosexuality, who make up only one to two percent of the population, account for three or four percent of all gonorrhea cases, 60 percent of all syphilis cases, and 17 percent of all hospital admissions (outside of STD's) in the United States.8

78% of homosexuals are affected by STD's, mainly AIDS, Gonorrhea, Herpes Simples Virus, and Chlamydia. 8

So, as we have the father of a LIA client going on national TV outlets in defense of his decision to place his child in such a program, making the following statements:

“We felt very good about Zach coming here because… to let him see for himself the destructive lifestyle, what he has to face in the future, and to give him some options that society doesn't give him today,” Stark said. “Knowing that your son... statistics say that by the age of 30 he could either have AIDS or be dead.”

We are deeply concerned as we realize that every person on this earth should have the right to make informed decisions about what they want to do with their lives. Unfortunately, when you are misled, and misinformed...then you do not have the opportunity to make the most informed, honest, and healthy choice for you, or those you love.

We cannot stress enough how much this becomes the basis for how such programs as LIA are able to continually build clientele and followers alike, using and withholding information in order to manipulate the circumstances. Unfortunately, people in need then fall further victim to their already instituted self-hatred, and shame as their fears are fed, and all practical, proven medical, and mental health knowledge of the feared "condition" is ignored.

Every former client that has spoken with QAC has repeated that they were never presented with the true facts. That any negative attribute which could be applied to one's "sense of being gay" was praised as a true stepping point towards "freedom in Christ", never questioned, never presented with the alternative of being able to move on, accepting oneself as a happy, whole, productive gay person.

The reason we bring up, again this issue of Love In Action removing the IOOHR as a source for the aforementioned statistics is that they've still left the little "8" beside these statistics, however, nearly a month later there still is simply no source listed, leaving us with a looming bit of highly biased information, yet no reference point in which to verify that this information has any credible grounding. The fact that much time has gone by, and no one has reposted a new source, leads us to believe that this organization may not care too much about the credibility of their "facts", or their "statistics".

It is also very symbolic, that the number 8 is simply invisible on their list of sources. It has been hidden, erased. It seems that Love In Action may have been ashamed of what the number 8 represented. It seems that the number 8 could have brought LIA some sort of judgment, that is, it could have made them look bad. So what does Love In Action do? They simply hide the source, hoping that people will not think that they too, like the IOOHR are a hate-filled and ignorant organization that couples biased information, with the promotion of shame and judgment. We can only hope, as many individuals in need might turn to these kind of organizations first for help, that the best interest of the client is what is heald most important, and that no crucial, potentially helpful information is heald from them due to shame, bias, or fear, as we know that in the long term, these qualities have harmful and unhealthy affects upon our fellow human beings.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

THE WASHINGTON POST on rep. therapy

Vowing to Set the World Straight
Proponents of Reparative Therapy Say They Can Help Gay Patients Become Heterosexual. Experts Call That a Prescription for Harm

people speaking up, can be the most powerful thing.

Check out the followinjg article, and hope more like it will follow...

Monday, August 15, 2005

QAC update, sort of

The individuals who have been involved with QAC are currently busy re-adjusting to life as normal, while compiling resources, shooting, and editing a documentary, and the like.

We will keep everyone updated here with any events, programs, or for more info about the documentary.

We encourage everyone to continue all the hard work that has gone into these last couple of months. Please contact us if you have any questions, suggestions, news, or otherwise.

With all of our Love


Sunday, August 07, 2005

BBC2 Documentary "Sad To Be Gay" to finally air

THE BBC2 Documentary, "Sad To Be Gay" IS GOING TO AIR on Tuesday...CHECK HERE FOR MORE INFO

This is the documentary that came through Memphis, following a man from England who was unhappy being gay. The BBC crew went into Love In Action to document this man, David Akinsanya's experience in the program. Word has spread that this was one of the first notices of youth being in the program, when David's experience was being documented, himself, and the crew being alarmed that a 16yo girl was there against her will, and he apprently could not take the experience and left in less than a week. It is unclear how the documentary will portray the situation, however, the program description seems to explain that his experience was "upsetting". It came to our attention that David, and the BBC crew was supposedly alarmed, especially that this 16yo girl was in counseling sessions with adults who were dealing with serious mental health issues, while her experience simply was related to her parents problem...with her liking girls. This documentary has the potential to be very explosive and essential in exposing the problems related to facilities such as Love In Action. Stay tuned for more info.

On a side note, QAC member/filmmaker Morgan Fox, who is currently making his own documentary with QAC about LIA, was actually filmed in this documentary serving "David" coffee at a local coffee house for part of the documentary when the crew was filming a conversation between him and a friend discussing issues related to the program. At that time Morgan had no idea what the doc was about, AND beyond potential speculation, was not/is not involved in their story, but, we must say, isn't it ironic...

