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Old Dec 2, 2012, 07:14 AM   #1
glocke12
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Christianís year of living 'gay' leads to dramatic change, sparks controversy

ballsy "experiment" on his part...have to admit I don't really understand why some in the LGBT community are angry about this..


http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/1...rsy/?hpt=hp_c1


"Washington (CNN) - Timothy Kurekís motivation to spend a year pretending to be gay can be boiled down to a simple conviction: it takes drastic change to alter deeply held religious beliefs.

The experiment began after a lesbian friend opened up to Kurek about being excommunicated by her family. All Kurek, an avowed evangelical Christian, could think about, he says, ďwas trying to convert her.Ē

He was quickly disgusted by his own feelings, more pious than humane."
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 08:00 AM   #2
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I can understand on some level but I haven't read his book so I'm not sure if it itself just doesn't read right or not.

I remember reading "Nickel and Dimed" where a rich author pretended to be a poor, minimum wage worker. It rubbed me the wrong way because pretending was all it was, she could go home (and did) and quit at will (which she did) because it wasn't real. It was real for everyone she worked with though.

In the end, this guy could go home. He fooled and deceived people for his own personal gain (although the link says he will donate some proceeds to LGBT related charities). I can understand why this would rub people the wrong way.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 09:29 AM   #3
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It's been done before, with Blacks and Jews being the 'subjects'.

An interesting social experiment, for him.

And now his publisher.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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It's been done before ...
... as a PRSI thread, even.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 10:33 AM   #5
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I personally think it was a good thing. He can't force himself to be actually gay (despite what the GOP and severely misinformed Christians tend to think) so this was the closest he could do, and it changed him him a good way.

Hopefully others will read about his experiences and learn to accept others as this guy seemed to do.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:07 PM   #6
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True, but I was thinking more along the lines of the books/movies Black Like Me and Gentleman's Agreement.

Get it? Gentile. lol
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:35 PM   #7
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ballsy "experiment" on his part...have to admit I don't really understand why some in the LGBT community are angry about this..


http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/1...rsy/?hpt=hp_c1
I do. He lied to people and then made money off of it. He intentionally deceived a whole lot of people. If he truly only wanted to make this about the experience, then he would take ALL money he makes from this and donate it to LGBT rights causes. Otherwise, he's nothing more than someone lying to make money off the pain of others. That's pretty disgusting.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:38 PM   #8
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Otherwise, he's nothing more than someone lying to make money off the lives of others. That's pretty disgusting.
So, business as usual?
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:39 PM   #9
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So, business as usual?
Sort of like our health care system.

Here's the thing, he could have gone into the gay community as straight person, been honest, and learned probably just as much.

Instead, he intentionally lied to a lot of people, gained their trust and then betrayed that trust. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The fact that he moved all the way across the country speaks volumes. I'm sure he pissed off a lot of people.

Last edited by leekohler; Dec 2, 2012 at 12:44 PM.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:47 PM   #10
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Sort of like our health care system.

Here's the thing, he could have gone into the gay community as straight person, been honest, and learned probably just as much.

Instead, he intentionally lied to a lot of people, gained their trust and then betrayed that trust. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The fact that he moved all the way across the country speaks volumes. I'm sure he pissed off a lot of people.
I totally hear you. Here is hoping he donates to some good LGBT causes!
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:52 PM   #11
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I totally hear you. Here is hoping he donates to some good LGBT causes!
The article says he's donating a "portion" of the proceeds to LGBT youth causes., so that's good. But if he really wants to be taken seriously, ALL of that money should go to the community.

Otherwise, he's just another profiteer, caring little for the people he deceived. This comment on the article says it better than I can:

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So many directions to go with this article, I'm not sure which one to choose. I'm the 26 year old son of a lesbian couple who have been partnered 31 years now. To say I've grown up in the gay community is an understatement. So, while I understand what Mr. Kurek may have been trying to do here, lying to an entire community about who you are is not the way to go about it.

There are several problems with his alleged "ground breaking" experiment. The main one being that he's simply not gay and could walk away from it at any time. Gay people do not choose to be gay. They cannot just wake up one morning and go "Experiment over! I'm straight now." For that reason alone he will never understand what being gay really feels like.

The second being even more obvious – he spent a year lying to people about who he really is; a straight man. I'm not sure how old he is, but he appears to be in his late 20's or so. He spent this "Year of the Gay" concerned and paranoid that someone would find out he wasn't gay. THAT is something that gay people deal with for decades, lying about who they are and hoping others won't find out.

As much as I might ever try to understand someone being gay having grown up so much around it, I will never truly know on a personal level what they deal with. Kurek may have been well-intentioned but he needs to start apologizing to those in the gay community who trusted him as well as family members and friends who he lied to and making any profit from all those lies seems highly disingenuous.
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/1...ge-2/#comments
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 05:38 AM   #12
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he intentionally lied to a lot of people, gained their trust and then betrayed that trust.
My understanding is he wanted to experience what living like a gay man was like, not just witness it. Sort of a walk-a-mile-in-their-shoes kind of thing.

