Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Can You Turn a Gay Straight?

Dr. Jallen Rix has first hand experience of the type of prayer sessions Tory star Philippa Stroud is reported to have ran to 'cure' gay people at her King's Arms Project in Bedford.

Jallen Rix has an extraordinary story to tell. It’s a story of religious abuse that almost destroyed his deep spiritual convictions and his life. In his book Ex-Gay NO WAY: Survival and Recovery from Religious Abuse Jallen reveals how he endured extreme religious abuse while a part of an ex-gay ministry, which was designed to turn him from a gay man to a straight one. It is also a story of his incredible determination to live in the truth of his sexuality and with his spirituality up front and centre.

Bringing to light an extreme fundamentalist Christian view, this insider’s perspective offers hope to people grappling with the after-effects of a cult-like movement often known as "Reparative Therapy." The movement assumes that going from gay to straight is easily changeable and change-worthy, despite decades of psycho/sexual research to the contrary.

“The Ex-Gay Movement is stripped naked, and through an abundance of snapshots we get to see its vulnerability and cover-ups. These perspectives are mounted together with Jallen’s moving story telling and in-depth research. The naming of religious abuse, the dispelling of sex-phobic myths, the raw motion of personal experience make this a great resource for pastors and counsellors; yet possibly the greatest accomplishment of this book is that it brings the reader to a conclusion — a motive and means for recovery without feeling forced to accept or abandon.”

— Paul Whiting, International advocate, author and pastor.

Ex-Gay NO WAY part dramatic memoir, part compassionate manual, deals with homosexuality and Christianity and, in particular, ‘Reparative Therapy’. In it Rix describes being utterly stripped of every shred of his spirituality through this experience and reveals how he ultimately reclaimed a new unconditional relationship to God.

“Dr Rix has exposed reparative therapy in a way never seen before. He clearly compares the features of the ex-gay movement with the damaging and cultic aspects of hyper-religiosity. The similarities are so numerous that, at times, there simply is no difference between the two.”

— Thomas Erwin Gertz Ed.D., DACS, Professor of Sexology, Dean of Students, Institute of Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, San Francisco, California.

Rix, who was raised a Southern Baptist, understands completely the negative effects of a closeted life and the difficulties associated with reconciling his deep Christian beliefs with his homosexuality. He went to great lengths attempting to change from gay to straight consequently enduring the rigors of ‘Reparative Therapy’ as prescribed by ex-gay ministries.

"The very existence of Change of Orientation programmes perpetuates the idea that homosexuality is bad, and this is one of the reasons I've been against these programmes being available. They send the message to people that 'This is change-worthy, and we strongly urge this to be changed and if you were a good person you would want it changed."
— Dr. Gerald Davison, Professor of Psychology, University of Southern California

Many gay men and women have contemplated or committed suicide as a result of ‘reparative therapy.’ In Ex-Gay NO WAY, Rix makes a passionate case for ending the phenomenon known as ‘religious abuse’ and describes his attempts to reclaim his wholeness through self-affirming therapy, education, healthy sexuality and guided internal exploration.

“We did employ a lot of techniques that, looking back on it now I realise, were brainwashing techniques. Don’t associate with anybody who disagrees with you. Don’t read any non-Christian books. Don’t go anyplace where non-Christians are hanging out. Certainly don’t ever read anything that’s pro-gay. If there’s a show that presents gays in a favourable light turn it off.”

— Michael Bussee, A Founder of Exodus International and Ex-gay Survivor.

In Ex-Gay NO WAY Jallen Rix makes a heartfelt plea for the abolition of ‘religious abuse’ and the right for every gay person to live the Christian life they choose.

Book Info:

Ex-Gay No Way: Survival and Recovery from Religious Abuse

by Jallen Rix £10.99, Findhorn Press. ISBN 978-1-84409-187-4.


Jallen Rix, EdD, is a speaker, author, and educator on sexology. He writes a column called "Sex Ed in Bed," is a regular columnist for gay.com, and has appeared on TV talk shows such as ABC's 20/20. He lives in San Francisco.

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