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You will find an improved version of this site with more info and up-to-date stories here http://exgayaustralia.blogspot.com/

Exodus has become the umbrella organisation for ‘ex-gay’ ministries globally. Not all ‘ex-gay’ ministries are the same however. Cultural differences affect the beliefs and practices of ‘ex-gay’ ministries out of the United States of America. In the US we have seen ministries such as Exodus become extremely political and often being funded by right wing conservative groups. Media campaigns have been launched, declaring that homosexuality is a choice and that 1,000’s have been converted from homosexuality to heterosexuality. These campaigns are meant to counteract efforts by the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender (GLBT) community to end discrimination and gain equal (not special) rights.

In Australia, New Zealand and Asia ‘ex-gay’ ministries, on the most part, have focused on working with individuals with ‘unwanted’ same-sex-attraction (SSA) and those who’ve been troubled with sexual addiction or abuse. Whilst the last two issues are important ones to address, there still remains the outdated belief that homosexuality is the result of a dysfunctional upbringing, sexual abuse or lack of strong male/female role models. Because of their personal experience, some people have thought this to be true but research discredited these theories some time ago. In fact, from the stories we hear, there is great confusion in ‘ex-gay’ ministries, as they have difficulty understanding the differences between sexual orientation and sexual abuse or sexual addiction. The latter two require help, the former just needs acceptance. Hatred, denial, rejection and suppression of your true self is emotionally, psychologically and spiritually unhealthy. Hence the damaging experience many have had whilst involved in ‘ex-gay’ programs.

Unlike many of the US counterparts, a number of Australian, New Zealand and Asian ‘ex-gay’ ministries are now being honest with people who come to them for help and will state that genuine heterosexuality is not achievable for those who are same-sex-oriented. All they can hope for is a cessation of temptation through constant monitoring and lifelong accountability. A degree of ‘heterosexual functionality’ can be achieved but the gay never goes away. As one Australian ‘ex-gay’ leader put it, ‘you will always walk with a limp

Here is the absolute truth many of us can testify to.You can be gay or lesbian, have a sense of morality and also be a person of faith. This is not self justification, but the reality for so many of us who have educated ourselves and rejected outdated notions that being homosexual means you are sick, perverted or dysfunctional.

This website has been set up to:

  • dispel the ‘ex-gay myth’
  • allow those who’ve attended ‘ex-gay’ programs to connect
  • tell the stories of ‘ex-gays’ survivors
  • stop unnecessary suffering and wasted years

Note: We always welcome an ongoing informed, intelligent, respectful dialogue with ‘ex-gay’ ministries.

Anthony Venn-Brown

info@anthonyvennbrown.com

27 responses to “Home

  1. exactly Blair…..they are a left over from an ill-infiormed era of the 70’s

  2. ‘ex-gay’ programs exist…oh my god what era are you guys from. whether you are gay or straight doesn’t matter…how old are you guys?!

  3. thanks for your comments Mandy…..you might find this post of interest as well.

    http://gayambassador.blogspot.com/2011/07/common-elements-in-ex-gay-stories.html

  4. thanks for your comments Mandy…..you might find this post of interest as well.

    http://gayambassador.blogspot.com/2011/07/common-elements-in-ex-gay-stories.html

  5. Like most therapies, it had it’s hit’s and miss’s. But, today there is a level of understanding that seems to be making steady progress. It can take years for
    SSA to entrench itself, and years to move away from it. The point is, living in harmony with your biology offers an unbelievable peace. The cause isn’t always obvious trauma in childhood…sometimes it is much more subtle. Let’s keep the dialogue open and honest.