As a gay man, I'm impressed by this. He may be making a profit, but it is from sharing his experience with others. Perspective is very valuable.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 08:52 AM   #13
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My understanding is he wanted to experience what living like a gay man was like, not just witness it. Sort of a walk-a-mile-in-their-shoes kind of thing.

As a gay man, I'm impressed by this. He may be making a profit, but it is from sharing his experience with others. Perspective is very valuable.
He can't know, because he's not gay. He can't possibly ever know how scary it is to know what it's like, because he's NOT gay. He's straight and could walk away at any minute.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 08:58 AM   #14
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He can't know, because he's not gay. He can't possibly ever know how scary it is to know what it's like, because he's NOT gay. He's straight and could walk away at any minute.
I concede your point Lee.

Unless he went that extra mile for his Art, and risked a homosexual tryst, he has no way of knowing the fear involved, what with the crazies running about.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 09:00 AM   #15
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Was he actually being gay for a year, ie did he have a partner, have a romance, try to adopt kids etc? Or was he just muckin' around hangin' out in gay bars or what?
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 09:00 AM   #16
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Hey what are you doing in there?

Nothing. I was just...pretending...you know...for a book....I'm writing...because...you know...I'm a writer.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 09:03 AM   #17
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Was he actually being gay for a year, ie did he have a partner, have a romance, try to adopt kids etc? Or was he just muckin' around hangin' out in gay bars or what?
I think we all know the answer to those questions.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 09:05 AM   #18
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Was he actually being gay for a year, ie did he have a partner, have a romance, try to adopt kids etc? Or was he just muckin' around hangin' out in gay bars or what?
He actually has a big black dude pretend to be his boyfriend. That guy was the only one who knew that it was an act so he was just helping him out. He actually went through the whole process of coming out of the closet to his friends and family. NOBODY except his "boyfriend" knew it was a hoax. He actually really put himself through a lot of really tough stuff to make this happen, that's why i think the gay community shouldn't have much beef against him. The fact that he sacrificed so much kind of shows that he did it for the right reason.

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I think we all know the answer to those questions.
Apparently you don't, because i read about this months ago and already got the answers to those questions. Excuse me while i attempt to find a link.

Edit: Here, it's from the summer.
http://gawker.com/5918530/reformed-h...-book-about-it

Sorry it's gawker, but i can find you another link if you like.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 09:10 AM   #19
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He actually has a big black dude pretend to be his boyfriend. That guy was the only one who knew that it was an act so he was just helping him out. He actually went through the whole process of coming out of the closet to his friends and family. NOBODY except his "boyfriend" knew it was a hoax. He actually really put himself through a lot of really tough stuff to make this happen, that's why i think the gay community shouldn't have much beef against him. The fact that he sacrificed so much kind of shows that he did it for the right reason.

----------



Apparently you don't, because i read about this months ago and already got the answers to those questions. Excuse me while i attempt to find a link.
I read the article, and disagree with you. I don't think that lying to a whole bunch of people you care about is a good thing at all, no matter what the intention. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

He sacrificed his friendships in the sense that he lied to a whole lot of people for no good reason. He also knew that he could walk away at any second. That is in NO way similar to knowing what we actually go through. We don't get to turn around one day and say, "Oh, I was just pretending". It's not the same at all, and to say it is is pretty damn insulting to those of us who have actually had to live through it.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 09:41 AM   #20
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So write the book and donate the proceeds to a cause related charity.

Everyone's happy.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 11:08 AM   #21
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So write the book and donate the proceeds to a cause related charity.

Everyone's happy.
That's what I say, but that's not what he's doing.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 11:18 AM   #22
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He can't know, because he's not gay. He can't possibly ever know how scary it is to know what it's like, because he's NOT gay. He's straight and could walk away at any minute.
While I believe he made a genuine effort to develop empathy, I agree with you in that someone can never fully understand something unless they experience it in complete reality. Because he isn't gay, he cannot achieve that understanding. With that said, I would argue he has a greater understanding than most people, and certainly more than Christians that lack empathy completely. Nonetheless, you make a really important point which people tend to forget and that is we can never fully understand someone else's situation.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 03:10 AM   #23
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Leekohler, how would you have him experience life as a gay man? All this anger and all I'm getting is "I would forgive him if he donated everything to charity."
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 03:28 AM   #24
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Leekohler, how would you have him experience life as a gay man? All this anger and all I'm getting is "I would forgive him if he donated everything to charity."
He can't experience it, because he's not gay.

If he were truly simply trying to understand, he would all the proceeds away. But that's not what it looks like from where I'm sitting. It looks like he's more interested in attention and making money.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 06:58 AM   #25
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He can't experience it, because he's not gay.

If he were truly simply trying to understand, he would all the proceeds away. But that's not what it looks like from where I'm sitting. It looks like he's more interested in attention and making money.
It is the classical problem that makes empathy so difficult at times given one cannot ever fully understand another.

I agree it is somewhat strange that he donates only a certain amount...not sure if what he is keeping for living expenses or perhaps he intends to use it on the people he deceived and may have hurt, but I agree it is a little odd.
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