Memphis Commerial Appeal on Ex-Gay Survivors

Jim Burroway

February 17th, 2008

Jacob Wilson was just nineteen when he was involved with Love In Action’s residential adult program at the same time that Love In Action was in the national spotlight. A few years ago, LIA gained notoriety when a teenager named Zach wrote on his mySpace page about being forceed by his parents into LIA’s now-closed Refuge program for youth.

Zach’s supporters protested outside of LIA, but Wilson says the men and women inside were told not to make eye contact with the protesters and not to read their signs.

After Wilson left LIA, he found out what the protesters had wanted him to know.

“These people weren’t doing it to be activists, they were doing it to show that we weren’t alone, that we were loved … It crushes me that that message was cut from us.”

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports this morning on Jacob Wilson’s experience at Love In Action as he struggles to pay off the huge credit card debt from that failed effort. There’s also more information about this week’s Beyond Ex-Gay Mid-South Regional Gathering on Feb 22-24 in Memphis.

Bill Ware

February 17th, 2008

From the article:

“Zach’s supporters protested outside of LIA, but Wilson says the men and women inside were told not to make eye contact with the protesters and not to read their signs.”

Maybe it’s me, but if someone told me to remain ignorant of something (Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain), that’s when I’d find out as much about the subject as I could.

An historical footnote: When I was in grammar school, the movie “The Robe” hit the local theater. That’s when I learned from my Catholic friends that their church had a list of banned books and movies that Catholics were forbidden to read or see, which included “The Robe.”

Yet my friends were not such naive sheep as the church supposed. Appearing on the banned list just made some more eager to find out why the book or movie got on the list in the first place. So for these folks, this list had the opposite effect than the one the church intended. Promoting ignorance in the name of religion didn’t sit well with them.

Back to the article:

“The ex-gay message is simple: With enough prayer and determination (and ultimately, self-denial and self-loathing) people with same-sex attractions can go forth, straight. But so often, the “fix” doesn’t fix. The stories of the de-gayed returning to their gayness are many and well-publicized.”

Yeah, tell it like it is, Wendi!

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