Opinion Piece: ‘Pray the Gay Away’ Event from a Gay Man’s Perspective

Opinion posted November 10, 2021 in CommRadio, News by CommRadio Staff

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. --- On Nov. 3, Milo Yiannopoulos (ex-gay man) came to Penn State University to discuss the LGBTQIA+ community, free speech, faith, conversion therapy, hair style and more.

Many spoke out against Yiannopoulos and his controversial beliefs. Specifically, those in the LGBTQIA+ community were distraught and felt unwelcome.

CommRadio spoke with Isaac Rodriguez, a second-year majoring in nursing and a homosexual man that has many opinions about Yiannopoulos.

Rodriguez discovered he was gay in fifth grade. At the age of 11 to 18 years old, Rodriguez was the only person who knew of his true sexuality. Then, he felt comfortable telling his two best friends.

One day, he opened up to them about him liking a guy and they accepted him. They had intuitions that he was gay, yet waited for him to be comfortable enough to come out of the closet.

Family wise, Rodriguez’s mom was accepting but had some homophobic tendencies. His dad is a whole different story.

“My dad saw a framed picture of my boyfriend at the time in my bedroom and started to freak out and was asking my mom a bunch of questions,” Rodriguez said. “My dad was questioning himself and how he could have done better as a parent.”

Rodriguez admitted that he still has not spoken to his father directly about his sexuality and that he has dismissed the situation completely.

Rodriguez came out publicly on Instagram on October 11, 2020, which happens to be National Coming Out Day.

“I went to my friends’ dorm asking advice about if I should post a picture with my boyfriend, at the time. They said I should post the picture because if the people that say they truly love you, will accept you. Those who don’t accept you, screw them.”

He admitted that he was hesitant, but having good, supportive friends push him is what he needed.

Following the ‘Pray the Gay Away’ Event, Rodriguez had many thoughts about the situation. He said, “I could not get into the event but I went to the protest to check it out. It was wild and many people were screaming in support of both sides.”

Although the event was “wild,” Rodriguez said “there was a lot of security and it felt generally safe, just uncomfortable.”

After the protest, he attended the ‘Love is Louder’ event. “There were many positive, supportive people and energy in that room. My friends were there and I loved it.”

Many were discussing that they could not understand why the ‘Pray the Gay Away’ Event was even happening. Rodriguez said, “it boggles my mind that people are against the LGBTQ+ community.”

Rodriguez believes that everyone is entitled to their opinion, however, religion should not be forced onto anyone. Shockingly, he opened-up saying “I have tried praying the gay away and look how that turned out, it didn’t work.” He continued saying, “Everyone can say what they want and be who they want to be, but don’t try to fix something that isn’t broken. I’m not broken, just different.”

Penn State University has received backlash from students.

Rodriguez has one big question to ask, “If Penn State is so pro-LGBTQ+, then why did they fund this event? Did my student fee go towards Milo?” CommRadio asked him what he wants Penn State to do in the future and he responded with, “Don’t take my student fee for that. If people want to see him or someone else like him, pay the money to meet and see them.”

This article is an opinion piece about the perspective of a gay man and his opinions about Milo Yiannapoulos and the ‘Pray the Gay Away’ event.