Christian’s year of living 'gay' leads to dramatic change, sparks controversy

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by glocke12, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    #1
    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/...dramatic-change-sparks-controversy/?hpt=hp_c1


    "Washington (CNN) - Timothy Kurek’s 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, “was trying to convert her.”

    He was quickly disgusted by his own feelings, more pious than humane."
     
  2. macrumors 68020

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    #2
    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.
     
  3. macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #3
    It's been done before, with Blacks and Jews being the 'subjects'.

    An interesting social experiment, for him.

    And now his publisher. ;)
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Sydde

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  5. macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #6
    True, but I was thinking more along the lines of the books/movies Black Like Me and Gentleman's Agreement.

    Get it? Gentile. lol :p
     
  7. macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #7
    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.
     
  8. macrumors 603

    mobilehaathi

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    #8
    So, business as usual? :p
     
  9. leekohler, Dec 2, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012

    macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors 603

    mobilehaathi

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    #10
    I totally hear you. Here is hoping he donates to some good LGBT causes!
     
  11. macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    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:

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/...e-sparks-controversy/comment-page-2/#comments
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

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    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #14
    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.
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #15
    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?
     
  16. macrumors 6502

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    #16
    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.
     
  17. macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #17
    I think we all know the answer to those questions.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #18
    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.

    Edit: Here, it's from the summer.
    http://gawker.com/5918530/reformed-...s-a-gay-man-for-a-year-writes-a-book-about-it

    Sorry it's gawker, but i can find you another link if you like.
     
  19. macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #19
    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.
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #20
    So write the book and donate the proceeds to a cause related charity.

    Everyone's happy.
     
  21. macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #21
    That's what I say, but that's not what he's doing.
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

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    #23
    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."
     
  24. macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #25
    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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