Thursday, February 9, 2012

An Ex-Gay Man's Man (Haydn Sennitt takes the Liberty).

For a young Biblical Christian intent upon gaining the approbation of his fellow Conservatives without the nuisance of obtaining recognized qualifications in theology, medicine, or psychology, there really isn’t anything that matches the lucrative field of homosexualist straightening. Especially now that godless socialists at the FDA have stopped the sale of homeopathic influenza cures, and transplanting hair without a license can earn serious time in a place where the only fashion statement involves orange overalls and DIY tattoos.

Mind you, when it comes to being internationally recognized as a man’s man in the imaginative world of homosexualist reparation therapy (that’s the technical term experts like myself use for the process in which young men who enjoy musicals and value their privacy are forced to feign an interest in poontang) not everyone waiting at the checkout has what it takes in their basket. One only has to look at the recent Anglican Mainstream debacle (less than 30 paying participants: that wouldn’t have even raised enough to cover Lisa Nolland’s internet “research” subscriptions – never mind buying the ex-gay speakers flowers and some nice cologne) to realize it takes more than just a stained copy of Leviticus to make a mark at the big end of the queer-curing scene.

Which is why I have in the past weeks become such an admirer of a young man to whom I was introduced through a blog from the heart of Mordor - the incomparable Haydn Sennitt. Nor, might I add, am I the only one here at St. Onuphrius’ to be so enamored, both Bishop Quinine and a number of Brother Richthofen’s Friends from Seminary share my fascination – although I still can’t quite understand why they keep printing out copies of the boy’s rugged manly visage “for the purposes of personal private study”.

Consequently I have, as a generous blessing to both members of My Ministry Team and the global multitude of Sinners regularly following My Word, undertaken further research on the only Christian I’ve ever encountered who regularly uses the term “faux-brothers” when speaking of fellow believers. (Read his first paragraph here for a wonderful example - that's an insult which even I have never thought of flinging around.) And what I’ve found shows little Haydn to be an absolutely remarkable boy. Even by the comfortingly nasty standards of his vocation as an unqualified psycho-sexual “pastoral worker” with an organization audacious enough to call itself “Liberty” while specializing in burdening men (and presumably also women, although like most such “ministries” anyone without a penis who isn't a “proof I’m straight” trophy wife rarely rates a mention) with soul-crushing guilt and self-loathing.

Not that undertaking this research has been an easy. The boy’s got more internet personas and closed blogs than a middle-aged Cub Scout master - the kind who lives with his parents and claims communal showers are the most health-giving aspect of camping. Add to this a practice of routinely deleting/editing any ejaculations which subsequent to their emission cast a less than evangelically-glorious light, and nailing down the real Haydn Sennitt becomes more than simply a question of dialling a number on the parish toilet wall. Fortunately, however, it’s been beyond his power to remove the wealth of material quoted on other people’s blogs, and it’s largely through these gems that we’re blessed with a truly inspiring insight into type of person who feels called to make a career out of claiming that people whom God has created, redeemed, and loves, will suffer eternal hellfire should they dare to live as God made them.

