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Posts Tagged ‘Love in Action’

Many people reading my blog may already be aware of the story of Bryce Faulkner, a young man who as far as we know has been coerced to leave his boyfriend and attend an ex-gay program somewhere in the US. I wrote about Bryce’s situation here.

Many people have expressed their outrage and concern through blog comments and by joining a Facebook group in support of Bryce. The story is tragic and outrageous and should not happen in this day and age when it is clear that one can be gay and happy and healthy. Fear and ignorance cloud the minds of ministers and parents turning them into tyrants of LGBT youth.

In several blog entries and comments I see references to the story of Zach Stark, who when he was 16 back in 2005 had been forced to attend the Love in Action Refuge program for minors.  While parts Zach’s and Bryce’s stories overlap (they both come from the Mid-South with religious parents and seemingly were not conflicted about their sexuality before it became an issue for their parents), there is one key difference.

Zach was a minor, while as far as I can tell from the information we have, Bryce is not.

When Zach Stark at age 16 was forced against his will to attend the LIA program, he had little choice. As a minor, he was a victim of a church culture that his parents bought into and which encouraged them to do harm to their son.  From their own words they believed they were saving their son from what they felt certain would be a dreadful life, and LIA only reinforced that misinformation.  Zach had no easy legal recourse to resist his parents. (see video  This is What Love in Action Looks Like)

In these cases of ex-gay coercion once someone is no longer a minor, they no longer become pure victims. Although it is difficult and terrifying to resist, if someone is over 18, they can legally say “NO! you cannot make me do this!” and as an adult, they can then  live with the consequences. I understand that the financial impact of this can be huge, but not impossible to overcome, especially with the assistance of a boyfriend’s affirming parents and a community committed to taking care of each other (which I know doesn’t always happen.)

Many of us who as adults agreed, even begrudgingly, to take part in the ex-gay process need to take responsibility for our part in it, even if it was a small part. This is essential for overcoming the harm we experienced. Although we lived in a world that stood against us, and it seemed far easier to go ex-gay, as adults we could have stood against that tide. It is painful to admit, but also freeing when we acknowledge, “I let them do this to me.” In my case I even paid for it with my own money as well as with my parents’.

The problem we face in framing the parents as the bad guys and the young person sent to the program as the helpless victim is that we can misrepresent the situation. By foisting all the blame on the parents, we absolve the adult gay person from all responsibility. We reinforce that we had no other choice but to succumb to the anti-gay pressure against us.

I feel for Byrce and the intense pressure he must have felt (and still feels) from his family and most likely from his church insisting he must go into ex-gay treatment, but it sounds like he ultimately complied and agreed to do so. Once he is free to tell his own story in his own words, we will better understand the circumstances.

Bryce faces an awful unfair choice–the real consequence of losing family and financial security or the painful consequence of leaving his boyfriend while he must repress  and fight his gay orientation.  Many of us did similar things in our own lives–not only in ex-gay programs–but as we chose to stay stuck in the closet, as we tamped down our gender differences and orientation, and as we lived inauthentic lives in order to please others.

As a minority population, gay, lesbian and bisexual people can pass as something that we are not. We can bow to the wishes of others, hide parts of ourselves, keep secrets from others, and even live out a whole other life that is not ours to live. As we do so, we can feel seduced to play the victim. We can see a story like Bryce’s and cry foul painting an adult gay man as a helpless victim thus justifying the many years we obliged others and lived in shame instead of taking responsibility for our lives and our sexuality.

As I have been reading the stories and the comments about Bryce, I’ve been asking myself several questions.

  • Why Bryce? Why this handsome young white man? What does he represent to those of us moved by his story? How do we relate to him and possibly morph his story into something that it is not?
  • What other stories do we not hear where people may have stood against the tide and now suffer the consequences, need a job, a place to stay, money for school?
  • How can we channel our outrage towards the homophobia and turn it into action whenever we see members of our community–lesbians, trans people, queer people of color, gay men–disenfranchised because they choose to be authentic and resist the compulsion to change or fit in?
  • Who can we assist today who suffers because they have chosen to be open and authentic?

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Some of you may have heard through Facebook or on the blogs about Bryce Faulkner, a college-aged man from Arkansas who many believe has been coerced to attend an ex-gay program. As far as we know, Bryce is not a minor, but is a college-age young adult.

