On Nov. 17, Creators Syndicate columnist Deb Price profiled Wayne Besen’s first experience with an ex-gay ministry and his subsequent encounters with people who felt victimized by the movement.

Some money quotes:

Besen’s mother gave him an audiocassette that promised to turn gay people into heterosexuals. He listened three times to the tape of “weird music, self-hypnosis exercises and laughable psychobabble theorizing that distant parents cause homosexuality. ”

“Afterward, my parents asked, ‘How did it go?’ I answered, ‘They blamed you for making me gay.’ They were incredulous. They knew they were good parents. They didn’t want me to listen to the tape after that.”

On the frequent failure of ex-gay activists’ marriages and ministries:

“The religious right loves to show the wedding pictures. But they never show the divorce papers.”

I found the profile insightful about Besen and ex-ex-gays, but it may suffer a bit in its reduction of ex-gays to a cliche:

Deeply religious gay people, terrified of losing the love of their families and going to hell, enter the revolving-door, heart-breaking life of trying to be an “ex-gay.”

Clearly not all ex-gays are heartbroken. Hostile, at times, toward the civil liberties of gays, non-conservatives, and non-Christians. But heartbroken? Often, no.

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