Camp Hetero Horror

(Update: There’s a bit more on the story here.)

This is what I get for adding yet another feed to my already long list of feeds to keep up with. This time it was LinkFilter that brought me a story so scary and depressing that I literally just sat and stared at the computer for about ten minutes.

I’ve seen the movie But I’m a Cheerleader, but I guess I’ve been blocking out of my mind the reality that there are camps out there that allegedly make gay kids “straight,” and that parents send their kids to these places. Specifically, Zack’s parents are sending him. Apparently, when you’re a 16-year-old gay boy in Bartlett, TN, bad things can happen.

Zack
Well today, my mother, father, and I had a very long “talk” in my room where they let me know I am to apply for a fundamentalist christian program for gays. They tell me that there is something psychologically wrong with me, and they “raised me wrong.” I’m a big screw up to them, who isn’t on the path God wants me to be on. So I’m sitting here in tears, joing the rest of those kids who complain about their parents on blogs – and I can’t help it.

I wish I had never told them. I wish I just fought the urge two more years… I had done it for three before then, right? If I could take it all back.. I would, to where I never told my parents things and they always were mad at me– It’s better than them crying and depressed cause they will have no granchildren from me. It’s better than them telling me that there’s something wrong with me. It’s better than them explaining to me that they “raised me wrong.”

Here’s more than you’d ever want to know about the rules of this place. I warn you, it’s…well…scary.

And here’s what it does to a kid to even think of being sent to one of these places.

I haven’t been on a computer, phone, nor have I seen any friends in a week almost– Soon. Soon, this will be all over. My mother has said the worst things to me for three days straight… three days. I went numb. That’s the only way I can get through this. I agree, if you’re thinking that these posts might be dramatized.. but the proof of the programs ideas are sitting in the rules. I pray this blows over. I can’t take this… noone can… not really, this kind of thing tears you apart emotionally. To introduce THIS subject… I’m not a suicidal person… really I’m not.. I think it’s stupid – really. But.. I can’t help it, no im not going to commit suicide, all I can think about is killing my mother and myself. It’s so horrible. This is what it’s doing to me… I have this horrible feeling all of the time… I wish this on no person..

So, the “program” started on June 6th, and until the 17th or 20th, Zach is in the hands of an organization run by Rev. John Smid (more on him here), whose many words of widsome include this little gem.

“I would rather you commit suicide than have you leave Love In Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection; whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a spiritual death from which there is no recovery.” –The Final Indoctrination from John Smid, Director, Love In Action (LIA), San Rafael’s “ex-gay” clan.

And Zach’s parents put him in this guy’s hands? As far as I’m concerned, they don’t deserve to be parents. Anyone who would do something like that to a kid—send them to a place like that—doesn’t. It’s child abuse, plain and simple. Their kid deserves better. Maybe I’m reacting this way because when I was Zach’s age, something like this was my worst nightmare, and was one of the main reasons why I didn’t come out to my folks then.

At least Zach has been able to reach out to people online. His story is getting out. And He’s got hundreds of messages of support waiting for him when he comes back. I just hope he makes it out of there in one piece, emotionally and psychologically.

Camp “Refuge” is in Memphis, TN. WIth any luck, maybe someone in or near Memphis will come across Zach’s story and undertake a “rescue mission” to get him out of there.

About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
This entry was posted in Gay Rights, Parenting, Religion. Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Camp Hetero Horror

  1. Nio says:

    I agree that these parents (and others like them) are abusive and should have their “right” to “raise” children revoked.

    And Georgia wants to make it a law that kids have to out themselves in order to join the GSA?

    I’ll go on that rescue mission with you, T.

    I am horrified.

  2. Terrance says:

    There is a bright spot. There are hundreds of supportive messages on his blog, and it looks like getting his story out on the internet has brought about a bit of action. Here are just a few of the comments.

    hey guy.
    hopefully we’ll see ya there tomorrow morning, and then EVERY MORNING at 9 am for the next two weeks.
    we got the media there. the bastards that were pretending to be so nice and friendly to us came outside and had a brief debate with morgan….but we had something much better, we had 30 screaming chanting singing clapping kids, most of them young, holding signs and smiling and laughing back at their disapproving stares.

    please know that if you somehow get out (or whenever you finish the program) if your parents give you no options, you’ve got like a thousand people willing to help you out.


