Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Parelli tells SUNY students about his Reparative Therapy experience with Joseph Nicolosi

Rev. Stephen Parelli, in a discussion group centered around 8 The Play, tells SUNY students he, too, was in Reparative Therapy with Joseph Nicolosi

by Rev. Stephen Parelli
Executive Director, Other Sheep
Bronx, NY
March 4, 2013

Click here for Parelli's paper on the fallacies of the "ex-gay" movement

8 The Play, March 1, 2013, perfomred by SUNY at Geneso students
In a discussion group following the March 1 presentation of 8 The Play, a staged reading dramatization of the May 4, 2010, ruling that overturned Proposition 8 in California, performed by The Women’s Studies and English Departments of SUNY (State University of New York) of Geneseo and directed by Rachel Tamarin, Rev. Stephen Parelli, a special guest for the weekend and who saw the performance, remarked that the actors who portrayed the defense – the conservative right in favor of Proposition 8, the amendment that limited marriage to same-sex couples – may have appeared “over the top” in portraying their respective conservative characters, but were in fact, in their portrayals, truly representative of the vehement, aggressive anti-gay spirit that so often characterizes those activists who oppose marriage equality.
Steve Parelli, left, with
Hunter Kane who played the
character in 8 The Play who, like
Steve, was in Reparative Therapy
withJoseph Nicolosi
Parelli, having noted that the play had a gay character who testified to his counseling experience with Joseph Nicolosi of NARTH (National Association for Research & therapy of homosexuality), shared with the SUNY students his own personal experiences as a former client of Joseph Nicolosi in 1996-1997.  Parelli offered to email his “ex-gay” paper, which discusses the fallacies of the “ex-gay” movement, to interested students.  

8 The Play, March 1, 2013,
perfomred by SUNY at Geneso students
In his discussion of Nicolosi, while he said he did not agree with the presuppositions of reparative therapy nor with the supposed possible outcome of reversing his homosexuality, Parelli did give a balanced view of Nicolosi’s overall ability to relate to his clients, citing specifics where Parelli felt the counseling sessions did help him in general.  Parelli related how Nicolosi’s permission to hold and be held, for days at a time, in the arms of another male, did in fact set the stage for the marriage he now enjoys with his husband Jose.  Parelli said he had asked Jose to hold him, telling Jose that his therapist had granted permission, and that holding would be part of the healing.  He said Jose asked him how much holding is enough holding. 

Steve Parelli and
Jose Ortiz on their
wedding day,
August 25, 2008
Sacramento, CA
Parelli, who has lived in New York City with his partner since 1997, told the SUNY students he and his partner Jose were married in Sacramento, California, in August of 2008.  He said Jose and he married for the legal protection and benefits that marriage would bring.  But, he said, upon leaving Sacramento City Hall as husband and husband, he was overcome with the sensation that, at last, he was now fully “American,” one with society, equal in citizenship.  He said it was a feeling he had not expected, that completely overtook him.


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