Target: David Pickup, Texas-Based Scientific Adviser to Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX)
Goal: Remove harmful “Ex-Gay” billboards sponsored by non-profit that promotes gay conversion therapy.
New billboards promoting gay conversion therapy by saying “Ex-gays prove change is possible” have appeared in the community of Waco, Texas. The billboards are sponsored by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays, a non-profit, volunteer organization stationed in Virginia that supports controversial gay conversion therapy. The billboards, they argue, are a way of proving that the therapy works.
These billboards are harmful and damaging. Not only do they promote a “treatment” that the American Psychiatric Association does not even recognize and calls ineffective and dangerous, but the billboards’ wording insinuates that being gay, or being any member of the LGBTQ community, is something that can be “fixed.” It treats sexual orientation or identity as a problem that can easily be changed. Imagine how harmful such a statement can be to a young member of the LGBTQ community.
The Waco community has already bonded together and is planning a pride event for next year in the face of the billboards. However, there is no place for billboards such as these. Waco is a community that embraces its LGBTQ members and an organization from a completely different state has no right to invade the town with such harmful propaganda.
The LGBTQ community should be supported and embraced, not attacked, as these billboards do. There is no place in society for billboards that not only promote a dangerous and scientifically unsound argument, but also attack an entire community. Sign our petition to demand the billboards’ removal.
Dear Mr. Pickup,
As a Texas-based adviser to the Virginia-based organization Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays, you play a role in PFOX’s visibility in the state. However, PFOX has recently drawn attention to itself in the form of billboards that promote gay conversion therapy. While you may support such a “treatment” and argue that it is safe and effective, a majority of the population and the scientific community will disagree. The American Psychiatric Association opposes it.
Being gay is not something that can be treated, changed, or fixed, and for your billboards to say so is harmful to the entire LGBTQ community and harmful to the progress society has been steadily making in the recognition of LGBTQ rights and awareness.
I ask you, as an adviser to PFOX, to take steps with the organization to remove these billboards. They are not promoting a treatment or a cure. They are promoting a rhetoric of hatred and ignorance and have no place in a progressing society.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Benson Kua