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Former Ex-Gay Leader Comes Full Circle

Jim Burroway

May 6th, 2014

Totally straight in 1998.

A man of many lives, John Paulk’s first adult life began as “a prostitute, a female impersonator named Candi and an alcoholic who tried to kill himself.” At least that’s what he was saying in 1993 to fellow evangelical ex-gay audiences that love a good redemption story. His story included marrying his wife Anne, a self-professed ex-lesbian, having children, moving to Colorado Springs, and eventually becoming the head of Focus On the Family’s Gender and Homosexuality Division, and chairman of the Board of Exodus International. In 1998, he helped to found Love Won Out, a traveling ex-gay roadshow and infomercial conducted jointly by Focus and Exodus. At its height, Love Won Out staged a half a dozen conferences per year in cities across North American drawing audiences of two thousand or more. That same year, he and Anne landed on the cover of Newsweek as part of a larger billboard, newspaper, magazine and television advertising campaign promising “change is possible.”

John Paul is again in Newsweek, but sixteen years later his story is very different:

In front of the crowds and cameras, Paulk was the image of certainty. But backstage, he was faltering. More than that, he knew he was lying.

“It’s funny, for those of us that worked in it, behind closed doors, we knew we hadn’t really changed,” he says. “Our situations had changed—we had gotten married, and some of us had children, so our roles had changed. I was a husband and father; that was my identity. And the homosexuality had been tamped down. But you can only push it down for so long, and it would eke its way out every so often.”

…“I would be in hotel rooms, and I would be on my face sobbing and crying on the bed,” he says. “I felt like a liar and a hypocrite. Having to go out and give hope to these people. I was in despair knowing that what I was telling them was not entirely honest. I couldn’t do it anymore.”

In 2000, he walked into a Washington D.C. gay bar — “not looking for sex, which is what people thought —- but because I was missing my community” — where he was spotted and photographed by Wayne Besen. That got him removed as Exodus chairman, but he remained on the board, kept his job at Focus, and he continued to be the featured speaker at Love One Out for another three years. In 2003, he left Focus, moved his family to Portland, started a catering business, and dropped out of the ex-gay world, although his wife continued to write books and appear on the ex-gay speaking circuit.

In 2013, John Paulk renounced his prior association with the ex-gay movement, and followed that a week later with a formal apology to the “countless people were harmed by things I said and did in the past. …I am truly, truly sorry for the pain I have caused. From the bottom of my heart I wish I could take back my words and actions that caused anger, depression, guilt and hopelessness. In their place I want to extend love, hope, tenderness, joy and the truth that gay people are loved by God.” Newsweek fills out that point:

The tragedy that Paulk lives with to this day is that organizations like JONAH often specifically target minors, with summer camps and teen programs. “For 25 years I felt guilty and filled with self-loathing, trying to reject this part about myself. I’m culpable -— I spread the message that my sexuality had changed, and I used my marriage as proof of that,” Paulk says.

That marriage ended last summer. Anne Paulk remains active in the ex-gay movement, after having helped to found a break-away group of former Exodus ministries following Exodus president Alan Chambers’s acknowledgment that change in sexual orientation was not possible and banned reparative therapy. She is now the executive director  of that dissident group, Restored Hope Network.

John Paulk is the latest in a line of former ex-gay leaders who have left the fold and issued formal apologies. In 2007, three former ex-gay leaders — Exodus co-founder Michael Bussee, Exodus ministry leader Darlene Bogle, and British former ex-gay leader Jeremy Marks — issued a joint apology to those “who believed our message that there is something inherently wrong with being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.” In 2011, John Smid, who used to operate the Memphis-based live-in ex-gay ministry Love In Action (since renamed Restoration Path), issued a formal apology, renounced his previous work at Love In Action, and now lives as an openly gay man in Texas. As for Exodus, Chambers apologized for “the trauma that I have caused” and disbanded Exodus last summer. Exodus’s former vice president Randy Thomas issued his own formal apology a month later.

Comments

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zyronife
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Jim, your first reference to the subject of this article consists of only his last name. Since not everyone is going to know who this man is, you may want to refer to him by his full name in the first sentence.

Jim Burroway
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Thanks for the correction.

Eric Payne
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Jim,

I’m curious: Why this? Why now? The latest reference in this piece is to that 2013 “apology” by Busee, Bogle and Marks, so… why?

