As I had posted about on my personal blog, I was recently put in a position of being asked to undergo ex-gay therapy.
I was invited out to lunch by a friend and his family, so I happily agreed to go. I’ve known the guy for four or five years now and I thought I knew his family well enough. When we arrived at the restaurant, however, his mother began to end the conversation we were having to begin a new one. She started it with a sentence I’ll not soon forget: “Kevin, we’re very worried about your sinful nature.” My ‘sinful nature’ of course being a misnomer for my homosexuality, I was incredibly offended. My sexual orientation is no more inherently sinful than that of any straight man or woman. But more to the point, she reached into her purse and produced a few leaflets on “pray the gay away” camps and one for a euphemistic “therapist” to help ‘cure’ me. I explained to them that my faith was at peace with my sexuality and that God does not hate me for being gay, and then walked out of the diner.
But it’s been a few days and I’ve come to realize what I’ve gained from this experience. Though it may seem obvious in retrospect, I now see that many of the men and women who refer LGBT persons to these camps and therapists do it out of love and sincere concern (with an overlaying factor of ignorance), not out of hate. And that’s the most terrifying part, that they truly believe they’re helping out a friend or family member. It’s an issue that needs resolving, and we here at GCI hope to see the end of ex-gay ministries as soon as possible, as they are detrimental to the health of LGBT men and women everywhere.