Exodus International leader Alan Chambers apologized recently for the harm done to LGBT people by the so-called "ex-gay" movement. In that moment, the face that came to mind for me was the bruised, burned and emaciated face of 15-year-old Raymond Buys.
After almost 40 years, Exodus International, the oldest Christian services group of its kind and a market leader in reparative/ex-gay/sexual orientation change therapy, is closing its doors. A good start. And not nearly enough.
My first week back at boarding school for my sophomore year, my father and stepmother came to pick me up to send me to rehab for being gay. I was admitted into a drug and behavioral facility for kids with eating disorders, drug problems and suicidal tendencies. I didn't belong there.
This week I found myself beginning to finally understand the concept of gay conversion therapy. I'd always thought that the idea was to "switch off" someone's sexuality and "teach" that person how to fancy the opposite sex. I was wrong.
If there is one thing that we learned from the Pacific Justice Institute's lawsuit against California Gov. Jerry Brown over a new law banning "ex-gay" therapy for minors, it is that these lawyers' legal case is as logic-challenged and convoluted as the industry they are poorly defending.