Exodus International, I Forgive You

When you see the end of an era coming upon your soul, resistance is futile… wholeness is the only option.Forgiveness

Exodus International, I forgive you for teaching me that there is a God who is intolerant of me.

Exodus International, I forgive you for pulling me away from my body.

Exodus International, I forgive you for pulling me away from my family.

Exodus International, I forgive you for dividing me from my own mind.

Exodus International, I forgive you for dividing me from my own spirit.

Exodus International, I forgive you for raping my soul.

Exodus International, I forgive you for molesting my identity.

Exodus International, I forgive you…

Not because you have stopped hurting others with your cult tactics.

Not because you aren’t guilty of attempting to control others with ideas about heterosexual supremacy.

But because you taught me how to hate…

And it’s time I surrender that tactic entirely.

Forgiveness is my act of self-love and an act of refusing to hold any space for hate, even hatred for your ways.

I will not have space for hate anymore.

I will not hate myself for being human.

I will not hate God for making me homosexual.

I will not hate people for not understanding how spirituality and sexuality beautifully converge.

I will not hate churches for refusing to honor my commitment to love.

I will not hate this world for being a place where choices are taken away from us.

I will be a person of love.

So, in short…

Exodus International, love really did win out for me.

Because I forgive you for teaching me to hate.


For anyone who has been damaged by the ex-gay movement’s attempt at genocide, know that there is hope and you will move BEYOND being “ex-gay.” www.beyondexgay.com And for anyone who has ever held on too long to an injury to your soul, know that in just wanting to let go, a change will come, the earth will tremble and eventually, forgiveness will find you…

In the News: Exodus shuts down its residential soul-raping facility. http://www.exgaywatch.com/wp/2011/09/love-in-action-suspends-residential-program/

To read more about my most recent transformation regarding ex-gay survival, follow the “ex-gay lie” category on my blog or view this category from my old site.

9 thoughts on “Exodus International, I Forgive You

  1. Gail, this sounds heartfelt and important for you to do. I on the other hand do not offer public forgiveness to Exodus, particularly as they continue in their wrong doing. I view forgiveness as a non-violent tool. I stand accusing Exodus as a witness of their I’ll-informed, cruel harmful practices and call them to acknowledge their wrongs, renounce their teachings, and make amends for the harm they have done. I understand the personal need to forgive. I also know of the power of public witness reminding people thet they are unrepentant abusers from my past.

    I am glad for the ways that you are processing your ex-gay experiences through humor, thoughtful writing, and personal reflection.


    • Peterson, I think that the most important part of this act of public forgiveness is recognizing that forgiveness doesn’t excuse them, but it puts me back on a path to wholeness. If given the choice between being whole and being right, I would choose being whole. I won’t hate them/their tactics anymore for being on a path of self-imposed righteousness or “rightness.” They taught me that being right mattered and I’m letting go of that… I think that has held me back, as an activist, a writer, and ultimately, even a person of faith.

      No matter what though, I firmly believe each survivor needs to reconcile on his/her own terms. The soul damage inflicted by Exodus could be described as unforgivable… almost, but no human injury against another is beyond wholeness.

      Personally, when I think of Michael Bussee’s story (one of the original founders of Exodus, for those who don’t know, who came out and is apologetic) I’m drawn to forgiveness… Not because he is sorry but because he is human.

      Put it this way… Alan Chambers, this goes for you: When you come out of straight supremacy and reach out to the LGBTQ community, you will find some of us ready to welcome you to your own wholeness.

      In short though, whatever fuels us to end this spiritual genocide of our people, we are in this together, Peterson and I couldn’t be happier about that!



  2. Gail My Friend – I thank you for again for your transparency and thoughtful posts. I cannot imagine the depth of the pain you speak of – however, I honestly recognize the same transition has occurred in my past with hurtful relationships – and, so….that being said, I am so thrilled to see you moving from “Rightness to Wholeness” – YOU have so much to offer through your posts, your books and your life – Keep radiating the Beauty God has Made You To BE – YOU make your Heavenly Father/Mother…however you feel comfortable …..PROUD and Delighted in YOU!!!


  3. Gail: I was thrilled to read your words because I know the you are the one who is receiving the fruit of forgiveness! Exodus has yet to state that they acknowledge any responsibility for the harm they have done, and continue to do. Forgiveness is healing for the one who extends it! I, too, stood with michael bussee to express that apology, and it changed my life because I was able to at long last forgive myself. No matter how well intended, when lives are harmed we are responsible. May you continue to grow and heal on your journey!


  4. Ah Ms. Gail, thanks. Thanks. Thanks. I also appreciate Peterson’s frank witness bearing about the ongoing harm that EI continues to do. I really vibe with both comments.

    I really feel that deep commitment …”not to let any space for hatred (even of EI) any longer take up residence in my heart …” I know I am paraphrasing, but that is such a key lesson, and I hope I did not completely read my own stuyff into your thoughts. I think of the New Testament Jesus, saying, it is more blessed to give than to receive … and I recall that bit, keeping in mind that part of the exgay damage I still bear, marked in my being, my body, and my relationships … is the pesky toxic contaminations of receiving that my particular exgay therapy/church healing apparently did to me so indelibly. Alas.

    Lord have mercy. drdanfee


  5. Gail,
    Reading your post is a wonderful exposition of heart and soul. I deeply appreciate your choice to walk out forgiveness, for YOU, as you have felt led to do.

    For over 20 years I was overtly, and covertly taught to not have anything to do with people like Michael Bussee or anyone who held to a different mindset on being gay.

    I was warned to stay away from those who believed in “pro-gay” theology because I could get dragged onto the “slippery slope” of spiritual decline. I was led into a place of fear and separation without any sense of freedom to know them for myself.

    There is a lot of reconciliation to work out as we all seek to be unified in Christ.

    John J. Smid


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