Terrance Heath

Zach Speaks

Filed By Terrance Heath | May 06, 2008 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Living
Tags: ex-gay, love in action

Wow! I remember the Friday night in June 2005 when I first read about Zach's story. It shook me up so much that I had to post about it. (When I got up on Saturday morning it was still with me. I emailed around, trying to get some of the more highly trafficked blogs to pick up on it. (At least one declined because of fear that Zach might not even exist, but Amanda Marcotte and Lindsey Beyerstein were among the first to pick up the story and share it with their readers.)

I remember posting it to all the places I was blogging at the time. (my Daily Kos diary, the Gay Spirituality Blog, HomoMojo, etc.). Then I stepped back and took a look at what was happening. I realized that there were a number of other "long tail bloggers" covering the story, and creating something of a blog storm. Several of those bloggers, myself included, were interviewed for a podcast about how the story grew in the blogosphere.

On my own blog, I got commenters asking what kind of action could be taken. Some commenters exchanged information with each other about which authorities to contact in Tennessee. Some sent information about it to other organizations.

We all know what happened from there. I was somewhat stunned at how far it had gone, but glad I played at least a small part in making the story known. Once Zach was released, I decided to stop blogging about the story, except for updates on the lawsuits, and compiled all of my posts.

I always wondered what had happened to Zach. I knew he'd reached the "age of majority" and could maybe escape his parents control, to find a place where he could be whoever he is. I'd never seen him or heard him speak. At least until now, at right about 7:00 into this video.


iPhone users: Click to watch

So, this little clip is encouraging. He looks good, sounds good, and at least appears to be OK. That's what I hope, anyway. What I've hoped all along.

I'll definitely have to see this documentary when it comes out. Definitely.

[Via Box Turtle Bulletin.]


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Terrance, thanks for this post. I normally don't follow links. Hey, I'm lazy. But since I didn't know who this Zach person was, I followed your first link. Thought I would post a quick and dirty summary in the comments so that other lazy folks aren't left in the dark.

’ve seen the movie But I’m a Cheerleader, but I guess I’ve been blocking out of my mind the reality that there are camps out there that allegedly make gay kids “straight,” and that parents send their kids to these places. Specifically, Zack’s parents are sending him. Apparently, when you’re a 16-year-old gay boy in Bartlett, TN, bad things can happen.

Good for Zack for speaking out.

They're really leaving us in the dark with the ending of that clip...