Beyond Ex-Gay

Question 12. What good, if any, came out of your ex-gay experience?

334 participants out of 417 answered this question. 

The answers to this question were typed in, which required compiling them “by hand.” Still, after 334 responses there were some pretty clear categories. Without taking the time to build a colorful graph (which Survey Monkey automatically does for the checked options), here are the numbers:

Number of people mentioning this topic - Topic:
47 - There was no benefit to their ex-gay experience / “none”
46 - They now accept themselves / better understand self / take better care of self
45 - Came out / more honesty / talk about sexuality (either during or as a result of their SOCE)
34 - Felt less alone / greater sense of community
32 - Their sense of God / spirituality expanded
22 - They now help others recovery from similar experiences
22 - They are now stronger / more confident
17 - Dealt positively with other issues while in SOCE
14 - Left religion / no longer a Christian
12 - “I now know I tried my best”
11 - “I got children as a result”
10 - “I now question authority”
5 - Met same-sex partner while in SOCE
4 - “My ex-gay exp. possibly saved me from disease”

Without a doubt, most ex-gay survivors take their first steps of being honest about their sexuality within an ex-gay environment. For this part, ex-gay survivors are often grateful. Furthermore, the friendships and sometimes romantic relationships started in these places are also very valuable to the participants in the survey.

Written Responses:

Below are as many responses as could be included. For the most part, these responses were left exactly as written. If they were edited or removed it was a result of protecting anonymity, improper grammar to the degree that the statement was significantly hard to understand, or the response was just too long.

It forced me to really analyze what I believed and why; to free myself to think critically about "belief," and question what was really my own thought and the thoughts of others that I was repeating. Also, since I pulled out of gay life during the period where HIV was making its initial spread, in a time where it was still unknown or still denied by many, it may have saved my life. Every dark cloud...

Surprisingly, I was able to finally accept myself. I spent several months during therapy thinking of how much of a failure I was. Once I began to realize that all that it had been doing was making me hate myself, I said "Enough is enough. I refuse to spend anymore time like this."

None. Just how NOT to treat LGBTI.

It was the first step in my eventually growing out of Christianity

I suppose that I needed to see for myself that changing my sexual orientation was not possible, nor was it necessary. In other words, I had to try everything that I could find before I 'gave up' and admitted being gay, and 'give in' to living the "lifestyle" of a gay man.

"That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger" -In many ways, my journey has sharpened my ability to be discerning and not accept at face value what many espouse as "truth". ( Of course, the flip side is that I have "trust issues").


It helped me leave religion behind and that still feels like I've been let out of a cold, dark cell into a beautiful summer day.

Be strong in my self-worth

I learned that I couldn't pretend, I couldn't "act" my way through the world 24 hours a day. I learned that there had to be somewhere that I could be real. I met a lot of really broken, but beautiful disasters. It was my first community and I liked living with others in intentional community. I have something of substance to say on this subject and actively participate in the ex-ex-gay movement.

Out of my ex-gay experience came motivation to further pursue a career in counseling and psychology to ensure other youth and young adults do not have to experience what I experienced.

Actually, I learned two things: (1) gays don't change (they simply try to redesign their mindsets); (2) I was stronger than I thought I was.

First-hand experience of just how damaging 'ex-gay' therapy truly was.

I made a clean break and I have compassion for people on all sides of the issue.

My life is so much better! I have a better grasp of who I am and what God wants for my life. I have a life I love without the baggage of co-dependence and emotional dependence; I am so much more independent and make my own decisions wholeheartedly.

I thought I was the only gay Christian, so when I found out about Exodus, I was relieved to not be so alone. I enjoyed many friendships!

Nothing- well, I did get married and have 2 wonderful children because of all of this- so I am very thankful for my children.

That I once and for all learned how much Jesus really does love me and no one ever again can take that away from me

As an RN I saw what utter lies and hypocrisy were in the movement as well as what complete junk science, unscriptural sources they used to back up these lies, distortions etc.


I witnessed first hand how privilege works in church and society. The more others believed I was a masculine heterosexual, the more valuable they treated me and the more doors opened socially, professionally, and religiously for me to serve and be a full fledged member of the group. Seeing this play out, helped me to get glimpses of similar oppression/reward systems for many group. I understand the world better because of the oppression I faced.

I realized that through the emotional and spiritual angst I went through, I eventually found out that God loves me the way I am. I've had a partner for almost 11 years. I'm happy now.