The first such jewel comes from Haydn’s now firewalled blog - no: I’d also prefer not to speculate upon the significance of the moniker “Giraffe Pen”, but you can trust it’s really him alright. Sourced here, it’s a post on an expat Korean forum discussing another of our boy’s unique evangelistic efforts - be warned that he induces some strong language in those he’s thoughtfully rebuking back to righteousness.
"I'm now on my honeymoon- in Korea, on Jeju island. This has had to be one of the most bizarre stories:
a) on Saturday, March 10 2007 at 4pm, I was married to Ji Hyun Sennitt in a Sydney Anglican church, followed by a reception at a golf course. The ceremony and the reception were absolutely terrific- praise God that the day was good!;
b) we went to the Vibe hotel in Milson's Point, where we stayed for 2 nights. On the second night Ji Hyun's heart stopped when she slept with her chest uncovered in a freezing cold bedroom. She had an encounter with 'the other side' of death (I've never been more terrified in my life than that moment when I thought I was going to lose Ji Hyun). I managed to restart her heart and keep warm for the night, but scary it was."
Yes My Sinners, you did read that correctly! According to Haydn (who would never lie or exaggerate), his second-ever night of conjugal hetero bliss involved Mrs. Sennitt’s exposed mammaries chilling to the point of inducing cardiac arrest. Whereupon our hero – whose obviously done more whilst watching Baywatch than just ogling David Hasselhoff – resuscitated his freshly demised bride and then, rather than calling 911 so paramedics could race her to the nearest intensive cardiac care unit, expertly treated her alarmingly acute myocardial infarction by “keeping her warm for the night”. What a guy! Obviously it is purely due to reasons of personal modesty that Haydn no longer lets the public read his original account of breathtaking medical chivalry.

Yet that’s by no means the only fascinating window Mordor’s fresh-faced ambassador for heterofascism. The next is from May 2009, just over two years after our proof of effective reorientation saved his spouse from fatal thermo-mammarial coronary disease. This time the quotes are taken from the blog of a tragic young man convinced that by publically recounting the minutia of his sexual urges (including a daily masturbation update - TMI is most definitely not a term he understands) God will respond by exchanging an interest in men’s bits for the kind of sexuality George Rekers is probably still purporting to enjoy. The exchange is here, but given Haydn’s determination to remove anything incompatible with his persona du jour I’ve taken the precaution of preserving the screenshots below:

Many of My Beloved Sinners might not be aware that during the Korean War I served in a missionary capacity, conducting top-secret negotiations on behalf of western armament manufacturers. As a Biblical Christian and Patriot I’m proud to say that it was purely due to my faithfulness that the godless communists weren’t the only ones to make a fortune by supplying weapons to the North. During the long sleepless, prayer-filled nights of ’50-’53 I was called to gain intimate knowledge of a little Korean, much of which occurred in one of the relaxing locations to which the indirect object of Haydn’s proposition - 찜질방 - refers. Transliterated as “Jjimjilbang”, those unable to deduce the meaning via onomatopoeic contemplation will be interested to learn it refers to the public bathhouses popular in the land of Mrs. Sennitt’s birth. Not, of course, that a newly-minted hetero could share the steam with his genitally-appropriate helpmate - even if he so desired. Jjimjilbang are strictly segregated, and as Haydn is well aware, during the course of a visit only those possessed of a penis are permitted to give other such endowed bathers a refreshing suds up and scrub down.

All of which, of course, implies absolutely nothing with respect to young Mr.Sennitt and his intentions. In fact it’s quite possible that expressing a longing to visit men's steambaths is common practice among the staff of Jensenist para-church “ministries”: for all we know sharing the urge to get “man-to-man” in such contexts is an actively-encouraged aspect of Mordor church culture, and plays no part in evaluating the efficacy of an individual’s reorientation. Perhaps Dobby Ould or one of the other “anonymous” propagandists from the diocese Christianity forgot regularly visiting could enlighten us?

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

Forgive me if now breaking character detracts from this post: it’s not something I’ve done before. But in the course of writing this I discovered more “ex-gay” blogs than I’d ever dreamed possible, and the depth of despair, self-loathing, guilt, shame, and desperation therein was utterly heartbreaking. And wrong. 

Very, very wrong.

Feeling sexually attracted to people of your own gender isn’t any more a sin than feeling attracted to people of a different gender. Some of us find our longings run more in one direction, and some of us yearn in another; just as some of us have curly dark hair and others straight blonde - not to mention a whole lot variations in between! It's all part of being human, part of the wonderful experience of being made from the same stuff as Jesus. Despite what some (often very dishonest) Christians claim, being gay, or lesbian, or transgendered, or anywhere in between, doesn’t mean you can’t follow Christ without pretending to be someone you’re not. Nor does God hate your sexuality, and "biblical" arguments to the contrary are exactly the same as those once used to justify obscenities like slavery, as well as idiocies like the idea women shouldn’t vote, drive cars, or operate office typewriters (yep – people really did once use the bible to justify that last one).

