What if you were a young person struggling with your identity? What if you felt that it was secret that you could not share with anyone because society has made it clear that you are somehow deviant and or diseased. What if you fear that those that you love the most will reject you? These are the fears of a young LGBT person seeking answers while praying desperately for a reason to hope. We are talking about a very vulnerable group of people. This vulnerability is not because there is something wrong with them but because we live in a culture that daily reinforces heterosexual privilege. Far too often young members of the GLBT community turn to these horrendous ex gay therapies hoping to change something that is immutable – their sexuality.
“He asked how large my penis was,” McAlvey explained of Jones’ therapy. “He asked if I shave my pubic hair. He asked what type of underwear that I wore. He wanted me to describe my sexual fantasies to him and the type of men I’m attracted to. On one occasion, he asked me to take my shirt off and show him how many push-ups I could do, which I did not do.”
How is this supposed to cure him of his homosexuality? It is abusive and is clearly an example of some of the worst predatory behaviour.
According to Truth Wins Out, Patrick McAlvey made his experience public in August and yet it took until December for Exodus International, to officially cut ties with its Lansing affiliate Corduroy Stone. The delay implies that they were more interested in covering up their shameful behaviour than admitting the harm that these so-called therapies cause.
“Mike Jones used to be able to say he was an Exodus International affiliate governed by a Board of Directors,” said McAlvey to Truth Wins Out. “Exodus has removed their affiliation and the Board of Directors has dissolved. Now he’s just some guy. He’s not a mental health professional. He’s not a pastor. He’s just some guy with made-up theories and outlandish techniques claiming he can help people change their sexual orientation. He is dangerous and I hope people steer clear of this predator.”
While it is wonderful that Mike Jones is facing some sort of accountability, in truth all of those involved in ex gay therapies need to be stopped. They are preying upon fearing and encouraging self loathing. What good could possibly come out of this sort of action? It is time for the government to step in and do something about these organizations before they can cause anymore innocent people harm.