The Boston Globe published an article on Sunday by Tanya Erzen about the ex-gay movement. Erzen focused her observations on New Hope Ministry in San Rafael, Frank Worthen’s ex-gay camp.
Erzen’s piece seems thoughtful and is neither a hit piece nor a glossy repackaging of ex-gay propaganda. Perhaps this is because she did not limit her research to an interview. She spent several years of research including visiting New Hope and corresponding with several participants over a period of years. Her article shows awareness of the motivations of the participants, the methods of the ministries, and the dogma about causation and healing.
In the course of my research, I interviewed men and women in ex-gay programs, attended classes, dinners, conferences, and parties; and I maintained relationships with men and women affiliated with the ex-gay movement over a span of several years, and remain in contact with some of them. I never converted to Christianity, but my relationships with people at New Hope altered how I understood their faith and their desire to change their sexualities.
Erzen’s work has resulted in a book to be released this month entitled Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement.