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Why Did Melissa Fryrear Leave Focus On The Family?

Jim Burroway

May 12th, 2010

The Colorado Springs Gazette’s “The Pulpet” blog makes note of the news that Melissa Fryrear, the longtime “senior analyist on gender issues” at Focus On the Family, is no longer with the organization. Neither Fryrear nor Focus will comment on her leaving, although Carrie Gordon Earll, Focus’ senior director of issues analysis, told The Pulpet’s Mark Barna that Fryrear resigned to pursue speaking opportunities.

Fryrear, you may recall, has been an integral part of the Love Won Out ex-gay roadshow, in which she consistently asserts that she has never met a gay man or woman who has not been molested or sexually abused.

Fryrear’s departure comes after it was announced the Focus On the Family would no longer co-sponsor and produce the Love Won Out conferences with Exodus International. Fryrear not only directed those conferences when they were under the Focus umbrella, but she was also a keynote speaker and conducted several breakout sessions as well. Fryrear did give her keynote speech at the first all-Exodus LWO conference held in San Diego on March 6 of this year, but it appears that she did not give any of her usual workshops. Sometime after that, Fryrear was either separated, or she separated herself, from Focus On the Family. Circumstances and timing remains murkey. Fryrear is also no longer speaking at upcoming Love Won Out conference scheduled for June in Irvine, California. This led Barna to try to learn why:

Attempts to reach Fryrear at her east Colorado Springs home have been unsuccessful. Having learned of my attempts to contact Fryrear, [Focus spokesman Gary] Schneeberger told me Saturday that she won’t speak to me.

Has Fryrear had a change of heart toward faith-based reparative therapy, leading to her resignation?

A ministry colleague of Fryrears doesn’t believe that is the case.

Karen Keen, who operates an online site called Pursue God, writes on her blog that in conversations with Fryrear over the years she’s expressed a desire to “pursue other ministry opportunities not related to homosexuality.”



May 12th, 2010 | LINK

She’s coming out as a gay man?

Timothy Kincaid
May 12th, 2010 | LINK

Which raises the question: are there any ‘former lesbians’ who are in leadership in the ex-gay movement?

Mark F.
May 12th, 2010 | LINK

“Which raises the question: are there any ‘former lesbians’ who are in leadership in the ex-gay movement?”

No, because girl on girl sex is HOT! Unlike icky gay male sex.

May 12th, 2010 | LINK

Nearest I can think of Tim is Yvette Cantu/Schneider. She used to be a leader but now she pretty much is a go to quote giver.

Maurice Lacunza
May 12th, 2010 | LINK

Mark F, you actually are pretty funny. But you might want to troll over to and not Box Turtle. By the way, there aren’t any real turtles here if that is what you was a lookin fer.

Regan DuCasse
May 12th, 2010 | LINK

“Speaking opportunities..?”

Unh hunh, right. For the FRC? Maybe she’ll take Rekers job.
How fast do you think she shot her resume their way once this sh*tstorm started?

They are all a bunch of barnacles if you asked me.

May 12th, 2010 | LINK

Maurice, I’m pretty sure Mark F. was making a point, tongue in cheek. This is how many “anti-gay” people think.

John in the Bay Area
May 12th, 2010 | LINK

What about her employment at Focus would preclude her taking advantage of speaking engagements?

I thought that was the whole point of hiring her. A pulbic face that could speak to the media and other interested groups.

Something hinky is going on here. If it was part of the rest of the layoffs, they would just have said that. They made the point that she left. Something must have happened to cause her to leave.

While the obvious thing to suspect would be some indiscretion on her part, this might also be part of a power struggle at FoTF in the wake of Dobson’s ouster.

May 12th, 2010 | LINK

I hope she fades into obscurity and stays there. She’s done incalculable damage with her claims that 100% of GLBT people were sexually abused as children. Most of her audience are parents of GLBT kids. They’re left tormenting themselves with the belief that their kids must have been molested without their knowledge, because she’s presented as an “expert.” (“Could it have been the neighbor? the pastor? OMG, what if it was Uncle Fred?”) That’s a horribly cruel thing to do to any parent.

May 12th, 2010 | LINK


Thankfully, that URL hasn’t actually been registered…yet

May 13th, 2010 | LINK

Perhaps she will give let us know in due time. After reading her bio I assume that she has had a change of heart.

June 7th, 2010 | LINK

Im really disappointed, as she was my favorite of the ex gays.

Richard Rush
June 7th, 2010 | LINK

emma said, “. . . she was my favorite of the ex gays.

Not mine. My favorite ex-gay would be one that I never heard of – one that is not a professional ex-gay devoted to helping persecute and bully other gays into feeling self-loathing, and then cajoling them into following the same path as themselves of looking for relief from the self-loathing that they themselves helped create.

Jason D
June 7th, 2010 | LINK

emma, is there a collector card set? :)

June 7th, 2010 | LINK

She was a big bundle of bipolar insanity

June 27th, 2010 | LINK

It seems there is alot of rock hurling at Melissa. The term is grace…think any of us can do without it…why not put your rocks down…a thought, collect all your rocks and stop the oil spill! Something useful to build, not tare down.

August 12th, 2010 | LINK

This is disgusting to me. I am a lesbian, and reading all of this leaves me dejected. I come from an extremely loving household, and I am the apple of bth of my parents’ eyes. I was taught justice and fairness from an early age. Both of my parents are liberal, and would never hurt anyone. How dare someone cast judgment and suggest that families are to blame for a person’s homosexuality?

July 31st, 2011 | LINK

Fryrear is now the director of a Women’s Ministry in a church in Arizona.

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