Exodus has become the umbrella organisation for ‘ex-gay’ ministries globally. Not all ‘ex-gay’ ministries are the same however. Cultural differences affect the beliefs and practices of ‘ex-gay’ ministries out of the United States of America. In the US we have seen ministries such as Exodus become extremely political and often being funded by right wing conservative groups. Media campaigns have been launched, declaring that homosexuality is a choice and that 1,000’s have been converted from homosexuality to heterosexuality. These campaigns are meant to counteract efforts by the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender (GLBT) community to end discrimination and gain equal (not special) rights.
In Australia, New Zealand and Asia ‘ex-gay’ ministries, on the most part, have focused on working with individuals with ‘unwanted’ same-sex-attraction (SSA) and those who’ve been troubled with sexual addiction or abuse. Whilst the last two issues are important ones to address, there still remains the outdated belief that homosexuality is the result of a dysfunctional upbringing, sexual abuse or lack of strong male/female role models. Because of their personal experience, some people have thought this to be true but research discredited these theories some time ago. In fact, from the stories we hear, there is great confusion in ‘ex-gay’ ministries, as they have difficulty understanding the differences between sexual orientation and sexual abuse or sexual addiction. The latter two require help, the former just needs acceptance. Hatred, denial, rejection and suppression of your true self is emotionally, psychologically and spiritually unhealthy. Hence the damaging experience many have had whilst involved in ‘ex-gay’ programs.
Unlike many of the US counterparts, a number of Australian, New Zealand and Asian ‘ex-gay’ ministries are now being honest with people who come to them for help and will state that genuine heterosexuality is not achievable for those who are same-sex-oriented. All they can hope for is a cessation of temptation through constant monitoring and lifelong accountability. A degree of ‘heterosexual functionality’ can be achieved but the gay never goes away. As one Australian ‘ex-gay’ leader put it, ‘you will always walk with a limp’
Here is the absolute truth many of us can testify to.You can be gay or lesbian, have a sense of morality and also be a person of faith. This is not self justification, but the reality for so many of us who have educated ourselves and rejected outdated notions that being homosexual means you are sick, perverted or dysfunctional.
This website has been set up to:
- dispel the ‘ex-gay myth’
- allow those who’ve attended ‘ex-gay’ programs to connect
- tell the stories of 'ex-gays' survivors
- stop unnecessary suffering and wasted years
Note: We always welcome an ongoing informed, intelligent, respectful dialogue with ‘ex-gay’ ministries.