Ex-Gay Activism: An Identity Crisis

Forgiving Exodus International for their soul-raping ways has left me with a mild case of identity crisis.

First of all, when you exist solely to fight your oppressor, your oppressor becomes a part of your identity.

Secondly, when you receive praise for fighting your oppressor, your oppressor’s existence also becomes latched into your self-esteem.

Finally, when you stop believing that your oppressor is your enemy, you’re left with the question…

Why am I doing any of this?

As most of you know, I published my first book 7 years ago, (http://rescuejesus.wordpress.com/lesbian-coming-out-book)  but then a series of wounds prevented me from moving forward in the “activist” scene. When I made this “triumphant return” 5 months ago, I thought for sure that my main objective would be to focus on the words, actions and energies that would create the best weapon for overcoming fundamentalism. (Ending Fundamentalism… the New F Bomb?) I thought I would craft powerful narratives that would light a fire under even the most complacent reader and we would all begin to see that Fundamentalism is a violent force against the very nature of the Divine and work towards its destruction.

I thought my calling was to shine the light on the darkness of my oppressors.

I thought that being right was the more important work that I was to be engaged in as a writer.

After all, what’s so wrong with being right?

Well, as I discussed in my forgiveness post to Exodus, focusing on being right maintains the same pattern of thought as what the fundamentalists teach. The need to be right is a vehicle that doesn’t have to lead to hate but it is one that knows the way… so forgiveness, for me, was getting out of that vehicle and learning to walk a different path.

What I’ve learned in the last 5 months is that this work is about relationships… and being whole is more important than being right.

Restoring a sense of personal power and a trustworthy community is more important than making sure Alan Chambers hears me call him a soul-molester.  (The truth: He is a soul-molester but he is also oppressing his own self and that must be a far greater pain than I can understand anymore).

So I will continue to call Exodus International what it is but let me be clear…

I exist not to shine the light on the dark world of Christian Fundamentalism.

I exist to be a light in the rainbow-colored world of those recovering from any kind of oppression, be it religious or otherwise.

I’m here to shine not for those in darkness…

But for those in dim, gray places where hope was almost lost.

I’m here… for survivors.

That is why For Gail So Loved the World exists…

I’ve never felt more whole than I do right now.

Thank you all for being here, where all are welcome… no exceptions.

I love you so much I could burst into a thousand rainbows.


This post is dedicated to the fine healing work being done through New Wings. Please feel free to check out their website (www.new-wings.org) to learn more about how to be a part of healing from fundamentalism… we’re in this together.

As always, if you are a survivor of the ex-gay movement specifically, please reach out to our community at Beyond Ex-Gay. You are not alone. www.beyondexgay.com

Oh and no worries… I’ll still find a way to be a snarky satirist from time-to-time. I mean, I forgave the fundies but I didn’t have a lobotomy!

3 thoughts on “Ex-Gay Activism: An Identity Crisis

  1. Your Journey to “Wholeness” is not only important for you personally – it is exponentially important in illuminating the whole issue of Wholeness for others who are struggling in their journey. Your life also helps Fundamental Christians “See” a living testament of God’s love and Grace in your Beautiful life – YOU are an “Open Book” which does speak to both the GLBT community and the Straight community – and, because you are not obsessed with “being right” — it allows people to notice how “Whole” you are In Christ — that is something to celebrate for all fellow Christians. Thank you again for your labor of love to share your insights and journey to wholeness with others – Blessings from Your Bro in Christ (((Gail )))


  2. I think the real challenge is to be able to integrate a theologically-sound committed Christian faith WITH one’s sexuality. This is truly “coming out” ahead (no pun intended). As a gay Christian man myself, who is also a former leader of a so-called “ex-gay” ministry, my experience has been that far too many do not survive the battle. Either they continue to hold to the ex-gay mantra (which is just a way of saying “now I’m more acceptable to myself and to the people around me”, even though they don’t usually feel that way in the long run), they throw out the baby with the bath water (they discover that the ex-gay promise is indeed a false one and conclude that if what they were told about the Bible is not true then any and all turning to Christ isn’t worth anything at all) or so longing to find a group who will accept them, they end up in a church or community that is so theologically liberal one couldn’t find the gospel with a magnifying glass. I think the real survivors are those that don’t fall for any of these three traps.

    Since I happen to speak and write on this very topic, I thought you might find some of these posts of particular interest and relevance.

    -Alex Haiken


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