Is Paulik publishing a book? If he is, I’m certainly not going to help personally enrich him. Are these ex-ex-gay “leaders” banding together to form some sort of organization to combat the likes of JONAH and NARTH? Are they, maybe, testifying before the Legislatures of states in which bans to aversion therapy are being considered?

Or are we just being reminded they’re still out there,,, giving these guys the “fix” of seeing their names in print?

Lindoro Almaviva
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Eric, how about because 16 years after he was on the cover of news week, that news outlet has done another feature on the same guy? This is a news and opinion site and this is news.

Eric Payne
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Lindoro,

There are people, like Paulik and… oh… Ken Mehlman who, once they’ve faded (rightfully so) from the public eye, should simply be ignored. They, intentionally, climbed over the backs of the gay community, and we’re instrumental in laws and policies that, even today, negatively impact our lives.

Let them go off somewhere and die in the obscurity they deserve. Maybe carry their obit when they do die… maybe not. That can be a judgement call made at that time.

For instance, this piece references Paulik’s visit to a gay bar in DC, where he was “noticed” by journalist Wayne Besen.

While technically true, it’s not completely accurate. Paulik was in Washington to testify before Congress; Besen was having him tailed, after hearing rumors Paulik had been frequenting gay bars both in his home state (from memory… Washington… maybe Oregon…) and while on “tour” with his “Truth Wins Out” dog-and-pony show. When Besen was notified, he just waited outside, with his camera.

He was, and by not being honest about the circumstances of his “fall,” remains a hypocritical, lying “child-born-out-of-wedlock.”

William Fisher
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Do you know what I really like about all this? For years we’ve had a succession of former ex-gay leaders – e.g. Michael Bussee, Frank Shears, Jeff Ford, to name just a few – coming out and saying, in effect, “This ex-gay lark doesn’t work; we’ve been through it all and we can testify that it’s just self-deception!”, while those who have taken over from them have been saying, “Don’t listen to that lot! They just gave up too soon. It DOES work, and we are living proof of it!” And now in the last couple of years many of those same successors – e.g. John Paulk and John Smid – have finally started telling the truth and shaming the devil: “Actually those ex-ex-gays were right. We too have been deceiving ourselves and others, just as they once were. The ex-gay process DOESN’T work!”

It’s extremely gratifying. I’m even starting to have hopes of our good friend Andrew Comiskey. As the late Sir Oliver Lodge once wrote, “It is always permissible though sometimes extravagant to hope.”

Sandhorse
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

While the thought of seeing the likes of Paulik ‘die in the obscurity they deserve, ‘may feed some peoples internal need for retribution; I think putting the ‘real’ Paulik in the limelight is exactly what we need. His vocal and full out reversal from his previous claims needs to be known by as many people as can be reached.

The more holes we can put in the ‘Good Ship, Titanic’ that is ‘conversion therapy,’ the better. It will sink that much faster.

I also think that many of us must come to terms with the fact that not everything can be set right. Recompense is all well and good (and necessary of course) but for some directly affected by Paulik and his ilk, all the effort in the world will not make them whole again.

Eventually we need to accept the apology(s), if given sincerely, and move on.

Eric Payne
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

While not submitted to Paulik’s particular brand of “pray the gay away and abstain, oh ye sinner!” Form of therapy, as a teen, I was tortured under the guise of “healing,” and have written about it, pretty extensively over the years.

Paulik just strikes me as an individual so in need of attention, I wouldn’t be surprised if — oh, five years from now — he weren’t on the equivalent digital “cover” of Newsweek claiming that he’d found his way back to God, and was now an ex-ex-ex-gay man.

Michael Bussee
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Eric asked several questions:

“I’m curious: Why this? Why now? The latest reference in this piece is to that 2013 “apology” by Busee, Bogle and Marks, so… why?”

I think John is doing it for the same reason that Darlene Bogle, Jeremy Marks and I did it in 2007. We felt it was our responsibility to do so and to apologize for the harm we had done — even though we all realize we cannot erase it.

Is Paulk publishing a book? If he is, I’m certainly not going to help personally enrich him.”

No, he is not writing a book and has no plans to do so. Newsweek contacted several former leaders to ask for our perspectives — and John Paulk and Darlene Bogle both were interviewed for the piece. I was not contacted, but was told I might be.

“Are these ex-ex-gay “leaders” banding together to form some sort of organization to combat the likes of JONAH and NARTH? Are they, maybe, testifying before the Legislatures of states in which bans to aversion therapy are being considered?”

Yes, we are banding together, and also contacting other former leaders of “ex-gay” programs to join us in this effort. I don’t know if it will become an “organization” per se, but we are willing to testify if asked.

