Truth Wins Out has discovered that Focus on the Family’s “ex-lesbian” activist Melissa Fryrear no longer works for Focus on the Family. She was one of the featured speakers at Focus on the Family’s Love Won Out conference. She is best remembered for her melodramatic, tear-filled presentation and for claiming that, “I never met one (gay) woman who had not been sexually violated or sexually threatened in her life. I never met one woman. And I never met one (gay) man either, that had not been sexually violated or sexually seduced in his life.”
Fryrear was also noted for discussing in great detail her transformation from luberjack-to-lipstick lesbian. According to Fryrear:
“During my years of restoration, I also began to learn about this thing called womanhood. Goodness! Who knew there was so much to learn: plucking eyebrows, hair bleaches, hair waxings, facial mud masks, eye lash curlers, manicures, pedicures, push-up bras, tummy tuckers, rear-end boosters, last year’ colors, and next year’ fashions?
I also began to learn about boys. Let me say that if anyone thinks puberty is tough at fifteen, try it in your thirties!”
This afternoon, I was was browsing Exodus International’s shiny, new Love Won Out website and noticed that Fryrear was not listed as one of the featured speakers. I called to see if she was still working at Focus on the Family and a receptionist confirmed that she was not. Her departure is recent, with her last identified as a Focus on the Family employee on March 30.
It appears that she may have been a victim of cutbacks. Focus on the Family’s budget has fallen from $151 million in 2008 to $136 million this year. In 2004, there were 1,400 employees; today, there are 830.
Fryrear’s departure signals Focus on Family’s gradual shift away from the ex-gay industry (although they still do actively promote the ex-gay myth). I can’t imagine what Fryrear will do now, considering her job for the past several years was trying to convince people that she is a heterosexual (although she had never had relationships with men). I’m glad I’m not her career counselor, but she might consider beauty school with all her practice at eyebrow plucking and facial mud masks.
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Back to Exodus, I’ll give them credit for creating an exciting, new website to peddle its scientifically bankrupt misinformation. Interestingly, they barely seem to focus on real, live “ex-gay” people. According to the site:
If you are the parent, friend or loved one of someone living homosexually; a pastor, lay counselor or youth minister; a therapist or educator, you’ll want to attend this conference. Nationally known Christian experts will help equip you to minister in truth and compassion to a loved one who deals with same-sex attractions, respond to misinformation in our culture and defend biblical beliefs with grace and understanding.
Of course, there are no “experts” on the panel as advertised. And, a plausible case can be made that there are no real Christians either. But, I will concede that there are a number of “nationally known” talking heads who are pretending to have a clue about the lives of LGBT people.
But, where are the real “ex-gays”? You know, people with real jobs and real lives who have actually gone from gay-to-straight. Why does the new version of LWO use the same tired, over-exposed handful of paid, highly-trained spokespeople we have seen 100 times before? It seems that Exodus has trouble finding genuine success stories to share and settles on a recycled cast of slick characters who inevitably have products to sell on the lucrative right wing speaking circuit.
One wonders if the conference should be renamed “Loot Wins Out”.