    In my non online life, I’m the deputy director of an LGBT rights organization in Washington, and while I realize I’m blowing my online cover to say this to you, I really want to help with what you’re doing. We have media contacts and may be able to help you get more people there and to get tv or other contacts that might be able to help. I really, really want to be able to help.


    I’m sending some stuff about you to my cousin. He was president of the University of Memphis BGALA (Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Alliance) for some time, and hopefully his activist contacts haven’t gotten too rusty. Also, I took the liberty of writing some letters to the editor about these criminal assholes running “Love in Action, ” (ha! what a title for a gulag!) and hopefully some old style investigative journalism by the Flyer (the editor emailed me today and said he was working on a story) will uncover enough skeletons to shut the whole thing down.

    You’re a good kid, and what they are doing to you is shit. Remember that. You aren’t the problem. They are.

  3. Tim Who? says:

    Exactly the reason I didn’t come out till after I left home.

    I hope that someone is able to help him. And the many others are there in the same boat?

  4. T. E. Scheurich, 16, VA, gay, not out to my parents says:

    I renounced liberalism two weeks ago in favor of conservative apologism. I look at conservatives and and say “their minds, by no faults of their own, make errors that no amount of liberals shouting at them can fix, therefore it is better to try to understand them than dehumanize them like activists.”

    You made a serious error in telling your parents. I understand if you were unable to predict that they would have that reaction, but if you did predict it, you should have trusted your instincts.

    The world is a terrifying place to people of the status quo. I believe we must respect their rights to bury their heads in the sand if that’s what they want to do. Instead of trying to snap your parents out of their terrified oblivion, tell friends or other tolerant people that you’re gay and leave them much happier and healthier in the dark. That’s what I’m doing and it’s been great.

    But, on the other hand, maybe you did do the right thing. I don’t know the answer to that question and I don’t pretend to. I just know what’s worked for me.

  5. T. E. Scheurich, 16, VA, gay, not out to my parents says:

    in second person response to the zach story, of course

  6. Incredibly moving and frightening stuff you have here, T. Thanks for getting the word out. I have written out this over at my blog and I hope that some will surf over and read what all you have posted.

  7. Pingback: The Republic of T. » More on Zack’s Story

  8. Lissy says:

    God these people make me ill. What warps you so badly that we have such a large segment of our society willing to decimate their children?
    If Zack wants to live in SF, we will be happy to put him up at our place so he can finish HS in peace, and get residency for decently priced CA colleges… If anyone has a way to give him my email, feel free.
    JessicaDrewSW@comcast.net

  9. Carl Nyberg says:

    I’m no theologian, but isn’t suicide a “no no”?

    Isn’t it on the short list of things that can’t be foregiven b/c you can’t confess and repent afterwards?

    Rev. Suicide’s program certainly doesn’t sound loving, but it also sounds like crappy theology.

  10. It’s been picked up by TalkLeft, Daily Kos, Crooks & Liars, and probalby soon Americablog (I hope). Zach’s story is not going away, and if there is a god, the ACLU will pick this up. It’s fine if consenting adults want to go and subject themselves to a degrading, dehumanizing program of indoctrination. It is not OK to subject an innocent kid to such a program against his or her will.

  11. Alicia says:

    I feel for Zach with all my heart. I’m not gay, but when I was 12 I was sent to a fundamentalist boot camp (living outdoors year-round) for a year and a half because my mom was having a hard time dealing with a child who was the carbon copy of her hated ex-husband. I was not allowed to go to the bathroom (the hole in the ground) except twice a day when everyone went – as a result I developed a severe bladder infection, which they refused to treat. These places should be shut down and sued within an inch of their lives.

    Yes, they lie to the parents, they lie to the kids to get them to consent to go, and then they abuse the ‘hell out of them’. It’s criminal what goes on in those places. The ‘successes’ are usually kids who will do or say anything in order to be allowed to leave.

