An Undercover Operation in ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy

Harmon Leon went undercover as a confused gay man to see what “ex-gay” therapy consisted of and what he found was predictably interesting. He was put into an odd sort of group therapy, kind of like an AA meeting. In fact, virtually everyone there had also had serious drug and alcohol and other problems.

I was then directed to a “A Christ-Centered Ministry designed to help people struggling with homosexuality leave their past lifestyle and to fully EMBRACE THEIR TRUE IDENTITY IN JESUS CHRIST.”

If there was ever a group to organize a gay-shame parade, this would have been it.

The ex-gay support group’s monthly Friday night meeting was held in an office complex that resembled a meth-addict trucker motel. About a dozen ex-gays were gathered in a circle as I entered a cramped back office filled with numerous books on the subject at hand.

“Welcome Rodney and Steven,” announced the second-in-command, who had excited eyes and wore a large wooden cross. (I was using the pseudonym, “Rodney.”) “It’s their first night. Make them feel welcome.”…

Since everyone here had a drug or alcohol problem and had slept with thousands of partners, for reaction’s sake, I changed my game plan. How would they counsel someone who was quite normal but happened to be gay? I told the group I’d never touched drugs or alcohol and that I’d been in one long, monogamous relationship.

“CANNIBALISM!” the group shouted in near-unison.

The leader explained cannibalism, again slowly stressing one word at a time: “You take on the attributes of the other person.”

“I know,” the second-in-command said, turning to me and nodding. “I was in a relationship for 17 years.”

“Men want lust, not intimacy,” the leader said to sum up this and all other gay scenarios.

A guy across the circle leaned toward me. With strong, crazed eye contact, he added: “An erection put into a woman’s vagina is like going into the paradise of heaven. An erection put in anything else is unnatural, and it’s a sin!”

“OK,” I replied.

Keeping the eye contact, he made hand gestures and used the word “erection” at least six more times.

“Can I still hang around my old friends?” I asked. “We’ve all got the same taste in music.”

“I’ll answer that,” piped up the intense teenager, suddenly sitting up. “An alcoholic shouldn’t go into a bar!”

“It will be worth the sacrifice,” stressed the leader. And then again: “You’ll find the best relationship you’ll ever have will be with God.”

Cannibalism? Being gay is cannibalism? I think I’ve heard this before. It’s monumentally stupid.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • matty1

    he made hand gestures and used the word “erection” at least six more times

    See it does stop you thinking about… oh wait

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    An erection put into a woman’s vagina is like going into the paradise of heaven.”

    To be fair, he’s got a point.

     

    An erection put in anything else is unnatural, and it’s a sin!”

    Worse, they kick you off the bus. So I’ve heard.

  • DaveL

    “A Christ-Centered Ministry designed to help people struggling with homosexuality leave their past lifestyle and to fully EMBRACE THEIR TRUE IDENTITY IN JESUS CHRIST.”

    It seems to me a man trying to stop being a homosexual should probably pull out of Jesus Christ before he does anything else.

  • John Pieret

    I went and read the entire article and this so-called ‘conversion therapy’ sounds really pathetic. Despite the Family Research Council saying “there is no convincing evidence that a homosexual identity is ever something genetic or inborn” the participants seem to know otherwise. Leon was told a number of times that the therapy’s goal wasn’t heterosexuality but ‘getting right with God.’ While some may get married or in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, there was a tacit acknowledgement that was not the norm. Essentially they were being offered lifelong celibacy, with Jesus as their new drug of choice.

  • DaveL

    The leader explained cannibalism, again slowly stressing one word at a time: “You take on the attributes of the other person.”

    Because that never happens in straight relationships.

    “Men want lust, not intimacy,”

    So men in relationships with women, do they also just want lust and not intimacy? And do women not want lust? Is he trying to say that straight men just go unfulfilled?

  • Pianoman, Church of the Golden Retriever

    An erection put in anything else is unnatural, and it’s a sin!”

    Worse, they kick you off the bus. So I’ve heard.

    It’s true, because the driver can’t operate the gas and brakes properly.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    An erection put in anything else is unnatural, and it’s a sin!”

    @Modus

    Worse, they kick you off the bus. So I’ve heard.

    Not the #22 Clark Street bus. So I’ve heard.

  • tsig

    I had a relationship with Jesus, it was all foreplay and no bazoom.

  • http://dontlinkmebro F [i’m not here, i’m gone]

    tsig, that’s too bad, because a hand job from the post-crucifixion Jesus is really something else.

  • Michael Heath

    Ed writes:

    Harmon Leon went undercover as a confused gay man to see what “ex-gay” therapy . . .

    I would have put the scare quotes around, “ex-gay therapy”.

  • Michael Heath

    I take back my last recommendation. I think instead this phrase should read, “ex-gay” “therapy”.

  • physeter

    “You are monogamous? I was in a relationship for 17 years. See? Men don’t want intimacy, only lust!”

    It always boggles me how people can’t hear their own words.

  • http://wordsgood4598.wordpress.com/author/wordsgood4598/ wordsgood

    It boggles my mind that groups like this still exist. Though it doesn’t suprise me, sadly enough.

    I’m a straight woman married to a straight man. We both want intimacy and we both experience lust. And we’re monogamous. How is that any different than any gay or transgender couple? Mongamous or not, who you love and have sex with is no-one’s damn business! (As long as everyone involved are consenting adults, obviously.)