The Deseret Morning News profiles Glenn Wyler, founder of People Can Change, an online ex-gay ministry. The article gives due attention to Wyler’s journey, his claim to be completely heterosexual, and his scheduled weekend retreat.
The article gives more-than-equal time, however, to psychology and psychiatry professionals that believe reparative therapy is sometimes or often harmful.
Salt Lake City psychologist Lee Beckstead is quoted at length discussing his own studies. He found that while ex-gay therapy harmed some study participants, it actually helped some people adapt to life as a mature same-sex-attracted (gay) individual. None of his Mormon study participants apparently reported an increase in heterosexual arousal. Beckstead is not gung-ho about gay-affirming therapy, however; he favors a balanced approach that allows people to form their own identities.
Apart from one factual glitch (“The APA ceased using the therapy in 1973.”), I am impressed by the article’s fairness and accuracy. In the article, People Can Change’s founder is outnumbered by professional skeptics — but that’s how things are in reality, and it would have been a bit misleading to divide the article 50/50 between amateur ex-gay activists and professional clinicians.
Nevertheless, I would have appreciated considerably more information about Wyler.