Many school districts across the country already have created or are contemplating
creating Gay/Straight Student Alliances or support groups for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and
Transgendered Students. Other school districts refer troubled students to off-campus
counseling centers and pro-homosexual groups. In North Carolina the Lambda Youth Network
promotes itself as "a statewide leadership and communication network led by
self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning and allied young people
ages 13 to 23."
Some of these students have experienced strong same-sex attraction, others have been
engaging in same-sex behavior. Some may be merely experimenting. Some have been teased as
sissies or labeled by classmates as fags or lesbians because of atypical interests or
behavior. "Transgendered" adolescents are suffering from severe sexual identity
problems and need professional help. Often the parents are not informed of the counseling
their child is receiving.
These students are at risk. Being sexually active in early adolescence exposes the
student to psychological stresses and sexually transmitted diseases. Many of these
students are already abusing drugs and alcohol and have poor relationships with one or
both parents. They often suffer from depression, anger, self-destructive behavior, and
suicidal impulses. They feel alienated from classmates and often have experienced teasing
The homosexual community insists that they have the right to design and control the
programs which serve these at-risk adolescents. Torie Osborn, a long time homosexual
rights activist, wants "to see counseling centers for gay, lesbian and bisexual
students who are struggling with their sexual identity in every school system in
America" because "school is where our gay kids are."1
However, there are a number of reasons why these at-risk adolescents should not be
turned over to homosexual rights activists:
At-risk adolescents are not the homosexual rights activists' "gay
kids." They have parents -- parents who, in spite of difficulties, love them, support
them, and want the best for them.
Homosexual rights activists use these at-risk adolescents to forward
their political agenda. The students are encouraged to "come out," to march in
gay pride parades, to testify before school board meetings and state legislatures, and to
tell their stories to the press.
The homosexual community is not a safe place for adolescents. In fact,
it is not a safe place for adults. Alcohol abuse and illegal drug use are the norm.
Sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS are epidemic. Violence and extreme sexual behaviors
are common. Sexual relations between adults and adolescents are not discouraged.
Prostitution, particularly adolescent prostitution, is tolerated.
There is no evidence that participation in these groups will protect the
students from the risks involved in the active homosexual lifestyle.
The homosexual advisors to these groups use their position to satisfy
personal needs for affirmation and parenthood.
Homosexual student support groups create a cult-like atmosphere which
encourages vulnerable young people to break ties with family.
The book Children of Horizons: How gay and lesbian teens are leading a new way out
of the closet by Gilbert Herdt and Andrew Boxer promotes support groups for
at-risk adolescents and explains in some detail how a typical group operates.2 While the group studied was not on school property, the experience
of this group, which has been in existence since 1983, provides insights into what to
expect from on campus groups.
The authors admit that the group is not quite what it claims to be:
It is true that the Horizons agency regards the youth group as a self-help
organization, wherein teaching does not occur (with the exception of AIDS education). But
this is an official cultural view, an ideology imposed upon them by a harsh and oppressive
surrounding society. The advisors do, in fact, teach.
And what is that the advisors teach these vulnerable adolescents? According to the
authors: "the adults have an assignment from the gay and lesbian community,
however implicit it remains: to prepare the youth for entry into gay and lesbian culture."
The authors explain why this is necessary:
For gays and lesbians to succeed in constructing a culture in competition with other
groups in the United States has required three fundamental steps: (1) the creation of
institutions such as Horizons through which to socialize and affirm values and lifeways;
(2) the integration of the older homosexual generation into the new gay and lesbian
cohort, or, at the least, the provision of cultural means to deal with the alienation of
the older generation from the young; and (3) the training of the young, who will transmit
social values and cultural roles and beliefs -- the utopian ideology -- across time and
space into the future.
While the homosexual activists have insisted they are a legitimate minority group, they
resemble a religious or ideological cult. They seek to separate the students from their
family, religious affiliation and culture. They use the same methods used by cults -
"We are the only ones who love you. Your parents don't understand. We are your only
salvation." They claim to be helping the students "find themselves," while
manipulating the process toward a predetermined outcome..
The authors admit that one of the goals of the group is to guide the students through
the coming out process which is viewed as a right of passage from their biological
family's culture into the homosexual culture. They envision the final step in this process
as participation in a gay rights parade where the students publicly acknowledge their
homosexuality and are accepted into the homosexual community. According to the authors:
To be a full person in gay and lesbian culture is to have passed through each of
these successive ritual passages that culminates in marching in the parade. That is their
jumping-off point into society, following which the youth apply what the youth group
experience has taught them.