  6. Hi Hayden……thanks for sharing about your journey

    Do you know about freedom 2 b[e]. http://www.freedom2b.org/forums

    BTW…….i am now using blogspot

  7. Hi Anthony I have been involved with both Living waters and Exodus here in New Zealand and they didn’t do much in the way of help. I went through a phase of being Ex gay but it didn’t work. I’ve now accepted my SSA so that I don’t struggle with it. I now call myself a christian who has ssa. I used to live in sexual sin now i’m somewhat celibate for our Lord Jesus.
    I have found much comfort in the Lord as I reach out to others who are struggling to accept their SSA based on what their churches believe.
    I have a group on christianster.com for just that.
    I also have a diploma in biblical studies with a pastoral care focus.
    Praise and glory be to our God
    Well done and Be Blessed Anthony
    from hayden

  8. I strongly feel that Gays and Lesbians should be accepted in society. They should not be pushed at a coner nor should they be abandoned. God has kept a promise to each one of us, ” even if a mother forgets her child in the womb, He will not.” Even if the whole world abandons us, He will not.”We are all a JEWEL in the Lords eye, no matter what we are to him. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort, says He. In simple I would put it like this, ” FOR THE LORD COMFORTS HIS PEOPLE AND WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON HIS AFFLICTED ONES.”
    BE BLESSED A THOUSAND TIMES MORE.

  9. Hi Stu….thank for saying hi. it does take a long time. I think its important that we share our stories so that others don’t waste years. Would you be prepare to write your story for me so I can put it on this site please

  10. thanks for the website. I went through the door of hope course and went to exodus. It took a long process to accept and believe nothing can change my sexuality.

  11. no worries Tony……I dont edit peoples comments, everyone is entitled to thier opionion……if the comments are rude, offensive or disrespectful however they may be deleted.

  12. Whoops! Big boo boo on my part. Ever so sorry! Those are my words. I didn’t see the date the comment was posted. ! Please forgive me..I guess the ex-gay label got me seeing red!

    Once again, sorry!

  13. Were my comments edited? The words attributed to me, in this post are not the ones I wrote. What gives?

  14. Hey readers,
    Just wanted to let everyone know that my story of the ex-gay programs and coming out in the church will be on ‘The Hack Half Hour’ on Monday November 17th at 8:30pm on ABC2.

    You can watch the episode on TV or online:

    http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hackhalfhour/default.htm

  15. thanks Peterson……that is very kind of you to pop in. You know I have the utmost respect for the work you and others are doing in the US……I’ll just continue to chip away at things here ‘down under’….hehe.

  16. Anthony thank you so much for the many ways you raise awareness about the Ex-Gay Movement and more importantly the stories of those who srvived it.

  17. I think you make two good points Tony.

    If people say they have ‘unwanted same sex attraction’ the question that needs to be explored is ..why is it ‘unwanted’. My sense is that it is ‘unwanted’ due to social or religious construct as well as the need for acceptance or to be ‘normal’. I know it was those things that created unnecessary stress and suffering for so many years till i finally learned to accept myself and be happy with who I am.

    It takes some time for people to come to the realization that the reason I have a problem with my sexuality is because other heterosexual Christians have a problem with it. For some of us we finally realise it’s not our problem it’s theirs and no longer submit ourselves.

    Those terms ‘gay/homosexual lifestyle’ are a real turn off for me as well. We know that there is no such animal. It’s stereotyping at it’s worst.

    What people refer to as a ‘gay lifestyle’ is a subculture that is exists within the gay community and the heterosexual world.

  18. The problem I have with the whole ex-gay things, no one discusses, how much of this exercise of choice not to practice homosexuality is a reaction to homophobia and heterosexism.

    Secondly, this equation of our sexuality with lifestyle, and heterosexuality with normalcy, is a big turn off to a”respectable” dialogue!

  19. thanks Cho Cho.

    There are other factors to consider here that I believe has discredited the home nuture theory for the cause of homosexuality.

    For many of us brought up several decades ago…..the majority of fathers were distant. it was there role to be an authority figure and provider. It was the same for all my school mates……yet I’m the only one who turned out gay. I’m going to 40 year school reunion in a couple of weeks so I can check that out of course but my assumption is that I’m the only one.

    Another thing to consider is that the distance of the father and the protectiveness of the mother has more to do with their reaction to a sensitive (possibly slightly feminine) male child than their parenting causing it.

