HOW I BECAME A PFOX MOM
“But Mom, who wants to spend the summer in school?" my 16-year-old son grumbled. "Students who get a college scholarship, that's who!" I replied. Thus began our encouragement of our son's attendance to a highly prestigious residential state summer school for gifted students for which he had been selected.
I'm a PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays) mom. I've been a PFOX mom since the year our son returned home from summer school that fateful summer. I've needed the support PFOX provides in order to cope. This is our family's story:
Our son was a delightful child, a sweet, sensitive, and compassionate boy. Verbally gifted, he excelled at singing and acting. Only problem was... these abilities were not the skills which made him particularly popular with other boys in his public school. When puberty hit, we now know that he felt confused. Girls had always loved him... he had many friends who were girls. He was an outsider with many boys, however, as he had no interest in sports, for example. We had noticed instances of peer rejection but our son seemed to shrug this off. Now at puberty, he felt attracted to the unknown... boys... the gender he had always longed to be fully accepted by.
In the midst of this confusion, our son was encouraged by my husband and me to attend the aforementioned state summer school for gifted students. How we now regret sending him there! This experience was the catalyst which propelled him into an acquired “gay” identity, a misidentity he still clings to. How so, you might wonder. Well, we eventually learned that pro-gay indoctrination was propagated at the school (as one issue of "exploration"). Also, an R-rated explicit pro-gay film was even shown sandwiched between the other appropriate films! Parents were never informed that this would happen! I only discovered this when an adult friend of mine mentioned that such gay indoctrination had taken place when she herself attended the school as a teen.
I was shocked but now things began to make sense. Our dear son had returned from the summer school changed! At the time, it felt like we were all in a bad TV movie. Our once sweet boy was now hostile, openly denouncing the Bible our family so cherished. His dress and look changed and he wondered aloud if he were bisexual. (WHAT??? We had never even mentioned that word in our home!) He now had new friends who were also flaunting a gay identity and insisting on living a gay subculture of gay dress, music films, books, language, politics, etc. The guilt to this day is intense... it was me who did the most encouraging to send our son to that state sponsored school. I thus suppressed my fears and the reality of that summer.
Several years later in the summer of 2004, however, I began feeling a distinct urging from God to investigate what our son had been exposed to and to share our story with the summer school officials. I tried to resist the urging but it only got stronger, especially after attending PFOX events where I found support with other parents. Finally I prayed for guidance and God gave me the courage to face what I was about to learn. I called the top official of the state summer school.
Together we embarked on an investigation as he was appalled to hear of what my son may have been exposed to. We researched the curriculum from the year my son attended the summer school and confirmed that yes, he had been willfully indoctrinated with pro-gay agenda in one of the offered seminars and yes, he had seen an R-rated explicit pro-gay film while at the summer school. I felt like someone had punched me hard in the stomach!
Although I had always suspected this truth, the reality that my dear son's mind had essentially been raped and brainwashed was almost too much to bear! I cried for days. All his young life, I had protected my son from harm, as any parent would. He was not even allowed to see R-rated movies without my permission. But in one awful summer all of that had changed. The school had exposed him to gay doctrine, and encouraged him to explore homosexuality and homosexual issues, without offering any alternatives to homosexuality or presenting the ex-gay perspective.
After more prayer, I doggedly dried my tears and made an appointment to see the summer school officials in person. Off I marched to the state capital on the day of my appointment to share my family's story! I wanted no more gifted students hurt as my son had been! I wanted protections in place for families! Heart pounding, I entered the proper administration building and headed to the floor where the meeting would take place. I was the first one present at the conference room. As I stood there looking in, I suddenly realized that my nervousness had completely evaporated! I now felt perfectly comfortable and enveloped in a beautiful peace... like God was right there beside me!
The officials filed in. I told my family's story about my son being exposed to gay indoctrination at their prestigious school and how my son had returned home with a newly acquired “gay identity” so that that all his new friends were also flaunting a gay identity and insisting on living a gay subculture of gay dress, music, films, books, language, politics, etc. It was almost like a cult. The school officials appeared to listen. The top official who had worked with me that summer in the investigation assured me that the topic of homosexuality would no longer be broached at the summer school as long as he was senior director. I was further promised that from now on, parents would be fully informed of the content of all sessions and parental permission would be secured for student attendance at films.
Fast forward to January 2006. I'm at work and the phone rings. It's Regina Griggs, PFOX Executive Director, who knew of my meeting in the summer of 2004 with the state summer school officials. She proceeded to inform me that she had just read an article in the media which described how another family had been adversely impacted by their gifted son's experience at the same summer school this past summer (2005) due to exposure to gay indoctrination. Oh no! I thought frantically. What happened to the assurances by the school?
I immediately contacted the mom from the article. We shared our similar stories with each other. Her son had returned home from the same school confused about homosexuality because of a gay seminar he had attended, and they had to seek family counseling. The son had attended a seminar called “The New Gay Teenager”, written by a homosexual teacher. The two instructors of the seminar identified themselves as gay. One is listed as a youth coordinator for Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and was investigated for allegations of sexual activity with a 17-year-old student. The mom also told me that the instructors encouraged students to start gay clubs at their schools after the students returned home and that their son was told that the Bible did not apply to society today.
I felt so betrayed that harm to another young student had once again occurred! Incensed, I called the school officials. I learned the on-site director had approved the pro-gay seminar as an optional session during the last week of the summer school. Parents were not informed in advance of the course offering as the schools officials had promised me over a year ago. The senior director that I had spoken to had been unaware that such a session had been approved and presented.
How brave this new family is! Courageously, they have gone public with their story and their possible lawsuit against the highly prestigious state summer school for gifted students is pending. At first, I felt so discouraged that my own efforts had been in vain since it was now clear that I hadn't been able to bring about needed protections for other students and families after all.
But this other mom thanked me for contacting her, pointing out that the case against the school is all the stronger as it is now known that school officials had prior knowledge that a seminar pushing the pro-gay agenda could indeed result in the harming of vulnerable children and their families. This other mom and I have now decided to strive on together to ensure that finally no more students and families are adversely impacted as our sons and families have been. We will not rest until true protections are firmly in place and the school is monitored by an outside oversight committee! Your fervent prayers are coveted as we embark on this vital endeavor... the minds and souls of the children are at stake!