    I hope that these blogs and the people who read them will shine some light into these abusive places, and I hope someone can rescue Zach before something more terrible happens.

    The God I believe in would never want one of His precious children treated like that.

  12. Travis says:

    If Zack can make it to Austin, he can stay here, finish school, go to college and get alot of ‘real’ therapy. This is so sick, it just makes me angry and scared at the same time.

  13. Sheridan says:

    omg! I am so angry now after reading that!
    I can’t believe how backward people can still be. If I were anywhere near I would go break him out.
    That sort of stuff makes me very angry. Hope he gets out ok, he has my support for whoever he wants to be. 🙂
    xx

  14. Fletcher says:

    I read Zach journal yesterday, and I’m doing research into what else this organization does and who else knows about it. I’m going to try and raise awareness about this program among my friends and on Gaia Online, already a very pro-gay place. I’d also like to try to raise awareness of this and programs similar to this. While I have nothing against religion, or those who follow it, and while I don’t necessarily mind programs like this is people CHOOSE to enter them, I do have a problem with children being forced into them against theit will. Especially when the program is as extreme as this. It feels like a violation of human rights, to me.

    If anyone wants to contact me about this, feel free to. My msn account is xujhan@hotmail.com. Just send me an email or catch me when I’m online.

    And to Zach, if you read this, my heart goes out to you. You shouldn’t have to suffer like this, just as none of the others that are forced into that program shouldn’t have to. If you ever need somewhere to stay, my door will always be open to you.

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  16. Karlo says:

    Hang in their Zach!

  17. Senor Boogie Woogie says:

    Hola!

    My hometown is Memphis Tennessee. I read about Zack’s plight on a message board, and it really pissed me off. It made me angry that parents can have their children committed to a facility without recourse from the youth involved.

    I am not gay, quite the opposite. To me this is an issue of freedom. Has Zack broken any laws? How can parents willing give up their parental rights to their child, to a church?

    This is a story about a 16 year old boy named Zack, who lives in the bedroom community of Bartlett, Tennessee, which is next to Memphis. Sometime in the recent past, he decided to “come of the closet” so to speak and told his parents that he was gay. Since Zack is “underage”, his parents decided that he needed “treatment” for his homosexuality, so he is forced to going to a place called “Love In Action”, basically a Baptist Church youth holding facility for problem youth, and homosexuality is defined as a “problem” that can be solved through praying to Jesus for deliverence. Yee-Haw.

    Sexual political prisoner, Zack and the regulations of the gulag.http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?f…=20050604221047

    Two message boards which are talking about this, maybe others:

    http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb…ad.php?t=320390

    http://forums.livingwithstyle.com/t171051-gay-kid's-plea-for-help.html

    This is the Love In Action website:
    http://www.loveinaction.org

    I think that Love In Action needs to be e-mailed daily by every person who believes that Zack and many of the other “clients” are in there against their will. Better yet, write them “dummy letters”. A dummy letter is a fiction. I e-mailed them stating that I had a 15 year old son who was gay and how much is the program. All the e-mails they receive will keep them busy and waste their time. A phone campaign (to tie up their phone lines) would be cool too.

    e-mail info@loveinaction.org

    Phone Number (001)(901) 751-2468.

    E-Mail the officail church of the Gulag:
    http://www.germantownbaptist.org/te…0898&PG=contact

    If you still want to read more about Zack and his plight,

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=zh-…9C%E7%B4%A2&lr=

    The beautiful thing about the internet is that when there is an injustice being played out in the world, it will be known by all. Shit like this could be covered up 15 years ago. Not today. I would like to start a college fund for him, so he can get away from this religious system Love cannot evolve without liberty and freedom. Zack is denied both.

    Any thoughts, feelings or ideas?

    Senor

    ——————————————————

    I also shot a threatening letter to LIA telling them if they lay a hand on Zack or any other client they will be sued. This place is very fortunate that I am 5,000 miles away from them. If you really care about this, rally the troops. Write to your congressman or Governor. Call the media. Find attorneys willing to help Zack and other kids in this situation.

