This letter is in response to the article "Straight Talk" by Patricia

Wingert


by Randy Thomas

I writing from the perspective of someone who participated in both studies.

I would have to disagree with Mr. Shidlo on many levels. His interviews

were very long but the questions were not varied with regard to the

complexity of sexuality or contain much depth. They focussed only on

complete change and if I had been "hurt" or depressed during that time. He

had little concern over a person's contentment with living a life through

the process of change. Mr. Shidlo seemed to be only concerned about finding

data that made reparative therapy look bad and my existence invalid.

I also have to disagree about his sampling being random because it was a gay

activist friend (who believes change is possible) who told me about him.

>From what I understand his inquiries for participants only went out into gay

areas.

On the other hand, Dr. Spitzer, who is recognized and respected around the

world for his research methodology was very thorough in his questions. In

my opinion they were much tougher than Shidlo's because the questions

covered sexuality on many levels. With Shidlo's questions I felt attacked,

with Spitzer I felt run through the paces and I had no idea what Spitzer's

agenda was. Probably because he didn't have one and was acting according to

the scientific rigor expected of a person in his profession.

I have experienced orientation shift. It has been a long and difficult road

but I live a content and peaceful life today. I haven't fully arrived by

any means but I am happy. I thank Dr. Spitzer for recognizing me and pray

that Dr. Shidlo would rethink his methodology.

Randy Thomas

Arlington Texas

Contact Mr. Thomas by email at: mailto:randy@livehope.org