NY Times Highlights Ex-Gays in Metro NY Area

Michael Luo, religion writer for the NY Times, wrote a piece that looks at various ex-gay options in the New York metro area (and not just Evangelical Christian groups). He focuses mostly on the words and lives of people who currently identify as ex-gay, but he also interviewed professionals who denounce gay reparative therapy.

“There’s not a debate in the profession on this issue,” said Dr. Jack Drescher, a New York psychiatrist and former chairman of the Committee on Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues of the American Psychiatric Association. “This is like creationism. You create the impression to the public as if there was a debate in the profession, which there is not.”

The piece goes on to talk about LIFE Ministries in NYC, a ministry that according to Luo claims, “that complete “freedom” is available for anyone willing to put in the emotional and spiritual work.”

Although Luo states that “for every ostensible success story, there are many other stories of people who have concluded they were deluding themselves, including some who used to be among the movement’s most visible leaders” he only includes one example of someone who had made that conclusion. That one would be me.

Peterson Toscano, 41, spent years in ex-gay ministries, including LIFE, during the 1980s and 1990s and eventually got married, only to see his marriage fall apart after he was unable to keep his homosexual urges in check.

He finally decided: “If you keep trying this, you’re fooling no one.” Now openly gay, Mr. Toscano lives in Hartford, attends a gay-friendly Quaker meetinghouse and performs solo comedy sketches around the country, including one that pokes fun at his experiences in the ex-gay movement.

Read all of Some Tormented by Homosexualty Look to a Controversial Therapy.

This post has 11 Comments

  1. Craig Hickman on February 12, 2007 at 5:53 am

    Fabulous that he would mention you, no?

  2. Willie Hewes on February 12, 2007 at 9:36 am

    You’re 41? Crikey. 😉 It’s a good article, and kind of cool that you get a mention.

  3. Peterson Toscano on February 12, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    craig, I am just surprised he doesn’t mention more ex-ex-gays. In part it serves as a PSA for ex-gay groups in NYC area. Still I think he brings out the struggle of people of various faiths and that this still happens in NYC reveals that the pressures of society hinder gay men (and others) from allowing themselves to be themselves.

    willie, I turn 42 on Saturday (the fourth anniversary of the premiere of Homo No Mo 🙂

  4. Anna HP on February 12, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Mr Toscano .. that has a nice ring to it. Mrs Anna Harry Potter Toscano .. yeah .. I like that 😉

  5. Peterson Toscano on February 12, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    anna, I adore you, but I have been down the heterosexual marriage path before and it ended disastrously. Let’s stick with friendship and show the world how fabulous we can be that way.

    Hey, Anna HP, we need to talk about dates in May in Malmo and Lund. Would love to come back to your neck of the woods. AND get to see you sing!

  6. Anna HP on February 12, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    Hey, we’re both gay, it would be a gay homosexual marriage hahahaha. Just kidding, you know that. And yes .. we do need to talk. I’ll email you or something 🙂

  7. Elliot on February 12, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    I’m giving you some kind of present when I see you on the 28th, then! Happy pre-Birthday, my friend! 😀

  8. Christine on February 13, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    complete “freedom” is available for anyone willing to put in the emotional and spiritual work

    Gah. I just hate that. It’s so insulting, as if I didn’t want to work hard enough. Honestly, I’m not sure that there were many other people in my ex-gay circles who put in the “emotional and spiritual” work that I did…

    But um, anyway, end of rant. Hi Peterson. 🙂

  9. Craig Hickman on February 14, 2007 at 1:00 am


    I actually like that quote. Not as it applies to the topic, but as it applies to spiritual freedom.

    And Peterson, I hear you.

  10. Diana_CT on February 14, 2007 at 2:05 am

    Good interview on the Colin McEnroe this afternoon.

  11. Peterson Toscano on February 14, 2007 at 2:50 am

    diana, cool! Colin totally caught me off-guard with his question about Anna Nicole Smith’s death.

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