Archives for July 6, 2015

Conversion Therapy Survivor Survey – Why Did You Quit the Ex-Gay Movement?

While researching conversion therapy, I met Jallen Rix, sexologist and author of Ex-Gay No Way.

Dr. Rix has conducted a survey of conversion therapy survivors. The answers to the questions posed in this survey are shocking and heartbreaking.

This blog post is about answers to the question:

What significant experience motivated you to quit the ex-gay movement?

Thank you, Dr. Rix, for conducting this survey and posting the results online! May this result in positive change!

The Survey of Conversion Therapy Survivors

The survey asked many questions, including this one: “What significant experience motivated you to quit the ex-gay movement?”

The survey is open to ongoing contributions, but at the time this blog post was written, 417 people had participated in the survey, and 393 people had answered this question.

Ex-Gay Movement Survivor Answers

When asked why they stopped conversion therapy, people answered:

  • 302 people said it did not make them straight
  • 202 answered that they were exhausted
  • 196 said they became too depressed to continue
  • 175 said they realized they could no longer hate themselves any longer (obviously self loathing related to sexual orientation is a primary motivator for engaging in conversion therapy)
  • 85 reported having nervous breakdowns (due to the therapy)
  • 99 said they gave up on religion (and most conversion therapy is motivated by religious pressure or a desire to “please God” by repenting of sexual attraction to those of the same sex)
  • 125 met LBGT Christians (Yay!)
  • 149 said they realized the LBGT community is not as “evil” as they had been led to believe
  • 201 answered that they realized God loved them regardless of their sexuality

Click here to read all the answers to this question on the conversion therapy survivor survey conducted by Dr. Jallen Rix and colleagues, including Peterson Toscano, ex-gay movement survivor and talented actor.

My Favorite Answer

Of course, some of these answers tear me up inside. My favorite answer, though, is the last one listed here – that 201 people realized God loved them regardless of their sexual orientation.

Why This Conversion Therapy Survey Matters to Me

I was once part of a radical religious organization. I am no longer (at this time) religious (although I am loosely spiritual.) However, I firmly believe that any God/dess/Creator of the universe worth worshiping would love each and every one of us the way we are – without requiring us to change.

I have three children, and I love each of them as he or she is. I don’t expect them to change or to earn my love. I imagine that God/dess/Divine Creator must be far more capable of loving his or her creation than I am, fallible human that I am.

It is my hope that I can spread this love and acceptance as far as it will go.