Michael Glatze, founder of YGA Magazine, former editor of XY magazine, and a recognized leader in the gay youth movement, announced on July 3rd, 2007 that he had rejected homosexuality, and was pursuing life as a straight Christian man. We respect his (and anyone's) right to believe in what they will, but we do not believe that it is healthy to the gay and questioning youth of America to promote the idea that one can change one's sexual preference, that homosexuality is inherently unhealthy, or that there is anything neurotic or wrong with feeling attraction to people of the same sex.
We are republishing Glatze's essay, along with an open letter, brilliantly written by Daniel DeRito of ThoughtTheater.com
We would appreciate hearing your responses, and will do our best to publish them here on ygamag.com.
From World Net Daily:
How A "Gay Rights" Leader Became Straight
By Michael Glatze
founder of YGA Magazine, former editor of XY magazine
Homosexuality came easy to me, because I was already weak.
My mom died when I was 19. My father had died when I was 13. At an early age, I was already confused about who I was and how I felt about others.
My confusion about "desire" and the fact that I noticed I was "attracted" to guys made me put myself into the "gay" category at age 14. At age 20, I came out as gay to everybody else around me.
At age 22, I became an editor of the first magazine aimed at a young, gay male audience. It bordered on pornography in its photographic content, but I figured I could use it as a platform to bigger and better things.
Sure enough, Young Gay America came around. It was meant to fill the void that the other magazine I'd worked for had created – namely, anything not-so-pornographic, aimed at the population of young, gay Americans. Young Gay America took off.
Gay people responded happily to Young Gay America. It received awards, recognition, respectability and great honors, including the National Role Model Award from major gay organization Equality Forum – which was given to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien a year later – and a whole host of appearances in the media, from PBS to the Seattle Times, from MSNBC to the cover story in Time magazine.
I produced, with the help of PBS-affiliates and Equality Forum, the first major documentary film to tackle gay teen suicide, "Jim In Bold," which toured the world and received numerous "best in festival" awards.
Young Gay America created a photo exhibit, full of photographs and stories of gay youth all across the North American continent, which toured Europe, Canada and parts of the United States.
Young Gay America launched YGA Magazine in 2004, to pretend to provide a "virtuous counterpart" to the other newsstand media aimed at gay youth. I say "pretend" because the truth was, YGA was as damaging as anything else out there, just not overtly pornographic, so it was more "respected."
It took me almost 16 years to discover that homosexuality itself is not exactly "virtuous." It was difficult for me to clarify my feelings on the issue, given that my life was so caught up in it.
Homosexuality, delivered to young minds, is by its very nature pornographic. It destroys impressionable minds and confuses their developing sexuality; I did not realize this, however, until I was 30 years old.
YGA Magazine sold out of its first issue in several North American cities. There was extreme support, by all sides, for YGA Magazine; schools, parent groups, libraries, governmental associations, everyone seemed to want it. It tapped right into the zeitgeist of "accepting and promoting" homosexuality, and I was considered a leader. I was asked to speak on the prestigious JFK Jr. Forum at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 2005.
It was, after viewing my words on a videotape of that "performance," that I began to seriously doubt what I was doing with my life and influence.
Knowing no one who I could approach with my questions and my doubts, I turned to God; I'd developed a growing relationship with God, thanks to a debilitating bout with intestinal cramps caused by the upset stomach-inducing behaviors I'd been engaged in.
Soon, I began to understand things I'd never known could possibly be real, such as the fact that I was leading a movement of sin and corruption – which is not to sound as though my discovery was based on dogma, because decidedly it was not.
I came to the conclusions on my own.
It became clear to me, as I really thought about it – and really prayed about it – that homosexuality prevents us from finding our true self within. We cannot see the truth when we're blinded by homosexuality.
We believe, under the influence of homosexuality, that lust is not just acceptable, but a virtue. But there is no homosexual "desire" that is apart from lust.
In denial of this fact, I'd fought to erase such truth at all costs, and participated in the various popular ways of taking responsibility out of human hands for challenging the temptations of lust and other behaviors. I was sure – thanks to culture and world leaders – that I was doing the right thing.
Driven to look for truth, because nothing felt right, I looked within. Jesus Christ repeatedly advises us not to trust anybody other than Him. I did what He said, knowing that the Kingdom of God does reside in the heart and mind of every man.
What I discovered – what I learned – about homosexuality was amazing. How I'd first "discovered" homosexual desires back in high school was by noticing that I looked at other guys. How I healed, when it became decidedly clear that I should – or risk hurting more people – is that I paid attention to myself.
Every time I was tempted to lust, I noticed it, caught it, dealt with it. I called it what it was, and then just let it disappear on its own. A huge and vital difference exists between superficial admiration – of yourself, or others – and integral admiration. In loving ourselves fully, we no longer need anything from the "outside" world of lustful desire, recognition from others, or physical satisfaction. Our drives become intrinsic to our very essence, unbridled by neurotic distractions.
Homosexuality allows us to avoid digging deeper, through superficiality and lust-inspired attractions – at least, as long as it remains "accepted" by law. As a result, countless miss out on their truest self, their God-given Christ-self.