According to Waymon Hudson over at the Bilerico Project,

The request to join a new group came through my Facebook page. The group was called “Friends of Bryce“, which could have been anything, but had a note attached that said “Please Help.”

Bryce 1.jpgWhen I clicked over to the group, an all too familiar tale unfolded. Bryce Faulkner, a young gay man from Arkansas, had gone missing after his parents had discovered he was gay. They had gotten into their college-aged son’s email account and discovered messages between Bryce and his boyfriend.

The parents then gave Bryce an ultimatum- enter an extensive and severe “therapy” program or lose all their support for college and living expenses. For a young man from a conservative small town whose entire life, including his job, was tied to his parents, who had nowhere to go and no one to turn to, there really was no choice.

Bryce was sent to 14 week long conversion therapy camp and has not been heard from again.

Lots of people have commented on the blog entry and there is even a letter writing campaign to Bryce’s parents encouraged by at least one web site. Christine Bakke, who co-founded/co-lead Beyond Ex-Gay with me, encouraged me to share some thoughts from a recent conversation she and I had. I did so in the forms of a comment (a very long comment) that I thought I would repost as a blog entry.

——————————————————————–

Waymon, thank you for blogging about Bryce and for facilitating this discussion. Christine Bakke and I had a long talk recently about the various types of ex-gay survivors.

The vast majority of people who go to these programs do so as adults who willingly seek to “de-gay” themselves for all sorts of reasons. (Check out this article at Beyond Ex-Gay where I list the many things that compelled me to go ex-gay– and here is the video with the similar info- )

Some teenagers, minors, have been forced against their will to see “therapists,” ministers, counselors and even attend Christian ex-gay camps. Although the Love in Action (LIA) Refuge for minors program closed back in spring 2007, there are other Christian boot camps around the US that offer “help” for all sorts of issues–drugs, alcohol, etc and sadly the parents of  lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens send their childrent to these camps to get straightened out.

College-age young adults like Bryce can get coerced by parents who threaten to withhold financial support should the child come out and not pursue an ex-gay path.

Of the well over 1,000 ex-gay survivors I have met in North America, Europe and the UK, this last category of college-aged folks coerced to attend often come out of the programs the least harmed. Since they are not fully invested in the process, and they are a little older than a younger teen, they typically have the inner resources necessary to get through the programming and still maintain their sense of self. They also often bring a healthy skepticism that creates problems for the folks running these programs.

Most likely Bryce is at the Love in Action Source program in Memphis, TN. It is close to where he is from, is a residential program, and would have started a new three month cycle sometime in June about the time Bryce went missing.

The good news is that programs like LIA are wildly ineffective. The vast majority of people who complete the program typically come out of the closet. I have seen that among the college-age folks like Bryce, these not only come out but become serious queer activists as a result of their negative experiences.

No doubt these programs do cause harm and most people who have been exposed to the dodgy methods and theories need help in recovering. Living without the parental support can cause huge distress. Christine and I have met many of these ex-gay survivors who have been able to move beyond these negative experiences to live open and healthy lives.

We may not be able to do much to help Bryce at this moment. If he is at LIA, he has no Internet access, phone, etc. He is in lock-down, so likely is unaware of this conversation, but he will emerge, and I imagine when he feels it is safe to do so, he will contact his friends.

My mom before she died in 2006 asked me to do her a favor. She never forced me to attend LIA, but at first she thought it wasn’t such a bad idea. She couldn’t imagine anyone being happy and gay after all the grief she saw gay people go through in her neighborhood growing up in Manhattan.

My mom asked me to be gentle with parents when they don’t yet get it. Usually they are not motivated by hate or intolerance but by fear and ignorance. Most parents simply want the best for their children and believe that by sending their child to such a program will help. My mom, once she discovered how awful the treatment was and how depressed it made me, understood that I would be best helped by being affirmed for who I was and accepted fully regardless of my sexuality. For her like many parents it was a process, (just like for many of us it has been a process to feel at peace and secure in our own sexuality).

I share this because I imagine folks are very angry with Bryce’s parents. There is even contact info on at least one site with an encouragement to communicate with his parents directly. In reaching out to his parents, if you feel so led to do, please try not to make negative judgments towards them. Assume they love their child and want him to live a happy life. Tell them your story, your own journey. Help them to see that their worse fears will not come true if they affirm their gay son. In fact, quite the opposite.

Check out this great interview with Jacob Wilson who went to LIA in 2005 at age 19. He gives an eye-witness account of what happened to him, how the brainwashing affected him and how he ultimately broke free from it. He now works as an activist in Iowa.

