The next time I photograph Love Won Out founder and former Exodus chairman John Paulk in a gay bar, he may actually pose for the picture. According to his Facebook page, he is now interested in “men and women.”
For those who do not remember, on Sept. 19, 2000 I photographed Paulk inside Mr. P’s, a Washington, DC gay bar. At the time, he was flirting with a colleague of mine from the Human Rights Campaign. Paulk had just come from a so-called “pro-family” conference and then went to this homosexual watering hole to unwind.
When I photographed him, he tried to take my camera. I fended him off and then he ran away.
Explaining the incident on James Dobson’s radio show, Paulk said that he had walked into “Satan’s Trap,” which I immediately thought was a great name for a leather bar. On the same show, Paulk said that it was his second visit to a gay bar.
The “ex-gay” posterboy who graced the cover of Newsweek, appeared on Oprah and Good Morning America, and a plethora of other shows was slowly eased out of Focus on the Family and Exodus, with his role increasingly diminished, along with his credibility. After all, there is not much of a market for an “ex-gay” who flirts with men in gay saloons after a tough day at anti-gay symposiums.
Looking for a new gig and a fresh start, Paulk moved his “ex-lesbian” wife Anne and their children to Portland, OR. Anne continued with the “ex-gay” con game, but John reinvented himself as a fancy chef and founded Mezzaluna, which specializes in fine catering.The website looks pretty good and his business appears to be going quite well.
He had floated beneath the radar, until recently. In the past year, I have been contacted by a few people who said that Paulk is chummy with the gays in Portland. And the pictures (see below) of the hot guys he employs at his restaurant aren’t helping with speculation about his new life. Unless I missed it, I could find nothing about his family on his Facebook Page.
I don’t think the final chapter has been written on Paulk. But I must say, he looks rather happy surrounded by those strapping lads and with his new gig as Master Chef.
But what would James Dobson say?