Thursday, July 09, 2009

Another case of coerced involvement in an ex-gay group

The story of Bryce Faulkner, a gay pre-med student in Arkansas, has started making the rounds on the net. Short version: a young man was unexpectedly outed to his parents through their discovery of electronic communications between Bryce and his boyfriend Travis. Bryce was given the option of ex-gay treatment or losing all financial parental support (for a college student in America, a very grave threat indeed). Bryce has not been heard from at all in 25 days since the time I write this.

Waymon Hudson of the Bilerico Project has been in contact with Travis' parents to verify the story (Per Waymon, Bryce's parents refuse to communicate anything at all). For that reason I believe that this comment, originally posted at Bilerico, is genuinely from Travis' mother. I'm reposting part of it here because I find it so disturbing:
Hello everyone. First and foremost, I want to thank Waymon for putting this out here for everyone. I am "the BF's mom". That being said, this is not a hoax, scam or anything blown out of porportion. Bryce is a fine young man and had a bright future ahead of him, until he decided to come out to his mom and dad. He actually didn't even have the option of coming out. He was "found out" by despicable means. Everything he had was in their name, the cell phone, the car, internet, he worked at a clinic his mom owned. She would call the cell company and tell them she forgot the voicemail password, which they would then reset for her in order to get access to his voicemails. His dad is a technician for the local cable company (inet) and installed a "tap" on the internet in order to get access to passwords for email accounts. They even got the password to an account that they didn't know that he had. Any mail that came to the house addressed to him was opened and scanned. He did rely on his parents for everything.

I suppose nothing about what Christianist parents will do to their children to try and keep them in line should surprise me, but this claim that Bryce's parents covertly monitored every communication that he had was still disconcerting to me. I hope that little factoid gets publicised in the wake of the parents' inevitable attempt to paint themselves as the victims of the so-called "homosexual agenda" in response to the negative publicity that, with any luck, is now coming their way.

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