Update: I thought Lisa Ling did a better job last night — and it was good to see a reporter follow-up on the “ex-gay” myth. If she continues to check-in on the “ex-gay” subjects she featured, it will not bode well for Exodus, as people rarely complete the dead-end curriculum of this fraudulent program.
In terms of the segment, the utter misery of the poor “ex-gay” man named Christan shone brightly through Exodus’ propaganda. Ling successfully showed how he was going through trapeze-artist-like contortions to be something that he is not.
After scrapping his beloved art, practically living in the gym (yeah, that’s so straight) and avoiding gay bars — Christian still came across as queer as a three dollar bill stuck in Perez Hilton’s leopard skin g-string. It is obvious to all but the most brainwashed fundamentalists how unsuccessful and strained the entire de-gaying process truly is.
Ex-Gay minister Janet Boynes also came across as a control freak, hovering ominously in the background over her struggling “poster boy” to make sure he did not fall off the hetero-wagon. It was apparent that she would destroy Christian’s life without blinking to justify her self-serving religious delusions. I hope the ever-enterprising Boynes sells enough books to make undermining Christian’s life worth her while.
Finally, there was a gigantic contrast between the sorrowful and hopeless life led by Christian and the genuine hopefulness and happiness exhibited in another segment about a person who transitioned from female to male. This individual looked completely fulfilled (and very attractive) and headed towards a new, bright future. Meanwhile, the tunnel seemed to only get darker for the sad “ex-gay” who was eliminating every trace of individuality to conform to Janet Boynes twisted view of heterosexuality and manhood.
In my view, Ling should strongly consider doing another show from the perspective of “ex-gay” survivors. What is it like to be a teenager and be bombarded by negative images of your sexual orientation? How does propaganda from the “ex-gay” industry affect these teenagers? What are the motivations that would cause a person to enter an “ex-gay” program? What are the psychological effects of going through these sham ministries? Are “ex-gay” programs making false promises and misleading clients with deceptive advertising? Why do they talk so much about demons in their books and other products they peddle to desperate people? Would Exodus activists be willing to take No Lie MRI’s, polygraphs or penile plesymographs to back up their fanciful tales with hard (no pun intended) facts?
It is clear that Ling has learned a bit from her initial story — and is more attuned to the nuances of this explosive issue. There is so much more for her to explore on this topic, and I hope she will take the opportunity to do so responsibly, using all the research and resources at her disposal.
** GLAAD’s take on the show.