The ex-gay industry is a multimillion-dollar business run by powerful anti-gay lobby groups, such as Focus on the Family. There is not a single community in America that is not touched by the ex-gay message. These organizations push their ambitious agenda though a number of ways. This includes launching sophisticated advertising campaigns, lobbying statehouses and congress and organizing conferences across the country, where “ex-gay” spokespeople tell large audiences how Jesus delivered them from homosexuality.
To counter their national campaign of disinformation, we must all play a vital role. There are several ways in which YOU can help in your local community. Together, we can make a difference and educate America about the harm of the ex-gay myth. Here are a few ways you can assist us:
Tell your story: The best way to prevent future harm from happening to other people is to share your story. Your experience in the ex-gay ministries or reparative therapy can serve as a strong testament to why joining these groups is dangerous and ineffective. You have the power to make a difference and change the future for people who are being seduced by the empty promises of ex-gay organizations. Please send Truth Wins Out a copy of your written or video testimony. Please keep videos under 5 minutes, as they are most effective in this format.
Organize a protest: Ex-gay conferences rotate locations each year, to maximize their reach. If one is coming to your area, help organize a protest action. This will help teach the public what these dangerous groups are really about, and serve as a powerful educational platform to inform citizens in your area.
Organize a forum: One way to counter the ex-gay message is by organizing an educational forum that offers a positive message. This event can include experts on the ex-gay myth, affirming pastors who can talk about homosexuality and the Bible, parents who unconditionally accept their GLBT children and former ex-gays who were damaged by their experiences in these groups.
RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT TWO
Flyers: A fun way to educate people about TWO is to drop off our flyers at gay establishments, such as restaurants and bars. Another idea is to ask a local bar owner if you can set up a booth and engage the customers, while handing our flyers. This is a great way to have a night out on the town, while helping the GLBT community.
Pride Event: Volunteer at a TWO GLBT Pride booth. Check to see if we will have a booth at Pride in your area. If not, consider raising the money for a booth, so we can have a presence in your local Pride festival.
House Party: Consider hosting a house party to raise money for TWO. Or, consider hosting a Sunday “Tea for TWO” event to further awareness and help fun our fight for fairness.
EDUCATE THE COMMUNITY
Host a movie night: Another possibility is to host a movie night and show one of several films that focus on the ex-gay ministries. This is a fun way to drive home the danger of these organizations and rally your local community.
Invite a speaker: Ex-gay organizations often gain free media attention when their leaders are brought in to speak in local venues. Our side also has many enlightening and entertaining speakers on this topic. Consider inviting them to speak in your local community. This can be an excellent way for student groups, civil rights organizations, pride events, and religious institutions to raise awareness on this controversial subject.
HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE
Monitor a ministry: Many states have ex-gay ministries associated with Exodus International, Homosexuals Anonymous or similar organizations. Sign up for your local ex-gay ministry’ newsletter to learn about what they are up to. You might be surprised on what you will find. If an item is particularly newsworthy, such as a fallen leader, you can report your finding to TWO. There are several hundred ex-gay ministries across America — far too many for us to keep up with on a regular basis. We rely on you to help us stay abreast of the latest trends and news from ex-gay organizations in your area.
Visit an “ex-gay’ group: The techniques and theories put forth by ex-gay organizations are often bizarre and antiquated. Inevitably, the more Americans see what goes on inside these groups, the more skeptical they become. You can make a difference by visiting these groups and reporting to TWO and your local community about what occurs in their meetings. Often, it will just be prayers and the singing of hymns. However, on many occasions, you will witness the odd and outrageous.
Write a letter to the editor: If your local newspaper writes a story on ex-gay ministries, hold them accountable for fair and accurate coverage. TWO can help you craft an effective letter to your newspaper’ editor that will ensure correct information reaches your local community.
Write an op-ed: If an ex-gay event is scheduled to visit your town, TWO can help you write and place a successful op-ed. This will help ensure the public hears our message, as well as understands that the ex-gay myth is based on discredited research and disinformation.
Editorial board meeting: In some cases, it may be necessary to meet with the editors of your local newspaper or news directors of your community television or radio stations. If a high profile ex-gay symposium is coming to your town, a preemptive meeting with these individuals can help ensure they are informed on the latest research and equipped to appropriately cover the upcoming event. Our opposition thrives on ignorance and by educating the media, you can put ex-gay programs at a decisive disadvantage. TWO can assist you with setting up and effectively conducting editorial board meetings.
Blog: If you are a blogger, consider investigating and writing about your local ex-gay organization and educate people about how these groups do harm to desperate and vulnerable clients — particularly young people.