(PRWEB) September 26, 2004
Rev. Talbert W. Swan, II, editor of the landmark new book "Closing the Closet: Testimonies of Deliverance from Homosexuality" responded to criticism of the book by gay activist Wayne Besen. "It's interesting that Mr. Wayne Besen, a gay activist, would publicly criticize a book that he has NEVER seen or read and make sweeping generalizations that are completely false," said Swan.
Besen, author of "Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-gay Myth" accused Swan of making a mockery of a booklet of ex-ex-gay testimonials that he edited for The Human Rights Campaign entitled, "Finally Free: How Love And Self Acceptance Saved Us From the Ex-Gay Ministries."
Swan replied, "First, I never even heard of his work "Finally Free" until I read his obviously angry critique of "Closing the Closet," therefore, how could I have "pilfered and twisted" something I have never read nor ever knew existed?"
Besen questioned Swan's honesty and intentions by asking, "Why did this book use a number of ex-gay lobbyists who get paid to say theyÂve changed?" asked Besen. "It must be very difficult to find ex-gays who have normal jobs and normal lives and arenÂt professional flacks for right wing political groups. I question whether ex-gays who are independent of fundamentalist political groups actually exist."
Swan replied, "If Mr. Besen was interested in making an informed critique he should have at least read the book. He would have known that of the 23 testimonies printed many have "normal jobs and normal lives" and are not, as he so condescendingly puts it "professional flacks for right wing political groups." Clearly, the college professor, housewife, students, military photographer, probation officer, professional dancer, and gospel singer included in the book answer his rhetorical question of whether "ex-gays who are independent of fundamentalist political groups actually exist."
Mr. Besen completed his diatribe of the book by suggesting that there is "nothing hones" about it. "It's sad that he would questions the honesty of an individual's personal testimony. 23 individuals were brutally honest about their lives as homosexuals and about the process by which they were delivered from that lifestyle. Their personal testimonies should not be considered as an attack on anyone, they have a right to tell their stories! Why does Mr. Besen fell so threatened by their stories?," asked Swan.
I personally have never struggled with homosexuality, however, I am proud of the men and women who are willing to share their lives with others in order to proclaim the message that God loves everyone and that their is nothing that He cannot deliver us from. For those who want are truly interested in the contents of the book please get a copy and READ it. Don't take the word of a man, who obviously has one mission, to silence the mouths of the men and women who proclaim that their is deliverance from homosexuality," said Swan.