Bilgrimage offers a heartbreaking, first-hand account of an ex-gay nightmare: a Christian family virtually destroyed by the false promise of ex-gay cures and ex-gay myths about sexual orientation.
A friend recently discovered that his ex-partner of 20 years, who left to become ex-gay, had died a year earlier.
The ex-partner and his sister were raised by abusive preacher parents who battered, permanently scarred, and publicly humiliated the sister — not just for “fornicating,” but for doing it with a black man. When the ex-partner initially came out to the preacher parents, the father demanded surgery to remove the clitoris that (he knew for a fact) grows in gay men’s throats.
After leaving the friend to become ex-gay, the partner entered a doomed second marriage to his ex-wife. Since ex-gay programs and prayers don’t work, eventually the remarriage failed.
After that, ex-gay exorcism killed him.
According to Bilgrimage,
He returned to church, got the demon of homosexuality expelled from his body, and had the cancer from which he was suffering due to AIDS healed. Or so he thought, until it came back with a vengeance and proved terminal. By the time he died, it had metastasized from his lungs to his brain. We now wonder if some of his aberrant behavior in the period leading up to his break with all of us was due to the encroachment of the cancer on the brain.
After the ex-partner’s death, the funeral program erased his last 20 years from existence, concealed his battle against AIDS, and lied to funeral-goers about the real cause of death.
The program totally erases the last 20 years of our friend’ adult life. Gone. Never happened. Vanished. Out of sight. Out of mind.
Because this is what the churches, many of them, and the people in the churches, want for us who are gay: gone; never happened; out of sight and mind. Our presence creates confusion. It causes problems. It makes folks uncomfortable. They have to think about what they’d rather not think about‚Äîe.g., about mutable gender roles and how society and church allocate power to males and females on an arbitrary basis.
Erasing us is easier. Pretending is simpler. If we ourselves would only participate in the pretense and welcome being erased, how much happier churches would be. And how much healthier our society would be.
Bilgrimage observes that, like this family, evangelist Rick Warren seeks to mischaracterize and erase gay people, rather than face the implications of the simple fact that sexual orientation exists, that it is primarily biological, and that while behavior can be changed, orientation cannot.
But Rick Warren and his weekly ex-gay program are not the only threat to family well-being.
The Exodus Church Network and the Exodus network of 100-plus half-baked “ministries” operate across the globe without public disclosure of success/failure rates, without patient safeguards, without a professional code of ethics, and without sexual honesty. So long as Exodus’ abusive consumer-health scams continue, disguised as pop religion, ex-gays will continue to die and families will continue to suffer almost unspeakable tragedy.