I spent about two years in Love in Action, a residential ex-gay program in Memphis, TN that offered “freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ.” They not deliver, and the costs incurred were colossal. Not just the money, but the dreadful toll on my family and me.

This video playfully looks at the way LIA protected us from movies that would mess up our recovery. Learn what is in and what is out and why Biblical films were banned after the unfortunate “Joseph Incident”.

This one was difficult and painful to do, but essential to understand the cruelty and thoughtlessness of a place like Love in Action.  I talk about the Family and Friends Weekend when they terrorized our family members, blaming parents and shaming us by forcing us to talk about a moment when we hit rock bottom sexually. It was horrible. They still continue this practice today.  I also blogged about the family thing and the reaction I got from an ex-gay leader when I told him about it:

In the past year I have shared my family’s experience with several ex-gay leaders. Many expressed shock at what happened at Love in Action. But when I spoke with someone who is slated to speak at Love Won Out this weekend about all that happened with my mom and the years of doubt and torment she suffered, he shot back, “Healthy people ask for what they need.” I said, “Wait, what!?” He continued, “If your mom was having problems, she should have gotten some help.” But my mom had already been burnt by “experts,” and I know she didn’t want to expose herself to more hurt. But even if she could of or should of talked to someone to help her understand the issues better, what a pitiful response from this Christian leader.

This sort of thoughtless, insensitive, reactionary behavior needs to stop. Many ex-gay programs like Love in Action make mistakes. They do things on a trial and error basis sampling whatever teachings drop into their laps. (I know because in two years there, we ran through several teachings and practices). These program leaders, who claim they care about people and families, need to listen to the stories of the many people who can point to the harm they experienced at the hands of ex-gay minsters. These are not a few isolated stories. Just in the past 10 months dozens of people have come forward to share their stories publicly. These are not paid professional activists or lobbyist, but people who stand up to bear witness to what they have seen and heard and experienced.

This weekend in Memphis, Focus on the Family and Exodus International will hold Love Won Out, and folks in the LGBT community have partners with Beyond Ex-Gay to put together Deconstructing the Ex-Gay Myth-A Weekend of Action & Art

peterson toscano

peterson toscano