–peterson
www.beyondexgay.com

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I have received over a dozen e-mails, Facebook messages and Twitter thingys alerting me to a study that reveals one out of six psychiatrist offered a form of reparative therapy to their queer and questioning clients.

From Towleroad,

A pretty astonishing rate given the outright rejection of such “therapy” by the mainstream medical community, and the warnings of its dangers.

Truthwinsout The Independent reports: “A study of more than 1,400 psychiatrists and therapists in BMC Psychiatry found that 222 (17 per cent) said they had treated at least one client to alter their homosexual feelings at some point. The researchers expected the cases to be concentrated in the past, but the 400 to 500 cases recorded were distributed evenly across the decades. ‘It is happening up to the present moment,’ [Professor Michael King, of the University College Medical School] said. It might only be the ‘tip of the iceberg’.”

A friend in South Africa also sent me the link to Treatmentshomosexuality, a new site that is gathering information and interviews and links about folks geting “de-gay” in the UK.

Over at Beyond Ex-Gay we have listed narratives of many ex-gay survivors including some from the UK. Later this spring I will travel to the UK to do several presentations at universities, Quaker meetings and conferences. In addition to performing Transfigurations–Trangressing Gender in the Bible, I will share snippets of Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House and talk about my own time trying to de-gay. You can see my schedule here (more UK gigs will be added soon once we confirm the details).

In other ex-gay news: Read the disturbing developments coming out of the Ugandan-based, US-backed ex-gay movement over at Box Turtle Bulletin.

And in good news, Morgan Jon Fox will have its official release of his documentary This is What Love in Action Looks Like on June 6th. Read about it here.

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ex-gayandthelaw-150x195Last month at the NY screening of Chasing the Devil in the Ex-Gay Movement, Wayne Besen handed me a copy of his new booklet, Ex-Gay & the Law. On the train ride home I leafed through it and found helpful  information, especially for those just learning about ex-gay issues and for those recently out of ex-gay programs.

For years ex-gay survivors, journalists, gay activists and concerned straight citizens have asked, Can’t these programs be taken to court for the harm that they have caused?

Ex-Gay & the Law helps survivors of ex-gay programs explore their legal rights if they believe they have been harmed,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “This groundbreaking publication offers practical legal advice so important questions can be answered.”

“We are pleased to help support this publication and to be a part of this effort,” said Hayley Gorenberg, Deputy Legal Director of Lambda Legal. “Groups that proclaim to ‘cure’ gay people of their sexual orientation lack any legitimate medical backing, cause harm, and sometimes operate unlawfully and unethically. If you have experienced any of the scenarios outlined in the last pages of ‘Ex-Gay & the Law‘, we welcome you to contact or Legal Help Desk.”

In the section entitled,  What’s Wrong? (b), after quoting ex-gay leaders speaking about change and how it does not really include a change in orientation, Wayne writes,

What so-called “ex-gay’ ministries advertise, “Freedom From  Homosexuality Through Jesus Christ” is not what clients often report receiving. Many clients say that after “ex-gay” therapy they feel more depressed, anxious or that they were sold false hope.

Wayne suggests that if someone should choose to go into an ex-gay program, “it would be wise to ask your ministry leader or therapist up front what they actually mean when they promise ‘change,’ ‘liberation,’ ‘freedom’ or that you can be ‘ex-gay'”

Download Ex-Gay & The Law pdf

In the past month I have heard from two different men who are considering going into ex-gay programs.  They contacted me to learn a little bit in advance of going into their programs about what they might expect. Thank goodness for the Internet that people can have some informed consent about ex-gay programs, especially that they can turned to people who have been there and understand the many reasons why someone would go ex-gay. Back in 1996 when I was prepping to go into the Love in Action program, there was no way to connect with former clients.

We have many more resources, deeper discussions and more information available to us today. It’s great that we have this new resource to add to the growing list.

For those considering going into an ex-gay program, over at Beyond Ex-Gay we asked five people with personal experience regarding these programs, What would you tell someone is they were thinking of attending an ex-gay program? You can read their answers here.

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As I have traveled and told of my sordid ex-gay past (years trying to “de-gay” myself) and how it turned out to be ineffectual, unnecessary and even damaging, the polite question many have asked is, Why did you do it? I recently answered that question in the video, Reasons I Went Ex-Gay.

