Discrimination for being ex-gay

Sunday 15 February 2004.
 

Tolerance is often by those advocating for homosexuality just one of the many things they are seeking. That is tolerance for homosexuals. But there is one growing group of people that those advocating for homosexuality often do not show tolerance too, former homosexuals. At Harvard University where I am employed in Dining Services I came under investigation by three departments of Harvard after an article was published about me in the campus newspaper, The Harvard Crimson. These articles are available online.

I moved from Minneapolis, MN to Boston to help others wishing to overcome homosexuality in January of 2000. My move to Boston came after reading a prayer request in an October 1999 Exodus newsletter. Exodus is the umbrella organization of ministries and groups from across the United States helping others to overcome homosexuality. www.exodus-international.org In their October 1999 newsletter there was a prayer request for a ministry in Boston, because they were receiving many calls for help from Boston and there was no ministry. My first response was to tell God, “I am open to that.” But along with saying this, I had to admit a problem with “pride”. I would be the boss. I could do things my way. So I sought forgiveness for my sin of pride.

A second thing I told God was, that I would not move to Boston unless I could get a job at Harvard University as a cook. Then a third thing I told God in prayer was that I was not moving to Boston to be apart of an “ex-gay ghetto”. He had to surround me by other people not broken in the same way as I am. They would model and reflect what I need to grow and mature, while we will do the same for them. The week between Christmas and January 1st looking at the Boston Globe online, I found there were job openings for cooks at Harvard University. I sent a resume, but was unable to be hired over the phone. So I flew from Minneapolis for an interview on Martin Luther King Day and was told that I could start work in ten days. My employer in Minneapolis knew I was seeking other employment, which made it a little easier for me to accept a new job on such short notice. I flew back to Minneapolis and began making arrangements to move to Boston. In one week a friend subleased my apartment, I packed what I could in my car, giving the rest away and drove to Boston.

I arrived safely in Boston my belongings in my car; no place to live and starting work the last week of January 2000. Within one week I moved into a small apartment, which was cheaper then the one in Minneapolis and within walking distance of Harvard University. I now also help lead a ministry at Park Street Church, Alive in Christ, for those wishing to overcome homosexuality. God answered my third prayer request too; the other leaders of Alive in Christ are not former homosexuals.

My first month at Harvard I saw on a bulletin board an announcement for a series of discussions on being gay and being a Christian. I attended all of the discussions that were held over a five-week period. I actively took part in the discussions, respectively listening to the speakers and asking questions. Each week at the beginning of the discussion we were asked to introduce ourselves and tell why we came. I shared my name and that I cooked in the freshman dining hall. Also each week I spoke of being a former homosexual and coming to Boston to help others who wish to overcome a struggle with homosexuality. Through these discussions about being gay and being a Christian, one of the leaders who was a Harvard senior and I began to develop a friendship. Dave said he was gay and was a Christian. He knew I felt you could not be gay and be a Christian, but we both wanted to develop a friendship. Our friendship lasted for over a year. After graduation Dave remained in Boston being working for a consulting company. We have lost contact with one another after Dave moved to Los Angles, and begin working for a post-production movie studio. Also within the first month at Harvard I told my co-workers in the freshman dining hall that I had come to Boston to help others overcome homosexuality. But they did not ask and I did tell them that I was a former homosexual myself. They would find this out when my picture was on the cover of Fifteen Minutes, a weekly magazine published by the daily campus newspaper, The Harvard Crimson. Dave was also interviewed and spoke of our friendship in this article.

My co-workers asked to be one their union representatives, a shop steward in the freshman dining hall. A freshman student reporter approached me seeking information for an article about the contract negations between Harvard and their dining service employees. While helping with this newspaper article, I took the opportunity to tell the student reporter of being a former homosexual and coming to Boston to help others overcome homosexuality. He asked if I would be interviewed for another article to be published in The Harvard Crimson, and we began working on a future article. The article was published in September of 2001. www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=121324 As a result of this article I came under investigation by three departments of Harvard University. Members of the United Ministries Department who were investigating me was also apart of and speakers for the February 2000 discussions about being gay and being a Christian. The United Ministries Department oversees the Christian student groups at Harvard University. The United Ministry Department included staff and faculty of Harvard, pastors of Memorial Chapel the Harvard University church and they were also homosexuals themselves. I was never contacted by the United Ministries Department as part of their investigation of me, but we had met as apart of a five-week series of discussions fifteen months earlier. I took an active part in the discussions and after the discussions each week I would introduce myself personally to the United Ministries staff that led some of the discussions. Details of these investigations may be found in this Harvard Crimson article. http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=121737 A third article was published in the Harvard Crimson concerning the investigations of me. I was never contacted by the Freshman Dean’s office or anyone in Dining Services as apart these investigations. But the student newspaper reporter continued to contact me for information written in his newspaper articles. This third article may be read online. http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=160808 An additional article about these investigations may be read online at www.boundless.org/2001/features/a0000552.html Because of these investigations by Harvard University I was invited to Washington DC to help lobby members of Congress. I was a member of group of ex-gays and others from PFOX, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays. The Harvard Crimson published an article of this trip at www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=348144The intolerance expressed to me, in these so-called investigations after a newspaper article resulted not in quieting an opposing view, but rather exposed what will surely continue to increase. Attempts by those advocating for homosexuality seek to have just one side of a deeply dividing issue expressed. My experience reveals that they only wish to express the view of tolerance for the acceptance of homosexuality.


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