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'Ex-Gay' Therapy Video Approved by State Regulators and Shown to Maryland Students is Pulled

Acception

Students taking seventh grade health classes in the Prince George's County Public Schools system were shown a video espousing "ex-gay" therapy as a viable option for students who are LGBT and bullied, Washington City Paper reports:

Betsy Gallun worked as the supervisor for health education in Prince George's County Public Schools until she retired last year, and she thinks information about gay-to-straight therapy should be available to Prince George's County students. "I feel very badly that it's coming under scrutiny, to be honest with you," says Gallun...

...Six health classes have shown "Acception" since last fall, according to PGCPS spokesman Briant K. Coleman—and more were expected to use it this year, says Doyle.

State education regulators also approved the video, according to Coleman. But on Wednesday, PGCPS pulled the video pending further review, only to terminate the program permanently later that day.

AcceptionstillGallun was introduced to the 21-minute anti-bullying video (stills from it above, and right) "Acception" by "ex-gay" quack Richard Cohen:

[The video] at first appears to promote the acceptance of gay children. In the video, four students are assigned a project on homophobic bullying, with the group splitting up to study the issues of bullying and the origins of homosexuality. Two of the students encounter a cavemen parable about the origins of bullying, but the teens researching same-sex attraction soon find themselves in a different kind of scientifically dicey territory. While the video initially explores gay teenagers being bullied and a young man coming out to his parents, it soon features a student talking about how his once-lesbian cousin used therapy to become attracted to men. Then, the students in the video "watch" an interview with a gay-to-straight therapist.

"If someone wants to live a gay life, I respect that, and if someone wants to change from gay to straight and choose a different path, I respect that too," says the character, played by an actress. The success of "reparative therapy" is touted elsewhere in the video: In a portion of the video you can watch on YouTube, a woman who once felt attracted to other women says that growing closer to her mother and female friends—a trope of sexual orientation-switching theory—helped her become attracted to men. Discussion questions provided to teachers using "Acception" feature scenarios in which sexual orientation is changed through therapy.

Watch a trailer for the video (which does not show the part where it veers into ex-gay therapy) and a clip from it, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via anthoony catalino)

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Comments

  1. Is anyone else growing extremely tired of this argument by black people
    "people don't have to know you are gay unless you force them to"

    There's so much bigotry in what many black people spew regarding gay people, but because they are black and it's politically incorrect to confront their vast bigotry on the topic of gays, we let it slide. I'm happy to know that people above aren't letting it slide. Suddenly being gay has become this pillar where we need to get our approval that our rights are worth fighting for from blacks. that they can't see how flawed and offensive this statement about how we can be in the closet and not have to be openly gay if we want to, is just proves what another person above said. the oppressed yesterday are the new oppressors today.

    Posted by: Siox | Feb 8, 2013 8:09:51 PM


  2. Oh, and L.A. Dude, you're not fooling anyone with all of those aliases that just happened to show up right behind you spouting the same sentiments. *laughs*

    Weak.

    Posted by: Chance | Feb 8, 2013 8:14:57 PM


  3. Oh, and L.A. Dude, you're not fooling anyone with all of those aliases that just happened to show up right behind you spouting the same sentiments. *laughs*

    Weak.

    Posted by: Chance | Feb 8, 2013 8:14:59 PM


  4. @L.A. Dude
    First of all, you're a r@cist SOB.

    Second of all, I said that I was a gay man of color -- nowhere did I say that I was "black," yet you immediately and ignorantly jumped to that conclusion, because it is YOU who has the chip on his decaying shoulder, and probably sits around waiting for issues like this to come up so that you can feel justified in espousing your petty and STUPID r@cism.

    I happen to be of Lebanese and East Indian descent. Idiot.

    Clearly you have issues with black people. What's the matter, did you see a black guy at the urinal with a noticeably larger p*nis than yours? Or perhaps when you were in school, you got your ass kicked in gym class by a few. Is that why you're mad? Whatever the reason is, stay mad. Chew on it until you choke, you clown.