    Sincerely,

    Senor

  18. Rodger Aiken says:

    I live in Glen Burnie, Maryland; and when I went to school on Monday EVERYONE in my high school was talking about this kid and his blog. One of my teachers even took some class time to show us the blog and let us discuss it. Since then, a lot of people at my high school (including myself) have been writing letters and e-mails to the news media here and to the LIA people, and spreading the word about this horrible camp. Barely 48 hours ago, there was a group formed on MySpace, and the group has already surpassed 420 people in membership. and it’s its just been two days. Just to let everyone know that all is not lost, and the entire world is showing support for this kid, and all kids being imprisoned at that camp. The public cannot let LIA continuing existence, nor can we let them go unpunished. After Zach is freed, legal action should be taken against LIA.

  19. Terrance says:

    The thing is I’m not sure what legal action can be taken. Until he’s 18, Zach’s parents have a legal right to send him there. You and I might call it child abuse, and I believe we’d be right, but convincing the state of Tennessee — conservative as that state generally is — would probably be an uphill battle. But I think Zach’s story has raised a lot of awareness and some good may yet come of that. I’ll be looking to see if he blogs when he gets out.

  20. It is awesome how people in the Memphis area and around the country have rallied in support of Zach and to express outrage at the “ex-gay” mob tactics.

    After 17 years (two of them in LIA) and $30,000 to these places, I came to my senses. I subjected myself to that madness. Zach and the other young people in the program have been forced to attend. I heard of a 16-year-lesbian in Smid’s Love in Action program back in January. On June 2 I got to speak to Smid about it at an airport in Atlanta.

    I write about it at http://a_musing.blogspot.com/

  21. Richard says:

    I pray God protection on you, Zach, as you struggle through this horrible experience. It must be like being in jail. But don’t believe the stuff about “God hates fags” or that you’re certainly bound for hell. Remember that Jesus does indeed love you and that he is saving you from the harm that these people seem bent on causing. God actually loves fags, and I can say that from personal experience. May the God’s holy angels surround you and protect you.

  22. Hi, I am the Creative Director of queerplanet a network of queer ezines based in Australia. I have rallied our huge international network around this cause. Enough is enough with us getting treated like this all the time. As of yesterday a letter was delivered to LIA (very close to LIAR isn’t it?). Here is an extract:
    “PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that unless you immediately discharge Zach and any other children who are in your care and custody for brainwashing of their “homosexual tendencies” I will immediately file a formal complaint with Child Protective Services in your state and a formal complaint with the District Attorney of your county.”
    We have also been able to access Zach’s last name and as such are contacting Child Protective Services to have Zach removed from this faciity. This is child abuse in the name of religion.

    Andrew Stopps
    Creative Director
    queerplanet.com.au
    queerplanet.us
    queerplanet.ca
    queerplanet.co.uk

  23. Gina Wood says:

    There is an organization known as PROTECT. YOu will find it on vachss website. It is a national organization that deals with child abuse. I strongly suggest we get as many people as possible to contact this group in order to raise the awareness of gay concentration camps such as these in order to get something done on a national scale. The sooner this place is seen as a blight on Memphis the sooner the city and DFS will intercede. I know what I am talking about. I am from the Memphis area. They won’t do anything unless we are a national embarassment. Look at the headlines John Ford grabs nationally.

  24. Scott in Cali says:

    In 1988 (when I was 16) my parents tried to send me away to “degay” me too. They sent me to two different county-provided counselors, each who said being gay was not an issue, not a psychological or psychiatric problem. Then my parents tried to have me committed to a psychiatric institution. In the intake interview, my parents were totally debunked, and told that my problems, if any, came from not being accepted for who I was. These were state and county funded institutions.

    I shudder to think almost 20 years later we have gone backwards in some respects, and that outfits like Smid’s may even get federal funding under the “faith-based initiatives”.

  25. Michael C. says:

    I e-mailed Dateline asking them to cover this story. I would encourage everyone else to do so. Margaret Cho responded to this plight by releasing a statement on her blog site. I wish someone would tell Susan Sarandon I know she could get the story out there. Good luck to everyone.

