Statement by Former Ex-Gay Leader
As a mature adult and mother of four my Christian experience was very important to me. Not only did I attend Sunday services, I taught Sunday school; lead the Wednesday evening Bible study series and also went to Tuesday prayer meetings. Somehow keeping busy and trying to please my husband kept me from coming to terms with other evolving emotions that I hadn’t time to explore or understand. Eventually, however, I could no longer hide from them.
When it became obvious to me that my ‘natural desire’ was not for my husband but was for a woman, I felt trapped and hopeless. I sought out any information that I could find that might be helpful. I came across an ex-gay ministry called ‘Exodus’. I joined Exodus in Melbourne as a Christian wanting to change her sexual orientation. I enjoyed meeting others who were battling with the same demons as myself… somehow I didn’t feel quite so alone.
After about 12 months I was nominated as leader of this small group of about 15 individuals. We met weekly for prayer, discussion and support. I traveled overseas to America to interview Elizabeth Moberley; a scholar and academic who suggested that legitimate same sex affection would provide a passage out of homosexuality. Over the next 3 years, I continued to teach, study and practice ‘legitimate, non-sexual same sex affection’. However, it soon became clear to me that my homosexual drive was not decreasing and I was not getting any closer to becoming heterosexual.
After 4 years I decided that the truth for me was that I stop hiding and accept my homosexual self. Having assistant pastor status with my church I knew I had to tell them my decision. They felt that I could no longer continue in ministry and I was asked to step down.
Today, more than 15 years, after I stepped down from leadership of the Ex-Gay ministry ‘Exodus’ I have come to know that nearly every member of that group is now living their lives openly as a homosexual person (20 people). I am only aware of one member who married and who would say that they are pleased not to be gay but to be living in a heterosexual relationship. They have been married for 5 years. It is also my understanding that they have not disclosed their former struggles with their partner.
Although I valued the support and friendship of the Exodus members (many are among my closest friends today) I suffered torment and huge anxiety all muddied by confusion and constant failure during the ‘Exodus’ years. For me the most traumatic outcome was my personal sense of failure as a Christian and not being accepted as a part of the church family I loved.
On April 14. 2007, my long time partner and I were married at Colchester Registry Office in the UK. This wedding celebrated who we are and our love and commitment for each other. For the first time in my adult life I felt valued for being me and thrilled to at last find a legitimate ‘home’ amongst my family and friends for my partner and myself.
I believe that my Heavenly Father is also pleased and relieved on our behalf. It is my sincere belief that Scripture points out that God is Love and God is Truth. The Truth shall set you free it says. Being true to my sexual orientation is freeing and I no longer struggle with anxiety, depression, confusion and sexual dysphoria!
When one is at home with one’s sexual self and this causes no-one any harm and is considerate and respectful, this is love.