Speaking Out part two–Ex-Gay Survivors in the News

Via Victoria Lavin at Daily Queer News (which you can subscribe to by e-mailing dailyqueernews (at) myway.com) I found out about a great Orange County/Long Beach, CA Blade interview with ex-gay Survivor Eric Leocadio (who is also featured here at Beyond Ex-Gay)

Long Beach blogger Eric Leocadio learned to reconcile his strong Christian faith and his sexuality. He now uses his website, Two World Collision, to share his story with others. For nearly 14 years, a young Christian prayed his attraction to men would disappear. When his faith was strong, he trusted God to provide him with a wife and the desire for her. When his faith faltered, he tried to kill himself. Now comfortable with his faith and sexuality, Eric Leocadio shares his ongoing story on his Web site, Two World Collision. Leocadio spoke with the Blade about his personal saga.

Blade: Tell us about your experience in the ex-gay movement.
Leocadio: I went through ex-gay programs. I was part of Desert Stream Ministries in a program called Living Waters. It was a six-month program geared toward addressing people’s sexual and emotional brokenness. I think the trend for the ex-gay movement is that they will continue to have more people who go through the program and leave the paradigm.

As always, Eric expresses himself thoughtfully, intelligently and passionately. Further on in the interview he shares about his faith, his ex-gay experiences, and the role blogging has had for him and others. You can read the whole interview here.

I will be in Philadelphia this weekend doing two shows, and columnist Carol Towarnicky at the Philadelphia Daily News wrote a piece about my upcoming visit. She captures my ex-gay experiences well in the column. (there is one major typo in that they printed the name of some random woman instead of Christine Bakke as the co-founder of Beyond Ex-Gay. Carol tells me they will correct it soon).

FOR 17 years, Peterson Toscano was a “born-again, evangelical, conservative Republican Christian.” And for 17 years, Peterson Toscano tried not to be gay.

He memorized hundreds of Scriptural passages with the thought that “the ‘Good Word’ would replace all the evil, bad, homosexual feelings” he had.

He attended a 12 step-style support group for “ex-gays” in New York but found that, week after week, fellow participants returned with the same problems.

He was exorcised. He attended different churches and was “baptized in the Holy Spirit.” He got married and became a missionary in Africa. None of it worked, of course. So Toscano spent two years in a residential program in Memphis, Tenn., to “truly get this thing settled in my life.”

You can read more here.

Ex-gay survivors keep telling your stories. People are listening. Change is happening. Warren Throckmorton reports that even at the recent Exodus Leadership Conference, keynote speaker Wendy Gritter, mentioned the ex-gay survivors narratives posted over at Beyond Ex-Gay!

This post has 3 Comments

  1. CrackerLilo on February 11, 2008 at 4:01 pm Reply

    It’s wonderful that these stories are (pardon the pun) coming out.

    Today I got an e-newsletter from Exodus, hyping up this year’s conference. It’s Valentine’s Week, which I *love*. It occurred to me that maybe they’re trying to be helpful during what I’m sure is a trying week for a celibate ex-gay.

    By the way, there is a link to a truly beautiful story of platonic love between men at my blog. It involves my favorite NASCAR driver, but I’ll bet you’ll still like it. Exodus groups would try to separate Tony Stewart and his crew chief if one or both of them were gay/bi, I bet.

  2. C/W on February 13, 2008 at 1:48 am Reply

    Did you realise that you were going to be the subject of Ms Towarnicky’s *very last* column?

  3. Peterson Toscano on February 13, 2008 at 3:48 am Reply

    c/w, no I had no idea this was her last column. I feel so honored.

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