Learning to Be
a Gay or Ex-gay
An Expell member once commented, after what was a particularly difficult meeting for him, that “the road to becoming straight certainly throws you a lot of curves.” During this meeting, he had confessed that he had, after several months hiatus, returned to visiting Internet sites containing homosexual pornography. In a small group discussion, he explained that, over the course of the last few months, he had been having difficulties at work and had also been remembering more details of a childhood molestation. He felt hurt and angry as he remembered these details and prayed to God to help him handle these memories and forgive. He tried reading the Bible when he wanted to get on line, but even this activity did not help. Eventually, in spite of his shame and desire to live a heterosexual life, he gave in and connected to a pornographic Web site. He was embarrassed, frustrated, and discouraged by what he called a “backslide,” perceiving that his hard work toward progressing out of his homosexuality was not paying off as it should. By telling the group what he had done, he hoped to get the help and guidance necessary to navigate such “curves” so that he could continue down the road of an ex-gay Christian.
This man’s “backslide” is an illustration of the kind of difficulties both Accept and Expell members experienced in their efforts to heal and become either gay or ex-gay Christians. When the men first joined the groups, newly convinced that their respective group could help solve their problems, and learned that damning aspects of their