  20. avb7,

    The APA website doesn’t contradict any of the claims by the researchers I mentioned (Fisher, Greenberg, and Zucker). None of them think that how one relates to one’s parents is the only relevant factor, just that it’s one factor among others. That’s perfectly compatible with what the APA says.

  21. Hey Duncan….nice to hear from you. it seems like you have been a journey….as we all have I guess.

    I’ve moved from my homosexuality makes me a criminal and mentally ill…to God can help me overcome this evil….to being married is the only way to live….to this ssa will never go away and therefore I’m doomed …..to finally now my sexual orienation is fixed, normal and wholesome….and God is no more concerned about that than He is if i’m right or left handed….the life i live is more important.

    I do however respect each individuals right to choose the life they live……and if they are gay and they choose to marry then I have to respect that decision. Personally, I’d rather live an authentic life of openess and honesty.

    If I do have a problem, its the teaching that says you are somehow dysfunctional if you are same sex orientated instead of opposite sex oriented…..and that a person can change their sexual orientation.

  22. Hi cho cho…..I think the people you have quoted are very very much in the minority. Especially Nicolosi. Mainstream health professionals are in agreement on sexual orientation.

    http://www.apahelpcenter.org/articles/article.php?id=31

    I used to believe the theory myself based on the experience of having three sisters. I thought this is what made me gay. That was about 30 years ago now………science has done much more research. ….I’ve read much more…and finally realised that being gay didn’t actually damage me in any way…..only trying to change it.

  23. Hi Guys
    Welcome to the minefield of sexual freedom :)

    Please give the references for your statement that “research discredited these theories some time ago”? I would love to go and check it out!

    Whereas it is important for all sides of the ex-gay story to be told (and there are many!) and people to be disabused of their notions that it is easy to get over being homosexual, I feel it is equally important for people to know that it is possible to live a happy, contented life forgoing the gay lifestyle even if you have same-sex attractions. I also feel it is important to point out that people are free to act on their convictions that homosexuality is not for them, and do not have to be subjected to paternalistic efforts to “help them see the light”– not something I am accusing you of as your site is still so new…

    I am sure that the shades of opinion that have evolved after decades of debating about these issues will no doubt allow for tolerance. Whereas I am ex-gay, and started out saying that homosexuality was wrong full-stop, I now have come to understand that we DO have choices to make and as long as we make informed ones, and have support in undertaking the lives that ensue, we can be freed from ideological and religious determinism that would seek to trap us in lifestyles that underwrite and support the opinions of others and justify THEIR choices– whether they be religious or pro-gay fanatics!

    In short, what I am saying is this: gay and straight are not IT. Between the two are included a whole range of shades that allow for a spectrum of religious, sexual and social nuances that include the possibility of (for instance) living a heterosexual life, married with family, and not indulging homsexual desires out of CHOICE, and not as an expression of some sinister plot to subdue gays.

    This could be part of the next phase in the development of a freedom that’s not limited to the (understandably) reactionary efforts of one group or another to secure their little bit of turf come hell or high water!

    Blessings in your Journey!
    Duncan Bouwer

  24. “Whilst the last two issues are important ones to address, there still remains the outdated belief that homosexuality is the result of a dysfunctional upbringing, sexual abuse or lack of strong male/female role models. Because of their personal experience, some people have thought this to be true but research discredited these theories some time ago. ”

    One often hears this. Personally, I think this so-called “discredited” theory is true, and I think that not only because of personal experience, but because I have gone to the trouble of reading some of the literature on the subject.

    Seymour Fisher and Roger Greenberg were mainstream researchers who considered this theory at least partially supported by the evidence. Their work is cited by Joseph Nicolosi in his A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality. Kenneth Zucker is another example of a mainstream scientist who has indicated that theories like this may be at least partially correct. See eg Gender Identity Disorders and Psychosexual Problems in Children and Adolescents.

  25. thanks Tomas…..have you personally had experience in this area

  26. Tomas Finnerty

    Congratulations on starting this site. I wish you every success in helping people accept who they are and recover from the intensely damaging effects imposed by “ex-gay” teachings. Well done Anthony.

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