Saturday, June 21, 2014

"There was a time in my life when I used to sound a lot like Rick Perry. In fact, for more than ten years I was one of the nation’s leading spokesmen for the 'ex-gay' movement. I traveled the country telling audiences that being gay was a preventable condition, and it could be treated if only you followed a simple plan, obeyed God and sought repentance for your sins. ... I wanted my homosexuality to change, but the truth is: For all my public rhetoric, I was never one bit less gay. Behind closed doors, many of us in the 'ex-gay' leadership at Focus on the Family would even admit this to each other — and we had this conversation many times: 'We know our orientation hasn’t really changed.' ... One incident in particular hit me very hard. In 2013 I was confronted by a man in a coffee shop who was angry and had tears in his eyes. 'The kind of message you preached kept me in depression for most of my life,' he told me. 'My parents wanted me to change, I tried for years and I couldn’t do it. It devastated my life until I finally accepted I was gay.' What he said moved me to tears, and I apologized to him."

--John Paulk, To Straight and Back: My Life as an Ex-ex-gay Man


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