noe2.bmpIn 2004, Dr. Warren Throckmorton produced I Do Exist, a video that profiled five individuals who identified themselves as ex-gay. One of these, Noe Gutierrez, was given particular attention because he had previously been included in a supportive video about gay youth called It’s Elementary. Throckmorton’s video was considered by those with an anti-gay agenda as a refutation of the pro-gay video.

There has been some speculation for a while that Gutierrez was no longer a supporter of the ex-gay movement. In a public statement dated January 7, 2007, Noe Gutierrez verifies this and explains his decision to leave the effort.

I do not regret my words on-screen. I am a person who believes in change, especially that espoused by an active Christian faith. However, I do regret the divisive message of the ex-gay movement and that my story became a vehicle for that message. I personally have had a change of heart in the matter of a person’s sexual orientation. It has been my experience in the years since joining (and later leaving) the ex-gay movement that a person’s sexual orientation may or may not be an area impacted by the change that comes by way of a diligent Christian faith.

As for Gutierrez’ personal change he says the following

For those left wondering about my own sexuality, I have decided no longer make this small part of my identity a topic for public discussion.

We will respect his wishes. Gutierrez appears to have much matured and seems to be strong in his faith. We congratulate him on his efforts to distance himself from harmful deeds done in his name and wish him much happiness and peace. We also hope that anti-gay activists will resist the temptation to demonize Gutierrez for his decisions.

On his website on the same day Dr. Throckmorton has announced that he is retiring the video.

Can’t think of a better place to announce that the documentary I Do Exist will be no longer be available as of February 1, 2007. I am nearly out of them and I do not intend to reproduce another batch.

Throckmorton also announced a change in the focus of his efforts:

My current work does not emphasize changing sexual orientation as much as it does achieving congruence with chosen beliefs and values (which may or may not lead to change of attractions).

While I may disagree with Throckmorton on the bases of such values, I think that efforts towards a life lived consistent with one’s personal values are more likely to result in success and happiness than efforts to change one’s orientation. I commend Dr. Throckmorton on this shift in emphasis.

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