It looks like Randy Thomas, the membership director of Exodus, reads the Blend every so often. At least he read my post about his recent decision to block public access to his blog (he has since reversed that decision). He is a bit sore about it all, sensitive about the moniker “ex-gay for pay” being applied to him.
Randy’s on the right; he has taught an Exodus panel called Escaping the Gaytrix.
Recently a friend tipped me off to a blog post by Pam Spaulding. She identifies as lesbian and is apparently a good blogger (for her audience.) She affectionately calls me the “ex-gay for pay Randy Thomas.”
Believe me, if I were in this realm of “activism/work” for the money, I would switch sides and be working for the HRC making three to four times what I currently make. I could work for any number of local or regional gay or pro-gay organizations making a heckuva lot more money. But to be honest, if I were only about money, I would go back into the computer realm which is where I was before going into ministry full time. So, no, I am not “ex-gay for pay.”
…But you know, I hear making a living off of being a popular blogger can be pretty lucrative and you even get to set your own hours (i.e. Andrew Sullivan.) Now, I am not speaking specifically of Pam because I don’t read her blog so I have no idea how she makes a living. The point being, even though you can be “out” and “proud” of how you identify and live your life, I would never accuse you of exploiting your identity to make money, raise support, rally the troops or create a name for yourself.
The amount of work and money it takes to attempt to counter anti-gay movements is substantial. The dough rolling in for homobigoted efforts like Exodus, Focus on the Anus, the American Family Association dwarf the budgets of gay organizations.
Randy, just so you know, I certainly don’t make a living blogging. Like most people out there in the blogosphere, we have regular day jobs — I’m a gay-for-very-little-pay average citizen running a few ads to support the hosting of the blog.
They real issue is that I’m fortunate — my day-job employer has an anti-discrimination policy in regards to its gay and lesbian employees (as well as same-sex spousal equivalent benefits), but that’s not the case for too many of my LGBT brothers and sisters, who can lose their jobs for being openly gay (or even suspected of it by a bigoted employer).
I’m doing my small part to work to extend civil rights, not restrict them by making note of the bigotry and ignorance out there, and do it no less passionately than you do for your cause. It’s two sides of the same coin, however I can sleep at night knowing I’ve not caused someone to think of committing suicide because they are gay or lesbian or that there is something inherently wrong with them that is evil or diseased that must be purged or cleansed. There’s no reason to “seek freedom from homosexuality,” as Exodus promotes, if there is nothing wrong with being gay.
Hat tip, Scott.