Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Are You Feeling SSAD?

Hey--since satire keeps getting me in trouble, how 'bout a little irony? Or borderline irony--you know, kind of like that Alanis Morissette song "Isn't It Ironic?" in which almost nothing she listed was, in fact, actually ironic. "A no smoking sign on your cigarette break" is sad (or maybe not--the life you save could be your own), but not really ironic.

And speaking of sad, have you heard the one about the new disorder affecting 5-10% of the population? It's called Same Sex Attraction Disorder, or SSAD.

I hadn't heard of it either, until very recently. It was all the rage at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly--in certain circles.

It's a recent thing, I guess. Not same sex attraction. That's as old as the hills. But the redefinition of it as a disorder is new. In the early seventies, all of the major psychiatric and psychological associations stopped classifying homosexuality as a disorder.

So guess who is reordering us disordered?

If you said NARTH, take ten dollars from petty cash. If you don't know who NARTH is, take twenty dollars and stop reading now. Go to a movie. You are blessed and I don't want to corrupt you.

Okay, for those who are still reading, NARTH is the National Association for Research and Treatment of Homosexuality. NARTH promotes...wait for it...reparative therapy for gay men and lesbians. Members of the Association wear black capes and plastic face masks and duel with light sabers...oh hang on, that's a different group.

NARTH sells the snake oil of "conversion" to disturbed parents and desparate gay and lesbian people who believe that it is impossible to be gay and happy. (snicker snicker)

That's the point: the invention of this new disorder is an in-your-face reminder that those of us who are attracted to our own gender aren't gay, we're ssad. I can't quite figure out who invented SSAD, but if you Google it, the first thing that comes up is NARTH. If you try Wikipedia--which I do, but only for stuff like this--you won't find an entry on SSAD, but you will find a guy named Richard Cohen, who wrote a book in 2001 called Coming Out Straight. In that book, he used the term Same Sex Attraction Disorder. If you want to read about him, go to Wiki yourself:
Mr. Cohen is kind of creepy, and I don't want to take too much space on my blog for him, and his "holding therapy."

I just want to know why these folks can't simply accept the fact that a lot of gay and lesbian people are reasonably happy, productive members of society. We're not disordered (at least not because we're gay), and we're not hurting anybody. We make good teachers and soldiers and pastors, and, yes, florists and decorators.

Fix somebody who is broken, would ya?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I did not know who NARTH was, but I didn't heed your advice...I kept reading. Now I am pretty creeped out! Who knew such attitudes still existed in the 21st century?! I agree with your summary sentence wholeheartedly: fix somebody who is broken, would ya? Because I am far from broken! --Sheryl