Inevitably someone finally asks the burning question, “So, like, in these programs did you guys hook up?” Ah, a question I can really sink my teeth into. Is there sex in ex-gay programs?

I cannot speak for all ex-gays or former ex-gays. There are many different types of programs and access that participants in these programs have to each other varies. Several people who have attended the Exodus International annual conference confessed to me that for some, in addition to the praise and worship, seminars on masturbation, and the convoluted chats about change, there was an awful lot of rolling around in the hay.

Some people come to ex-gay programs sexually naive. They never had sex in their lives and have little idea where they would even procure gay sex. That is until they walk into an ex-gay program where day after day they hear people talk about gay sex–what’s it like, where to get it, how good it felt during the act, how icky one might feel afterward (particularly if that one gets in trouble for it.)

I know of at least two guys from my Love in Action days who came into the program virgins and successfully graduated many months later armed with so much information about cruising spots and anonymous sex protocol that once they left off being ex-gay, they plunged into a gay sex fest that lasted months if not years.

They learned their lessons well. Sadly those lessons insisted that gay men were driven by dysfunctional, sinful, compulsive desires and lesbians had a penchant for unhealthy emotionally enmeshed relationships. It takes years to detox from that misinformation.

In this video I answer the question many have have asked as I talk about SEX as an ex-gay.

Want to experience more bizarre rules, church hookups and the dangers of bananas in an ex-gay program? Get the Homo No Mo DVD!

Also take a look at Carol Boltz’ recent post Ex-Gay Therapy–They Make you Straight Enough to Sleep with a Woman, Long Enough to Break Her Heart.

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In the past few weeks I have performed a new presentation, Doin’ Time with Peterson Toscano. I get to do a little bit of everything–scenes from four different plays, storytelling, poems, and some stand-up comedy. Each performance has been a little different, tailored to the particular audience gathered. Last Friday when I did it for the Salmon Bay Friends Meeting (Quaker), I focused on both my spiritual journey and my coming out experience (including my time in the ex-gay movement). A few days earlier at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, I looked more at queer issues in general (and did some bawdy bits including Marvin & Samson.)sadday

In all of these performances, I also do a monolog called A Homo No Mo Christmas, sort of Charlie Brown meets Graham Norton. I start the piece by talking about the first Homo No Mo Thanksgiving. I entered the Love in Action ex-gay residential program in July of 1996 with a group of five other guys. By November I was still stuck in Phase One, what I consider the lock down phase, when we had virtually no privileges. In Phase One you could not leave the residence alone except to go to work (and you must go their directly and directly back to the facility right after work.) We had limited access to the outside world–no TV, no Internet, no movies (except the weekly approved video.) We could not visit our families, and they could not visit us except during the sanctioned Family and Friends Weekend, we had only limited access to family on the phone, and the staff forbade us from being in touch with gay-affirming family and friends.

Since I still floundered in Phase One when Thanksgiving rolled around, I, like most of the other guys who entered with me, had to endure the four day holiday weekend alone in the program without even the programming to distract us. Thanksgiving dinner came and went too quickly. By the time we had cleaned up the dishes, the despair set in and settled on me and the others then enveloped us over the next three days.

In the frenetic pace and drama of daily program life, we had plenty to keep us preoccupied from reality. The program with its many rules and rigorous schedule kept us from the horror of what our lives had become. In our drive to conform to society’s norms, we turned to Love in Action for help. There they told us that we were addicts, dishonest and broken people who could not be trusted on our own. The shame rose to a toxic level resulting in depression, attempted suicide and even psychotic breaks. Several participants started a regime of anti-depressants after they began their stint in Love in Action. One guy attempted to take himself out of the program (and life) through an overdose of pain killers. Another one had to be carried out in a strait jacket leading to the morbid joke, “One way or another you will leave this place in a ‘Straight’ jacket.”

happy_thanksgiving-797989Perhaps the program leaders–John Smid, Mike Haley, Jay Stone–thought that those four days of isolation and emptiness gave us a chance to reflect on our lives so that we would resolve to be better Christians (ie less gay Christians and more heteronormative gender conformists). For me what it did was deepen my sense of shame and unworthiness. It reminded me that in the world I lived in, the Evangelical, Conservative, anti-gay world, I had to play by their rules. If I didn’t, they would punish me (kick me out of church, deny me the opportunity to serve as a missionary, etc.)