The authors recognize the drastic nature of the change they are pressing upon the
In the minds of some youth, giving up heterosexual roles and institutions is more
than a 'sexual' matter; it is a loss of cultural identity, a break with historical
tradition. The Asian who finds that he will not be able to carry on the family and clan
tradition, the black who may no longer attend the neighborhood church, the
Italian-American who is rejected by his parents and can no longer attend extended family
functions -- these are soul-wrenching losses of such an immense magnitude that they
signify the loss of a whole way of life. To lose all of this in order
to gain the public expression of sexual desires may seem like a bad trade-off. Some adults
can handle the anxiety created by this declaration, but for many youth it is too much to
The homosexual community has promoted the myth that homosexual orientation is
permanently fixed and unchangeable and that they are merely making the inevitable
"coming out" easier by speeding up the process. But there is ample evidence that
many young people experiment with same-sex behavior in adolescence and then go on to be
fully heterosexual in later life. Furthermore, the ex-gay movement demonstrates that even
those who have been self-identified as homosexual for a number of years can, through
participation in support groups or with counseling become free of homosexual compulsions,
marry and have children. Forcing confused at-risk adolescents through the "coming
out" process, encouraging them to make a public declaration of their homosexuality
makes it more difficult for them to seek help or to decide that the same-sex behavior was
just a phase.
Once the at-risk adolescents have broken ties with their families and community, the
homosexual community becomes their only refuge. Just as with a cult, the person may become
frightened of leaving everything that is familiar.
The advisors believe that forcing the "coming out" process is good for the
youth because it is "what they would have liked others to have done for them."
The advisors see themselves as parents, role models, moral figures of authority and
affection, and derive satisfaction from these roles. According to the authors:
. . .many of advisors use their role as an implicit means to continue to develop
their own self-image as gay or lesbian; that is, to continue to come out.
To be a culturally assigned "role model" in the community of gays and
lesbians is a privilege and an honor.
To be an object of admiration and idealization and to allow themselves to be
supportive in this way requires an adult strength and the ability to derive satisfaction
from the subjective experience of "parenting" the youth.
They go so far as to believe that they have a superior right to guide these at-risk
adolescents, comparing themselves to hijras, transvestite male prostitutes in
The Indian hijras lay a ceremonial claim of kinship to any child who desires to
belong among them; likewise with adults and teenagers, the gay and lesbian culture of
Horizons claims for its own all the children similarly born who reveal the mark of a
different nature: their desire for the same sex and gay selfhood.
THE HOMOSEXUAL COMMUNITY IS UNSAFE FOR ADOLESCENTS
While the foundation of the group is supposedly tolerance and diversity, the leaders
recognize the danger of really tolerating the behavior common within the homosexual
. . . some advisors at Horizons are hard pressed to handle variations among the
youth in sexual risk-taking, especially among the small number of kids involved in what
the adults consider "marginal" practices, such as sadomasochism. How does one
instill a value of accepting "diversity" among gay and lesbian teens while
teaching that sexual practices associated with such "marginal lifestyles" are
How indeed! The leaders try to protect the students, but there is ample evidence, even
within the text, that they are not successful. The Horizons group was small, but the
pathology was apparent. One member committed suicide, another died from AIDS. One member
was a homosexual prostitute. Several were going to homosexual bars illegally. Several were
into sadomasochistic behaviors. Sex was, according to the youth, "very open"
and one of the members called sex as the "drug of the group." When the
group participated in the homosexual rights parade, as they passed gay men's bars "some
older men laughed and shouted 'Chicken' and 'Fresh meat.'"
Those promoting support groups for "gay youth" in high school and even
earlier have argued that these are necessary to save lives since once identified students
could receive support and AIDS prevention education. However, adolescents who have been
encouraged to reject the wisdom of their parents and society appear equally able to reject
the safe-sex education and other warnings given by the advisors. Furthermore, there is now
substantial evidence that men who have sex with men continue to engage in risky sexual
behavior even though they are fully aware of the consequences.
