Videos Featuring “Ex-Gay’ Survivors and Sexual Orientation Experts To Debut Weekly In February

NEW YORK — TruthWinsOut.org (TWO) introduced a new Internet video ad today featuring openly gay former Major League Baseball player Billy Bean. In the ad, Bean challenges the long-held “ex-gay” theory that playing sports will help turn gay men into heterosexuals. This innovative ad signals the countdown to the launch of TWO’ dynamic new website, featuring an extensive and unprecedented video catalogue of “ex-gay” survivors and sexual orientation experts. Each week leading up to the March 3 debut of the new website — TWO will present its original videos.

data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/poIxOuhx7MI?fs=1″>You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

“I am proud to work with TruthWinsOut.org to challenge the harmful myths and misconceptions spread by the “ex-gay’ industry,” said Billy Bean, author of “Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life in and out of Major-League Baseball.’ “The notion that playing sports makes one heterosexual is patently absurd and I am happy to dispute this bizarre notion. It is unfortunate that “ex-gay’ organizations continue to cynically prey on the vulnerabilities of desperate and insecure people.”

“TruthWinsOut.org’ website will be America’ finest resource countering the “ex-gay’ myth,” said Besen. “The videos we will introduce over the next month are a snapshot of the depth and expertise we bring to this topic. For decades, “ex-gay’ organizations had a huge advantage because they effectively disseminated their false messages. Our unique videos and website closes this gap by serving as a powerful educational tool that addresses the “ex-gay’ issue from every conceivable angle.”

The videos and website highlight an active and robust year, where TWO will challenge the “ex-gay” industry across America. TWO is calling for volunteers nationally to come forward and help us in the places we will counter “ex-gay’ rallies. In 2008, it is also a major priority for the organization to videotape the testimonials of lesbian and minority survivors. If the so-called “ex-gay’ ministries have harmed you, please contact TWO and tell your important story.

TWO urges all news organizations, websites and blogs to consider posting these informative videos to help GLBT people who are still struggling to accept themselves. The release schedule for the debut of TWO’ new videos is as follows: NOTE: Survivors and experts in videos are available for interviews.

Monday, Feb. 4

Billy Bean: Former Major League Baseball player and out gay man Billy Bean comments on “ex-gay” claims that playing sports will help make gay men heterosexual. “Just the basic foundation of what they are trying to market, is ludicrous,” Bean says in the Internet ad.

Susan Stanskas: A mom, Susan Stanskas, discusses how ‘ex-gay’ organizations divide families – in the name of family values – and even cause some gay teenagers to commit suicide. In this video, she urges parents to accept their gay and lesbian children and warns about the harm done by rejecting them. “Would you rather have a gay child, or a dead child?” she poignantly asks.

data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/w1lFemAv9kw?fs=1″>You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Clint Trout: A thirteen-year survivor of the “ex-gay” industry, Clint attended several Exodus International ministries – including a few that offered live exorcisms to rid clients of the “demon of homosexuality.” Other groups offered “laughing therapy” – which is demonstrated on this video.

data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/E16X_kknZr4?fs=1″>You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Monday, Feb. 11

Dr. Andrea Macari: New York therapist Andrea Macari answers your questions about the harm of ‘ex-gay’ therapy. She addresses the sensitive topic matter that you always wanted to ask. Dr. Macari also offers practical advice on coming out and finding a good therapist. She is a nationally known expert and media personality who has appeared on: The O’Reilly Factor, Nancy Grace, Montel, and The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet.

Scott Melendez: “Ex-gay’ survivor Scott Melendez discusses how he escaped the ‘ex-gay’ trap after seven years of hell. This video details the harm of ‘ex-gay’ ministries and highlights how they are ineffective and even dangerous.

Brian Nesbitt: An “ex-gay” survivor, Brian went to NARTH-affiliated therapist Dr. Chris Austin (later convicted of sexually abusing clients). When Brian couldn’t change, Dr. Austin introduced him to “rubber band therapy.” After this failed, Dr. Austin tried aversion therapy, using ammonia. Brian escaped the “ex-gay” horrors and has gone on to live as an out gay man.

Monday, Feb. 18

The Michael Johnston Scandal
: In Aug. 2003, TruthWinsOut.org founder Wayne Besen received a call from Virginia attorney Michael Hamar. He had a client who believed he may have been infected with HIV from ‘ex-gay’ leader Michael Johnston. Johnston was the founder of National Coming Out of Homosexuality Day. He was Rev. Jerry Falwell’s personal ex-gay leader. Johnston also starred in a video for the American Family Association, “It’s Not Gay, and an ad for Coral Ridge Ministries. Additionally, he partnered with anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera, who paraded Johnston around and hawked his tale of change. In this exclusive TWO video, we interview Virginia attorney Michael Hamar, who represented one of Johnston’ victims.

Victoria Lavin: For thirty years, Victoria Lavin thought reading Scripture would make her straight. When the miracle “cure” did not work, she numbed her pain with drugs and alcohol. In recovery for substance abuse, Victoria finally realized she was fine, just as she was. She came out to her pastor and he condemned her. Thankfully, Victoria’s daughter was there for support in her moment of need. As a result, Victoria reconnected with God and entered seminary. Today, she is out and proud, living in rural Nebraska.

Desert Stream Scandal: ‘Ex-gay’ survivor Jaylen Braiden attended Desert Stream and Portland Fellowship ministries as a teenager. While in Desert Stream, Jaylen was taken advantage of by an Exodus team leader, who later got in trouble for sexually abusing other minors. Exodus has yet to come clean and publicly discuss the Desert Stream scandal.

Chris Camp: For many years, Chris Camp was a true believer in the “ex-gay” myth, only to later realize he was living in denial. In this video, he discusses how he had sex with women, prayed, tried sports and expensive therapy to go from gay to straight. Camp also details how Exodus members would caress his hand during prayer meetings – highlighting how no one had “changed.”

Monday, Feb. 25

Dr. Dean Hamer: TruthWinsOut.org interviewed famed molecular biologist Dean Hamer. In this video, he discusses biology, genetics and homosexuality. He also debunks the misinformation put forth by “ex-gay” organizations, such as Exodus and Focus on the Family.

Dr. Jack Drescher: In this video, the foremost expert and scholar on GLBT mental health answers questions on the efficacy of “ex-gay’ therapy. Drescher is a renowned scholar on issues of sexual orientation and a celebrated author.

Brent Almond: Brent Almond suffered through the ‘ex-gay’ ministries. In this video, he opens up to TruthWinsOut.org about his harrowing experience.

Nick Cavnar: For decades, Cavnar suppressed his sexuality, married and joined a Michigan cult that promised to cure him. This exclusive video details his long road to self-acceptance.

TruthWinsOut.org is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the “ex-gay” myth and educates America about gay life. For more information, visit www.TruthWinsOut.org.

-30-