If I did play by their rules, it most likely meant a life of isolation. I knew that I could not successfully navigate a heterosexual marriage (that experiment failed miserably and hurt far too many people). No,iIf I continued to be ex-gay, it meant a life isolated from love and deep relationships. Sure I could have friends but with all sorts of walls and conditions around them.

First they hey had to be straight male friends and not be gay-affirming. John Smid, the director of LIA at the time,  warned us about dwelling in what he termed ‘The Ex-Gay Ghetto.’ This consisted of having only friends who were former homosexuals thus leading us to still identify as “gay” in a backwards sort of way. He discouraged us from having ex-gay roommates once we left the program. He said it led to “dry sex,” a partnership of sorts with all components of a marriage without the sex.

But even with straight male friends, we had to be on guard, setting up barriers around ourselves least we become emotionally dependent or fall in love. We had to tough it up, be content with straight church friends who accepted us on the condition that we boxed up the gay side of us. Then we would watch them one by one date, marry and start a family.

No wonder most people leave the ex-gay movement. It’s cruel and unusual punishment. It doesn’t work (you can’t really transform into an actual heterosexual, something that John Smid told us during our first week of orientation). It is unnecessary, and the process damages people resulting in needless heartache, depression, confusion, self-hatred and bitterness–not exactly what I signed up for when they promised me an abundant life in Jesus. No instead I experienced an ever expanding death. My personality, my creativity, my mental health and well-being, my hope all died by inches day after day in treatment.

I often use comedy when I talk and write about my experiences. It helps me to get at the insanity and the pain of what happened to me–what I did to myself and let others do to me. Comedy helps unearth some of the madness, but that does not make it a laughing matter. That Homo No Mo Thanksgiving turned into a nightmare quickly, one that continued and grew for many months. Program leaders and Christian ministers who promote and provide conversion therapy (by whatever name they call it) have a responsibility to listen to what others say these treatments did to us. It is not enough to tune into the glowing testimonies of the handful of people who say they are content and well-adjusted as an ex-gay. Eventually most of these also come to their senses and realize that an ex-gay life doesn’t work and causes harm.

More importantly many of us who emerged from the ex-gay movement and have accepted ourselves, gay and all, and have worked to undo the damage inflicted upon us live wonderful lives, not at all like the program leaders and Christian ministers warned us about. It’s great to be out. Not always easy, especially if you have family who rejects you unless you conform, but the integrity of living an open life as a transgender, bisexual, lesbian, gay, queer person opens the door to health and wholeness.

Today I will share Thanksgiving Dinner with my sister Maria, her husband, our dad and with Glen, the man I have begun dating. My sister said to me not too long ago that since I have come out, I am a different person, more solid, more present, more peaceful, more me. Today I feel grateful that my mind and body are no longer trapped in the Homo No Mo Halfway House.

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Scott Tucker and David Christie, former clients of Love in Action, now openly gay and living in NYC, recently sat down with a reporter from the Netherlands for a TV segment that is now available on-line. It’s all in English 🙂

In looking at photos and even video they shot when they were in the program, David and Scott share their experiences–or psychological torture, as David puts it. They talk about life a residential program, getting campy and getting “in trouble.” 36 guys living together trying not to be gay. Does sex happen there? Yep and opera too. Learn about the balloon activities and other therapies including how a proper man should look at their nails. And looking at photos David and Scott talk about where the other ex-gays ended up. Sadly but not surprisingly we learn of failed marriages, AIDS, suicide and much lost time.

They also talk about how they now support each other as ex-ex-gays or veterans of the ex-gay war.

David and Scott found out they were gay when they were young. Then they became self-proclaimed ex-gays trough ‘Love in Action’, a christian organisation that tries to brainwash gays into being straight again. Ofcourse it never really worked: they definately know they are gay now, making them ex-ex-gays.

Have a listen here.

Over at Beyond Ex-Gay you can read a narrative by David and some poems by Scott.

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Daniel Gonzales, blogger and ex-gay survivor and so much more, took part in weekend events in Colorado Springs to counter the misinformation spread by Focus on the Family and their Love Won Out Conference. KOAA Television did a piece about the conference and the protest. They quote Daniel,

A number of ex-gay survivors, as they call themselves, held their own conference at Colorado College today in reaction to the Love Won Out Conference. It had a panel discussion with several people who have gone through this type of therapy and ultimately were unsuccessful at changing their sexuality.  Through their experiences, the process of repressing homosexuality is unhealthy and causes distress.

