Dyana Bagby writing for the Washington Blade interviewed Christine Bakke and me about bXg and the upcoming Ex-Gay Survivor Conference. Her piece, Ex-gay not OK, tells some of the history of the bXg website and the thought behind it.
IN SPRING 2005, CHRISTINE Bakke contacted Toscano after attending one of his performances. The two struck a dialogue about their experiences, eventually deciding they wanted to do more to help others like them who “survived” their ex-gay experiences to finally embrace being gay.
The result of their talking is Beyondexgay.com, a website that went online April 2 and shares stories of others who tried to become ex-gay but finally accepted themselves for who they are.
Christine and I talk about the upcoming conference, which will be held in Irvine, CA June 29-July 1, 2007, in the same city at the same time as Exodus’ annual ex-gay conference.
“Our conference is a loving response to their message that to be acceptable to God, one has to change an inherent trait,” Bakke said. She spent more than four years trying to change her sexual orientation, including moving to Denver in 1998 and participating in an ex-gay program affiliated with Exodus.
“[Our conference] is our way to tell ex-gays, ‘You don’t have to do this to yourselves,’” she said.
Christine also talks about just how unique bXg is,
BAKKE SAID THAT Beyondexgay.com is the first of its kind — most other ex-gay organizations are watchdog groups.
“Up to this point, the only ex-gay survivor group that existed was a small, almost defunct, Yahoo e-mail list. Ex-Gay Watch has done important work being a watchdog for the ex-gay movement, and I’m thankful they exist,” she said. “But it’s not a place where an ex-gay survivor can go to connect with other survivors, find support and healing, and work through the harm they’ve experienced.”