I just watched Christine Bakke on Good Morning America. Diane Sawyer interviewed her. Christine is really the first woman to be highlighted in the national media as an ex-gay survivor. She did an amazing job, so clear, confident, without rancor, just telling her story. Well done! You can see it for yourself here
The piece stands out because Sawyer makes it clear that there is a problem with most reparative therapy and ex-gay ministry. They do show a short clip of Alan Chambers saying,
It’s not an easy process, but someone can choose not to be a homosexual
But they place that quote right before footage of Pastor Ted Haggard and back story about how he was pronounced 100% heterosexual after a mere three weeks of therapy. (Perhaps not something that Exodus would actually agree with or support, but in the media world, all ex-gay experiences fall under the same umbrella).
The ABC piece states,
Although these programs have been widely renounced by medical professionals, they are, in fact, growing nationwide.
They claim that the programs have grown up to 30% since 2002. Not sure what they base that figure on but Focus on the Family and Exodus have been doing a larger outreach to parents of queer and questioning kids since that time. (I heard about 1000 people showed up for the recent Love Won Out in Omaha–paying $60 per person!)
Christine gets to the heart of the matter, not so much discounting the change that other people claim they experienced, rather stating that such a change is not necessary.
Bakke said the therapy was based on the idea that gay people are “broken” and need to be fixed. She now says that gay men and women can be whole just the way they are.
“I would say there’s nothing to cure,” she told Diane Sawyer on “Good Morning America.” “You are fine just the way you are.”
Bakke did informal research about people after the program and found that many of them had changed their behavior, not their orientation. When she began therapy, she believed that she would be completely different once the process was over.
Christine felt bummed that she didn’t get to mention BeyondExGay, the site she co-founded for ex-gay survivors, but they give so little time on these programs. But you can check out bXg here
I will keep you posted about other media events happening this week–radio interviews and more!