It was something that if i hadn’t tried i would probably always have wondered if it would have worked. Other then that nothing.

It caused me to research the issue for myself and gather good clinical data, to find that an affirming faith community existed that loved Jesus, and to see God loves me how I am. :-)

None. I just wish I'd have known when I was 16 that God loved me as I am.

My ex-gay experience motivated many life changes that I needed but would not have tried to make on my own. My religion was harming me, my relationship with family was unhealthy, I needed mental health care for unrelated mental illness, and got it when I began therapy while recovering from ex-gay. I removed many negative influences, false friends, conditional friends, and replaced them with real friends who loved me for me. I escaped what would have been a self sacrificial career in street evangelism. I had to go through no one wanting me, but in retrospect, many of them were unhealthy for me anyway. My relationship with my parents is now very uncomfortable, but truthful, and they are slowly learning. One of my siblings (I have 7) is finally close to me now as well.

I found my true calling - to be a minister for the LGBT community so they will never have to face what I've faced.

I learned valuable discipline. Not to mention that to keep it up, I had to dive into some pretty deep theological waters. It forced me to develop my intellectual faith.

I feel like I enjoyed the presence of God but under self hatred, so, my experiences feel tainted.

Met some lasting friends; on both sides or the spectrum.

For the first time, I met other GLBT Christians and we could talk about what it's like to be Christians with same gender attractions.

I am more appreciative of my gayness. I am proud to be a homosexual!!!

Met other gay people and started dating in a safe space

I became more confident in the end, as I walked out.

Helped me to know myself better. Helped me to know my past better.


It broadened my experience and led me to full understanding. No one can say I didn't give change a try. I tried and learned that repression and self hatred are not Godly.

Absolutely nothing. I question my entire relationship with God and people I met in the church because of this. My own dad tried to perform an exorcism on me and then a "counselor" told me I had legions of demons in me and tried another one about six months after my dad's exorcism.

not much....unless you count getting out of a homophobic church once i broke free

To hear the stories of other people w/same-sex attraction.

I realize how much of my self-esteem and self-worth comes from what others think, and I'm actively working--although from a different perspective--on healing those thought distortions that really came from my shaming parents.

learned to like myself

I feel more empowered to stand up for LGBTQ youth.

At least I know now that I tried, I gave it a chance and I KNOW that I can't become straight. also, I think I'll get some great songs (I'm a songwriter) out of the emotional upheaval I'm in right now

I've been there, done that, know it doesn’t work

I learned not to trust Christians.

I became more confident and comfortable around straight men. (I suppose I became somewhat more comfortable with aspects of myself, but in other ways, not so much.)

I am comfortable with being me, and I am happily married to the man who helped me find myself 30 years ago after my life literally fell apart before my very eyes, even though I had the right grades/connections/talent to exceed the expectations that would have become my responsibility, had GM recognized that back in 1979...Looking back at that collapse of first me, then last year of that old GM, and knowing that *it got better* for me and my hubby ANYWAY, beyond my wildest dreams... To have that stark comparison of where I am, and where very bad people once wished me to be, yet failed at keeping me a great lesson that NO ONE CAN STEAL FROM ME.

My good results were ironic or paradoxical. By failing completely I sort of burned out on the option that God was going to make me straight, a regular guy, and all the conformity business usually tied into that goal. Coming Out ended up being a lot less isolating, depressing, and weird than staying put as an ex-gay who totally failed to be straight.

I realized how evil religion is, and for that, I thank them. If I were not sent to that camp, I would not now be the enlightened atheist that I am today.

None. Those people sold my parents and siblings the "hope" that I could be free from my sexuality if only I had the faith. They'll probably believe that my sexuality is a disease, and that my partner is contributing to it, until they die.

I knew very quickly it was wrong, and I left, it was all a bunch of nonsense, wishful thinking, and hypocritical double standards.

I feel more whole as a man and as a person. Better boundaries. It was really good to go through something I was sure was going to work and then years later realize I was simply gay and it was very likely not going to change.

I learned to stop hating myself. I learned to love myself.

My friend, trained in healing therapy, specifically through Living Waters and Andy Comisky himself, did help me identify problem areas in my life and places of brokenness that needed addressing. Contrary to what she taught me, however, the problems weren't centered in my being gay.

Within a Christian context, I was able for the first time to acknowledge my attraction to the same gender and discover other people who shared my experience.

It opened my eyes to how completely misguided some many christians are in regards to the word of God and the understanding of His character.

