When someone attempts to “de-gay” themselves, they can try all sorts of methods. Since it is an unregulated business, most ex-gay programs use a variety of techniques in hopes of straitening out homosexuals. Some of these “treatments” have to do with sex, but typically they touch on other issues as program leaders attempt to sort out clients’ gender and relationships with their parents and in some cases they even try to cast out gay demons.
Megan Stewart recently commented about gender and in particular masculinity in response to my blog post A Dungeon of Biblical Proportions or an Ex-Gay Program?
In recent years, I’ve noticed an almost worshipful attitude toward masculinity in the church, that marginalizes women in some of the same ways as gay men. Who would believe that in a first world nation a woman of Sarah Palin’s stature would have witches cast out of her by her minister?
But nobody’s questioned whether making an idol out of masculine heterosexuality might be problematic, because most of the people behind the pulpit are straight men, or want people to think they are.
Steven Fales, a fellow performance artist, and I appeared on the Trya Banks Show to share some of our experiences in the Ex-Gay Movement. I remember how horrified I felt when we were on stage with Tyra and they rolled the clip they created based on interviews they conducted the day before. Seeing the crazy things we did to try to become straight hit me hard (as you might notice when they first pan the camera on me and Steven right after they show the clip.) As Steven says, this is crazy making stuff.
I truly believed I would be more valuable to God and the world if I were not gay. The crazy part is that there was always another minister, counselor, therapist, deliverance team more than willing to work their magic on me. Bottom line: Gay Reparative Therapy does not work–no one actually changes from gay to straight. They only change how they identify themselves and they behave (no longer having gay sex and some attempting heterosexual sex and coupling with varying degrees of success and failure). Gay Reparative Therapy is unnecessary and in most cases causes actual harm. Check out Beyond Ex-Gay to read narratives and articles about the harm.
And check out Tyra in action as she dabbles in the ex-gay waters.