Messages of Support for LGBT Youth Pour in on Last Day of Mississippi Ex-Gay Conference

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013   Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Sept. 25

Media Contact: Zach Magee,601-502-7042, zach.magee1997@gmail.com

Messages of Support for Youth Pour into Hattiesburg as Dangerous “Ex-Gay Therapy” Conference Draws to a Close

After Two Days of Peaceful Rallies, Messages of Love and Support Will Dominate Landscape Outside Local Church Hosting Conference on Final Day

HATTIESBURG, MS — Over the past two evenings, local groups representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Mississippians have peacefully rallied outside a local church hosting a conference on a dangerous form of therapy known as “ex-gay therapy” or “conversion therapy.” As more and more national attention has focused on this conference and on the dangerous practices being taught there, national messages of support for the young people being subjected to this “therapy” have begun to pour in.

Local LGBT community members will be rallying tonight, the final night of the conference, just past the entrance to the Paul B. Johnson State Park. After being asked to move last night, local organizers will respond by displaying signs with messages of support for those inside the conference who are being subjected to this abuse.

“While what happened last night was sad and unfortunate, it really does give folks a sense of what the climate is like for LGBT youth in Mississippi,” said CeCe Garrett, Outreach Pastor for Walk Fellowship. “I’m thrilled that folks from across the country have taken notice of our work here in Hattiesburg, and have stepped up to show the young people at this conference that there is hope, there is love, and there is support for them — both now and in the future.”

“The negativity we experienced last night is exactly why we are here doing this work — to draw attention to the hate we see each day, but also to then meet that hate with love,” said Zach Magee, Lead Organizer for GetEQUAL Mississippi. “We are going to be outside the conference again tonight to be a beacon of light for those who feel like they are surrounded by darkness. As a teen, I was in such a dark place due to rejection from loved ones because of my sexuality that I attempted to take my own life. I don’t ever want another kid to feel as alone as I did.”

Details about tonight’s rally are below:

Date/Time: Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 6:00-9:30pm CT

Event: “Rally of Love & Acceptance for Those Subjected to Ex-Gay Therapy”

Location: Just past the entrance to Paul B Johnson State Park

Examples of visuals, bearing messages of support from folks across the country:

“Homophobia is a choice – being gay is not”

“You are IMPORTANT to this world. No one else can be YOU. BE BRAVE. You are worth fighting for!!!”

“There is strength in numbers and I am proud to be one of your allies!”

“We – and GOD – love you just the way you are. You are perfect!”

“Jesus welcomed everybody. Good enough for him, good enough for me!”

The rallies have received national attention, in addition to an op-ed by local LGBT activist Zach Magee in the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zach-magee/exgay-therapy-and-the-dan_b_3978375.html

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GetEQUAL is a national grassroots social justice organization whose mission is to empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and allies to take bold action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way. For more information, go to www.getequal.org. You can also follow GetEQUAL on Facebook at www.facebook.com/getequal or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/getequal

One Response to “Messages of Support for LGBT Youth Pour in on Last Day of Mississippi Ex-Gay Conference”

  1. [...] messages of love and acceptance, such as “God loves you just the way you are,” poured in by the hundreds from all over the United States and Canada. The conference was followed by a candlelight vigil to [...]