Exodus to Ex-Gay Survivors: I’m Just Not That Into You

Jim Burroway

June 22nd, 2007

We reported earlier that Peterson Toscano and Christine Bakke, cofounders of Beyond Ex-Gay, invited Exodus leaders to a small private dinner to talk about some of the experiences of those who are no longer ex-gay. Since it’s a private dinner, Exodus officials may respond privately — I don’t know — but their public stance doesn’t bode well.

Exodus issued a press release saying they “welcome dialogue on homosexuality” at their national conference June 26 to July 1 in Irvine, California. But it seems that this dialogue will only be on their terms and at their venue.

Chambers responded to the news that local groups are planning to protest the Exodus event by holding a conference of its own, “Dialogue on this issue only benefits the community and the culture at large. It is a topic worth discussing and I am happy to share my experience as a part of a much-needed exchange of thoughts on this issue.”

Exodus bills the Ex-Gay Survivor’s Conference as a “protest” and indicates that the only “dialoguing” that will take place will be within the confines of the Exodus conference. Exodus offers people like Rev. Ken Hutcherson for this “dialogue”. Hutcherson claimed last spring to speak under a “special commission” from the White House when he traveled to Latvia to stoke anti-gay sentiments there. (The White House denied this connection.)

Exodus’s “dialogue” will also feature Joseph Nicolosi (“We advise fathers, if you don’t hug your sons another man will.”), Nancy Heche (mother of actress Anne Heche, who is still bisexual despite her mother’s account of successfully “blessing” her) and Melissa Fryrear (“I never met one woman who had not been sexually violated”).

Exodus does a lot of talking and not much listening. It’s a shame, because there really are a lot of things to talk about. Exodus recently has claimed a 30% success rate, without any proof to back it up. But even if we accepted that figure, that means 70% fail. These ex-gay survivors know the pain that comes from that failure. They have a lot of important things to say, and the least Exodus could do is acknowledge them with civility instead of dismissing their stories as “protest.”

See also:

Randy Thomas Projects His Experiences Onto All Of Us

Pomo

June 22nd, 2007

you know that dinner really was a smart idea of Christine and Peterson. I was talking with a few people about this. Exodus was damned if they did and damned if they didn’t. Of course I dont really think an exgay organization could to anything to please those on the pro-gay side. So exodus is always damned… lol!

So if Exodus leadership didnt accept then responses like yours were sure to come. And yet if they did accept and lets say its a civil discussion, I still doubt their minds will be changed and then accusations are thrown around about how close-minded they are and that they’re not willing to change. blah blah blah.

Just trying to throw a little perspective into the discussion.

peterson toscano

June 22nd, 2007

Working with Soulforce on organizing the dinner and draftingthe letter helped focus us on the purpose of the gathering. (They have proved to be wonderful collaborators).

Realistically we know the ex-gay ideology, we sat under the teachings for years. We do not go into this with closed ears but we do understand that we have valuable information to share with Exodus leaders–information that many ex-gay leaders have not yet taken the time to consider.

Lots of folks debate about change, but rarely do we hear about the negative effects of pursuing that change and of suppressing our sexuality.

I truly hope that some leaders will come willing to listen.

Lynelle

June 22nd, 2007

Is John Chambers that cured homosexual who had an oopsie a few years back in that D.C. gay bar? If it is I would like to send him a manly gift basket to congratulate him on being sin-free for all this time.

God Bless!

p.s. I noticed that that awful nudie ad was removed. PTL!

Steve Boese

June 22nd, 2007

Hey Jim…

We’ve put an invitation out for folks to blog about why the survivor’s conference matters to them. It’s on the conference page, which will continue to be updated on a regular basis from now through the conference.

Looking forward to seeing you!

–Steve

Lynn David

June 23rd, 2007

Thomas also had this to say about the Beyond Ex-Gay (bXg) conference down the road (http://www.citizenlink.org/content/A000004897.cfm):

Thomas said the message of that counter-conference denies people hope.

“We live in a great country where people can have freedom of assembly,” he said. Unfortunately, the organizers of the counter-conference will “try to project their experience onto all of us, when in fact thousands of people, myself included, have overcome homosexuality.”

Ahem… their experience in Exodus represents at least twice that of those whose Exodus experience is “successful” – by the reckoning of Exodus itself! You’d think that their experience should be useful for a person entering an Exodus ministry.

I guess that one fundamentalist Christian’s denial of hope, is another moderate Christians new hope in Christ. And so it goes….

Kevin

June 23rd, 2007

I cannot possibly imagine an organization which annot even keep any sort of count of its “success” stories to be credible enough to engage in any sort of “dialogue.”

To engage in a meaningful dialogue, participants have to bring a real exchange of ideas to a forum, not a collection of manufactured lies.

PW

June 23rd, 2007

Lynelle, you are getting John Paulk and Alan Chambers mixed up. Paulk was the one caught in the DC gay bar. He is no longer active in the ex-gay movement. Chambers has not had any such incident as far as I am aware and is currently the President of Exodus International.

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