Most of the current legislative efforts to ban reparative therapy are looking for testimony from former members who suffered harm, not the former leaders. But we do plan to do whatever we can as a group of former leaders to speak out and to do whatever we can to assist.

Michael Bussee
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

I should have mentioned that John Smid is also involved in our group of former leaders who are committed to speaking out, righting what wrongs we can and supporting “ex-gay” Survivors as they testify in court and share their stories with the media and with the public.

Survivor voices make the strongest impact. Leaders caused the harm. Survivors suffered it. They are the ones who need to be heard. So we are sometimes asked if we can locate folks who are willing to testify in court about the harm they experienced — and we put law-makers in touch with them whenever we are contacted.

Richard Rush
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

Michael Bussee, I just want to say “thank you” for all the speaking out you have been doing and continue to do. You didn’t have to, and no one forced you to, but you did, and I’m thankful.

Eric Payne
May 6th, 2014 | LINK

You know, Mr. Busee, your actions are admirable. But…

You know the names of the teens and young men who would turn to your group — or, more likely, be forced by family members to turn to your various (and here, I use an umbrella “your” to mean the various ex-gay groups and therapies, of which you, singularly, were a part), so while the four of you are tripping all over yourselves with your public mea culpa‘s, I have to ask:

Did ANY of you seek out any individual you “counseled” to apologize, personally? Surely there was at least one person you “counseled” about whom you had lingering doubts about his mental stability. Have you even made an attempt to find that person if, for no other reason, just to find out if he put a bullet in his brain, or swallowed a handful of pills, or simply woke up one day and slaughtered his wife, family and himself?

Did you, face-to-face, attempt to make any type of amend/apology to someone whose life you screwed with in your pitiful attempt to “belong”?

Until you do that, may you, and others of your ilk, rot.

Michael Bussee
May 8th, 2014 | LINK

Eric Payne asked:

“Did you, face-to-face, attempt to make any type of amend/apology to someone whose life you screwed with in your pitiful attempt to “belong”?”

I left Exodus in 1979. I lost contact with all of my former counselees and had no addresses, names or phone numbers for them since these were kept in locked files at the church (Melodyland in Anaheim which has since been demolished.)

Many of them have (in the years since then) contacted me via email and Facebook. And even though not all have been face-to-face meetings (since many live in other states now) I have offered my sincere apologies to each of them. They are all LGBT affirming now and say they are doing well.

I know that apologies, no matter how sincere, cannot possibly erase the suffering they experienced trying to be “ex-gay” — nothing can. But each of them has told me that they are grateful that former “ex-gay” leaders are speaking out against “ex-gay” programs.

Many of them are now part of a Facebook group with about 430 other “ex-gay” Survivors, which also includes former leaders. Some of them took part in the 2013 Lisa Ling special (God and Gays) that led to the shutting down of Exodus last year. The members find support from others who have been through “ex-gay” or “reparative therapy” programs. They say it is helpful to be able to share their experience with other Survivors.

If there were a way to know the names and contact information of each person I talk to during my time with Exodus (1976-1979) I would certainly contact each one personally. I know that other former leaders are actively reaching back to those former members they met. All of us are committed to continuing to do that in any way possible.

Eric Payne
May 8th, 2014 | LINK

Well, then, Mr. Bussed, kudos to you.

Personally, I think all of you should fade into the oblivion of history. Your names should be unmentionable in public, except in lawsuits from former clients who may feel hopelessly wronged by you.

You and your ex-gay brethren preyed upon men at their emotional and spiritual lowest points. You waged battles against their very psyches, while acknowledging to yourselves the very thing you were telling these men could be done couldn’t actually be done.

How many men did you tell, or let believe, we’re weak, or sinful, or disgusting? How many people’s very faith did you threaten… that God would withhold His love because they were choosing to be gay, all the while knowing you, yourself, we’re gay?

What you did was vile and flat-out evil. You, sir, disgust me.

Ben in Oakland
May 8th, 2014 | LINK

Eric, NONE of us our perfect. ALL of us have made mistakes, sometimes deeply damaging and hurtful Mistakes.

I personally have no use whatsoever for homo-hating-homos. To my mind, they are just about the worst kind of scum, the biggest bleeding hemorrhoids on the butthole of humanity. But they also are victims of homohatred, as Mr. bussee was.

Personally though, I reserve the most of my contempt and disgust for professional homobigots, people who earn their livings in the easy, satisfactory coin of other people’s lives. People like Maggie Gallagher, who is certainly intelligent enough to know that she is lying through her jowls.

