When I was putting this together a week ago I thought it’d just be me out there.
-Wayne Besen

Hearing that Wayne needed help as well as authorities on the exgay movement at his event in Dallas I was fortunate to enough to have a donor generously provide for my travel. This is the first time I had ever been to any sort of ex(ex)gay protest and it was an amazing experience.

About 20 people total showed up, Wayne and myself were the only non-locals. Impressively the AP covered the event, see their photo here. There was also a reporter from the Dallas Voice who shot video interviews with most of our group.

Three local MCCs sent representatives including Trinity MCC Arlington, MCC Dallas and Agape MCC Fort Worth. There was also someone from the Cathedral of Hope, PFLAG Fort Worth and a survivor of the Living Hope program.

We stood at the driveway to Vista Ridge Baptist Church in Carrollton from about 8:00 to 10:00 and waved, smiled and held our signs up to cars as they entered. About half the people entering glanced away and the other half waved and smiled with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Several cars stopped to chat and several people walked out from the church itself to “see what this is all about.” Everyone involved was friendly and amiable.

The Rev. Colleen Darraugh from MCC Dallas was speaking with the passengers of an SUV who surprisingly seemed unaware of what kind of information and viewpoints would be presented at the conference. She informed them the stated purpose of the conference was to convince people one can’t be gay and Christian and that it’s possible to change your sexual orientation. Colleen told me she consistently found participants she spoke with were unaware of the extreme and single-sided viewpoints the conference would present.

The majority of people arriving for the conference were white male-female couples. Very few of the cars had a third passenger, who would usually be a young male aged 15-30.

The weather that day reached a high of 102 and as you can see from Wayne’s photos (which I’m actually in since it wasn’t my camera) I was wearing slacks, loafers and a dress shirt. The high for that day was 102.

For my photos of the event go here.

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