Former Q-Syndicate owner, David Benkof writes a provocative column in today’s Jerusalem Post – If not ex-gay, then what?
For years, I have been a critic of the ‘ex-gay’ movement, particularly its Jewish manifestation. Many advocates of ‘reorientation therapy’ appear to exaggerate ex-gay transformation rates, and so far the non-gay leaders of the Jewish ex-gay movement have been utterly unable to produce success stories who are willing to be interviewed. Alarmingly, Jewish ex-gay organizers sometimes lead Jewish strugglers perilously close to Christian ideas at odds with Judaism.
Well, I have a suggestion. Instead of gay or ex-gay, those of us who have stopped thinking of ourselves primarily as same-sexers can emphasize the fact that, whether we’re celibate or in opposite-sex relationships, we’re ‘Deliberately Living Traditionally.’ The handy acronym Delta corresponds to a Greek letter representing change; it can be a rival to the use of the letter Lambda to represent all things gay. Delta can serve as a new identity and community for people who are making or have made that tough transition. (Perhaps the Hebrew version will be known as ‘Dalets.’)
He does not promote change but a different perspective and set of choices. How does this sound?
John Sterback seems like a really nice man. Mr. Sterback is featured prominently in Chasing the Devil: Inside the Ex-gay Movement. He is affiliated with Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation in ways that are somewhat vague. He apparently is training to be a certified sexual reorientation coach via IHF. At the end of this clip Mr. Sterback say he does not believe Mr. Cohen or anyone to be “completely healed.”
Along with commentary from Mr. Sterback, this documentary features interviews with IHF Director, Richard Cohen. Cohen begins the video with a cooperative spirit but ends with him walking off camera.
Chasing the Devil: Inside the Ex-gay Movement… by Psychvideos
More information about the documentary can be found at the Coquizen Entertainment. While some of this will be quite uncomfortable for some viewers, the interviews are very informative for anyone interested in the ex-gay movement. Although the video is not done as an ex-gay apologetic piece, it does reveal the frequently heard conflict between homosexuality and religion. Particularly, in the cases of Jonah (Arthur Goldberg is interviewed extensively as well), and David Matheson (Journey into Manhood), religious conflict is a major driver of the desire and even the reality to move away from a gay identification. The video does not make light of this struggle and allows the people involved to speak.
In the case of the interview above, Mr. Cohen was asked about his expulsion from the American Counseling Association, bioenergetics and various IHF practices. These topics were clearly uncomfortable for Mr. Cohen.
This week Exodus International is holding the annual conference at Ridgecrest, NC.
From time to time on various posts Exodus history comes up. I have been privileged to have numerous Exodus participants past and present comment here over the years, but the comments often go hither and yon.
So I am creating the post for that conversation to continue. I am going to talk to my weboverlord, Paul to see if we can get a link to it in the right column so we can find it easily. So spread the word, if you have ever been involved with Exodus International, feel free to comment here, good or bad. Feel free to cut and paste comments from other threads. I do not intend for this to become a praise or bashing session, rather a forum of sorts to discuss history and impressions, aspirations, positives, areas for improvement, etc. If you really like Exodus, I hope you might glean something from those who do not, read and learn if you will. And if you don’t like it, I hope you will recognize that some others have found much meaning and blessing in the relationships they have formed via Exodus.