There’s no way around it - this is going to be an upset to Oakland’s LGBTQI scene.
Chaney Turner - promoter of Speaker Box, Fluid and Fresh - says that she’s experienced an overnight “recovery” from her homosexuality and wants to invite Exodus (the cure-the-gays organization whose iphone app led to a massive petition on change.org) and other pray-the-gay-away organizations to her next nightlife event.
“I still love the community," Turner said. "I invited Exodus because, it’s like, I just want to spread God’s message to as many as I can. I feel so much better, as a person. Freedom from homosexuality is possible.”
Her next event will replicate her previous parties, with all the usual elements in effect - hip hop and dancehall, liquor and fashion forward women - with one important distinction. Conservative ex-gays will be in the crowd, looking to “convert” Bay Area homosexuals to a heterosexual lifestyle.
Exodus is one of many organizations that offer "reparative" therapy to LGBTQI people.
“Sometimes, we flirt with them, just to get their attention and to get the conversation started,” said an anonymous member of a similar organization. “It’s kind of a bait and switch. We pray for five hours straight before formulating these kinds of strategies. We get our instructions directly from God.”
Years ago, a friend of mine, a brilliant radical activist and an adamant feminist, moved across the country and started attending a born-again church. She rejected everything she’d stood for up to that point and was totally indoctrinated with fundamentalist ideals after about six months. Shortly afterward, she joined Jews for Jesus. Now she lives an orthodox Jewish lifestyle, with strict daily rules and rituals, many of which underscore her role as a submissive wife.
I tell this story, because my friend’s switch up/change up evokes a similar emotion, one best described by the acronym "WTF."
Turner is an Oakland native. She’s truly loved by those who frequent her events; she’s also been a warm, down-to-earth presence in an often ego-driven club environment.
“I don’t get it,” said Amy Adams, also a promoter and a friend of Turner’s. “She’s never shown any signs of mental illness or unhappiness. It’s just absolutely unbelievable.”
What brought on Turner’s conversion?
“I posted this thing about Victoria Jackson on Facebook. She was upset about a gay kiss that happened on Glee. I was making fun of her, but over the last couple of weeks, it got me thinking. I was raised in a religious household. I started feeling sick to my stomach, and wondered if Victoria had a point. I started praying to God, and this is what was revealed to me.
"I may not be able to succeed in totally getting rid of same-sex attraction, but I can succeed at living my life the way God intended - with a man.
Volunteers who would like to help Turner organize - and transitition - can email her at email@example.com or visit her website here.
Read more Q Oakand stories here.
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HAPPY APRIL FOOLS!!! Many thanks to Chaney Turner for helping with this prank story. Be sure to attend her next event,