Beyond Ex-Gay in the Advocate

The Advocate magazine published long article about ex-gays and ex-gay survivors and the changing landscape of the ex-gay movement. They quote quite a lot of people including Christine Bakke and me. (They often overlook the lesbians, so I am so glad they gave her plenty of space to share).

For more than a year, the website BeyondExGay.com has been a virtual gathering point for ex-gay survivors, many of whom now picket ex-gay ministries events and conferences and attempt to share their stories with attendees. Beyond Ex-Gay also holds conferences of its own. “Our primary goal is being a support group for ex-gay survivors,” says Toscano. Like Christine Bakke, who runs the group with him, he attended ex-gay ministries for years before finally accepting his gayness. “Our secondary goal,” Toscano adds, “is to talk about the harm of reparative therapy” — therapy meant to de-gay you –“in ex-gay ministries.”

The reporter, Tim Murphy, spent time getting to know the subjects of the piece and took a humanist approach to each one. In his conclusion he admitted an affinity for John Smid, who recently resigned as director of Love in Action.

I laid down my reporter’s notebook (metaphorically — we were on the phone). Smid was funny and thoughtful and affable. I told him that I’d like to be his friend, that as a comfortable, happy gay man raised Catholic but now more inclined toward a broadly spiritual liberal humanism, I’d like to meet for coffee and discuss these issues more. And I said I truly had no interest in changing him. Could he say the same thing?

Some people find it hard to believe, but many ex-gay leaders can be charming, interesting and fun people. But hey, most are gay after all.

It is a long piece that helps to flesh out some of the events over the past year.

The Believers—Ex-gay Survivors Making Peace With Those Who Tried to “Cure” Them

If you want to see the LOGO Be Real program on-line with wonderful footage from the Memphis bXg event and more of Christine, my own dad, and John Holm, another ex-gay survivor, click here.

On a personal note, I finished a few days with the delightful John Henson in Wales and have moved in with Auntie Doris for a few days in London before heading off to Oxford. Purrrrrfect weather–so sunny and clear.

This post has 1 Comment

  1. Anthony Venn-Brown on May 9, 2008 at 2:46 am Reply

    that is a pretty special and balanced article Peterson.

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