    My position stands: comparing race to sexual orientation, and the bigotry that comes with each, are two completely different extremes and ultimately apples and oranges.

    Eff you.

    Posted by: Chance | Feb 8, 2013 8:18:21 PM


  5. @ chance

    There is nothing offensive about Gay community highlighting the similarities of discrimination with other groups, even African American. You took that as meaning gay people believe it's the exact same story. They never said that, but we did draw on the similarities to which there are some. To deny that is to deny gay history, and civil rights history, an humanity. You seem so self revolved that you can't seem to register that point.

    Posted by: RegulartCion | Feb 8, 2013 10:03:33 PM


  6. Something is rotten in the state of Maryland and in Prince George's County Public Schools:
    … Richard A. Cohen, who is a member of the PGCPS Health Council (…)
    …Six health classes have shown "Acception" since last fall, according to PGCPS spokesman Briant K. Coleman—and more were expected to use it this year, State education regulators also approved the video, according to Coleman. But on Wednesday, PGCPS pulled the video pending further review, only to terminate the program permanently later that day.
    But Prince George's County Public Schools still seems confused about why the curriculum was controversial in the first place. "We pulled the video because there was too much focus on alternative lifestyles," Coleman writes in email. (...)

    Can you belive it, they pulled it because it was too gay-friendly...
    Geez... and I thought Maryland was among the more enlightened states, guess that was wishful thinking.

    Posted by: Peter M. | Feb 8, 2013 10:04:18 PM


  7. Chance, it's only offending you and other black individuals who think like you, to be compared to gay people because you feel being gay is inferior to being black and feel one is worthy of more respect and heightened sense of it while the other is less of value. It boils straight down to your own unresolved homophobia, realized or not.
    Also, you being gay means very little. Some of the most self hating homophobic people I've encountered in my life stated they were gay. Being gay an subscribing to anti gay sentiments are not mutually exclusive.

    Posted by: Kris | Feb 8, 2013 10:06:35 PM


  8. @LUIS-HERNANDEZ: What is hopefully happening is that the people who let it through are acting like spam filters. The spammers occasionally figure out ways to get around the filters, and then the filters get modified in response.

    Maybe someone should ask the people responsible how this video got through. It's understandable if the ex-gay nuts simply found a hole in the procedures used to keep them out. You have a situation where the nominally good guys get blamed for a single failure while the bad guys get to try as much as they like to trip the good guys up.


    Posted by: Bill | Feb 8, 2013 11:46:46 PM


  9. Let's not act surprised. Prince George is a pretty socially conservative place, and we know what that equals. These people are going after our youth and are trying to get them early, infect kids with bigotry early. We definitely cannot have that. Hold these bigots' feet to the fire and contact GLAAD, contact Equality Maryland, contact LGBTQ organizations in the country. This is an outrage.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 9, 2013 12:44:15 AM


  10. PG country school officials saw the video and gave it the check. That's on them. Either it's ignorance or it's homophobia. Well, we need to get down to the bottom of it and see what the answer is, and then there needs to be some sort of effort to reverse the damages made. It's time to stand up for our youth, no holds barred.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 9, 2013 12:59:34 AM


  11. The side arguments on this site are so ridiculous. Focus on the bigotry of the original storyline. What this school did is inexcusable and forcefully anti gay. They should be forced to acknowledge this and promise to not engage in such anti gay propeganda in a school setting.

    Posted by: Dallas | Feb 9, 2013 1:05:21 AM


  12. "There is no such thing as skin bleaching"

    Oh really? Have you ever heard of Michael Jackson?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Feb 9, 2013 9:01:37 AM


  13. @David Ehrenstein

    Have you ever heard of Vitiligo, fool?

    Posted by: LDC | Feb 9, 2013 7:29:30 PM


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