Today in LA three former Exodus leaders publicly apologized for their involvement in the ex-gay movement. Darlene Bogle, Michael Bussee and Jeremy Marks each shared their own personal statements and then Michael read out the shared statement. They signed the apology and presented it to ex-gay survivors who were present at the press conference.
As former leaders of ex-gay ministries, we apologize to those individuals and families who believed our message that there is something inherently wrong withvbeing gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Some who heard our message were compelled to try to change an integral part of themselves, bringing harm to themselves and their families. Although we acted in good faith, we have since witnessed the isolation, shame, fear, and loss of faith that this message creates. We apologize for our part in the message of broken truth we spoke on behalf of Exodus and other organizations.
We call on other former ex-gay leaders to join the healing and reconciliation process by adding their names to this apology.
We encourage current leaders of ex-gay programs to have the courage to evaluate the fruit of their programs. We ask them to consider the long-term effects of their ministry.
Beyondexgay.com and Soulforce organized the press conference, and we worked with the leaders for the past few weeks as they revisited their ex-gay pasts and recounted the good and the harm of ex-gay ministry. The whole experience was very moving.
We felt pleased to have representation from the public and the press. CNN, the local ABC News, Azteca America TV (Spanish) as well as Here TV each shot the event and reporters from the Advocate, LA Times and Frontier Magazine and the Orange County NPR affiliate covered it. I did an interview in Spanish for Azteca that will air nationally tonight.
Here is moving video of Micheal Bussee up over at Box Turtle Bulletin