I realized that through the emotional and spiritual angst I went through, I eventually found out that God loves me the way I am. I've had a partner for almost 11 years. I'm happy now.

I know that I tried. I didn't just disregard God's Word in order to do what I want to do. I tried to live according to His will and failed over and over. But, I know now that it's just who I am. I've learned to stop hiding that part of me and am learning to stop being ashamed of that part of me.

I have a better understanding of the affect you can have on people. How the treatment of homosexuals can make people hate themselves and feel so hopeless that they think "ex-gay ministries" is their only option.

I came to the realization that it just don't work!!!


It was refreshing to meet others like myself in a safe setting. I felt a sense of community and belonging.

I don't know. My head is spinning. First I came out, then got saved, got married & now feel scarily excited about embracing homosexuality again.

I am no longer a christian and am much happier with my life.

I am seeking out the hopeless, confused and torn and gently show them the truth

I know now that I suffer if I suppress what is me. I also have gotten to know myself better.


I found an affirming church that helped me realize God made me and lovers me for who I am.

Only that it made me more compassionate to other gay people, and aware of how my own self-directed homophobia was the root of my shame and self hatred.


I have unique experiences with the ex-gay movement that I can share with other gays and lesbians who are recruited to these psychologically harmful organizations. I was there. I desperately labored to change. But now I realize how satisfying and fulfilling it is to live life as the "genuine me" -- a gay man.

Deeper self-acceptance

Better family communication, Increased understanding of and security in my own sexuality, Support from LGBT community and allies

Caused me to consider how a relationship is built and look into the history and tradition of marriage. I began studying biblical and traditional Christian views on sexuality and celibacy. Helped me avoid temptation during the early days of HIV, before condom use was recommended.

There were the odd genuine and loving Christian who accepted where I was on the journey.. Some hand holding through some dark days..

I learned to think for myself and not to take what people in a leadership capacity in a religious background as being gospel without looking at the subject myself etc

I was able to completely repent of and receive forgiveness for the sexual assault.

It messed me up big time...

Refined my understanding/opened my the amazing complexity of God's love, justice, and mercy.

I became able to be public with being attracted to other men. It was a first step to being OK with identifying as gay.

I still value the compassionate and giving attributes of Christian faith, and would be able to participate were it not for a concentrated condemnation of GLBT people.

Saw my gender as a good thing and blessed by God. Became more comfortable with it. Became more in touch with my emotions, able to identify them and okay with feeling them. Having done that, I am able to think more clearly. Also, I've begun to become more responsible and act like an adult.

I am now a completely happy, healthy gay man, almost 50 years old.

Sorry....hope I have not waisted your time???

I don't have any doubts whatsoever that I am gay.

Nothing Good

I learned how to be true to myself

Not anything of real, lasting value. I learned more from the 12-Step programs for sexually addicted men.


I gained the ability to reflect carefully on my life and who I am.

I learned to think about things rationally and not emotionally.

it helped me get over my bulimia

It confirmed bible teachings: Jer 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.



Made some exgay friends.

I am more assertive and confident in my masculinity.


It got me out of Mormonism and eventually allowed me to live as a happy Gay Man

I have two beautiful children from my marriage.

It prompted me to do A LOT of research on the topic and has vastly broadened my knowledge about homosexuality, especially as to what the Bible actually says about the topic. I've also been able to help a few others a little bit, and want to do that a lot more. I'm actually planning of studying theology and psychology in grad school in part because of this, and am interested in working with other Christians who have been lied to about this issue to help bring them into the truth of God's word and to accept His love.

It was not good.

I learned that I no matter what, I am who I am.

A better understanding of the way people 'tick', I suppose...

The last "ex-gay" ministry was done right. The leader allowed us to be who we are. She actually helped those of us struggling with issues.

Met some nice people and felt I could be myself in a group of others going through what I was going through.

Gave me the impetus to start accepting myself for who I am.

There is much of what I learned aside from my sexuality that I still hold as important. I met my husband there.


Despite his feelings about gay people, my shrink was generally an intelligent and compassionate person. So I did get some benefit from it.

I finally faced the fact that I was a lesbian, albeit not in the best way. I also grew in my relationship to God, because I was constantly crying to Him about one thing or another.

met some wonderful people

I received a powerful and immutable revelation of the love and Grace of God towards ALL mankind

was an excellent help!

I met some other guys who were also having the same issues I was, and it was nice to know I was not alone.