A 1994 report by Rotheram-Borus et al., on risk behavior among gay and bisexual
male adolescents in New York City queried young men who were "recruited from
counseling, drop-in, or school programs at Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI), a gay
identified New York City community based agency providing recreational and social
services."3The report showed that these young men are
at high risk and no evidence was presented that participation in the program was
Many youths engaged in anal sex with males (80%), and 22% bartered sex for money or
drugs...Condoms with male partners were never or inconsistently used by 52% of youths.
89% of youths were sexually active, 87% with males and 49% with females...Sexually
active youths reported a median of 7.0 lifetime male partners but a mean of 70.1 such
When compared to other young men, those in this program were at a very high risk for
drug abuse and sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS:
For example, the lifetime prevalence rates for our youths were 50% higher for
alcohol (76% vs. 49%), 2 times higher for marijuana (42% vs. 21%), and 13 times higher for
cocaine/crack (25% vs. 2%) Similarly, the frequency of using alcohol, marijuana, or
cocaine/crack at least once a week was approximately 3 to 15 times higher for this study's
male youths during the past three months compared to male youths in the national survey
during the past year.
The frequency of alcohol, marijuana or cocaine/crack use was related to lifetime
number of sexual partners, as well as ever engaging in oral or anal sex. In addition, more
frequent use of cocaine crack was significantly related to youths' decreased use of
Bartering sex for money or drugs appeared dramatically to increase sexual risk acts,
as did alcohol and drug use.
A longitudinal study of 68 gay men who had attended AIDS prevention sessions and were
followed for 16 months suggests that encourage homosexual boys to come out early might
have actually put them at greater risk. The researchers found that:
. . .risk behavior relapse is strongly predicted by earlier history of frequent
high-risk practices, especially unprotected receptive anal intercourse, high levels of
sexual activity with multiple partners, high subjective gratification derived from past
risky sexual practices, sexual activity when intoxicated, and younger age.4
The researchers also found that the more "out" a homosexual was the more likely
he was to take risks:
. . .the significant influence of self-rated degree of homosexual
"outness" and lower levels of depression may reflect increased sexual contact
with other gay men.
Another study concluded that ". . . those who began sexual activity with men at
a younger age were more likely to engage in unprotected anal sex."5
Anyone with even a modicum of experience with adolescent boys knows that they are prone
to risk-taking, pleasure seeking, alcohol abuse, refusing to follow good advice, and, in
general, impulsive behavior. Educational programs, even when accompanied by social
sanctions and threats of punishment, are rarely effective at completely curtailing these
behaviors. Putting boys who have homosexual inclinations into an environment such as the
homosexual community, where giving in to impulses is the rule rather than the exception
and where the adults show little ability at impulse control, could only be expected to
have negative health consequences. It is not surprising therefore that "outness"
is related to risk-taking and to an increased risk of HIV infection.
It is also not surprising that in 1994 epidemiologists estimated that 30% of all
20-year-old homosexually active men would be HIV positive or dead of AIDS by the time they
were 30.6 Nor should it have been surprising that after more
than a decade of safe-sex education preliminary results from a 1996 survey of young
homosexual and bisexual men showed that 7% were infected with HIV. The results were
reported by Dr. Linda Valleroy of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at a
meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Valleroy. In
presenting the findings from a survey of 1,781 men 15 to 22 from Florida and California,
HIV prevalence is very high among young men who have sex with men, compared with the
general population of youths in the US. . . The prevalence of unprotected anal sex is
alarming, given that these young men grew up in an era of HIV awareness.7
The study found that 38% of those surveyed reported unprotected anal sex within the
previous six months. Among those aged 20 to 22 the rate of infection was 9%. This
information is in keeping with the predictions about the course of the AIDS epidemic.
After an epidemic reaches saturation it burns itself out unless a new group of vulnerable
individuals enters the at-risk population. In his book Sexual Ecology, Gabriel
Rotello, points out that an epidemic among homosexuals differs from one among
heterosexuals in that:
Each new homosexual generation is replenished by heterosexuals, whose production of
gay sons is entirely unrelated to the dynamics of the epidemic. AIDS can therefore keep
mowing down gay men, and rather than dying out, phalanx after phalanx will emerge from the
trenches, ready to be mowed down anew. . . the epidemic could literally go on forever. . .
Because AIDS education has been directed at providing young people with information
about various forms of sexual behavior which spread the disease, it may create curiosity
and encourage experimentation among young men. AIDS education has also been a vehicle for
promoting positive attitudes toward homosexuality, and it is possible that the number of
young men experimenting with homosexuality will increase. Early "coming out"
probably includes engaging in sexual activity at an earlier age, more often, and possibly
with infected adults. In some urban areas the HIV infection rate is as high as 50% among
men who have sex with men.
Young women are also at risk because there is a high degree of bisexuality among these
young men. Boys who have visited the urban centers and engaged in unsafe homosexual sexual
practices may return to their high schools and engage in sexual practices with other boys
who in turn may infect the girls. According to one study, the finding that "bisexual
activity was associated with a younger age group suggests that this activity may be part
of a sexual exploration prior to 'coming out.'"9
Girls in homosexual support groups may experiment with boys in the same group. Lesbians
are more likely to be HIV positive than heterosexual women not because HIV is transmitted
by lesbian sexual activity, but because lesbians are more likely to have had sexual
relations with HIV positive men or use IV drugs.
Gary Remafedi's study of 239 gay and bisexual male adolescents found that 9% of the
sexual encounters during the previous year were with female partners. Of the 239 subjects,
63% were considered at extreme risk for prior exposure to HIV, 25% at moderate risk. Only
40% had ever undergone HIV testing, but 4% knew they were already positive. In addition,
23% of the subjects reported being infected with other venereal diseases.10
And HIV disease is not the only health threat. Venereal warts caused by human papilloma
virus and various types of Hepatitis are epidemic among men who have sex with men.
Hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. Human papilloma virus
causes genital, anal and cervical cancer.
An article appearing in the July 8, 1997 edition of the homosexual magazine The
Advocate by David Heitz entitled "The Return of Our Bad Habits: Men Behaving
Badly" documents the return of the wild lifestyle which caused the AIDS epidemic.11 According to Heitz "the party's everywhere -- in nightclubs and
sex clubs from Los Angeles to Miami and in private homes from Chicago to Atlanta. And as
on Fire Island in the '70s, sex and drugs are on the invite list."
The news that a combination drug treatment may stop the progress of has already led
many young men to resume unprotected sexually activity. In addition, homosexual
psychologist Larry Harmon, who practices in Miami, believes more and more gay men are
dabbling in illegal substances, however: "My sense is that it has become normal
for a gay man in his 20s to experiment with coke and pot and even crystal meth once in a
According to a report by Cathy Reback, "The Social Construction of a Gay Drug:
Methamphetamine Use Among Gay and Bisexual Males in Los Angeles," crystal meth (a
form of methamphetamine) has become the drug of choice among homosexual men who use it to
intensify the sexual experience. Her study included males as young as 17.12
Other drugs common on the homosexual circuit include GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate), a
sedative with unpredictable side effects, and Ecstasy which acts as a stimulant and a
hallucinogen, giving users take an illusory sense of well-being and sensory distortion.
According to Heitz: "Among gay men, many experts agree, when it comes to taking
drugs it's all about sex." Dave Rigg, substance abuse treatment coordinator at
the Health Crisis Network in Miami, is reported as saying, "I think the comment
we're hearing from people is, there's an increase in drug use and disinhibition when it
comes down to sex -- unsafe sex."
AIDS education appears to be unable to prevent risk-taking. The Advocate article
reports on a "high-ranking official in one of the country's largest AIDS service
organizations" who engaged in unsafe sex while high on cocaine and "turned
Harmon links the self-destructive behavior to childhood rejection: "In the
backs of our heads, we feel a lack of confidence [around men], so we . . . take a drug
that's going to override that program."
Homosexual activists argue that their programs will foster self-esteem and protect the
next generation of homosexual youth from self-destruction. But they offer no proof of
success. All the evidence shows that the more "out" a homosexual adolescent is
-- the more involved he is in the homosexual community -- the more likely he is to engage
in unprotected sex and drug use. While homosexual activists like Larry Kramer, Gabriel
Rotello, and the late Randy Shilts have promoted "responsible" homosexual
behavior, others such as homosexual psychologist Dr. Walt Odets have reacted against any
restrictions on gay sexual liberation. A new group called Sex Panic defends promiscuity
and sex with anonymous partners as essential to the "gay culture." According to
Michael Warner, a founder of Sex Panic, "It is an absurd fantasy to expect gay men to
live without a sexual culture when we have almost nothing else that brings us
With sexually transmitted diseases now epidemic, and news that the much touted new
treatment for AIDS appears to work only for a short time, the risks are simply too great
to allow homosexual activists to promise that sometime in the future their programs will
work. These at-risk adolescents may not have another chance.
If these at-risk adolescents are not turned over to the homosexual activists, what can
be done for them?
School officials must also stop the teasing, harassment and labeling of at-risk
adolescents and children by peers and faculty. These children need help. In many cases,
same-sex attraction is preventable and treatable. The National Association for Research
and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and various Ex-Gay ministries offer help to those
interested in freedom from same-sex attraction and sexual activity. Positive psychological
counseling focuses on healing the wounded masculine or feminine identity and resolving
anger over childhood traumas. The result is that same-sex attraction diminishes and the
compulsion to engage in same-sex behavior is lessened. In many cases homosexual attraction
eventually disappears. It is not an easy or quick process, but given the dire consequences
of not treating the underlying problems and the real possibility that with treatment these
at-risk adolescents can lead a normal life, it is worth the effort.
It is also essential that school officials be prevented
from turning at-risk students over to advisors or groups who will use them to further a
political agenda, and put their lives at risk. The tragic story of a divorced mother in
Connecticut illustrates how parents can lose their children to the homosexual movement.
The mother discovered that her teenage son had been referred to a pro-homosexual group
without her knowledge or consent. Unbeknownst to his mother the boy had sought help from
the school counselor for suicidal feelings. The counselor did not inform his mother, but
decided that his real problem was that he was homosexual. Besides his involvement with the
pro-homosexual group, the young man continued to see the counselor for over a year during
which time his mother had no idea that any of this was going on.
She accidentally discovered the situation when she found some homosexual literature in
his room. A few weeks later, the homosexual group to which he had been referred held a
press conference where the young man came "out" to the media. His mother read
about it in the paper. She tried to encourage her son to go to counseling and to tried to
preserve their relationship, but to no avail. His mother asked the high school for the
records of the counseling her son had received. At first, the school refused claiming
confidentiality. When she sent her attorney to the school, he was told that there were no
records. The young man has since graduated from high school and is attending college. His
expenses are being paid for through a scholarship supplied by a homosexual organization
and he hasn't spoken to his mother in months.
Parents should be brought into the process immediately. They alone have the right to
decide what is best for their children. They should be told the truth about the treatments
which are available. Parents whose children have been turned over to homosexual activists
without notification should consider initiating legal action against schools which
disregarded the best interests of their children.
At-risk adolescents need to be protected from exploitation and the dangers of
involvement in the homosexual community. Homosexual activists have no right to claim these
children as their own.
- "The exiles are coming home", Boston Globe
Oct. 6, 1996,
- Herdt, G, Boxer, A., Children of Horizons. Beacon
Press: Boston, 1993
- Rotheram-Borus, M., Rosario, M., Meyer-Bahlburg, H.,
Koopman, C., Dopkins, S., Davies, M. (1994) Sexual and substance use acts of gay and
bisexual male adolescents in New York City. Journal of Sex Research. 31, 1: 47 -
- Kelly, J., St. Lawrence, J., Brasfield, T.,
"Predictors of Vulnerability to AIDS Risk Behavior Relapse." Journal of
Consulting and Clinical Psychology 59,1:163-166.1991.
- Doll, L., et al, "Homosexual Men Who Engage in
High-Risk Sexual Behavior." Sexually Transmitted Diseases 18,3:170-175. 1991.
- Goldman, E., "Psychological Factors Generate
HIV Resurgence in Young Gay Men." Clinical Psychiatry News. Oct. 1994.
- "Seven percent of young homosexual men infected
with HIV" AP, Feb.11,1996.
- Rotello, G. Sexual Ecology p.208.
- Myers, T., et al,. "The Talking Sex
Project: Descriptions of the Study Population and Correlates of Sexual Practices at
Baseline". Canadian Journal of Public Health. Jan./Feb.1992.
- Remafedi, G., "Predictors of unprotected
intercourse among gay and bisexual youth: knowledge, beliefs, and behavior." Pediatrics.
- Heitz, D., "Men Behaving Badly: The Return of
Bad Habits." The Advocate, July 8, 1997.
- Reback, Cathy. "The Social Construction of
Gay Drug: Methamphetamine Use among Gay and Bisexual Males in Los Angeles"
- Stolberg, S., "Gay Culture Weighs Sense and
Sexuality" New York Times. Nov. 23, 1997.