Friday, July 24, 2009

The response of Bryce Faulkner's family

As I expected, the parents of Bryce Faulkner have hit out against efforts to locate their son, speaking to a media outlet that is sympathetic to their side of the story, specifically, Fox News. Notably, there is still no direct contact with Bryce Faulkner, despite a written statement from an unidentified "family representative" allegedly from Bryce saying "Every decision that I've made has been based solely upon my beliefs and I have not been manipulated or coerced by anyone to do anything".

The Facebook groups that were set up concerning Bryce's situation still appear to be down, and the original "help save Bryce website has been updated with correspondence between the site maintainer and what he believes to be members of the Faulkner family (The e-mail address is unverified but the wounded effrontery, bad spelling and unironic signing off of a really angry letter with "in Christ," suggests to me that the letters are indeed from a small-town Christianist family that has found their actions unexpectedly scrutinised).

I have an obvious bias in the matter, but the Faulkners deserve a fair hearing, so I'm glad the letters are up. The website maintainer for his part is to my mind responding well to all allegations made about such things as the alleged length of the relationship between Bryce and Travis Swanson and the reason the relationship ended. One troubling thing does stand out for me however.

In one letter, signed by "The Faulkner's [sic]", it is stated "Bryce has ended this relationship and is moving on with his life. It is no different than any other relationship...its over...". This is a highly unusual thing to see in Christianist writing, specifically placing a homosexual relationship on the exact same emotional footing as "any other relationship". The standard anti-gay rhetoric as I understand it is that there's simply no equivalency between a heterosexual relationship and a homosexual one: the latter is a product of "sexual broken-ness" and can never be emotionally satisfying. So why is a rather different point of view about homosexuality being put forward by the Faulkners?

The Fox News article has a quote from Mrs Faulkner in which says that Bryce "got caught up with friends who were pulling him that way", which Fox News interprets (probably correctly) as Mrs Faulkner believing that friends were influencing Bryce towards homosexuality. So she apparently believes homosexuality is a choice, and one that can be influenced by outside factors. Yet the usual rhetoric doesn't quite match.

I'm not sure what to make of that. It could be that the Faulkners have never really had to think the issue through, and so have amassed a collection of contradictory beliefs that they've never taken the time to examine. I'm afraid that'll probably change now as anti-gay activists turn them into "victims of the homosexual movement" and instruct them more formally in the assumptions of anti-gay ideology. Pity.


Anonymous said...

I have some misgivings about the FOX article. It appears it was written by someone who never left his apartment in New York City.

Not to armchair, but I would have at least sought to arrange something with the local affiliate if I couldn't be on the ground.

Z said...

I'm aware that there are many issues with the Fox Newa article, above and beyond their failure to get a statement from Bryce Faulkner directly. The Truth Win Out blog I think summarised them pretty well.

Anonymous said...

There are lots of problems with this whole Bryce Faulker situation, not just with and it's writer.

Z said...

I know.