Yvette Cantu Schneider abandons the ex-gay movement (UPDATED)

Timothy Kincaid

July 29th, 2014

GLAAD has posted Part Oneyvette schneider and Part Two of a two day report on Yvette Cantu Schneider, at one time one of the most prominent female voices in the ex-gay movement.

Five months after Proposition 8 passed in California, my five-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. During the month she spent as an inpatient at Oakland Children’s Hospital, I suffered from tremendous anxiety, punctuated by debilitating panic attacks. When my daughter was released from the hospital, I sought help from Dr. Diana Wright, a respected psychologist. She said to me, “Anxiety is the result of a threat you fear will overtake you. It’s a limbic response to a predator–in this case, your daughter’s cancer–which will cause you to fight, flee, or freeze. But that’s not the only cause of anxiety; it can also arise when you are living incongruously from your true self, when you’re living according to someone else’s expectations of you and not according to who you really are. I have a feeling this isn’t your first experience with anxiety; you’ve likely experienced it your whole life.”

Dr. Wright taught me to manage my limbic responses through mindfulness meditation, and a form of guided imagery meditation used by combat troops who suffer from PTSD. As I became more adept at meditating, goddesses and other female images appeared. It was clear I had neglected the feminine and the feminine divine when I embraced patriarchal dogma that regarded women as secondary to men. I spent the next few years digging deep within my soul to unearth my true self–the authentic me who celebrates the worthiness and equality of all people. The me who knows we all deserve to be who we are, not who others want and expect us to be. It was only when I embraced this true self that I regained my life. It meant shedding many of the beliefs I had espoused for decades—beliefs about what it means to be gay, and what it means to treat people with dignity and respect.

Part Two is an elucidating view into the inner circle of many anti-gay advocacy groups. It’s well worth a read.

Schneider has not been much active in the ex-gay movement since 2010, but she has written a book describing her transformation. And she is working with GLAAD to spread the word.

This revelation is not exactly earth-shaking. But with Cantu Schneider’s apparent abandonment of the ex-gay movement and the dogma on which it stands, it becomes yet a bit more clear that the movement is on its final gasps.


July 29th, 2014

I read parts 1 and 2. It was a great read. Thanks for posting this, Timothy.


July 30th, 2014

She is bisexual. So it was easy for her to pretend to be “ex-gay”.

And surprise, surprise, she has a book out. The money most flow. These people just can’t get a real job.


July 30th, 2014

Just another huckster. Why do you fall for such nonsense. She has a book to sell and will say anything that will gain her attention. GLAAD originally was established to counter the defamation of gay people in the media. Not it seems to specialize in “rehabilitating” actors and others who want to make a buck off gay people.

Paul Douglas

July 30th, 2014

Fascinating story. I am glad Ms Cantu Schneider has had an awakening from crazy christianism. The insights about patriarchal religion she acknowledges should be obvious to any 25 year old, and it always amazes me how bright, thoughtful women get suckered into fundagelicalism. Listening to clips of her speaking about gay people though is pretty upsetting. I haven’t read her book and the interview was incomplete, but I’m not sure if Ms Cantu Schneider is really aware of how much injury she has caused to a not insignificant numberof gay and lesbian folks. I don’t think that the full gravity of her years of anti-gay animus has dawned on Yvette. I hope it does and I hope she actively makes amends.

Ben in oakland

July 30th, 2014

“I don’t think that the full gravity of her years of anti-gay animus has dawned on Yvette. I hope it does and I hope she actively makes amends.”

I read both interviews, and I got very little of “I was dead wrong” and “I realized that in my wrongness, I had harmed a great many people” and none of “I have a lot of amends to make”.

What I did get what “I got a book to flog.”


July 30th, 2014

It’s insane how she fell into the Christian lifestyle. She was out in the late 80s/early 90 and appears to have accepted her sexuality since then. But then she got somehow involved with a church and they quickly managed to instill shame and self-hatred in her.

pierre denerome

July 30th, 2014

I fell out of the Christan lifestyle when I was ten years old.
Happy ever since;with my (new) husband of fourty-one years.

Ben in Oakland

July 31st, 2014

This is my official apology to Ms. Schneider. she just signed on to the statement by nine former “ex” gay leaders, denouncing this monstrosity and admitting they were wrong, wrong, wrong.

I’m sorry. Thank you.

Timothy Kincaid

July 31st, 2014

The bemusing thing about all the patriarchy in the Christian Church (and there certainly is a lot of it) is that at the time that Paul wrote much of the instruction to the new church, his views on women were fairly progressive. But much of the church has decided that rather than follow the natural course of that progression, they’ll freeze it in place and act as though God said “this far, and no more”.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that those who hold most strongly to (their idea of) constitutional originalism also hold to (their idea of) Biblical originalism.

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