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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Musings about Kevin Griffin's Examiner article


My musings after reading Kevin Griffin’s article in the Examiner on Steve Grand

 
First some thoughts:

Why does Steve play piano and sing for his church?  Because he likes music.  Not that he likes what the Catholic church teaches him on a number of fronts.  It’s just what he grew up with being exposed to.  He may still be having some tough times relationally.  He didn’t have enough relational skills to be able to apply what his counselor was offering him.  So, what he needed the most was just someone to listen to him and someone to talk with.  He goes to extremes with things, but he doesn’t centered enough in himself yet.  He is so much more fragile than Nick is.  Nick seems to love it that Steve is infatuated with him.  Like a younger man to follow him and worship him.  I think it plays right into Nick’s personality.  Steve doesn’t want his faith to set limits on him, he seems to want it for the ways that please him, at least at this point in his life. 
                                                                                                               
What is Steve referring to when Kevin Griffin quotes him as saying: 

That was the idea, to cure me of that. It wasn’t like Exodus—I wasn’t getting shocked.”
 


Who the heck is he saying in Exodus does electric shock therapy?  Come on……..  At least Steve, or this writer, didn’t put the word, cure, in quotes.  That’s a rarity.  But I think that Steve could be digging himself a deeper hole, the more they press him.  But does it matter?  The pro-gay voice, even the pro-gay Christian voice is in the power position in our culture now.  See, even the Catholic church leadership where Steve plays music and sings at said it was fine for him to keep playing music and singing for them.  They wouldn’t handle well the media attack if they did anything else.  At least he explains his counseling more clearly here.  (in Kevin’s article, where he is quoting Matt’s article) 

Reading further through Kevin’s article:

Gosh, this phrasing in the interview sounds like Joe Nicolosi.  *(From Kevin referring to Matt referring to this article - if I've kept all the sources referenced correctly...)  I remember meeting Joe back in what, maybe 1995. 

But not be attracted to men in what way?  I ask.  And when is ultimately?  In heaven, for people of faith?  That’s what the word ultimately means for some.  Come on...  Or, it could be Richard Cohen.  He also uses somewhat this phrasing.  No, he is a psychotherapist, not a clinical psychologist:   Richard talks about being more for sure a shift can happen than Joe does.  This philosophical framework is within what Exodus International North America presented.  Or, it was until, technically, Alan caused Exodus to not be associated with it any longer, first with disassociating with Richard, then with Joe, then closing the whole thing down.  Alan isn’t even talking about those who left to be associated with Restored Hope Network….. Alan makes me frustrated.  Okay, I put the rest of the article below here:
 
Kevin Griffin is first quoting Matt’s article:

Segment from Matthew Rettenmund’s Boy Culture Blog article:
 
A segment from the article:  (Steve’s counseling was from roughly 2003-2008) 

“All-American Boy” Steve Grand told Boy Culture, “The basic principle was that homosexuality is the result of unmet needs in early childhood and that if I was honest enough with myself and I was able to really see where these unmet needs happened and where my father didn’t pay enough attention to me and where I didn’t get enough affirmation as a man by another, older man, that I would be able to mourn the loss of that and then ultimately seek that affirmation on my own, and ultimately not be attracted to men. So that was like the idea there. That was the idea, to cure me of that. It wasn’t like Exodus—I wasn’t getting shocked.”

This now is Kevin Griffin writing:

Steve Grand then went on to say, “I will never, ever, ever, ever speak poorly of my therapist. I haven’t spoken to him in a lotta years, um, but I love that man, and he’s a good man, and I would never say anything bad about him.”

It is impossible for many to fathom how any man who wishes to be a gay celebrity can express such wild love for a man who practices an illegitimate and dangerous practice such as conversion therapy. The “All-American Boy” fails to understand the mental damage done to those who are forced to go through conversion therapy and shows his blind ignorance to the other victims of this “good man.” His new comments further shows the singers ignorance of the gay youth who commit suicide on a regular basis after failing at this unethical therapy.

The interview at Boy Culture also glosses over the fact that Steve Grand is an employee of the Catholic Church by referring to the anti-gay organization as “the church” in the one softball question asked about it. Steve Grand is happy to accept the adoration of some in the gay community, but he refuses to acknowledge the fact that he works for the largest anti-gay organization in the world. Steve Grand refuses to be phased by the hypocrisy of him being an out gay musician benefiting from the gay rights movement at the same time he helps raise money for the main group fighting gay rights.