If you’ve somehow wandered here from the type of places that want you to believe God doesn’t love you as you are, and you find the idea of walking away from self-hatred and guilt frightening, then – please – remember you’re not alone. A lot of people have been along that path before you, and their journeys are proof that you too can find life and the light of Christ on the other side of “ex-gay” judgmental bitterness.

Anyone wanting support along the way in North America should try contacting Integrity; those in Great Britain can get in touch with the wonderful team at Changing Attitude. And since fist posting this I've been informed Australians now have their own Changing Attitude Australia, as well as the wonderful Or you’re always welcome to email me and I’ll do my best to confidentially find the details of someone in your region. Just please don’t ever buy into the lie that the Pharisees speak for God.
They don’t, and the love for you God revealed in Jesus is proof.
‘Fr. C.


Anonymous said...

I would dearly love Haydn to massage my large chest to prove he is a hot-blooded heterosexualist. My heart is always aflutter when I see pictures of gay twinks. Failing that, a Bible Study with Prostate Pete might prove equally exciting, since I adore men obsessed with gay sex - and how to cure it.

Calamity Jane said...

Fr Troll,
Australia also has Changing Attitudes. Also for Sydney people... the Hon Michael Kirby is launching a book in Sydney, which has been written by Anglican scholars. Each essay in the book argues, on the contrary, that there is no biblical warrant for condemning either a homosexual orientation or a faithful and committed homosexual relationship. Details of the book launch can be found here. Nigel Wright and Allan Cadwallader are also going to speak. An Anglican, Ben Gilmore, who is now working for the Uniting Church is going to MC the evening.

Anonymous said...

Haydn is not the only gay 'Anglican' in Australia. Arch-homophobe Dobby Ould has taken exception to the marriage of an Ozzie Vicar to a man!

Albert+ said...

I have heard of homophobia but David Ould sounds terrified.

The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

To be fair, Fr. Albert, it's quite understandable that Deacon David Ould and his upline Jensenists are afraid. When one's life revolves around worshipping an idol so insecure that the existence of a loving couple in backwoods Australia is all it takes to send their graven image crashing to the ground it must be hard to feel anything other than terror.

It's also funny to note that young Dobby's tantrum neglects to mention the number of deeply-closeted (partnered and otherwise) clergy serving in his own little corner of the 16th century. I've recently received a fascinating list (substantiated,of course), and it seems that providing one is prepared to loudly espouse any and all Jensenist propaganda his masters are more than happy to practise their own fundamentalist version of "Don't ask, don't tell".

Brother David said...

Please I beg you, Dear Father, enlighten us about fundamentalist "Don't ask, don't tell." It seems that it would be a tricky journey to travel. said...

I liked your serious "aside", Father Christian.

Isn't it ironic that groups who sing "Just as I am" are very often the same groups of people who are then full of ifs and buts about who can and who cannot be a follower of Christ.

Sister Sclerosis said...

I notice some wicked liberals are to perform the Vagina Monologues. Do you know of any unemployed, conservative curates who might Preach the Prostate?

Mike Hunt said...

One can see, Sister, where a talking twat would scare the BeJesus out of a bunch of right-wing fundies.

Anonymous said...

Then why not "out" the hypocrites? Being in the closet is one thing; using the closet as a sniper's nest is another.

The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

Your point acknowledged, Anon 6:32. The problem I have with outing in this instance is that as far as I can ascertain none of those named - with two notable exceptions - can fairly be described as "snipers" - more accurately they appear as insecure, confused, and afraid footsoldiers lured into a cult by a false promise of salvation. As such I'm uncomfortable forcing them into a position where the cult's leaders can sacrifice them to prove a moral "superiority" and "willingness to make tough decisions for the sake of purity".

