Host of Our America to Revisit Exodus International’s New Stance, Fails to Interview Therapists
Lisa Ling, host of Our America is at it once again with an upcoming show featuring Christian ex-gays. It’s an interesting topic, one that I have a great deal of interest in, since I am myself an ex-gay and a Christian. According to the show’s teaser, which can be viewed by clicking here, Ling plans to revisit Exodus International’s new branding with President Alan Chambers and a group of so-called “ex-gay survivors” who have purportedly been hurt by Exodus and similar ministries over the last forty years.
Although the sneak peak was rather short, it appears that Exodus Founder Michael Bussee, who is seemingly the poster boy for ex-ex-gays (ex-gays who no longer consider themselves former homosexuals, and have returned to the gay life), plays a prominent role in the show. In the sneak peak, Bussee angrily says to Chambers:
The organization needs to shut down. Don’t tweak it, don’t try to improve it. Shut it down!
The show appears to center around Alan Chambers apologizing to these so-called “ex-gay survivors” for the role that Exodus has played in hurting gays and lesbians with the “Change Is Possible” message over the last forty years. Sadly, Ling combines the work of Exodus and similar religious ministries that focus on prayer, deliverance, and religious devotion with Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) therapy, or what she calls “Gay-Reparative Therapy.”
Let me be clear when I say this. I like Lisa Ling. I like Our America. I also like Alan Chambers personally, although I do not agree with the direction he is taking Exodus International. But what is most troubling to me is that Ling refuses to interview actual psychotherapists who practice SOCE and/or clients who have gone through SOCE, either via individual therapy or through group therapy programs such as Journey Into Manhood. These programs differ dramatically than the Exodus programs, but the average person would not know that unless a reporter makes this distinction.
I have personally reached out to Lisa Ling’s Facebook page and offered to be interviewed. I also contacted Alan Chambers and to see if Ling interviewed SOCE therapists for the “God and Gays” program, and he told me he believes she did not. Sadly, many will watch this program and get the perception that psychotherapists who practice SOCE are really just helping clients “pray away the gay” and harming gays and lesbians in the process.
Only time will tell if Ling decides to give a complete portrayal of ex-gays and the actual therapists who help them experience real change.
Christopher Doyle, M.A. is the Co-Founder and Acting Director of Voice of the Voiceless, the only anti-defamation league for former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions, and their families. For more information, visit: www.VoiceoftheVoiceless.info