Having spent loads of time in various “ex-gay” programs, the majority of the time I sat under the care of former gays–formerly practicing homosexuals.
Although lots of gay activist types may not like to hear it, these folks were wonderful to me–witty, compassionate, intelligent and sincere. When I hurt, they comforted me, and they ministered to me out of a heart of love.
But I also met another sort of “ex-gay” leader, the Ever Straight. These folks have never ever (no never) engaged in gay sex. Often married, with a history of drug, alcohol or sex addiction, or the product of a divorce where one parent was gay, they hope to straighten us gays out.
The difference between the former gays and the ever straights is as palpable as a cup of warm cocoa to a bucket of ice water. The ever straights exude a hardness and maintain a calculated clinical relationship with clients; I never felt safe around them.
Now I’m not suggesting that anyone should subject themselves to “ex-gay” programs, regardless the staff. I spent years of misery and confusion because I put myself in these places. I’m just saying that there are degrees of badness.
It’s like when people thought President George H Bush (the daddy) was bad, that was of course until George W (the son) came along. Suddenly daddy seemed kind and gentle.
Perhaps the best way to dissuade queers from attending “ex-gay” programs is to fully staff them with ever straights. (Lord knows, most of the former gays fall off the wagon anyway.) Once queers feel the direct blow of hetero oppression, the plan will become clear. Ever straights don’t want to save our souls, they want to recreate us in their own image, then turn us into oppressors (in Jesus name).
Former gays, once victimized by the system in turn victimize others. Ever straights bully queers and should be avoided at all costs.
Even former gays know this.