But the uttermost of my contempt goes to the homo-hating-homos who are also professional homobigots, like Mainwaring, Lopez, Haggard, Rekers, Cardinal O’Brien, mehlman, and a host of others.

But Even they are not beyond redemption. It’s just unlikely that they will ever request it.

Timothy Kincaid
May 8th, 2014 | LINK

Ben,

Ken Mehlman has spent the past several years working for marriage equality, including raising large sums of money and coordinating support from Republicans.

I don’t know that this absolves him for his role in the 2008 anti-gay amendment flurry, but I don’t think he’s in the same category as Mainwaring, Lopez, etc. He is, at least, working towards redemption.

Ben in Oakland
May 8th, 2014 | LINK

I know that, Timothy. I meant to mention it as an example of redemption being a possibility. But I’ve been sick since yesterday, and not playing with My usual deck of 53.

My apologies to mehlman. He is working to make amends, as is Michael bussee. That was supposed to be my point.

Michael Bussee
May 8th, 2014 | LINK

For the record: Not once did I tell a counselee that they were “weak, sinful or disgusting”. I told them they were loved by God no matter what they did or what they sexual orientation was. I never once told a client that “God would withhold his love” or that they “chose” to be gay. I knew better than that.

I never believed or taught that being gay was a “choice”. I sincerely thought I had overcome being gay. I thought “change” was possible because that’s what I had learned at church. I thought a miracle had happened. But I soon realized it had not. So I left. And I have been speaking out against these programs now for decades.

I don’t ask, or expect, anyone to forgive my stupidity. But it wasn’t malice. I was 21 at the time, a brand new Christian, gullible and being told by all the religious leaders I trusted that God wanted to “transform me” and would do it — if I had enough faith. It was misguided, wishful, harmful thinking. It was wrong. It harmed me and it harmed anyone who tried it.

I am now 60 years old and doing what I can to make things right — to the extent that is posible. You asked what I have been doing to make things right. I intend to keep doing those things for as long as I am able. I also accept that I cannot change your opinion of me. That’s not my goal. My goal is to see the ex-gay movement die. Once and for all.

Eric Payne
May 8th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid states, in reference to Ken Mehlman:

Ken Mehlman has spent the past several years working for marriage equality, including raising large sums of money and coordinating support from Republicans.

I don’t know that this absolves him for his role in the 2008 anti-gay amendment flurry, but I don’t think he’s in the same category as Mainwaring, Lopez, etc. He is, at least, working towards redemption.

Don’t kid yourself, Timothy — the efforts Mehlman makes now are nothing but a way to keep his contact list fresh until there’s another GOP candidate he wanted to support. When that happens, he’ll jump, again, taking his monied friends with him… but since he lives in a marriage equality state, if he wants to get married (if anyone wants to marry him), he can.

Ben in Oakland, all those homo-hating-homos you reference are more than worthy of our community’s disdain… but how many of them are in that homo-hating-homo state because of these ex-gay charlatans who, purposely, hid the fact they were lying?

As I said, these men are disgusting. They shouldn’t be lauded for being apologetic, that’s simple manners. When your actions injure someone else, you pay. I really wish someone would sue Bussee or Paulik, or any of them back to the Stone Age.

Eric Payne
May 8th, 2014 | LINK

I love my husband. We’ve been together 19 years next month, and have been married since November, 2010.

If it weren’t for the religious, “pray the gay away”* movement! Bill and I might never have met… but the religious “pray the gay away”* inflicted horrendous pain on him and! quite literally! cost him everything he owned! except his car and the mobile home in which he lived in Livermore, CA.

Bill, throughout his entire life, had always been, just as I was, the shy, wallflower introvert. Before we met, he had been partnered with another man for just over a decade, and they lived together in Bill’s home.

Bill worked in San Jose, some 30 miles from Livermore. That 30-some miles, though, during morning and evening commute, was frequently a 3-hour drive.

During the last year of his previous relationship, his partner made some new friends… members of a group, once vocal but now pretty much silent, called “Promise Keepers.” Unknown to Bill, his previous partner began attending this group’s meetings.

One night, Bill got home from work to be told by his partner that he was now straight, and would be sleeping in the guest room. A few days later, Bill came home from work to find his previous partner gone… along with everything else in the house. His partner left Bill’s clothes and a mattress, that was it.

Oh, and when Bill checked the bank account the next day… guess what?

