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Thomas Roberts Follows Up with Richard Socarides' Revelations About His Father and Gay Conversion Therapy: VIDEO


Activist and writer Richard Socarides sat down today with MSNBC's Thomas Roberts to follow up on the the video we posted yesterday in which Socarides talked about coming out to his father, who was a pioneer of so-called "gay conversion therapy."

Roberts asks Socarides about the interview and the recent father-gay son pairings that have been in the news lately — Congressman Matt Salmon and his son, and Senator Rob Portman and his son.


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  1. "He did a lot of harm" .... hear that America.

    Posted by: JONES | Apr 9, 2013 2:45:11 PM

  2. it's because of terrible parents like Salmon that almost-adequate parents like Portman get seen as "amazing ones".

    at some point gay people born into anti-gay families need a change of mindset and need to turn the emotional tables: it's not about you trying to get them to accept you. it's about you making it bloody clear that you have no room in your life for those who refuse to see you as exactly what you are - equal to them in every way, and deserving of nothing less than full equality under law and equal treatment in society.

    you don't neuter yourselves and swallow the bigotry in an effort to "save the relationship" - you make it damn clear that for the relationship to be 'saved' and 'exist' - it's up to the anti-gays to come around. and that you'll help them with it. but until they see you and treat you as an equal, there's no relationship worth saving.

    PFLAG it.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 9, 2013 2:57:29 PM

  3. I've had friends who've had "parents" like the Salmons. All of them have cut them out of their lives because they finally realized their parents were never going to fully accept them for who they were.

    Posted by: Kevin | Apr 9, 2013 3:09:06 PM

  4. I know what you mean, Kiwi, but it's very very hard for some people. Matt Salmon wants his life but he also wants to have a relatiobship with his father. Easier said than done, of course. He's holding out hope that his father will (drumroll please) "evolve." Let's ceck back with him in a year or two and see how things are.

    Richard Socarides is the emobodiment of his father's failure. "Conversion therapy" doesn't work -- and hefre's the gay son ofthe man who invented it to prove it.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Apr 9, 2013 7:12:13 PM

  5. You're not truly gay unless you have a bookend partner, two dogs, modern surroundings and could pose for a Christmas card at a moments notice. And look masculine of course. Rob?

    Posted by: Josh | Apr 9, 2013 7:18:16 PM

  6. I guess we have to ask ourselves: Would we do what Doormatt Salmon is doing to get a free ride through medical school? Or would we risk having to do it the hard way, and possibly not at all? There are a lot of gay people who have told their families to F Off, but there are also a lot of gay people who have worked at Macy's or waited tables for 20 years.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 9, 2013 8:45:56 PM

  7. TO THOSE BEING HARSH ON MATT: do you understand the consequences of their doing what WE think is the right thing?

    First of all, to be against the father would ostracize him from his entire family and community, so saying "work your way through school" is off point
    Second, the father would lose his House seat without question if he publicly came around, besides the entire family being uprooted from their mormon stake
    Third, they are MORMONS - who knows if they are fine in private but the son may agree to a public version that allows the parents to keep their positions. Mormons do not mind lying to serve their purposes

    Posted by: Bob | Apr 9, 2013 10:45:22 PM

  8. valid points, D.E.. truly. but at some point an adult needs to look at "how they've done things" and what results, if any, it's achieved.

    Salmon Jr. tried reparative therapy. it didn't work.

    has his father and mother tried PFLAG?

    when i hear "he wants a relationship with his father" i'm puzzled. what KIND of relationship does he want? i think guys like Salmon Jr get so browbeaten over the years that this almost-tolerance he gets seems like a brilliant loving reward. but it's just not.

    it's like i've said before - don't compare the state of your relationship to "worse" ones, but to better ones.

    my point is simply that evolution of this sort rarely, if ever, comes without a galvanizing force. and from the dozens upon dozens of friends of mine who've been through situations comparable to Salmon's....well.... when they finally took a stand and made it clear that they, as adults, were making the adult decision to only have relationships with people who see and treat them as equals....change comes. not at first, but nothing worth havign comes easy.

    i've just seen this too much - the gay person who caters to the prejudices of the parent while the parent doesn't do a darn thing to earn (bacK) the respect and love of their child.

    if the relationship with his father is so important to Salmon Jr, he needs to ask himself if it's equally important to his father. And the father, like many other fathers and mothers, will need to wake up and realize that if they want a relationship with their son, they need to see him, treat him, and champion him as an equal.

    but something tells me years of both GOP mentality and Mormon brainwashing won't lead Salmon Jr to think he can put real Love to the test. and that's sad.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 9, 2013 10:48:27 PM

  9. Thomas Roberts appears to be porking out. How many pounds does the camera add?

    Posted by: Valid | Apr 9, 2013 11:10:30 PM

  10. Thomas Roberts is a gorgeous man. Richard Socarides' father did a lot of harm, yes he did.

    Posted by: TY | Apr 10, 2013 10:45:15 AM

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