Ex-Gay In London? Conference & Protest

Back in 2005 when I first traveled to the UK with my play Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House, several British people without any ex-gay or ex-ex-gay background responded,

Well,  that’s ever so entertaining, but very American. We don’t have anything like that here.

I admit that ex-gay treatment and conversion therapy is an American export (from the people who brought you McDonalds and a Global Economic crisis) but the Ex-Gay Movement has operated out in the open and under the radar in the UK for years.

According to a recent study, a shocking fact, one in six British psychiatrists and therapists have tried to “cure” patients of homosexuality. That doesn’t even take into account the many Christian counselors, youth pastors, ministers and ex-gay ministries that have attempted to change and suppress orientation and gender differences. Fortunately former ex-gay leader Jeremy Marks changed his Courage ministry into an LGBT-affirming group some years back and has since issued a public apology about his role in promoting and providing ex-gay treatment. (He also has a new book out about his experience)

This weekend a group of American ex-gay practioners will set up shop in the UK at an ex-gay conference held in Central London to share their views about gays (the “sexually broken” to use their words) and offer treatment plans. The event is sponsored by a group called the Anglican Mainstream Organisation (AMO). Slated to speak are Joseph Nicolosi and Jerry Satinover and no doubt others.

In response a grassroots effort has come together to counter the misinformation that gets propagated at these types of conferences and is being organized by Nicolas Chinardet aka Zefrog. According to Nicolas’ blog,

The AMO’s position can, in my view, not be left unchallenged and therefore I and a growing number of others will be protesting this Saturday between 1 and 3pm outside the venue of the conference. We sitll have to make sure of the venue (it was not published on the AMO’s webpage for the event) but it seems that it is going to take place at the Emmanuel Centre, 9-23 Marsham Street, London SW1P 3DW (www.emmanuelcentre.com).

I am thinking of making it a silent, peaceful and dignified protest simply to show these people that they can not just say and do what they want. That we are here, happy with who we are and more importantly vigilant and not willing to be mistreated any longer.

I will be busy with the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement’s annual gathering on Saturday but hope to see about being part of a smaller action on Friday. Read more at the Aimless Ramblings of Zefrog blog. You can join the Facebook Group if you are able to attend.

On Saturday evening I will offer a pro-LGBT message coming from a Biblical perspective at the North London Metropolitan Church ( Saturday April 25, 2009 8pm, Camden URC, Buck Street & Kentish Town Road
Camden Town. FREE!) There is a Facebook event for that (can’t figure out the link) or you can find more details here.

Also on Monday at University of Cambridge I will offer a talk Homo No Mo?!? Orientation, Gender and the Ex-Gay Movement. I will give a similar talk at University of Bradford on Thursday May 12. For full details see my performance schedule.


This post has 4 Comments

  1. Anonymous on April 23, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Hey Peterson, I read your twitter updates almost everyday! Why do you feel the need to refer to yourself as the third party? Take for instance, you just posted a twitter update where you wrote, “In NYC where cops once broke up an exorcism to de gay “him”. Who is the third person? Why can’t you just say, “to de gay me?” I find this very interesting…

  2. p2son on April 23, 2009 at 10:49 am

    It comes as a hold-over from my Facebook updates. The traditional FB update starts “Peterson Toscano is…” They have since opened it up so that you can do whatever you like, but it always starts with “Peterson Toscano…” My Twitter feeds into my Facebook where I have a lot more followers than on Twitter.

  3. Anonymous on April 23, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Got it! Enjoy the uk and look up to God for guigance. Love ya!

  4. dorellostreet on April 23, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    I have heard of this back in my home country of Northern Ireland. One of the local politicians called ‘Iris Robinson’ was actually going around telling gay people she knew a good shrink who could cure them. Thanks for your email also buddy. I live in Lancashire up in the north west of England and I am disabled so I can’t really travel at the mo due to sever spinal difficulties but I really do hope you have a great time over here in the UK or ‘ole Blighty’ as they call it. Enjoy London too. Its a great city!

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