Ex-Gay Treatment–Doin’ it for Jesus???

Yes, yes, yes, I know I have been negligent in my blogging duties. Just too darn busy at the moment. Let’s see It’s been almost two weeks, and I have been in Selinsgrove, PA (with my honey), Atlanta, GA, Highlands, NC, Nashville, TN, Cookeville, TN, Chattanooga, MD and today I am in Baltimore (Towson State University). Later this week I will be in Washington, DC and then off to Phoenix for the TransForm Arizona event!

I have not been completed out of touch. I have updated Twitter and answered 30% of my e-mails–that’s something, right?

Tonight I will give a talk at Towson State University–Homo No Mo?!? Gender, Orientation and the Ex-Gay Movement.

Interjecting scenes from his one-person comedy Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House—How I Survived the Ex-Gay Movement, along with video clips, personal narrative, and the most current information about the ex-gay movement, Peterson’s interactive and interesting academic presentation leaves his audience enlightened and better equipped to address false claims of the Ex-Gay Movement.

I would like to discuss with the people who come to the talk the reasons why an adult would elect to put herself/himself into an ex-gay program. The myth out there is that the ex-gay movement primarily targets young people who are forced against their will. Although many young people have been negatively affected by the faulty and dangerous ex-gay teachings and treatments, and some have even been forced to received “treatment,” the vast majority of people who have endured ministries and treatments to “de-gay” lesbians, bisexuals and gays have been adults who for the most part have willingly attempted to annihilate their sexual orientation and gender differences. Even some transgender people elected for a time to attend ex-gay programs in order to alter their gender identity and what they viewed as non-conformity. WHY?

I believe there are many reasons why one goes ex-gay, and I outline some of them in the video below. But I would love to hear from more people. Why do you think people would choose to go ex-gay? What are the subtle and not so subtle pressings influencing this decision?


Devin Hamberger from he Towson University daily paper, The Towerlight, interviewed me about my own ex-gay experiences.

The therapy sessions that Toscano attended tried to, according to him, correct sexual desire and transform their patients into gender normative men and women.“The women sat through Mary Kay makeovers and bread baking lessons, while the men played football and learned how to change the oil in [their] cars,” he said.

All his life, Toscano said he saw queer people being verbally and physically attacked, and he feared similar negativity and rejection toward himself. He went to therapy because he heard over and over that he could not be both gay and Christian.

“[I] chose [to be] Christian and decided to destroy anything queer,” he said. Toscano often wondered if he was a Christian struggling with homosexuality, or a homosexual struggling with Christianity.

You can read the whole article here. The talk is tonight at 7:00 PM. Check out my schedule for details for this talk and upcoming presentations in Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon.


This post has 2 Comments

  1. Jennifer on October 16, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Hey, Peterson, thank you for your talk on Monday night — I drove down to see you, from Harrisburg PA, when I found out earlier in the day that you were going to be there.

    (Feels good to be wanted, hmm? 🙂 )

    Just wanted to say ‘thank you’ — reasons I respect you include your intelligence, grace, and ability to see multiple sides and perspectives for a given situation.

    As a survivor of evangelical religion myself, I was especially touched by your account of Tyra’s show where you were offered the chance to ‘take apart’ the head of the ex-gay program you attended for two years…. but you viewed him as a human being who honestly meant well and acting more out of misguided intent — I’ve had the exact same feelings towards many evangelicals as well, despite having been hurt by them, and I think that mindset is the only way we will ever heal the rift that separates everyone. I think it also is how we remain true to ourselves and what spirituality we each have individually maintained for ourselves.

    (I doubt you remember me, I was the rather Amazonian transwoman with long dark hair in the back middle… although maybe you just thought I was a lesbian, which would actually be a compliment? 🙂 )

    This was a key phrase: “Toscano often wondered if he was a Christian struggling with homosexuality, or a homosexual struggling with Christianity.” Thank you — that very accurately sums up my lifetime of searching for God, except I’m transsexual.

    Hope the rest of your travels are going well. Your sketch clips were awesome and I hope to see the rest of the show(s) at some point.

    Hugs, you go bro!

  2. p2son on October 16, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Feels VERY good to be wanted 😀
    Wow Jennifer, just WOW! Thank you for coming to my talk at Towson and for going such a long way too! Cool. Glad you heard things that connected with your experience. That is always my hope.

    I hope you do get to see a full show, particularly Transfigurations as it is the most human of all my plays in so many ways and the biggest challenge for me as an actor. So many genders, so little time.

    Hopefully I will get to Harrisburg!

Leave a Comment