"Ex-Gays" | Gay Youth | Religion

Pray The Gay Away With John Quinones And Pancakes: VIDEO

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On Friday night, ABC's What Would You Do? with John Quinones posed the question: What happens if you drop off a bewildered gay teen with a "reparative therapist" he's never met before in the middle of a busy pancake house? Do the diners respond to the teen's obvious distress? To the therapist's obvious creepiness? The answers are (mostly) heartening, though the scenario isn't quite fair -- actual "reparative therapists" aren't generally so insensitive as to discuss a teen's sexuality during peak hours at a busy restaurant. (And most of them probably don't sound so sinister. This guy sounds like he's got bodies in his crawlspace.) Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...


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  1. Had to change the channel because of the overacting. Hard to believe anyone thought it wasn't staged.

    Posted by: DAVID | Feb 12, 2012 12:56:20 PM

  2. Who are you kidding/quoting? They are insensitive, sinister and secretive. What they aren't is public.

    Posted by: Sean | Feb 12, 2012 1:05:59 PM

  3. Considering that reparative therapists have been known to kidnap teenagers and hold them against there will, why are you so convinced they wouldn't be as insensitive/creepy as this guy?

    Posted by: Eric | Feb 12, 2012 2:27:39 PM

  4. This show just feels gross, no matter the situation.

    Posted by: Trust | Feb 12, 2012 2:33:07 PM

  5. "Reality" TV hit an all time low last night, thanks to John Quinones and ABC. These diners represent 3% of the population. Stage it in the South and wait for the lynch mob.

    Posted by: M. Scott Hernandez | Feb 12, 2012 2:46:33 PM

  6. Really awful television-trivializing a serious situation but that is the kind of entertainment America likes. So sad..
    As for the psychological damage done to a person struggling with their sexual identity-what better way to insult the situation and try to pass it off as "serious" treatment. It would be laughable if it weren't so totally inappropriate.

    Posted by: nick | Feb 12, 2012 3:00:04 PM

  7. I don't think any of you give people enough credit. The world really is coming around. The bigots getting louder and louder is a sign of progress. It's their death knell. I don't think anyone who isn't seriously disordered would find this okay. Cheesy acting or not. The Muslim couple is an exception to the rule and even their son thought it was wrong.

    Posted by: AJ | Feb 12, 2012 3:40:28 PM

  8. I'm surprised nobody offered to give him a ride somewhere.

    Posted by: at | Feb 12, 2012 4:04:00 PM

  9. I'm pretty sure there's no point to this type of stuff. It's just exploiting people. The outcome is nice enough, but still. And throwing in Gaga bordered on the surreal.

    The big guy mocking the sweater vest was funny, though.

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 12, 2012 4:54:21 PM

  10. SO hard to watch. SO overdone.
    Then the fat New Jersey guy goes, "NO THIS IS WHAT SOME CREEPY GUY IN A SWEATER VEST DOES . . ."
    And the flood of redeeming laughter bursts out of me, and all is right with the world.
    Take that, Rick Santorum!

    Posted by: Didaskalos | Feb 12, 2012 5:01:43 PM

  11. I love this fat New Jersey hoser!

    He goes totally Gandalf on the sweater-vest guy:


    Posted by: Didaskalos | Feb 12, 2012 5:12:57 PM

  12. It doesn't matter if there's real truth to it. It's made for TV "reality" which has nothing to do with the real world. It's the vehicle to sell anti-acid or body anti-stink product.

    Posted by: Joseph Singer | Feb 12, 2012 5:38:26 PM

  13. I don't care how bad the acting is, how unrealistic the scenario is, or what they're selling, even if this show gets one anti-gay person to think differently about homosexuality, I'm for it. Props to John Quinones for taking on the treatment of gays in so many episodes of his show.

    Posted by: K | Feb 12, 2012 7:30:48 PM

  14. I've seen a few of the WWYD? segments posted here and on other gay news blogs but I didn't watch this one. For me personally, whatever benefit that might be derived from showing "average" people standing up to verbal homophobes is ruined by the sleazy and manipulative tactics.

    The Germans (of course) have a word, fremdschämen, which describes being so embarrassed by someone else's behavior that it makes YOU feel uncomfortable. Humiliation by proxy, basically. That's why I can't watch "reality TV." I'm so appalled FOR them that being appalled BY them doesn't bring me any pleasure!

    In these WWYD? segments I can't help but think about how uncomfortable and tense I'd be as a witness to these staged scenarios and how if I stood up to the "homophobe" (which I would probably do, because I've done it before in situations that weren't staged) I would be absolutely FURIOUS to discover it was some psycho-drama set up by a TV show for entertainment or some vague notion of public benefit. It's creepy and it makes me very uncomfortable.

    But now I may have to actually watch the d*mn thing just to hear the Jersey guy crack on sweater vests! ;-)

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 12, 2012 8:48:50 PM

  15. If you're interested, there was a segment done in a Southern State vs. New York about a Gay Couple/Lesbian Couple with children eating in a diner and a waitress freaking out. More people spoke out about the waitress' actions in the Southern State

    Posted by: Anthony | Feb 13, 2012 5:55:26 AM

  16. Seriously? All most of you have is bitter comments? Sure, you'd not likely see that in NYC or SF or LA, but most people don't live in those cities. The fact that people spoke up rather than sat back and said nothing is promising. Maybe we need to stop thinking that the world is a miserable place and recognize that some steps forward are being made.

    When I saw this I thought...how amazing is it that an average guy--clearly straight--stood up and said to the clearly gay kid...be yourself...you're who you're supposed to be. You wouldn't see that when I was growing up.

    Posted by: JJ | Feb 13, 2012 9:54:39 AM

  17. @Caliban - I like the word. I've actually seen the term "second-hand embarrassment" used to describe this in English (on the internet).

    Posted by: Tribyen | Feb 13, 2012 10:47:56 AM

  18. I fail to understand the value of these phony set-up situations. Don't people watching realize that those "unsuspecting" diners have to sign a release so that ABC can use whatever portion of the action they are involved in? Do you think that some right wing wack job is going to sign off on something that will make him look like a blazing fool on national TV?

    The really horrific, and possibly violent, stuff is never aired because those involved are smart enough to refuse to sign the release. What you get is the sugar coated version of what really happened. Yep, every once in a while someone goes off the deep end but I've never seen it escalate to the level that I've personally experience first hand.

    Posted by: Tyron | Feb 13, 2012 11:30:51 AM

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