“Do they realistically expect that we should live the rest of our lives without ever experiencing a meaningful romantic relationship,” said Gonzales. “What do you do when ex-gay therapy doesn’t work?”

After their conference, Gonzales and number of others stood at the bottom of Focus on the Family’s driveway holding signs with their message. They hoped those leaving the Love Won Out conference would see their side.

Daniel and Christine Bakke also sat for an interview that aired on KGNU a Boulder, CO independent radio station. You can listen to their interview here.

If you have not done so yet, consider contributing to defeat Prop 8 in California and Prop 102 in Arizona. Sadly Alan Chambers, president of Exodus, has gone back on his word and is speaking out politically actively opposing marriage in California. Dave Rattigan over at Ex-Gay Watch has a well-written blog post up about it.

In the Ex-Gay Movement

In the Ex-Gay Movement

Some months ago a new film premiered, Chasing the Devil in the Ex-Gay Movement, filmed by husband and wife team, Bill Hussung and Mishara Canino. The film has appeared at several film festivals, and it is now available for purchase here.

I have not seen the film yet, but I want to because my dad gets interviewed in it and speaks out as a father who was dragged through the ex-gay program Love in Action with their Family and Friends Weekend.

Here’s the trailer for the film:

Several of us will head to Colorado to join up with Christine, Daniel and other concerned local LGBT folks and allies for Ex-Gay Exposé:Exploring Practices and Harm in Reparative Therapy Nov 7-9, 2008.

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This year Christine Bakke and I have committed to organize regional events in order to connect with other ex-gay survivors as well as stand as witnesses to the destructive results that often occur from submitting to ex-gay theories and treatments.

So far this year Beyond Ex-Gay has partnered with local LGBT groups in Memphis, TN and Barcelona, Cataluña to put together series of events that has helped to educate the public about ex-gay experiences, their potential harm and the ways that people can recover.

One of my hopes has been to take part in existing LGBT conferences to add an ex-gay survivor track or presence to them.  Next month Christine and I will go to Nashville, TN to take part in the Our Family Matters Conference. The conference will cover many topics about faith and sexuality, but specifically the organizers have given us time to speak about ex-gay experiences and to connect with fellow survivors.

Tennessee’s Out & About paper ran a story this week about ex-gay survivors and the upcoming conference.

For nearly 20 years, Peterson Toscano underwent a variety of treatments meant to suppress his homosexuality. Two of those years were spent at Love in Action, a residential treatment center in Memphis.

The religious-based ex-gay movements are meant to straighten gays out but often do more harm than good, Toscano said.

“Right now, people in some churches feel that they must hide the fact they are gay for fear they will be thrown out,” Toscano said. “Many of us have tried to change, but instead of finding a blessing, the programs I attended nearly destroyed my faith and my life.”

Toscano will offer his unique perspective as part of the Our Family Matters Conference held Oct. 22 through 25 at Second Presbyterian Church in Nashville.

Launched as a live version of Kim Clark’s acclaimed documentary, God and Gays: Bridging the Gap, the conference will address questions related to the relationship between God and the GLBT community. The event will include a film festival, live concerts, national keynote speakers Jack Rogers and Rev. Deborah Johnson, and three days of workshops

Other presenters will include Mary Lou Wallner, who I first met through participating in the film project Fish Can’t Fly and Christian singer (and now publically out gay man) Ray Boltz.

On Thursday October 23 Christine, Darlene Bogle and I will take the evening to share about our ex-gay experiences and how we survived and now thrive as we worked through our ex-gay pasts. You may remember that Darlene joined two other former Exodus leaders in issuing a public apology for their roles in promoting and providing ex-gay treatment. I will also do excerpts from some of my plays including Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House—How I Survived the Ex-Gay Movement!

On Saturday October 25 we will get to meet with ex-gay survivors in a workshop setting which will give folks a chance to connect with each other, share their own stories and find strategies for recovery from the harm they experienced through ex-gay treatment and theories.

Since Christine and I will not be the key organizers  of the conference, we will have SO MUCH more time to hang out with survivors during the many breaks, meals and other sessions. Check out the full schedule and please consider coming to the Our Family Matters Conference!

November 7-9 Christine and I along with Daniel Gonzales and several local groups will organize a series of events in Denver, CO in response to NARTH’s annual anti-gay conference. We will host an art show, a performance, ex-gay survivor gathering and a summit for LGBT-affirming leaders. You can learn more about our Denver event here.

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