Homosexuality, for me, began at age 13 and ended – once I "cut myself off" from outside influences and intensely focused on inner truth – when I discovered the depths of my God-given self at age 30.
God is regarded as an enemy by many in the grip of homosexuality or other lustful behavior, because He reminds them of who and what they truly are meant to be. People caught in the act would rather stay "blissfully ignorant" by silencing truth and those who speak it, through antagonism, condemnation and calling them words like "racist," "insensitive," "evil" and "discriminatory."
Healing from the wounds caused by homosexuality is not easy – there's little obvious support. What support remains is shamed, ridiculed, silenced by rhetoric or made illegal by twisting of laws. I had to sift through my own embarrassment and the disapproving "voices" of all I'd ever known to find it. Part of the homosexual agenda is getting people to stop considering that conversion is even a viable question to be asked, let alone whether or not it works.
In my experience, "coming out" from under the influence of the homosexual mindset was the most liberating, beautiful and astonishing thing I've ever experienced in my entire life.
Lust takes us out of our bodies, "attaching" our psyche onto someone else's physical form. That's why homosexual sex – and all other lust-based sex – is never satisfactory: It's a neurotic process rather than a natural, normal one. Normal is normal – and has been called normal for a reason.
Abnormal means "that which hurts us, hurts normal." Homosexuality takes us out of our normal state, of being perfectly united in all things, and divides us, causing us to forever pine for an outside physical object that we can never possess. Homosexual people – like all people – yearn for the mythical true love, which does actually exist. The problem with homosexuality is that true love only comes when we have nothing preventing us from letting it shine forth from within. We cannot fully be ourselves when our minds are trapped in a cycle and group-mentality of sanctioned, protected and celebrated lust.
God came to me when I was confused and lost, alone, afraid and upset. He told me – through prayer – that I had nothing at all to be afraid of, and that I was home; I just needed to do a little house cleaning in my mind.
I believe that all people, intrinsically, know the truth. I believe that is why Christianity scares people so much. It reminds them of their conscience, which we all possess.
Conscience tells us right from wrong and is a guide by which we can grow and become stronger and freer human beings. Healing from sin and ignorance is always possible, but the first thing anyone must do is get out of the mentalities that divide and conquer humanity.
Sexual truth can be found, provided we're all willing and driven to accept that our culture sanctions behaviors that harm life. Guilt should be no reason to avoid the difficult questions.
Homosexuality took almost 16 years of my life and compromised them with one lie or another, perpetuated through national media targeted at children. In European countries, homosexuality is considered so normal that grade-school children are being provided "gay" children's books as required reading in public schools.
Poland, a country all-too familiar with the destruction of its people by outside influences, is bravely attempting to stop the European Union from indoctrinating its children with homosexual propaganda. In response, the European Union has called the prime minister of Poland "repulsive."
I was repulsive for quite some time; I am still dealing with all of my guilt.
As a leader in the "gay rights" movement, I was given the opportunity to address the public many times. If I could take back some of the things I said, I would. Now I know that homosexuality is lust and pornography wrapped into one. I'll never let anybody try to convince me otherwise, no matter how slick their tongues or how sad their story. I have seen it. I know the truth.
God gave us truth for a reason. It exists so we could be ourselves. It exists so we could share that perfect self with the world, to make the perfect world. These are not fanciful schemes or strange ideals – these are the Truth.
Healing from the sins of the world will not happen in an instant; but, it will happen – if we don't pridefully block it. God wins in the end, in case you didn't know.
Open letter to Michael, by Daniel DiRito
I read your posting at World Net Daily and I wanted to share some of my own thoughts on your thoughts and the larger subjects of sexuality, religion, and authenticity.
First, let me say that your words express an inner anguish that seems to have been your companion for many years. I have great sympathy for your heartache. Your attempt to resolve that anguish is noble, however your efforts to extrapolate your own journey as a tonic for all that ails others within the gay community is sadly misguided.
I don’t know you so I hesitate to offer my observations without one important caveat. Your life has been lived by and large in the public sphere…first when you embraced homosexuality through YGA and your many other activities…and now as you embrace an alternate reality that you have chosen to share through World Net Daily. Therefore, I make the assumption that both then and now, it has been your choice to submit yourself to the scrutiny of others. If I’m wrong, my apologies.
You note that YGA “was meant to fill a void” for young gay Americans…something not so “pornographic”. Is it possible that YGA was meant to first and foremost fill your own void and to combat your own issues with pornography? Let me elaborate. You see pornography is not the unique domain of homosexuals…it is available to virtually all sexual persuasions and curiosities…and one has the free will to partake or to pass.
I’ve read gay newspapers and periodicals for many years and I’ve always known I had the discretion to read and view those articles, advertisements, and photographs of my choosing. When you speak of homosexuality as being “by its very nature pornographic” isn’t it plausible that what you are actually explaining is how you elected to define your own affiliation with homosexuality? Keep in mind that one can affiliate with heterosexuality in the very same manner…maybe you have yet to discover that prerogative.