  26. Matt Baker says:

    The parents should be arrested, charged, and placed in prison for child abuse, neglect, and depraved indifference.

    He’s being sent away because he’s gay and the parents just don’t want to deal with that because they don’t accept it. Sending your child to a facility for any reason is wrong. Doing it to “de-gay” him is even worse. It’s an infringement of his rights to be secure in his own person.

    If I had the means, i’d go up there and break him out. Him and everyone else and i’d find them safe houses to stay at until their parents are locked away. Children are not property to be traded away for obedience training.

    I say “To Arms!” and I ask anyone with the means to get him the fuck out of there, regardless of the legal repurcussions. No one has to be locked away just because they’re gay, or they happen to be under 18.

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  28. Rev. Mary Yankee says:

    The thought that keeps ME up at night is that if certain elements of the radical Christian right had THEIR way, we’d ALL be interred in camps like these – and these are the elements that own our government!

  29. ol cranky says:

    JaneyRuth:

    If I put my cynical hat on, I could see it being manufactured by the “ex-gay” movement to set up a “success story” for their programs. The fact that his blog wasn’t taken down did make me question whether this particular case was legitimate to be honest. This being said, there is documentation of programs such as LIA (and stories similar to this) and the detrimental effect they can have, especially on vulnerable adolescents, so I do think this situation not only needs to be investigated and that more blanket coverage to the dangers of “reparitive therapy” needs to occur.

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  31. CS says:

    OMG! That almost made me cry. I tried to comment on Zach’s actual site and couldn’t, but if you read this Zach, know that you have supporters everywhere, and don’t give up. Don’t let these people try to change you into someone you’re not!

  32. Pingback: Famous and nonfamous strangers » Blog Archive » Have you heard the one about the gay teen concentration camp?

  33. davenwuxi says:

    Quite apart from the human rights issue, which is of vital importance, the thing that concerns me is that institutions like LIA are based on the belief that being gay is a psychological aberration that can be ‘cured’ by therapy.

    This is an attitude that was common in earlier times but which has been seriously challeneged – if not actually disproved – by more recent medical studies.

    Most informed opinion now regards being gay as an innate state, possibly genetically based. If this modern view is correct, then one CANNOT be ‘de-gayed’ and clearly any attempt to do so will have possible irreparable damaging effects on the psychology of the ‘victim’.

    I hope it does not happen to young Zach, but how many other inmates of the LIA facility have left with psychological scars that will affect them for life?

    How can people invoke perverted interpretations of religion to justify their actions in cases like this?

  34. Caity says:

    Oh wow… This is horrible!!! I can’t BELIEVE parents would do stuff like this to their own children!!!!

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  36. David says:

    As a gay man of over 60 I’ve seen some heartbreaking things in my time, thought I’d become immune. But now I’m stunned, horified beyond belief, not just that such a thing can happen in these enlightened times, but that it’s actually legal for parents to twist and distort a child in this way. And what of the camps? Can it really be legal for such simple minded bigots to attempt mind bending experiments on minors? What in hell has happened to America – have you all gone completely crazy?
    Who in God’s name told these foolish parents that they could treat any individual this way?
    And they do it to their own wonderful son!
    Don’t they know yet (what age are they) that being a parent is a responsibility, not an excuse to claim a whole new package of rights.
    Zack, don’t be misled. God made you (and me) as we are. Accept it and be proud of yourself, make the most of who you are (and how you are). Do better than your parents – you may find yourself in the role of father someday (I did) and so be grateful for the hard learned lessons.
    Thanks for your Blog, I hope it saves others from ignorance.
    There is more love in the world than hate – really! Enjoy your future.
    David
    sirdavidatSPAMREMOVE@hotmail.com
    (bigotry and rubbish cheerfully junked)

  37. Robbins says:

    This is one of the worst things that could happen to a child! I feel so very bad for you Zach. I am a 21 year old, african-american male who is just torn over this. I, myself, am gay, and I have yet to come out to my parents. One reason is that I’ve grown up in a small town in TN with conservative parents. However, I honestly believe that my parents would never put me into a “de-gay” camp. It’s so horrible. I know people who were put out of their houses, unsuccessfully “exorcised”, and just dehumanized because of being gay. Now, they are people who successfully made the best out of their lives. You can do the same. Just hang in there buddy. I hope you find peace in the midst of all of this, and I’m sure you are going to come out on top! Just keep your head up, and know that God loves you, and so do I and many of the people on this blog site.

