Wade Richards used to be an ex-gay poster boy until he came out of the closet. With backing from the religious right, ex-gay groups are now launching a national campaign to allow gay teens to be bullied in schools. Wade Richards took these groups to task for their campaign of misinformation and intolerance:
"In my experience with the 'ex-gay' movement I have seen the damage and psychological turmoil that taunts an individual trying to deny the very nature of who they are. In many instances these individuals, like myself, live in an inner hell of depression and guilt. Never coming to peace with the person who they have tried earnestly to become. After months of struggling with my own sexual orientation, I realized that I was healed of all the emotional turmoil from my past that the 'ex-gay' movement claimed to be the cause of my same-sex attractions. However, I was still Gay.
I find it unfortunate and grievous that a religious institution would invite or condone a conference like Focus on the Family's 'Love Won Out' to speak deception to their people. Organizations and ministries like Focus on the Family, Love In Action's Refuge, and Exodus Youth give young adolescents a false hope. These organizations target those who have a stake in youth, such as pastors, youth leaders, school administrative workers, counselors, and medical professionals."
Wade Richards is a graduate of Exodus residential "ex-gay" ministry Love In Action (LIA) and also attended Critchon Bible College, both in Memphis, TN. After graduating from LIA, he was hired on as the Outreach Coordinator for a national Christian youth organization called The SALT (Savior's Alliance for lifting the Truth). Following his departure from The SALT, Wade founded StandOut!, a national gay and lesbian youth advocacy organization.
Wade has been featured in the international teen magazine Seventeen, national gay and lesbian newsmagazine The Advocate, as well as the Human Rights Campaign publication Finally Free. He also has been featured on programs such as ABC's 20/20, Alan Colmes Talk Radio in New York City, Tom Murray's compelling "ex-gay" documentary Fish Can't Fly, and numerous other media outlets.
Great for Wade.
I hope he keeps speaking the truth.
The truth and the facts are the enemy of the ex-gay movement.
In the face of the very obviously truthful and heartfelt testimony of people like Wade and other "ex-ex-gays" who describe their feelings in some detail, you would think that if there really were true ex-gays, they would easily be found out there on the internet, and stepping up to other forums, to describe the process of change in their feelings - how same-sex desire diminished and vanished, and opposite-sex desire started to grow.
You would think that in their honesty and eagerness, they would be keen to offer detailed testmony respecting the efficacy of the clinical process they underwent.
You would think they would be quick to submit to penile plethmysography and polygraph testing, so as to make clear the authenticity of their change, in order to truly help others, and to provide a clinical evidence base.
Isn't that what you'd think? That's what I'd think.
Why aren't those people to be found out there, sharing, in full detail, their experience of change of desire? Is it because they don't exist?
posted by Phil, at
4/17/2006 12:11 PM
I heard a soundbite on Logo from an "ex-gay" therapist who said, "we never claimed to change anyone's sexual orientation, we change behavior". They admit right there that they cant change anyone, only make them self-oppressed, miserable, lying, self-destructive individuals.
posted by Anonymous, at
4/17/2006 1:49 PM
It's pretty clear that Mr. Richard Cohen speaks of changing orientation, not just behavior. Indeed, that is implied in the very URL of his web address, www.gaytostraight.org
At that website homepage we read:
"With strong motivation, proper support, effective counsel, and the love of God, people can and do change - not only behavior, but the very essence of their gender identity and sexual orientation"
Under that, it quotes Mr. Cohen: "People can and do change their sexual orientation. I've done it, and I've helped others do the same".
It is difficult to see how that could be more specific. Other sites, like NARTH are a bit more cautious, or shall we say, obfuscatory, in their use of language.
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