"Ex Gay" ministries and conventions are notorious in the gay men's community for lots of sex going on between the "ex gay" men. However, I didn't know that there may be sexual harassment going on.
Truth Wins Out has put up a video on YouTube with former "ex gay" Patrick McAlvey who talks about the futile and painful nature of these ministries. Most queers already know about this part, but there are other aspects of them that McAlvey reveals that are disturbing in a whole new way.
Genocide for Jesus has the transcript of this former "ex gay" which is really disturbing. First, lets look at the desperate psychological situation that McAlvey was in.
Well I distanced myself from Mike sometime in early high school, and really had very minimal contact, he sent a couple letters, but I had very minimal contact until I was 19. And so when I was 19 I was kicked out of a missionary training school and forced to move back home with my family, and I was kicked out because of my attraction to men, and so in that time, I was sort of in a crisis mode and was very low, very depressed and just trying to make sense of my life and mostly of my attraction, so I contacted Mike again, and we started meeting regularly.
Look at the "therapy" McAlvey was exposed to.
That night he suggested we go over to his friend’s house so that we could do “holding therapy.” So we drove together to his friend’s house and had an hour where I was instructed to lay in his arms, chest to chest, and not talk, it was just an hour of silent holding and he told me to feel the strength of another man, smell the smell of another man, feel the security of another man’s arms. And it was supposed to replace, or fill a void that I had from some unmet childhood need.
I thought the holding therapy was very strange, and it made me uncomfortable, but I was willing to try anything, and trusted Mike.
The "holding therapy" part sounds really suspicious, to put it mildly. It gets worse.
As part of the therapy, he asked how large my penis was. He asked if I shaved my pubic hair. He asked about the type of underwear that I wore. 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, and he wanted me to describe my sexual fantasies to him, and the type of men I’m attracted to. And one time he asked me to rate my own attractiveness, on a scale of 1-10, with separate scores for my face, my hair, my body, and then an overall score. And then after I scored myself, he assigned scores for my attractiveness, each category, and I remember that my hair got the best score and my face got the worst score.
As part of the therapy, he had me come over to his house, and he rented the movie of the play Equus, and he had us watch it together, in his home. In the movie there was full frontal male nudity, and it made me rather uncomfortable to be watching it with him, but it was his idea, and afterwards he wanted to talk about some the dynamics of the play and then also how I felt about seeing the naked actor.
If not for the religious aspect of these "ex gay" ministries, I've long thought that they might have been prosecuted for fraud and practicing medicine without a license. Now, I wonder how many sexual harassment are just waiting to be filed.
Our society needs to stop treating religion as if it is above scrutiny. Religious groups should be held to the same legal standards as the rest of our society.