Ex-Gay Rhetoric and the Politics of Sexuality
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In 1998, a coalition of antigay, pro-family activist organizations published a set of full-page print advertisements in several nationally recognized newspapers. These ads promoted sexual (ex-gay) conversion therapy for homosexuals. I examine these advertisements as a contest over cultural symbols and values, and over the very definition of lesbian and gay identity. This discursive contest had the potential to impact activist politics greatly, but this impact was mitigated significantly by a similar set of ads produced in response by an opposing movement: the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement. The interactive dynamics between opposing movements impact the political field in which activists on each side pursue their goals.
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