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I should really present this without comment, but you know me. I really can't. jpmassar's diary about the first same-sex wedding at West Point sent me off to HuffPo to see who said the stuff about how terrible the end of DADT would be, and over on the right hand side there was a link to a recently discovered letter written to the creative people at Will and Grace. THAT sent me to an interesting blog, Letters of Note: Correspondence deserving of a Wider Audience. Here's the image on the front page right now (your woozle of the day, Fala, and his person)

This illustrates a letter from Bob Hope to Fala offering condolences on the death of his person, FDR.  But that's just a bonus that explains why I'm bookmarking this site. It's the entry from the day before that I'm presenting as a remembrance of LGBT history and a link to something in today's news.

My source for today is Letters of Note: Hot, Hot Hot. The letters are from 2000, and the group that released them is Focus on the Family (!!!) presumably to demonstrate how mean the gay community is to people who claim to be ex-gays. There's an image with this one too, which you may or may not remember depending on how avid a fan of Will and Grace you were.

In this episode, Jack (Sean Hayes) infiltrates an ex gay group led by Bill (Neil Patrick Harris). I think you can probably tell how unsympathetic the show was to the whole idea of ex-gayness, and this prompted a letter from one Mike Haley (pictured to the right),
Public Policy/Youth and Gender Specialist at Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs.  His complaint?
I'm specifically talking about references in the show to former homosexuals, and those wrestling with their sexual identity, as "freaks," "self-loathing closet cases," "morally wrong" and as members of "cults." Nowhere in this episode are we portrayed as honest men and women seeking help.
Haley goes on to ask for a face-to-face meeting with someone on the writing staff, because
hopefully it will encourage you to think twice before ridiculing the belief systems of those who differ from you.
Well, okay, and points for the apparent sincerity from a member of a beleaguered (in their own minds) minority group.

The response, from Jon Kinnally, the Executive Story editor of Will and Grace,

is funnier than most of the shows were. I should probably mention here that I wasn't a huge fan of the show after the first season until I convinced myself that it was really an animated series in the manner of Josie and the Pussycats that used live actors. Since this is the age of Facebook and the like, we have a picture of Mr Kinnally too. His letter, after the ritual  of saying we were just going for humor and we didn't cough, cough mean to offend anyone, treats the letter from Focus on the Family as a request for a date! After describing himself physically, Kinnaly closes thus:
If any of this interests you, I can be found every Sunday at the Brunch and Beer Bust at the Motherlode in West Hollywood. I do hope you show, because like you, I am an expert on homosexuality, and in my expert opinion, this "hard-to-get thing" you're playing is Hot, Hot, Hot!
The Motherlode! In the early 1980s we felt we needed a mirror check to go there, because it attracted the hottest men, well, in California, and yes, it's in the three block epicenter of West Hollywood. Full transcripts at the link at the top of this section, I didn't want to get afoul of fair use.

Letters of Note explains that these were released by "an infuriated Focus on the Family" (translation: these mean gay men, who are damned to hell, are making fun of us!). Now, 12 years later, ex-gays are in court asking California to declare a law that outlaws reparative therapy for persons under 18 unconstitutional and reparative "therapists" are in court in New Jersey defending themselves against charges of fraud (details here and here and here).

I just thought this was wonderful, and I have a new blog to visit now.

Originally posted to Remembering LGBT History on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:35 AM PST.

Also republished by Angry Gays, LGBT Kos Community, and Milk Men And Women.

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