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Tidmus on the 'ex-gay for pay' movement

Another beauty from Mike Tidmus, a take-off on the cover of the book by John Paulk, who is now probably one of the most famous “ex-gays” ever, considering he was famously caught by author Wayne Besen (of Anything But Straight) exiting a DC gay bar (see snippets from that encounter below).

Paulk first used the excuse that he just needed to use the restroom, but then he spent the next 45 minutes chatting up the patrons in the bar before running away as Wayne snapped photos of the happy heterosexual.

Mike calls this piece, Cash Won Out:

Also check out Brent Hartinger’s piece at The Big Gay Picture, Poor Ex-Gay Groups: Just so Victimized and Misunderstood.


Here’s what happened when Paulk went into the DC bar, back in 2000 (SoVo).

“I was walking around DuPont [Circle], and I needed to use the bathroom, so I walked in, but I did not know Mr. P’s was a gay bar,” Paulk said. “Once I was inside, I thought, ‘Oh, this is a gay bar, and I probably shouldn’t be in here.'”

…”I thought I’ll go in and go to the bathroom,” Paulk said. “I wandered back, thinking it was weird to be in a gay bar again. I got a glass of water, sat down and chatted with patrons, including a gentleman who was married.” Paulk said he had not been inside a gay bar since 1987.

…Paulk said he was in the gay bar “only 20 minutes,” primarily to use a bathroom. Yet Herschaft said Paulk was in the bar “at least 40 minutes” and socialized with a number of men during that time, including “speaking intimately with one man.”

Paulk denied encountering Besen until he exited the bar. Besen disagreed and provided a photo of Paulk inside the gay bar. In an interview Tuesday night, the bouncer at Mr. P’s, Robert Rosa, confirmed that Paulk encountered Besen inside the bar. Rosa confronted Besen as he attempted to photograph Paulk, enforcing bar policy prohibiting photographs inside the establishment.

Paulk said that after the confrontation with Besen, he exited the establishment out of fear for his life. “He came to me and said he was being pursued, and asked if there was another exit other than the front door,” said John Mako, owner of Mr. P’s.

Herschaft recalled Paulk as calm until the encounter with Besen. “He was smiling, laughing, and socializing,” Herschaft said. “He offered to buy me a drink.”

“Until I tried to photograph him, I would say he was having a gay old time,” Besen said. “I didn’t know that using the bathroom involved 40 minutes of socializing in a bar and offering drinks to strangers.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding