FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Richard Thompson (913) 209-4114
MEDIA FOCUS SERIES LOOKS AT CONVERSION THERAPY IN THE MEDIA
Broadcaster, author, journalist, and human rights activist Wayne Besen will explore how the media enable or thwart so-called “conversion therapy”
On Sunday September 29th, Friends of Community Media will host Wayne Besen, a former investigative journalist for WABI-TV, former spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, and the founder of Truth Wins Out will speak at All Souls Unitarian Church 4501 Walnut in Kansas City at 10:00 AM. Wayne also has an Internet radio show “The Wayne Besen” on Progressive Voices.
When Besen came out to his parents, they bought him an ex-gay DVD that could supposedly hypnotize people and turn them straight. It was that and the invitation by President George W. Bush of ex-gay leader Alan Chambers to the White House that led him to start the Truth Wins Out organization and examine how the media cover the issue of “Conversion Therapy” – the activity that attempts to convert people who are gay to become “straight” – usually through religious coercion.
A very questionable, unlicensed practice banned in over 18 states, many people and relatives are fooled into believing that homosexuality can be “cured” through intense deprogramming through “conversion therapy” – usually by fundamentalist Christian groups having no psychological training.
Methods used have included “treatments such as ice-pick lobotomies, hormonal chemical castration, application of electric shock to hands and genitals, and nausea-inducing drug and are accompanied by prayer and group-pressure.
Besen has interviewed hundreds of former and current “ex-gays”, and is an outspoken critic of so-called “conversion therapy” and organizations such as Homosexuals Anonymous and NARTH (The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality).
Starting a series of events critically examining the role of the media in American Culture, Friends of Community Media will cover topics such at religion in the media, David Barsamian host of “Alternative Radio”, why conservatives and progressives hate the media, honesty in reporting, what is fake news and propaganda, a panel of people who have left of been forced out of the media, and alternatives for viable non-profit news.
Friends of Community Media (FCM) is a 501(C)3 not-for-profit organization set up to preserve and foster citizen participation in the media. FCM also assists diverse groups and citizens to create their own media, influence existing media, & promote diverse media ownership.
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