Over at CT is an amazing article about the conversion of Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, a former leftist lesbian professor who despised Christians.
Then, one ordinary day, I came to Jesus, openhanded and naked. In this war of worldviews, Ken was there. Floy was there. The church that had been praying for me for years was there. Jesus triumphed. And I was a broken mess. Conversion was a train wreck. I did not want to lose everything that I loved. But the voice of God sang a sanguine love song in the rubble of my world. I weakly believed that if Jesus could conquer death, he could make right my world. I drank, tentatively at first, then passionately, of the solace of the Holy Spirit. I rested in private peace, then community, and today in the shelter of a covenant family, where one calls me “wife” and many call me “mother.” I have not forgotten the blood Jesus surrendered for this life. And my former life lurks in the edges of my heart, shiny and still like a knife.
It’s an amazing story, and a important counter-point to recent books like Torn and The Cross in the Closet. I know several ex-gays, they have amazing testimonies, and they describe homosexuality as something that they were rescued from. Of course, I also know some ex-ex gays, professing Christians who are openly gay and don’t feel the need to change, and gay Christians who are celibate, so the story is not always simple as conversion followed up with a heterosexual transformation.
Where do ex-gays sit in Queer theology? Are they traitors to the cause, hypocrites and pretenders who were never truly gay, or just deluding themselves in some kind of pseudo-straight state? I believe that ex-gays are the real pariahs in the homosexual debate (see the Ex-Gay Watch Website!). They mess with the narrative that homosexuality is purely genetic and never can be changed (personally, I think it involves genetics, but it is more complex than that). Yet there are some people who do change and they are joyous and grateful about it. Years ago I even met a gay activist who simply denied that ex-gays even exist? Imagined being told that you don’t exist or that your story should never be told because it might cause pain to other people!!