  38. Anonymous Teen says:

    I’m a teenager, on myspace, I’ve talked to him. He’s a great person and he’s he’s taking this horrible, unjust punishment well. I assure you this made me angry to the extent that I was read to go over there and give his parents a peice of my mind, and I’m younger than him. This is a horrible act done to a beautiful and wonderful person, and it’s simply not right. It’s similar to that TV show… “Brat Camp”, only this “Love In Action”, AKA Straight Camp, is targeting homosexuals, not kids into Punk Rock. I’m astonished and disturbed.

    The worst part is, Zach is such a great guy.

  39. Matthias says:

    Dear all,

    It is with great disturbance that I read this blog.
    I have just heard a report on the Dutch news about “Hetero Camps”. I am horrified.
    Being formerly a German national I know all too well what happend during the 2nd world war in Auschwitz.
    Gladly do I live now in the Netherlandsm after a stint of 16 years in Great Britain and the USA.
    Am now married to a great man . yes MARRIED.. with all options and dues that go with. And all legal.
    I hope you have one day that option.!! We are christians, but have freedom, which seems not the case for the average american anymore. SADLY… and being send to a camp…….. horror..

    good luck.

    Matthias

  40. Ceasar says:

    Gosh where to begin, God Bless you child for who you are and what you believe in, don’t ever let any man take that from you.
    Walk with your chin up and chest out be proud of who you are. You are Zach created in the image and likeness of God.
    Study metaphysics, the TRUE teachings of Jesus Christ it has nothing to do with sexuality at all, it has everything to do with love and good will. Those who persecute you for being yourself are themselves breaking God’s law by passing judgement upon you and how you were created. These judgemental people fail to embrace the truth themselves. ” Judge not, lest ye be judged” it’s in the bible. How can they ignore such a blatant statement of Truth??? DO NOT JUDGE OTHERS! After all we were ALL created in the image and like ness of God the almighty himself, again this is repeated over and over in the bible, are they saying God makes mistakes?? He does not, again here is a prime example of these people breaking spiritual law.
    Be strong not to send out negativity to your persecutors send them good will even if it is only between you and God.
    Christ taught of an “Infinite Intelligence” that lies within man the power to move mountains and part rivers and more importantly to heal ourselves…our souls.
    Forgive those who try to extinguish your light and bless them with good will, forgive yourself for whatever you need to forgive yourself for, practice daily meditation, affirmation, prayer and love, you see God’s law is simply a law of love and good will. You are capable of loving no matter what any person might say and you have a place in this world. you are destined for greatness in the eyes of God. Never forget that. May God bless you always and may the peace of the heavens be a constant light within your heart. You are protected by the white light of the Christ, through which nothing negative can penetrate.You now have the fearless faith of the Christ within, at your approach barriers vanish and obstacles disappear. Know thyself, know the truth and it shall set you free. I believe that you will prevail. my Partner and I are with you
    Peace be with you-

    Ceasar and Douglas

  41. ~granny says:

    I’m just horrified… what in the heck kind of parents are these? Surly not loving parents, they’re embarrassed by their Son, and will put him through anything to mold him into their version of the perfect Son… they’d rather he be dead… un-…-believeable…

    ~granny

  42. Luciano says:

    Hi, I am from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I was indignant about all this stuff going on. I think parents who don’t take their children as they are, don’t ever deserve to be parents. Fortunatly, I live in a country where, as hard it is to come out of the closet, we have freedom of choice and expression. Zach, if your parents keep reluctant about accepting your sexual condition, just pretend that you were “cured”. One day, you’ll be free to live your life the way you want. I have been a Christian in the past. I often used to talk to God and let Him lead my life according to his wish. Sexually spaeking, I didn’t change a thing. I got to the conclusion that it’s for me to be this way. And don’t believe that a gay man can be turned into a straight one. He can even date and marry a woman, but his true feelings and wishes will be always locked deep inside.