From what Bill has told me about those times, he was near suicidal. This was pre-email and cell-phones. To get any communication with the man who had been his partner meant leaving messages with friends and family. Bill eventually discovered his former partner had left the Bay Area for some sort of spiritual boot camp the “Promise Keepers” maintained in Idaho.

Over the next two years, Bill rebuilt his life, slowly, and started to reconnect with some of the friends he and his former partner shared (a group of straight sisters in Alameda, CA, and their family, who had once employed Bill and his ex). Two years after the walk-out, Bill learned from one of the sisters the ex had returned from Idaho.

One weekend, the ex just showed up at Bill’s house… “Just to talk”… but, gee, the ex just happened to have some weed… and, guess what? The next morning, the ex accused Bill of getting him high and, essentially, raping him, and stormed out of the house, again… but when Bill went to log on to his CompuServe account, his computer was gone. Now this was pre-laptop days, when desktop computers were so huge, they covered a desktop. While Bill was sleeping, the ex had stowed it away in his car… then come back to bed and snuggled up to Bill, to stage the “You molested me!” scene the next morning.

The ex, apparently, couldn’t find work in the Bay Area, and returned to Idaho.

Bill, again, picks up the pieces of his life. A couple of years after that, Bill and I are introduced to each other via Match.com. We begin e-mailing each other through Match.com; we don’t give each other our real e-mail addresses for weeks. We talk about banalities, really, occasionally crossing in to politics… but never about sex. Weird, huh? One day, after months of multiple daily e-mails, I did send him a “dirty” email.

He went silent, for days. I sent an apology, when he responded, he also apologized but let me know, in no uncertain terms, he wasn’t looking for just sexual chemistry, and if I was, he understood, but he’d have to move on.

We didn’t meet, in real-time, until months into our correspondence, and when we did, we both decided to play it safe: our first date was for lunch at San Jose’s Hamburger Mary. We met at noon, ordered lunch, and started talking. At five, Lloyd (the host) came to our table and asked us if we could move — it was Friday, and the tables had to be removed so the dance floor could be set up. We moved to the pool room and just talked for another hour. We finally parted ways and, on mutual impulse, kissed goodnight in the parking lot.

And the moment I did… I just knew.

I lived in Redwood City and commuted by CalTrain; he lived in Livermore, and drove. He beat me home; I had planned to get home, quickly send him an e-mail telling him how great the day had been, and asking if he wanted to go to the City’s Gay Pride Parade on Sunday. The reason I know he beat me home? I had an e-mail from him, telling me how great the day had been, and asking if I wanted to go to the Parade on Sunday.

Great minds, right?

We’ve been together ever since; I moved in with him after about a month.

A year into our living together, we attended a 4th of July picnic at one of the Alameda sister’s homes. She had a surprise for Bill once we got there — “Guess who’s back in town, and who I invited?” — and there’s the ex. We don’t stay much longer; this time, Bill is angry at the woman, and not depressed at seeing his ex again.

Sunday of that week, I’m in the kitchen, cooking dinner. It’s hot, but only hot enough to have the door and windows open. There’s a nice breeze blowing through the screens. Bill’s back at the end of the house, doing something in his sewing room. There’s a rap on the screen door. I go to the door and there, on the other side, is Bill’s ex, reaching for the knob.

“May I come in?” he asked, reaching for the knob.

I tell him no, that this isn’t a good time as we were just sitting down to dinner. He tries the door, anyway, to discover it’s locked. I call Bill to the door and step away (though doing that was tough as he’ll). He wants to come in and just talk. Bill says no. He just wants to try and explain things. I hear Bill say: “I know you. What you want is to come in and maybe get high and get laid. What? Not enough people believe I raped you last time? You’re not welcome here.” Bill then closed the inner door on the ex’s face.

The ex went back to Boise, knocked up some barely legal girl who, apparently, has Down’s Syndrome. He’s the dad of a couple of daughters, and has had a couple of arrests for “loitering” in a public park.

So there’s another entire family the ex-gay crowd has hurt. What happens to them when the ex gets arrested for cruising parks and public restrooms — or for actual lewd behavior?

And, according to them, they knew they were lying about “cure” all along. Even in his latest posting in this thread, Bussee says he was “misled” as a “brand new Christian.”

Bull.

Bussee, and others, had a spiritual need they wanted to fill. But instead of looking within themselves for that spark of the Divine — that truth they simply know is truth — they looked outside themselves to others to fill that need. In their desire to belong, they preyed upon other men in the same circumstances… but got PAID for it.

