MONTREAL, Quebec, January 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As governments, celebrities, and activist groups declare “gay is good” to stave off teen suicides, some brave souls in Quebec are breaking ground as they launch the first group in the province dedicated to helping men and women overcome unwanted same-sex attractions.
Michel Lizotte, the journalist who founded Ta Vie Ton Choix, said bullying is not the only reason that those inclined to homosexuality consider suicide. “Some of these people who did their coming out and experienced the gay lifestyle, are feeling so bad after a while that they have suicidal ideas,” he told LifeSiteNews. “They will make suicidal attempts and they will commit suicide.”
Lizotte’s group, which launched a website in October at TaVieTonChoix.org, aims to connect those hoping to overcome their unwanted attractions, refer them to competent therapists, and offer sound – but often ignored – scientific information on same-sex attraction.
A journalist by trade, Lizotte got involved in the issue of homosexuality while covering the debates around same-sex “marriage” in the early 2000s.
In the midst of his research, he was shocked to learn about the existence of so-called “ex-gays” – men and women who were able not only to leave the homosexual lifestyle, but who say they have largely overcome even the attractions.
“What I learned from society was that people were born gay and it was not possible to change that,” explained Lizotte. “And if you tried to do that, it would cause damage to the person. So when I discovered the existence of this population, it was a big surprise.”
“I started to ask myself, if there’s such a population in San Francisco, in Toronto, in New York, there must be some ex-gays in Montreal,” he said.
In 2003, he began interviewing ex-gays and therapists specializing in what is known as “reorientation” therapy, which culminated in his publishing a book in 2007 entitled “Homosexuality: the Myths and the Facts” (L’homosexualité : les mythes et les faits).
“I saw that it was important to make this information available to the public. We also needed workshops and a website. But I felt that this goal was too big for me alone,” he explained. “So I decided to organize a team of people that would help me to reach that goal. So this group was formed in 2009.”
Ta Vie Ton Choix offers workshops with testimonies from men and women who have overcome same-sex attractions, and the group is in the process of forming support groups for those who wish to be freed from these attractions. They have also developed a network of therapists who are willing to offer reorientation therapy.
The group’s message has proven controversial in the formerly Catholic province, whose government now boasts of being the first jurisdiction in North America to launch a full-scale campaign to eradicate “homophobia.”
In 2009, Lizotte had several workshops cancelled at a Montreal-area Catholic parish after outrage by homosexual activists and newspaper columnists.
Lizotte told LifeSiteNews at the time that the media flurry had “destroyed [his] reputation.” In particular, La Presse columnist Patrick Lagacé had accused him of having “a fixation on the gay thing,” and insinuated that Lizotte was himself a closeted homosexual.
The incident highlighted the need “to protect the right of people who want to be freed from same-sex attraction,” said Lizotte.
“We discovered that if we want to organize a conference here in Montreal presenting the testimony of the ex-gays, there will be activists to protest [and] there’s high risk that the person offering us his building or home will change his decision,” he said.
“The rights of the population to listen to the testimony regarding the possibility of being freed from same-sex attraction is not respected, and the right of the ex-gays to present their testimony is not protected, is violated by these activists,” he added.
Lizotte’s efforts were rewarded in November by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), who honoured him with their annual President’s Award for his commitment to the cause despite the enormous personal and professional cost.
Lizotte says he felt compelled to take up this work because neither the government nor homosexual groups are interested in helping those who desire to be freed from same-sex attraction.
“If I did nothing, those people would remain helpless, and would remain in the position that society doesn’t protect their rights for self-determination,” Lizotte said.
“If you are suffering with the issue of same-sex attraction, you have the right to know that you can either be helped to accept them or to be free from those same-sex attractions,” he added.
For more information, or to donate, visit TaVieTonChoix.org.