  43. Luciano says:

    Can anyone send me Zach’s blog? My e-mail address is lnetzwerk@hotmail.com.

  44. Roses says:

    yeah… That´s a big shit!
    I think we should choice our way and be respect for that, as a person who cares about humanity, about families… Choices are what make us individual and special. But, be homo or hetero is a choice that takes a lot of attention of society and make some people suffer repressed…
    Zach expose himself and make people look for this questions, that´s important, ´cuz make us think, and this is a begun….
    See you!

  45. Blake says:

    I am also gay and i do not plan to come out to my parents till collage. Then at least i can escape some of there tallens. They say the don’t mind gay people but the still wince when they see them on the real world and other places. Rigth now i am in a baptist town and trust me it’s not a good place to be gay. The kids they say i am gay but only half heartedly. Dream of the day i walk into a reunion of my school with my boyfriend or hopefully husband and see the looks on there faces. Can some one send me zacks blog?

  46. Chance says:

    Blake, I think they took it down. I’m really not sure. I am a young gay kid too. I have a blog but I don’t want to sound like I’m taking T’s traffic away. I was thinking about advertising on his blog if he would let me but I don’t know.

  47. Woah says:

    I cannot believe the treatment this poor child has recieved – i was recently listening to a story on my local aussie radio station “triple j” when i heard the story “save zach” come up as a topic of discussion. i think its disgusting the way he is being treated, and still am having difficulty believing that these camps do exist! instead of his parents being such wanks they should show him they love him no matter what, support him, and do whatever it takes for them to come to terms with the fact their son is gay- but not by using the terms of bringing him down. KEEP FIGHTING ZACH!!!

    PS. I also find it horrible the fact that children can be so scared that they feel they need to wait until after they leave home to tell their parents they are gay, However as i myself am not, i have no idea the fear you would feel and i think it would take major balls to be able to tell the people you know something like this. : )

  48. Ashley says:

    Hey Zack, I came across your story doing research for a paper and I can’t help but feel bad.  I attend church weekly, and just so you know, no one can pass judgment on you, they would be wrongful for taking such actions. I don’t believe in being gay actually, I’m kind of homophobic, but I am not one to judge and I would never say anything against someone who is, or not be someone’s friend because of there decisions.  In my paper I wrote about discrimination against gays and I did not know the links that parents go to just to change their child.  I just want to say your story changed my veiws.  My God bless you and help your family to realize that your not different.  I know you will make it through ok and do what makes you happy. YOU’RE NOT ALONE WE STAND BEHIND YOU!!

  49. Cord says:

    Has there been any information from this young man recently? Does anyone know if he is still at the camp? 

  50. john says:

    thats….disgustting. I can’t beleeive that there are peeople who can’t accept differences….

  51. James says:

    Im 17 and bisexual and in reading this i really cant believe some of the things im reading here. But with that said i do have a friend who was sent to one of these ex-gay camps and some of the things i have been told about these cult camps are highly crule and inhumane by all means. It seems that no one can get into these places nor invertigate due to the fact that it is a very well know as a christian religious group. This to me is one of the most stupid idealistic things i have heard and these cult camps should be stoped as soon as possible be4 they hurt another teen mentaly and emotinaly. I have came out to my parents and they were fine with it and its hard for me to believe that anyones parents would tell them it would be better for them to kill themselfs rather then be gay (tho i do). People i must say that rather then post blogs we should all figer a way to stop these people , i do think it will be very hard but it has to be done. This love in action place is badly hurting these kids and trying to make them something that are not and doing it at all costs. If we do not stop these groups them they will be no one to.

  52. I am also gay & my mum is a morman!

    If any of you have ever seen the move in and out – you will know what im saying when i say, My mum cried for 10 seconds with a rant like mumble of no your not, you only think you are, what about grandchildren.

    Its been 5 years and she still wants to believe that one day ill go straight again – NO CHANCE!

    anyone want to chat, im on MSN : darthsherwood@aol.com

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