Wednesday, April 25, 2007

They tried to cure me of being gay - Christine Bakke's story

The other day I was in Great Clips (yes Great Clips) waiting to get my hair trimmed. There was a 25 – 30 minute wait so I settled in with a magazine I found on the stand next to me and proceeded to completely immerse myself in an article about a young lady named Christine Bakke.

I was immediately and completely drawn into Christine’s tale detailing her almost 5 years in various “Christian” ex-gay ministries desperately seeking a “cure” for her homosexuality. Her story was especially interesting to me because I’d read so many sad stories of gay men who’d tried to “cure” their homosexuality through these ex-gay ministries with disappointing and sometimes devastating results, but I’d never read a story about any woman’s journey down this excruciating path. And all I could do while reading the article was hold my breath and pray that her story had a happy ending.

I was reading this article with quite the fervor when the gal who was going to cut my hair called my name. For a split second I debated telling her to go to the next person so that I could finish the 7 page article and find out how Christine’s story ended, but unfortunately I was really in a hurry and had to get going as soon as I could. So as difficult as it was to do so, I put down the magazine and proceeded to the chair to get my hair cut.

For the next few days, Christine would pop in and out of my head, her unfinished story kind of haunting me. I really needed to know how her tale ended. Well imagine my relief when I went over to Box Turtle Bulletin and found that she was the subject of a post over there. I was so thrilled that I immediately clicked my way over to Glamour’s website and finished the article and left a comment.

Christine responded both in the comments and by email. She is an amazing person and I am relieved that I don’t need to worry about how her story ends anymore. If you have the chance to read the article, please do. I know it will resonate with many of you. Christine has also started a blog, so please check that out as well.



Jarred said...

I found Christine's blog and the article in question the other day myself. Both were absolutely wonderful, and I echo your recommendation.

It seems that our lesbian sisters often get the short end of the stick when it comes to visibility. It doesn't matter whether you're talking about research into the factors that contribute to sexual orientation, so-called "conversion therapy," or even health concerns, the focus tends to be on gay men with barely a mention of lesbians, assuming they get mentioned at all. Some have argued that it's just another sign that we live in a "man's world" even in the LGBT community. In many ways, I'm inclined to agree.

Anonymous said...

I would argue that (while cheuavanism definitely still exists withing the queer community), the invisibility of lesbians is more a sign of the greater patriarchy than any major internal echo of it. Society is dominated by straight men. Straight men find lesbians tittilating, and definitely nonthreatening. People who want to be anti-gay, then, will find it easier to be more sensational by focusing on gay men. Focus on lesbians, and you get a response akin to "Ok, but...I enjoy that behavior on my computer screen, so I don't want to outlaw it". So people look the other way. (By no means an "all the time" incidence, and I don't want to come across as saying that lesbians have it easy, or don't have any overt hatred thrown at them. Only that it happens LESS often than for gay men).
That's always been my take on it anyway.