Inside Ex-Gay:

The Naked Truth

Radio Interviews: Inside Ex-Gay

Rachel & David - The Emperor has no Clothes

After the shutdown of large ex-gay organisations like Exodus International and Living Waters Australia, you’d think the evangelical gay-to-straight movement was on its last legs. However, apart from celibacy or inclusion, ex-gay therapy is still the only response to same-sex attraction that evangelical churches have. Motivated by out-dated interpretations of theology and psychology – and often funded by its participants – the ex-gay movement is based on the seductive but toxic idea that same-sex attraction can be removed.

The Johns - Control and Authenticity

Many of Australia’s evangelical leaders still preach that homosexuality is an abomination and a sign of depravity. There is a culture of fear surrounding the many secretly pro-gay leaders working in Australian evangelical churches. Standing up and speaking out against homophobia can cost people their livelihood, their community and family. Yet while quotes from Leviticus continue to emanate from the pulpit, many of the theologians who teach these pastors are themselves shifting their stance and renouncing homophobia.

Jason & Cath - Breaking Free

Though Jason is now a prominent LGBTI activist, he was once a theology student and evangelical church minister. While many of his gay friends chose to suppress their homosexuality, Jason chose to leave ministry behind and embrace a committed long term relationship with his now husband of 14 years. Unfortunately, he feels his many gifts of Christian leadership are not wanted in the church. Though having had a wildly different journey, Cath McKinney is a church minister who has experienced the suffering and rejection known by Jason in her interaction with many of Melbourne’s ex-gay survivors and LGBTI Christian leaders. She is a close friend to many evangelical leaders who are not ready to come forward with their LGBTI-affirming views and was a close friend to Damien Christie – an ex-gay survivor who took his life in 2013.

Tim & Matt - Reparative History

Matt was removed from ministry role at a suburban Baptist church due to his support for same-sex marriage. He experienced much suffering as a result of this, however he has also brought hope and healing to many LGBTI people of faith through his involvement with Freedom2Be – a social and support community for LGBTI people from faith backgrounds – and his counselling practice. Matt has a great deal of insight into the biblical and theological ideas that cause so many evangelicals to reject LGBTI people. He has counselled many ex-gay survivors and has an insider’s view of ex-gay practices that proliferate across Australian evangelical churches and is aware of their origins, motivations and practices.

Nicole Conner - Standing up to ex-gay

Nicole’s effervescent personality, her pentecostal theology, and her role as a sought-after feature of Australia’s evangelical preaching circuit once created the image of a typically saccharine mega-church pastor. However, far from this image, Nicole’s upbringing had given her a love for “the other” that had seen her become a respected and compassionate voice for social justice in her church community.

In a space where many leaders have chosen to keep silent and avoid acting on their pro-LGBTI convictions, Nicole’s knowledge of scripture, history, politics and the world around her led to a major paradigm shift and moral crisis. This, among several other factors, led to her stepping down from leadership and re-entering the workforce outside church.

Video Playlists:

A History of Ex-Gay

Playlist #1 What's behind ex-gay?

Many young LGBTI people are drawn to social media, movies and blogs as they seek to understand the clash between their faith and sexuality. So we’ve put together some YouTube playlists to help guide you through the masses of content on the web.

Playlist #2 Ex-gay eyewitness

Ever wondered what happens in ex-gay? Maybe you’ve heard about group therapy sessions at weekly or live-in programs or regular one-on-ones with pastors, priests or counsellors. This playlist features stories of ex-gay survivors from documentaries and news media. You will also find two clips from ABC Australia.

Playlist #3 Bible, Homosexuality

It’s strange to think that six little passages in the Bible have been used to justify so much violence towards gay and lesbian people over the past 2000 years. Times are changing and the homophobia underneath religious excuses is being exposed, however the six passages are still fascinating – particularly to LGBTI Christians who have been able to reconcile their faith and sexuality.

Playlist #4 What to do with an Outed Leader?

Ted Haggard was the leader of the National Association of Evangelicals (USA) from 2003 to 2006. Known as a Christian celebrity among America’s 70 million evangelicals, Haggard was at the centre of controversy when it was alleged he had regularly paid for sex with a man. The clips in this playlist paint a picture of a troubled man, confused about his sexuality and almost swallowed by shame when outed to his church community.

It is interesting to note that Haggard now sees himself as bisexual. Many ex-gay leaders who are bisexual or questioning their gender fail to distinguish these from “gay”, leading to much confusion about what it means to be same-sex attracted, especially for young ex-gay participants who truly are gay and not bisexual.

Playlist #5 New Laws, Brave Leaders and Dr Spitzer

Things are changing for LGBTI Christians. Isolated gay churches are now being joined by large evangelical churches that have become inclusive and embracing of LGBTI members. Gay and lesbian bishops are being consecrated. Evangelical theologians are turning to their academic peers and telling them to rethink their positions.

Outside the church, laws are changing. International media organisations from traditionally homophobic contexts – like Al Jazeera English – are promoting favourable views of LGBTI people to their viewers and legislated homophobia in other countries is being exposed.

Other Posts and Resources

The Gay Bishop in Oz

The world’s first openly gay ordained bishop Gene Robinson spent 10 days in Australia in 2013 at the invitation of The Centre for Faith, Life and Learning. The Anglican leader and international human rights champion spoke at Melbourne’s Fed Square, was welcomed in New South Wales parliament, spoke at bible colleges, attended a huge gala dinner with the who’s who of LGBTI rights in Melbourne, spoke on ABC TV, Triple J Radio, and convened a pastoral care day for Christians who had experienced severe homophobia.

2014 GLOBE awards, Inside Ex-gay goes national!

Inside Ex-gay producers Dean Beck and Nathan Despott were finalists in the inaugural 2014 Victorian GLOBE (gay and lesbian organisation for business and enterprise) awards. Inside Ex-gay is honoured to have been nominated for the “Protecting our Community” category and to have been a finalist alongside two other fabulous contenders – Anna Brown (Co-convenor of the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and the individual who went onto win the LGBTI Person of the Year category) and the joint Vic AIDS Council and Living Positive Vic partnership that won the category for its work in removing clause 19c from Victoria’s legislation, effectively expunging the prior convictions of Victorian men who received criminal records for homosexual activity in less tolerant days of old.

Australian Psychological Society 2015 Statement on Ex-gay

The APS strongly opposes any approach to psychological practice or research that treats lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people as disordered. The APS also strongly opposes any approach to psychological practice or research that attempts to change an individual’s sexualorientation.

The Code of Ethics of the Australian Psychological Society, and the Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Clients that accompany it, clearly outline why the Australian Psychological Society takes this approach.