Dr. Andrea Macari
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The Michael Johnston Story
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NEW YORK — TruthWinsOut.org (TWO) introduced seven new Internet videos today featuring a noted clinical psychologist, the attorney who represented a man who had possibly been exposed to HIV from an “ex-gay” leader and several ex-gay survivors. Each week leading up to the March 3 launch of TruthWinsOut.org’ updated website, the organization will release new educational videos addressing the “ex-gay” myth from unique angles.
In today’ first video, New York therapist Andrea Macari answers your questions about the harm of ‘ex-gay’ therapy and addresses the sensitive topic matter than you always wanted to ask. Dr. Macari also offers practical advice on coming out and finding a good therapist.
Dr. Macari is a nationally known expert and media personality. She frequently serves as a contributor to some of the nation’s most popular programs, including The O’Reilly Factor, Nancy Grace, Montel, and The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet. With over 100 television and radio appearances, Dr. Macari is recognized as one of the leading disseminators of psychological information. Her website is www.drmacari.com.
In TWO’ second video, 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.
Our third person featured is Brian Nesbitt, who grew up in a religious household and 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.
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.
In another video, “ex-gay’ survivor Jaylen Braiden discusses his time in 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.
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.”
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.
TruthWinsOut.org is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the “ex-gay” myth and educates America about gay life.