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


The Queer Action Coalition itself began when it became clear that a 16yo kid was being taken to Love In Action "against his will" back in early June. These events came to public attention first when the teenager posted a bulletin through his MySpace account, which then took people to his blog, where people then began to spread the message, first through www.cherrybloss.org. The media then responded and people on the internet began to find his blog from all over the world, making thousands of comments and forming groups, such as FREE ZACH, which now has over 5,000 members. At this point it became very clear for QAC that we wanted to focus on what we knew about LIA, rather than a certain individual, simply because we were very concerned about the possibility of the individuals situation becoming worse, however we did want to show support. At this point, the media had already caught on, and the teenager, the issue, the organization, etc…were all now focused around “ZACH”. The protests remained anonymous in their message. No organized protest ever had a single sign mentioning Zach’s name, and it was very clear that we were to be respectful, and fair, simply because the objective was to offer a different side to something we saw as unfortunate, and potentially harmful.

Now we reach the end of Zach’s stay at LIA and he posts a new blog, and suddenly media, and hundreds of people all over the internet are again going wild about what’s next, or what Zach meant, or what he’ll do, or even debating on the matter how “his new statement” will effect what anyone has been doing recently to try and fight homophobia, and share messages of love and acceptance, we’ve had media calling from around the country asking for statements about Zach’s new blog entry. This is getting out of hand. Yes, this began with this teenagers “cry for help”, but the reason people answered his cry is because of the situation he was being put in. The real question has to be about why we responded to the “cry for help”…while Zach will make his own decisions about what he wants to say, and do, we of course send our words of support, and love, hoping that he can find peace with himself, his friends, family, and the world of people around him who have gotten involved. AS of course we will do all we can to support Zach, we ask everyone to respect this individual, and understand, again, why his “cry for help” was most likely sent out…and why you responded so as to see the bigger picture…


LOVE IN ACTION is an isolated physical structure that represents a larger problem. They say, very clearly, that being gay is not ok. Former clients, one after another, testify that the organization promotes self-hatred, shame, and fear. ALL MAJOR MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH organizations say that they do not approve of any sort of therapy practicing out of bias, as it is well know that it potentially harms people, furthering the problems the clients already have. It is also a fact that these organizations do not provide clients with other resources if they do indeed decide they want to be a healthy, out gay person...which basically leaves their clients with no alternative resources after they leave, giving the gay person a feeling of "no where to go", similar for parents, who are not given PFLAG info so that just in case, they can go on to find other parents who accept their kids, also leaving the parents feeling isolated and alone if they do decide to seek other resources. It is also a fact that they use outdated, and disproven statistics on gay people, which then further encourages fear, shame and rejection of the gay person.

Look no further than what they mention about who founded their organization where they do not mention the actual founders, John Evans, and Kent Philpott. One can only assume they do not mention this because John Evans is an openly gay Christian man, who has recently sent letters of support for all gay people, explaining that what LIA does is "dangerous", and has been so since it began in 1973. Evans left the group when his best friend, Jack McIntyre, who was a client, killed himself because he was so ashamed of being gay, and the program wasn’t working for him.

At the very least, we realize the importance of giving people truthful information, so that they can make informed decisions, as opposed to misleading them into believing things so that what you offer seems more appealing and credible.

That said, Love In Action, as has been stated by all of its clients, can be a very productive place. For the record, QAC stands firmly in our respect for all of LIA's clients, and staff. We wish to, and have been engaging in dialogue with them. We have never made it our goal to shut them down, or hurt them. We also did not play any upfront role in the investigations that came from the state involving Love In Action. We would like to say also, that we have attempted to educate those who have expressed overly slanted views in this situation, noting that in speaking to former clients, such as Brandon Tidwell, or Jeff Harwood has been a very educational experience for us, as they both have a great respect for the people at LIA, yet they all share the same view of its negative impact on those who seek out, and have received their care. We understand, and have explained that LIA is not filled with evil people. It's important to point out the positives that people have gotten out of their time there. However, these positives are rooted in issues any licensed therapist would be able to address, only without the shame, and promotion of self-hatred which eventually leads one down a path of rejection, and fear, simply due to the misinformation provided by biased counsel.

A licensed therapist cannot misinform people by supplying biased, slanted statistics, or using techniques that have been proven to be harmful by every major health organization. A therapist cannot do this, because they would lose their license, because it would be considered unethical. It would be considered unethical, because the well-being of a person would be endangered. One would hope that the well-being of any person is looked after the first and foremost when in a therapeutic setting.

THESE ARE OUR CONCERNS. There is a reason, time and time again that people go through these programs..why parents send their kids...PEOPLE ARE ASHAMED, BROKEN, FULL OF FEAR BECAUSE our a large portion of our society, and a large section of Chrisitans are sending messages to gay people...these messages are perfectly represented by LOVE IN ACTION: you should change, you should be ashamed, it's not right to be who you are.

We firmly believe in the importance of fighting these messages by giving examples of TRUE LOVE IN ACTION. We hope to provide truthful education, and to show that Gay people can be happy, productive, healthy people. This current fight began with Zach, but it's one that has been going on for a very long time, and one that will not end soon, as we to continue with education, advocacy, and the living of our lives in ways that will allow us to overcome what boundries are presented, therefore to live the change we seek....


More about out future plans soon.