Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Gay versus "Ex-Gay" -- Guess Who Wins?

Just watched The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which featured a sketch in which a medical mystery examiner investigated the case of one Wayne Besen [photo on the left], who realized he was gay at an early age. Besen seeks the “cure” which is promised by Richard Cohen, the asshole author of a self-published 1991 book entitled Coming Out Straight. Cohen was a self-hating homosexual who was celibate for a decade, got married and had three children, had a male lover on the side for a time, but still insists he is totally straight. Sure.

The sketch featured the real Cohen, who didn't seem to realize he was being made fun of – mercilessly. I don't recall the audience being told that Wayne Besen is actually a gay activist who writes wonderful pieces on his web site, and is also the author of Anything But Straight, which excoriates the ex-gay movement. [I'm not certain why the audience wasn't let in on the joke.]

Cohen demonstrates some of his idiotic methods for turning people from gay to straight on the bemused reporter, who suggests that Besen give them a try. Six months later he checks in with Besen, and finds him lustily necking with a boyfriend on the sofa.

Besen was a good sport to participate in this, but I was a little disappointed that he wasn't interviewed or introduced by Stewart, who instead chatted with another author. Still, I'm sure Besen was glad that the show zapped some of these ex-gay idiots as they deserve.

A little nitpicking: There were some dumb moments, but I guess it's only fair – considering the sketch was basically pro-gay and geared for a largely straight audience -- that the presumably straight reporter (I know nothing about the comic actor who portrayed him) act a bit uncomfortable with all the gay – and “ex-gay” -- goings-on. I know they were making fun of Cohen, but the business with the reporter tossing a football at him – which Cohen fumbles – is kind of dopey, especially now that we all should know that there are plenty of gay athletes who'd have no trouble catching a football [a fairly useless talent except on the football field]. We know Cohen isn't straight not because he can't catch a football but because his admitted gay past and boyfriend tell us all we need to know.

What about the three kids? you might ask. Well, most gay men are perfectly capable of having sex with women, even if [for some] it's only a kind of hands-free masturbation as they penetrate the female orifice. (No, we won't get into bisexuality as this point, thank you.) If Cohen was unhappy leading a gay lifestyle, that was his business. But his trying to make a name and career for himself, exploiting people as full of self-hatred as he is to make a buck, is deplorable. To prove that he is now completely straight, Cohen let out a gross "manly" belch [I guess he thinks gay people can't burp – even though he did]. What a buffoon!

On the plus side, we got to see the good-looking Besen happily necking open-mouthed with an equally attractive male lover. Way to go, Wayne! (The irony is that Cohen would probably be very happy to neck with Besen, who would probably want to throw up at the very thought.)

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