The two exceptions, on the other hand, are already receiving a growing degree of attention around the blogs. When appropriate I'm more than willing to add to that, and have in the past done so.

I do worry, however, that at times the line between outing and homophobia can become very fine, and that outing has traditionally been a very much favored tool of those who hate. Consequently while not denying it has a place (hello Warden of Walsingham), I'm extremely wary of seeing it employed somewhere as utterly disfunctional as the diocese of Sydney. If used at all it in that context it needs to be done so by those on the ground there, who are better able to read the nuances of that strange Calvinist/puritan sect, and evaluate when the result justifies the potential risks.

.. although I'll admit that's just my $0.02 worth, and a position I'm willing to develop in response to listening to those who think otherwise. (Now that's not something anyone's heard Father Christian say before!) Your thoughts?

Ben Gresham said...

Hi there,

Thanks for sharing this.

I am one of the Sydney leaders for an organisation called Freedom2b which is the largest network of gay and lesbian Christians in Australia from many different church backgrounds -

There are many people within freedom2b who have been through ex-gay ministries, including myself and they cause much more harm than good.

I would encourage you to check out 'The Cure' documentary which is the first ever film made on ex-gay ministries in Australia and the damaging impacts they can cause. It is being released early 2012.

Anthony Venn-Brown said...

Poor Haydn.....if he wasn't so obsessed about converting us all to heterosexuals we could feel sorry for him. The longer he works in the 'ex-gay' space the more bizarre his behaviours and writings become. It is only a matter of time before he goes the way of so many of these people and what is happening behind the scenes becomes public. The question that time will we embrace him into our community of self loving and accepting gay people of faith or will we shun him as his Christian brothers and sisters predictably will. They will see him as a failure who has 'given into his homosexuality' but we know his journey to complete self acceptance has been a torturous journey. A scandal has a way of knocking us all out of denial and into reality.

The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

Thank you Ben and Anthony for your comments: it's an honor to have you both drop by.

Like you, Anthony, I've also been around long enough to see how things will inevitably work out for Haydn. He's long struck me as a sad and ultimately tragic figure, and I've in the past been in two minds about making fun of him. In the end it wasn't his feeble grasp of reality that pushed me into publishing this, but the vehemence with which he proclaims the lie that it's impossible to be both gay and a cherished, valuable member of Christ's family. That he struggles with intense personal confusion and self-loathing is one thing, but his efforts to deal with these by directing guilt and hatred towards others, and by currying favor with those who persecute, discriminate against, and bring death to men and women simply trying to live as God made them, have as far as I'm concerned rendered him a fair target when it comes to ridicule.

The day Haydn ceases preaching poison in the name of Jesus and bringing so much misery to people already wrestling with the complexities of understanding that they are indeed loved by God - irrespective of their sexuality - will be the day I do everything I can to ensure Haydn receives the love and support necessary to survive his rejection by those currently using him so cruelly. In my experience those who've survived the kind of journeys that a life of unlearning (:-) brings are pretty good at caring for their fellow lost sheep - could have something to do with the Spirit of God in their hearts, I suspect!

Anthony Venn-Brown said...

The day Haydn ceases preaching a false meesage of healing in the name of Jesus and bringing so much misery to people already wrestling with the complexities of understanding that they are indeed loved by God - irrespective of their sexuality - will be the day I do everything I can to ensure Haydn receives the love and support necessary to survive his rejection by those currently using him so cruelly. In my experience those who've survived the kind of journeys that a life of unlearning (:-) brings are pretty good at caring for their fellow lost sheep - could have something to do with the Spirit of God in their hearts, I suspect!


Anthony Venn-Brown said...

Actually people might be interested to see my presentation.....a glimpse into Australia's Ex-gay world.