Back in 2003 when I first premiered Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House, we had precious little resources about the Ex-Gay Movement. There was a Yahoo group, Ex-Gay Watch and Wayne Besen’s compilation of ex-gay survivor stories for the HRC website (launched in 2000) and of course Wayne’s book Anything But Straight—Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Movement. I’m sure there were other resources, but those are the only ones I found at that time.
There used to be a time when I would monitor every ex-gay related story and feel I needed to prepare some sort of response. In the past half decade we have witnessed and explosion of resources, websites, YouTube videos, MySpace and Facebook groups, films, books and conferences all addressing the potential dangers that comes from Ex-Gay theories and treatments. So many people are doing the work to tell their stories and counter the misinformation spread by groups like Exodus, Focus on the Family, NARTH, Living Waters and so many others that promote and provide ex-gay treatment.
You can do a Google blog search and daily find entries by ex-gay survivors and those concerned about the harm of ex-gay theories and treatments. Here are some recent contributions.
Vince Cervantes (Behind the Duct Tape), quoting Chad from Homo No Mo, he then goes on to write about his own experiences with a “straight mentor,” a regularly treatment
My male mentor’s job was to pretty much be the good Christian example that my father wasn’t. We went out to play catch at the lake, we went to go see action flicks at the cinema, and like every good Christian “dad” he took me to a Promise Keepers convention where I was supposed to learn how to become a “man of integrity.” From my mentor I was supposed to receive constant reaffirmation for the good things I did that were representative of an authentic “man of God.”
However, through my attempts to “reconnect with my masculinity” I ironically began to feel like less of a man through the activities that I was doing. I felt like masculinity was being defined for me.
Rob (Political Spectrum) writes about Truth vs Faith,
Anyways I had mention that I was looking for truth, not doctrine. Well one guy said “well it’s not about truth, it’s about faith, and what you believe”.
This statement really bothered me. Given people have a right to believe a lie or something that is not true, but from where I stand, I want truth. I joined the whole Ex-Gay thing searching for truth. I been to several different Churches looking for truth. I have read several different books on Religion and Religious topics looking for truth. However in my personal quest for truth, I have found allot of lies and false doctrine. The deception of being a Ex-Gay destroyed friendships and wasted a year of my life on lies.
lesbiansaidwhat (The Lesbian Said What??) in a post entitled Reparative Therapy gives a brief history of some the most public failures of the Ex-Gay Movement and provides wry commentary,
Reparative therapy or the ex-gay movement as it’s called gets a lot of attention. I guess it should, it’s every fundamental Christians dry dream.
I’ve heard of some organizations out there that specialize in reparative therapy. All of them Christian based. Why Christian based? Because the APA (American Psychological Association) doesn’t have a problem with homosexuality. Therefore it must fall to the Christians to have the problem with homosexuality and ‘fix’ it.
Some of the organizations are: Focus on the Family (who knew?), Love in action (the first ex-gay group), and Exodus.
The Exodus site has some statements on it, one is Life is bigger than your sexual orientation. Well no shit, except that is what people on that site want to change about me. If life is bigger than my sexual orientation why make such a huge deal out of it? Another one is: God loves you and accepts you the way you are today. What they are leaving out is except for the homosexual thing that you aren’t really bigger than.
Daniel Gonzales (Box Turtle Bulletin), drawing on his own ex-gay past, recently posted a YouTube video responding to Republican Vice Presidential canidate Sarah Palin’s comments that assumed being gay is a choice.
And the list goes on and on and on. In addition to the blogs and videos you can also now attend events that both give witness to the destructive consequences many of us experienced because of ex-gay theories and treatments as well as find ways of recovering.
- October 22-25, 2008 Our Family Matters, Nashville, TN. Christine Bakke, co-founder of Beyond Ex-Gay and I will join other ex-gay survivors to share our experiences together.
- November 7-9, 2008, Denver, CO. Local organizers and national groups will offer a public response to the NARTH ex-gay conference. Christine Bakke, Daniel Gonzales and I will all be there to meet with survivors, LGBT-affirming therapists and others. See the bXg events page for details and interest form.
Click here to hear my recent radio interview on The Agenda.
If you are a Chad fan, check out Joe G’s latest episode of Bored Beyond Belief where you will get a sample of Homo No Mo (with Vlad’s assistance) and a full interview with Chad about the ex-gay process, boyfriends, Marvin and more.
Feel free to post other links in the comment section and when you find a good link, please send it my way.
I saw that you linked on my blog. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the post. I’ve read through your blog and really like it.
I was wondering if I could interview you for a future post on my blog?
My e-mail is: yikes_its_a_humdinger_a_yahoo.com
Not to take away from the focus of this post, but I’d like to add that Vince Cervantes’ experience hits some nerves for me – a straight woman who has never quite fit into the typical stereotypes of what many American evangelicals think “a woman should be.” (In my case, there was a lot of fuss about clothing from certain parties – somehow they thought that women shouldn’t wear Izod Lacoste tops and sweaters… believe it or not.)
So, so much of the stuff that people seem to throw out on the table re. “true” masculine/feminine is… primarily cultural, not anything with some sort of (dare I say it?) Biblical substance – and common sense – to back it up. (Though that whole way of thinking seems to be pretty common in non-religious circles as well…)
At any rate, thanks (as always) for making me stop and think!
Peterson, I just wanted to let you know that I’m blogging now, so feel free to check out my site. I also wanted to let you know that there is a major ex-gay scandal in Nashville right now. Nancy Alcorn of Mercy Ministries has been outed. Mercy does exorcisms of anorexics, sexual abuse victims, and GLBT individuals. Just thought I’d mention it in case you didn’t know. I list the Nashville scene link at the bottom of the article, but I had to copy and paste it, as I don’t know how to link on WordPress (There is a functional link to the article on my blog, if you can’t find it).
Thanks John! I have heard a lot of awful things about Mercy from people in the UK.
e2tc, not surprised that Vince’s post hit a nerve. So much of the ex-gay movement is about gender. So much gender policing goes on there.
I think most Americans are very tense about what you might call “gender norms” – I got the word about my clothes in 1985, long before ex-gay ministries started making gains in evangelical and charismatic circles. Then again, I was living in northern VA (outside D.C.), but going to church with a bunch of transplanted Midwesterners, which might have been where the “Lacoste isn’t feminine” idea originated. 😉 (Some of my wardrobe was a holdover from the heyday of The Preppie Handbook.)