Christine Bakke and Peterson Toscano are co-founders of Beyond Ex-Gay and co-hosts (with Soulforce) of an ex-gay survivors’ conference scheduled to coincide with the Exodus annual conference at the end of June.
Bakke and Toscano have invited the ex-gay leadership of Exodus International to a private dinner June 29. Their open letter to Exodus is posted at the Beyond Ex-Gay web site. Here’s an excerpt:
Too often once we leave your programs, you never hear about our lives and what happens to us. Most ministries do not have aftercare programs or any formal means to follow-up on participants. Some stories you do not get to hear. If you do, our stories can be simplified by the press or infused with anger or hurt. In hopes of giving you the opportunity to hear about our experiences and the harm that we felt came to us as a result of our pursuit of an ex-gay life, we would like to invite you to join us for a private dinner on Friday, June 29, 2007.
This dinner may present Exodus with an opportunity not only to learn about the actual outcomes of Exodus programs from those “tens of thousands” whom Exodus claims as graduates, but also to reconsider aspects of Exodus programs that achieve the opposite of Exodus’ stated objectives.
After all, why should Exodus continue to sponsor local programs that merely create ever-growing numbers of openly gay people of faith?