The term “ex-gay” is probably the most common one used to describe people who enter into reparative therapy. One can call themselves “ex-gay” even if they have not shaken their sexual attraction to the same sex. After years of public scrutiny, groups like Exodus International can no longer declare outright that their single mission is changing one’s sexual orientation from completely homosexual to completely heterosexual. Even their leaders declare publicly that they “still struggle” and must pray daily to have the strength to “deny that which comes naturally” to them.

Recently, it seems the term “post-gay” has started to become more popular. Peter Ould and and Exodus V.P. Randy Thomas have adopted it. Rather than declaring one’s self “ex-gay,” as if nothing about them is “gay” anymore, “post-gay” supposedly acknowledges the fact that same sex attraction remains despite abstinence and prayer – the important thing being that one does not continue to identify as “gay,” but as “Christian” instead. It becomes about the “journey in Christ” rather than actually changing that core attraction. In fact, it is now apparently misleading to even refer to Exodus as an organization that “seeks to rid gay men of same sex attraction.”

It seems that these different labels can be confusing. Someone can be considered to be on the path to righteousness so long as they aren’t calling themselves “gay” out right, but at the same time, that person can still be as homosexually-attracted at the core of their being as they were before they entered into a ministry.

What do you think about labels in the “ex-gay” movement?

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