Melissa Fryrear was "the longtime senior analyist on gender issues" at Focus on the Family, the anti-gay group that wasn't co-founded by George "Rentboy" Rekers, until she resigned back in April. Fryrear is a "self-proclaimed ex-lesbian" who headed up "Focus' efforts to teach gay people to go straight." She left to pursue "speaking opportunities." Here's hoping she's speaking to a good, gay-positive shrink.

Anyway, like the headline says: never heard of her, don't care what her deal is, wouldn't piss on her if she was on fire. But this detail in the Colorado Springs Gazette's "The Pulpit" blog caught my eye:

Fryrear, 43, often spoke at Christian events of her battle with same-sex attraction. According to Fryrear’s account posted on Exodus International, an organization in the U.S. dedicated to turning gay people straight, she was involved in gay relationships until the late 1980s, when she became interested in Christianity. But while studying the Bible, she learned that Scripture says homosexuality is a sin.

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Fryrear—yes, fry rear—is 43 years old. Which means she was growing up at roughly the same time I was. And unless she was raised in a Skinner box in her parent's basement, she had to have been aware of Anita Bryant (one of my earliest, least-fond gay-specific memories), Jerry Falwell, the Moral Majority, President Ronald Reagan, Senator Jesse Helms, AIDS-is-God's-punishment-for-sin, Robert Mapplethorpe, blah blah blah—and this woman claimed with a straight face that she wasn't aware that the bible condemned homosexuality until she cracked the thing open for the first time in the late 1980s? That's simply not credible.

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Also interesting: Fryrear didn't just resign. She disappeared. Fryrear refused to speak to Barna—odd behavior for someone seeking new speaking opportunities (the higher your media profile, the more speaking opportunities come your way)—and various Focus spokesdouches claim they don't know where Fryrear is or how to get in touch with her anymore. Which leads Barna to wonder if perhaps Fryrear had "a change of heart toward faith-based reparative therapy, leading to her resignation."

Or... in other words... you gotta wonder who's lifting Fryrear's luggage now.

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