Onward Christian Ex-Gays

Infiltrator looks in on a few Christian groups that help misguided souls pray their way out of the gay lifestyle. Right here in the Bay Area.

"To become a heterosexual is not my goal; my goal is holiness, spirituality."

"Images still plague my mind, but I dismiss them at the door."

"I used to take the approach that Jesus loves drag queens; now I know it's wrong."

It sounds really lonely. The options provided by their religion are heterosexuality or complete celibacy, yet, obviously, these men aren't into women, and never will be.

"I work around a lot of homosexuals, so what should I do?" I ask the leader.

"You might consider changing jobs," he advises.

"But I work as a costume designer for musical theater," I retort, throwing a curveball. "That's what I do. I can't really change jobs. That's how I make a living."

"Then I would suggest putting up a barrier," the leader counsels. "Because they will try to tempt you."

"Amen!"

"Exactly!"

"I'm confused. First you're saying to develop nonsexual relationships with men; then you're saying to put up a wall?" I ask.

The leader has an easy solution: "Just say, 'Hey, I'm a Christian now!'" He puts his hand up in a "stop" motion to illustrate his point.

"I used to be a DJ at a top gay nightclub in New York," the former coke enthusiast in the baseball cap says. "It's worth the sacrifice. Give yourself to God."

"What about gay marriage?" I ask; after all, this was the major moral issue of the presidential election just past. "It's legal in Massachusetts, you know? If it's legal, it's not a crime."

"It's a sin in God's eyes," the leader says, ending the argument. "Sure the ancient Greeks said homosexuality was OK, but they also said human sacrifice was OK."

The part of the meeting during which I sit in the "hot seat" unfolds. As the ex-gays put their hands on and pray over me, I swear one is massaging my shoulder. When that's over, a guy with glasses pulls me aside. I think he's going to call my bluff. Instead he says, "The Lord showed me a sadness in you."

The statement is so true, I almost begin to cry.

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