Points I would make:

·       Steve says it has been "a lot of years” since he has spoken with his therapist.  What?  He saw him until he was 18 and he is only 23 now.  That’s only 5 years agoBut at, 23, I guess that would seem like a lot of years ago.  So, Steve says he loves that man.  That’s because his counselor allowed him to talk through so many things.  And this wasn’t a counselor committed to a gay affirming position who was allowing Steve this much space to think and explore.   

·         See how this writer, Kevin Griffin, (I think I remember seeing that name, maybe it was because a commenter was saying these quotes were from his article), has to bash anything he doesn’t comprehend.  And says, it is impossible for many…  He has to use the word, many…… Since he can’t use the word, all.  But then the word, many, is used to refer to the idea of what is impossible to fathom…..  Hummmmm....

o   It is impossible for many to fathom how any man who wishes to be a gay celebrity can express such wild love for a man who practices an illegitimate and dangerous practice such as conversion therapy.”

·          Just listen to him rant, on and on: 

o   The “All-American Boy” fails to understand the mental damage done to those who are forced to go through conversion therapy and shows his blind ignorance to the other victims of this “good man.” His new comments further shows the singers ignorance of the gay youth who commit suicide on a regular basis after failing at this unethical therapy.

·        Of course Steve will have to clarify his statements.  He will get too much flack not to.  But he is bringing some of this on himself, because he is in some ways selling his story to people who hold a gay affirming position.  Like I think he used Nick to sell his story to the ever-straight community. 

o   So, Kevin Griffin, has a point in some regards to some people's concerns.  PM has said that about me.  When I was trying to help him be comfortable enough with himself that he could have the freedom to decide which type of person he would be, as opposed to who he thought he was.  But I, of course, never said anything other than there is a chance that some shift might happen.  But people hear something so different, because they need to hear something different.  If they can’t be free of all same-sex sexual attractions, then they can’t imagine doing anything else except being gay.  And not all teens are forced into counseling.  Some do attend counseling of their own choice.  Who is blind in their ignorance?  It is Kevin, I think.  Yes, some gay youths commit suicide after going through this therapy, yes, that is sadly so.  But most who commit suicide don’t do it because of going through this therapy.  And there are some who don’t get enough of what they want out of it, bash it afterwards, like PM did, and affirm a gay identity for themselves.  Most who've had the experience that Steve did, don't bash it afterwards.  They are gracious like Steve is.  But that sits wrong for some others.   

o   And then Kevin has to keep ranting, calling the Catholic church the largest anti-gay organization, when so many priests are celibate and some celibate chaste, and who are gay themselves.  Kevin can’t imagine that.  And Kevin doesn’t talk about Dignity, when he could have here.  Why?  Just hear Kevin rant.  Arg…  The largest anti-gay organization in the world, he says, and yet he is only talking about anti behavior.  Not about anti same-sex sexual attractions.  But that again, I think, is way more than he can understand or comprehend.  There is lots of diversity within those who experience same-sex sexual attractions. 

o   But Kevin is making a point, except that he is still thinking from his personal very narrow perspective of what the overall gay community is.  Is Angelina Jolie lesbian?  I’d like to ask Kevin what he thinks.  She unapologetically says she is bisexual.

o   No, the Catholic church is only fighting a small portion of gay rights issues.  And does Kevin desire to be in a gay marriage?  Hummm, maybe I should research that.  Yeah, it gets frustrating trying to dialogue meaningfully. But it's worth it. 

·         Here is a picture of Kevin.   

·         http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/profile_large/hash/d5/ad/1367958688_1163_me.jpg?itok=hPdyjTjy

·         Kevin Griffin, Chicago Pop Culture Examiner

·         Kevin Griffin is a freelance writer based out of Chicago. He is currently working on his first novel. Follow him on Twitter @DJCrixus or subscribe above to stay up-to-date on the latest in pop culture news. Tips or comments? Send them to popexaminer@gmail.com.

He doesn’t have any comments yet.  Maybe people are hesitant to want to engage with him.   

Next, onto Matthew Rettenmund’s Boy Culture Blog article.  (I put up on Blogger here my post from my journal on my reflections on Matt's article before I put up this post from my journal.  So, that's why they seem out of order chronologically.)