Who says ex-gays don’t have a sense of humor?

Just a warning: the above clip will probably make you laugh even though it is at the expense of the “ex-gay” movement.

Randy Thomas, vice president of Exodus International, is rightly embarrassed by Richard Cohen’s appearance on the Daily Show:

The guy on the video announces Richard as the foremost expert on “healing the gay” or something like that. Richard is not the foremost of anything except making a spectacle of himself and completely misrepresenting the larger “ex-gay” movement. He is not a part of Exodus and apparently not willing to take our private feedback and accountability to heart.

I have no idea why Richard Cohen does these things. He’s clearly an embarrassment to the “ex-gay” movement. (And by the way, I’ve refrianed from using scare quotes around the term “ex-gay” because I don’t want to offend. Now that Exodus officials are doing it, does that mean I should resume the practice? Okay, never mind. I’ll leave that for another time. Back to Cohen…)

Right. I have no idea why Richard Cohen does these things. (I said that already!) But I do think that one of the major issues that need to be addressed is the lack of a clear and frank description of what the ex-gay movement — with or without quotes — is all about. How can they expect anyone else to find their way through the confusion when ex-gay groups themselves decline to clarify things for themselves?

Is it therapy or is it ministry? Is it faith that brings “change” or is it psychology? And if there is a psychological component, how is anybody to know that Cohen is a charlatan and someone else isn’t? After all, there are no standards to guide anyone on this. There’s just Exodus’ word to go on, unless you would rather believe NARTH or Cohen. Or the guy’s voice on the subliminal therapy tape from The Daily Show.

As long as ex-gay groups continue to be unclear about what they do and how they do it, as long as they continue to talk around gays and lesbians instead of speaking plainly using ordinary language that everyone can understand, this confusion is likely to continue.

Maybe a good starting point would be to advise me on whether I should put “ex-gay” in quotes or not.

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