I am sitting here pondering the power and/or worth of an apology.
Wondering when something that is deplorable beyond any measure of reason has been apologized for…is it ever really accepted? Should it be?
What has this subject in mind is a blog entry I just read from Alan Chambers, the President of Exodus International.
Yeah, THAT place.
The hateful organization that pushed the Ex-Gay/Gay Reparative Therapy crap onto untold numbers of victims.
I feel like I am in Bizarro world.
Right off the bat, the apology seems heartfelt. It seems to be pretty detailed. It seems to be given honestly.
And, tbh, if I knew NOTHING of the source…I’d be inclined to accept the validity of it. Inclined, though not a member of the LGBT Community, to ‘accept’ it.
However, I DO know about Exodus International. I have read plenty about the harm they have done to the LGBT Community. How they are responsible for deep wounds, lasting scars, and likely, the loss of lives. How their ‘cure’ (/eyeroll) for homosexuality was nothing but hateful mental torture foisted upon innocents.
What has me in my head a bit is while I, indeed, not a member of the LGBT Community…I can relate to those who were harmed by Exodus International. I can relate to the struggle to deal with a seemingly heartfelt apology. I can relate to the inability to accept it…while at the same time being near crippled with relief at seeing SOMEONE from such a hatefilled place offer it.
When I was a kid I was locked up in a ‘rehab’ program for several months. I do not want to get into the details of why or the lasting damage it caused me and my family…but, it was over 25 years ago and I still have nightmares. The program was shut down by the government years ago…shut down for being an evil torturous place rife with child abuse.
A couple years back I was being masochistic and I googled the program. I was reading random blogs and articles from survivors…and I came across an apology from a former staff member. Next thing I knew, I was sobbing. Deep, wracking sobs.
I will never forgive that place. I will never forgive those on staff. I will never forgive Nancy Reagan or any of the other power hungry torture supporters that promoted the program (many hold positions of power in the GOP TO THIS DAY). And I will never forgive the man who wrote the apology.
I do, however, thank him for it.
Just seeing someone (OTHER THAN THOSE WHO WERE HARMED) acknowledge the damage that that fucking program did helped me heal a little bit.
So, here I sit. Wondering if any of the LGBT victims (yes VICTIMS) of Exodus International actually accept the apology. Actually forgive the harm done. If so, they are better humans than I am.
I wonder, though, how many are just thankful to see it acknowledged by someone responsible for it. Thankful for a certain type of validation…the sort that comes from the source of the pain.
I hope that it brings some amount of healing to those who greatly deserve it.
(I still think Exodus International is an organization of hate…so, please do not read ANY of the above as any sort of excusing of their actions)