You also state that “homosexuality is not exactly ‘virtuous’”. Clearly, virtue is not innate to any sexual preference…just as it isn’t innate to Italians, Caucasians, tall people, people near the equator, or people who drive yellow cars. Virtue is a chosen state of being that is available to all humans. Your proximity to virtue during your homosexuality was a function of your actions as a human being with free will…not something one can definitively obtain or be denied as a result of some affiliation. If you lacked virtue, YOU lacked virtue…being gay need not separate one from virtue.
You indicate that “homosexuality prevents US from finding our true self within. We cannot see the truth when we’re blinded by homosexuality.” The quest to find ones self should never be sought through affiliations. The fact that you couldn’t find communion with your self while you identified as a homosexual is not an indictment of homosexuality…it is an indication of your own internal conflicts…conflicts you played out in the public arena then and conflicts you now purport to have resolved in an alternate reality…once again seeking to air your process on the public stage. Unfortunately, your process now is not necessarily any more authentic than your process then.
What remains consistent is your need for others to affirm who and what you are whenever and wherever you tell us what you are. Don’t take this wrong, but I recall a time when I would fret about eating in a restaurant by myself…all I could think about was what others may be thinking it said about me. In a conversation with a wise friend, I mentioned my hesitation and she offered this observation, “Daniel, what makes you think you’re that important or that relevant in the minds of other diners? Why you are there eating alone is only meaningful to you.”
You see it was my perception that was flawed, not my situation. I was living outside of myself and relying on outside feedback to affirm myself…an exercise in futility. May I suggest you remain in the same predicament though you’ve altered your scenery? You proceed to state that you became aware of your homosexuality when you “noticed that I looked at other guys” and that you resolved your desires by paying attention to yourself. You continue by stating, “Every time I was tempted to lust, I noticed it.” Your words are clues to your own flawed perception. How you see other men…lustfully…is of your making…it is the perception you brought to your experience with homosexuality. The men you lusted after were not the issue…it was what you carried within.
Unfortunately, you attempt to apply your reality to all other homosexuals…once again illuminating your need for external affirmation…and in your current circumstances you need to vilify that which you no longer want to inhabit your psyche. Sadly, electing to announce your heterosexual affiliation is not the equivalent of extinguishing your flawed perceptions nor does it mean you will approach your heterosexuality any differently than you did your homosexuality. The healing of the heart is not an external event that is subject too, or a function of, ones proximity to any particular societal construct…in this instance heterosexuality.
You then pivot towards religion and your search for, and discovery of, your “God-given self”. Lacking in that observation is the realization that others may already be in harmony with their god-given selves. You see, may I regrettably suggest that you suffer the belief held by so many who identify as born again…you presume that everyone else must have lost sight of their god-given identities and is therefore in need of rebirth. May I posit that this is once again demonstrative of your need for external validation of your processes, your identity, and all that you experience? In other words, you are still a victim of your inability to embrace an identity of your own volition absent reinforcing feedback.
Your words provide further insight into your struggle. You state, “Lust takes us out of our bodies, “attaching” our psyche onto someone else’s physical form”. More telling words may have never been uttered. What you describe is your own persistent psychic wound that manifests itself in the objectification of others in order to fill an internal void…one you must believe to be insatiable and outside your capacity to repair. You see, your demons are just that…your demons. While you may find comfort in believing that every other homosexual has the same demons…that belief is merely a defense mechanism your ego employs to assuage the pain.
I would also speculate that the mindset you held put you in contact with people suffering similar struggles…thereby allowing you to reach your misguided conclusion that all homosexuals were like you. As difficult as this may be to hear, the friends I have would have little difficulty identifying you and your particular perceptions and the flawed judgments that they foster. That reality likely limited your exposure…but it certainly did not serve as a legitimate basis for your current hypothesis. You see, all that you have identified in your diatribe against homosexuality is that portion of your identity that you subconsciously find detestable. I’m sorry for your dilemma but I reject your conclusion.
Near the end of your essay, you state that “homosexuality took almost 16 years of my life and compromised them with one lie or another”. Shame on you. That statement is an affront to everything else you ask us to embrace. At what point will you take personal responsibility for your own behavior? The pursuit of truth is not a construct you get to strap on when it serves you and pine for when you lack the wherewithal to seek it.
What you need to strive for is authenticity. Your persona as a cheerleader in the latest and greatest uniform of your liking is simply the measure of your inauthentic self. Your predicament is sad and I feel for you…but your carelessness and your cavalier capacity to tear down whatever no longer serves your fragile identity is indefensible and unacceptable.
The fact that you now wrap yourself in the glorious guise of god may once again serve your masked and manipulative inner master but it puts you no closer to truth. You contend that god wins in the end because you have chosen to co-opt god to augment your own disenfranchisement from self-truth. While you have hitched your wagon to this particular iteration of truth, it doesn’t mean you have found truth. You have simply found a new mechanism of certainty that can be substituted for the ever elusive identity that in the end has ironically come to define who you are and who you aren’t.
Michael, I hope you’re able to find peace…but I have to implore you to do so without attacking those who have journeyed much further along the path.