The sense I got from his last posting is Bussee “knows” what he did was wrong… but maybe it just didn’t work because man’s faith just isn’t strong enough to let God work a miracle.

First, this bunch got their names in the paper for being vocally, stridently ex-gay. Now, they get their publicity fix for being ex ex-gay. They should be apologetic; they should be ashamed of their actions… and they should just go away.

Ben in Oakland
May 9th, 2014 | LINK

Eric, I’m sorry to hear of all of the pain that you and bill went through. I truly am.

I had a brother who, though he never went through the Exgay crap as far as I know, nevertheless was deeply ashamed of who he was. He never even told me he was gay until his self hatred had pretty much wrecked his life. He then ran off to Mexico, where he died by murder or suicide or both. Dead at the age of 56, and as far I knew, never experienced love. He wouldn’t allow it

He avoided the one person who could have helped him because he hated himself so much– me. I will NEVER forgive the anti-ex-gay industry for taking my brother from me. But I also don’t absolve my brother for his refusal to take any responsibility for his life, especially including his refusal to tell me.

But that’s what self hatred does to you. It’s a death-style, to borrow from someone I suspect is truly one of the great homo-hating homos of all time. Just look at bill’s ex.

The key word here is is responsibility. The problem with the Exgay crap is that it completely avoids personal responsibility. Give it all to Jesus, and he will take care of you. It’s really the problem of the kind of Christianity that has declared itself to be our enemy. Bill’s ex is the quintessential story of not taking any responsibility. My brother blamed our mother for everything that went wrong in his life. The question I would have asked him is this: “OK, Dave. all of that may be true. But what are you going to do NOW?” It wasn’t true, but the question still applies.

I would ask the same question of Mehlman, Bussee, Paulk, Chambers, Haggard and every other person who has attempted to exorcise his personal demons at the expense of innocent gay people. We are all victims of a vicious, ancient, and durable prejudice. Heterosexual society, innocent children, and — as much as I despise it– even the church, are all victims of it. But that’ s what hate and lies do. They corrupt, pervert and twist everything they come into contact with. As Stephen Donaldson said, Corruption is becoming that which you hate.

But the question still remains: “what are you going to do now?” I can find it in my heart to forgive Bussee and Mehlman, even Paulk, if they make the effort to undo what their perversion and corruption wrought.

I would rather have them do that then simply disappear. That benefits no one.

That being said, I can think of any number of professional bigots and homo-hating homos who, if they got histby a bus tomorrow, well, I frankly just wouldn’t care. I might even dance a tiny, little jig. It every soul who is willing to stand against this is valuable.

Ben in Oakland
May 9th, 2014 | LINK

Sorry.

But Every soul who is willing to stand against this evil is valuable.

Richard Rush
May 9th, 2014 | LINK

Ben in Oakland, if you (or others) have not read Eric Payne’s powerful personal story of growing up gay, I highly recommend reading it here:

http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/what-are-little-boys-made-of-main#comment-375235

And then scroll down and read Eric’s addendum.

Timothy Kincaid
May 9th, 2014 | LINK

To clarify, Promise Keepers is an men’s spiritual organization that was founded around 1990 and is focused on encouraging Christian men to be ‘godly men’. They are strongly anti-gay but they are not an ex-gay group.

Eric Payne
May 9th, 2014 | LINK

Timothy says:

To clarify, Promise Keepers is an men’s spiritual organization that was founded around 1990 and is focused on encouraging Christian men to be ‘godly men’. They are strongly anti-gay but they are not an ex-gay group.

That’s true, Tim, they are not an “ex-gay group,” per se, but they are interconnected with the Christian ex-gay groups. They don’t go trolling for gay men to “cure,” but will quickly shuttle off any gay men to those groups.

I realize Bill and his ex must have been having problems — or at least his ex was — in order for his ex to swallow all that bullpuckey as easily as he did.

Maybe I’m just stronger, emotionally, than a lot of people. I was the social outcast growing up (a combination of a physical deformity, a well-above average intelligence, and an inability to keep my opinions to myself), but I don’t understand these guys who simply fold on their own inner truths out of a desperate need to belong.

As Ben points out, there are other, more public, homo-hating homos… but how many of them (like Lopez) have such hatred because of Paulik and Bussee? How many of them add to their hatred because they’re still waiting for that miracle from God, and see the failure to be “cured” as a spiritual weakness in them — that their faith isn’t strong enough, so if they double-down, their faith will get stronger, and they’ll get their miracle?

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