HA! the web series is a satire that centers on a young man, Roger, who enters homosexual anonymous (HA) at his local church to overcome his homosexual urges. Throughout the web series, the idea that through Christian faith and threats of a lifetime of sin, a person’s homosexuality can be cured. Although the series is purely satirical, it highlights the absurdity of Christian gay-to-straight reform groups as the name of group is commonly referred to among members as HA (a sign of amusement).
HA is just like all the other anonymous reform groups, but instead this group has a 14 step program for complete recovery. In the meetings, each member goes around and shares their stories of homosexual urges and actions. The group then prays for that person in hope that through God and faith, they will be cured. If Christian faith is not enough to cure the members, then the threat of a lifetime of sin will scare the members to be straight. This plot line sheds light on the ongoing issue of organized religion punishing and pushing away its homosexual members. Many homosexual people feel they cannot truly be themselves and love the people they love because their religion does not condone it and actually punishes it. The rigid beliefs in the Christian faith are made clear through Roger’s mom as she made the comment in episode 2 “We are not flexible. We are Christian.” She also constantly reminds Roger of the lifetime of sin he will be faced if decides to act on his urges. For a religion that prides itself on love and peace, it still excludes and persecutes its members and Roger’s mom is an example of that.
Although the web series was made in 2009, it is still relevant today. Most organized religions still do not accept homosexuality or “gay marriage.” The Catholic Church has made some progress in the more recent years with its announcement of accepting homosexual members, but it still does not recognize homosexual marriage. It still believes in the archaic notion that marriage is for a man and a woman. Some of the more accepting religions will still judge and punish its members because they may accept the concept homosexuality, they do not accept the actions involved with it. Organized religions’ complete or partial rejection of homosexuality, impacts queer society as it secludes many people and makes the process of coming out and acceptance harder because of the fear of rejection and persecution.