Some of you know that Christine Bakke and I sent out an invitation to Exodus leaders to have dinner with some ex-gay survivors. The dinner happened last night and was sponsored by Beyond Ex-Gay and Soulforce. Here is a copy of the invitation. I have received several messages from people wanting to know:
Did you have a meeting with Exodus leaders last night?
Did they accept your invitation?
Christine and I told the three Exodus leaders present for our dinner last night here in Irvine, CA that we would not blog about the details or even mention their names. If they wish to blog about it, that is fine and welcome, but not necessary. In seeking dialog we need to develop trust and know that every word we say will not end up out on the web.
Three leaders of Exodus member ministries joined four of us ex-gay survivors for dinner. No one from Exodus International senior leadership or from the Exodus board attended the dinner, and those present for the dinner stressed that they do not represent Exodus International.
Beside Christine and me, two college students attended the meeting, Vincent Cervantes and Vincent Pancucci, both from California. These two are partners and met while students at Azusa Pacific University, a Christian school. They both received ex-gay therapy through their church and at the school.
The format of the dinner was simple. We shared our stories about our ex-gay experiences and the challenges and difficulties we faced in large part because of these experiences. We also answered questions and then we all discussed some of the issues raised. The Exodus leaders present listened respectfully and answers thoughtful and insightful questions. They took copious notes and said that they would report back to Alan Chambers. After the dinner some of the Exodus leaders came to my show at UC Irvine.
Overall I felt very pleased with the dinner and the opportunity to share our ex-gay experiences and that for us they caused more harm than good.
Alan Chambers did respond to our invitation via e-mail and expressed interest but stated that he did not have the time during this week but was interested in meeting at a later date.