An ex-exgay speaks out.
I previously spoke about Joseph Nicolosi a Christian therapist. By the way have you noticed how that with just one little space that comes out saying "the rapist" instead? It may be accidentally but it is not entirely undeserved. Andrew Sullivan, on his blog, posted the following email from an ex-Nicolosi patient. Here is what the young man in question wrote:
As a former patient of Joseph Nicolosi, my parents and I were promised that I would be a very successful candidate for becoming straight (because "I was more masculine and never had sex with other guys"). Raised as a Christian evangelical, I knew I was different from the other boys at about six. I prayed and tried everything from charismatic healings, to ex-gay groups like Desert Streams and finally ended up in reparative therapy with Nicolosi. I spent two years of hard work, determination and money to become straight with Nicolosi.(The trick according to reparative therapy is to first find out how your dad mistreated you sometime in early childhood and try to heal and make peace with dad, next develop as many same-gender non-sexual friendships as possible, then get in touch with your masculine side by working out, playing sports and going to a gym! Add lots of pray and church and bang you will be straight!)
Needless to say, neither I nor any of the other ten guys in group therapy turned straight. At the beginning I was sure I was straight and told others I was "ex-gay". Was I wrong! I finally came to the point of asking myself, "Do I want to be happy as a gay man and damned to hell or lead a horrible, depressing life on the verge of suicide, celibate and all alone but on the way to heaven?" I chose the first route and have never looked back. (Many of us call ourselves "ex-ex-gays.")
I consider Nicolosi and the ex-gay leaders con-men and hucksters. They know the truth, but push ahead deceiving and hurting so many. This is just another example of "Quack Science," that so many Christianists are pushing on our country. From "Intelligent Design," to the denial of global warming, and refusal to allow stem-cell research, these zealots are trying to make science fit their literal interpretations of the Bible.
Some years ago I participated in a panel discussion concerning the fraudulent ex-gay movement at a conference of Christian therapists. (Honest, I'm not making it up.) One gentleman who appeared on the panel had gone through the psychological torture of these theological con men. I remember a conservsation with him where he said that the only thing he received from his ex-gay counselor was VD. Yes, it was another one of the counselors who would convince his young victims that the way to cure them was to get really close to another man and well, oooops, things just got out of hand so let's pray for Jesus to forgive us. Of course things got routinely out of hand and for many, the ex-gay movement was just a means to prey on those who pray. By the way, one recent trend has been to have heterosexuals run the ex-gay ministries to avoid such embarrassment. But then I can think of one early such ministry that was run by a straight man who cheated on his wife with women in his church. But, as the fundamentalists would say: "At least that's normal sin and not perverted sin." Oh, what intellectuals they are!
The good news is that over the years I've met far more ex-Christians than "ex-gays". And you know what? I'm pretty confident that when someone tells me he is a recovering Christian that he is telling the truth. Won't find him sneaking out to Christian bars in the middle of the night.