Understanding of scripture, in a way I can now interpret as positive

My experience allows me to better educate about the need for gender and sexuality open and accepting religious spaces, that ex-gay therapy does more harm than good, and to show that a person can live a happy life as a non-straight gender non-conforming person.

I learned that there is nothing extra sinful about homosexual temptations, but any sexual activity outside the narrow confines that God gives us is wrong - be it straight or gay, and that there was nothing particularly wrong with me, but I had to learn to control myself and my temptations no matter if they were straight or gay. This helped me have a better view of myself, and of others, and helped me learn to live a better life with the Lord.

i know i’m stronger than the supposed experts used to tell me i was.

There is much of what I learned aside from my sexuality that I still hold as important. I met my husband there.

I learned by myself, after the pain, that I was gay. God made me this way.

I can say that I tried with everything in me.

it helped me coming out of the closet and develop more mature friendships - growing spiritual intimacy with God

Made me realize who I truly was and couldn't be a phony.

I understand some of that point of view. And with personal revelation from God I do not totally discount it. I believe both sides have some truth. I just find more truth on the affirming side today.

I can tell that the people nearest me have no concern for my life, happiness, future, or truth.

Reinforced that gay is actually ok.

I realized these "professionals" are only in it for the money, and I won't waste anymore time/money on them.

gave me tools for dealing with anonymous encounters, LIA was the reason I ever got reconciled to my parents, it was the first place I could be honest and not have the listener be "shocked" but rather listen as lovingly as I had ever experienced before


By attempting to live as a Christosexual, I was able to accept myself as being different and gradually came to terms with a capacity for opposite sex love, even though my sexual orientation never changed. I learned to stop judging myself and others and through my wife's experience with a gay couple that she met, saw that even she was able to recognize that love truly existed in same sex committed relationships.

I became closer to God. I obtained a deeper understanding of who God was, and who He could be to me.

I finally figured out that it was all a bucket of crap.

I had a better understanding of myself and others as human beings. I understand issues and problems more and how we get to them and how we can better deal with them.


I guess I understand the fear, the lies, and the other reasons people get involved. I also think that I'm absolutely clear that I did the right thing by getting out. There is no doubt in my mind... never again... that who I am is wrong in any way.

made good friends. became more self-aware.

A place to find fellowship when I needed it and where I could be 'myself' more.

I'm 100% confident and comfortable with who I am - zero doubt


It made me a stronger person to accept who am and not what I am.


For the first time I was able to talk openly about my sexuality.

That I was able to bring me closer to God. It reenforced my realization that I really am gay.

My daughter, as a result of my finding someone to marry.

Ultimately it led to me coming out fully, embracing my sexuality, and finding God in a new and more wholesome, fully welcomed way. I am now in a seminary as an openly gay man where I would never have had the courage to be if still in the closet.

Out of my ex-gay experience came motivation to further pursue a career in counseling and psychology to ensure other youth and young adults do not have to experience what I experienced.

It did help me to deal issues of being molested by a family member. As far as sexual orientation goes, it made no difference.

I disciplined my handwriting. I survived and can help others. I learned humility and some other spiritual principals that are universal.

I woke up to the realization that Christianity is a financially motivated business that is lead by psychopathic resource pirates. Nothing less, nothing more. I will never have to waste my time, effort, or money with any church ever again.

The good that came out of my experience was knowing inside myself to be gay and act on my desires were God-given gifts--that is what He/She wanted to for me: today myself in God's image. And I experienced genuine romantic love for men and knew that such feelings could not be wrong.

I guess that it made me more determined and increased the discipline of my mind. this has become useful moving forward.

It forced me into the 'inner journey' which is wonderful.

I learned what I didn't believe. I walked through it. I survived.

It provided my first contact to others who I knew certainly were also "gay". Although they may not have been the best representations of what gay men should be, at least I didn't feel alone. It also forced me to confront my sexuality (which I had really been avoiding) and come to terms with the issues between it, my faith, and my family.

It was the stepping stone that allowed me to come out to myself.

It was a stopgap from believing being gay was wrong to acceptance of who I am.

Met other gay men

I am now very proud of who i am no matter what, no matter what anyone tells me. I don’t care if there isn’t another human being who feels the way i do, I am strong enough now to be.

Many of the people I meet we're good people, via my marriage I have a wonderful son.

Close friends (who are still close friends), fell in love with a man for the first time--which made me realize i was truly gay...which was devastating at the time, but helped me begin to accept it.

Forced me to examine the what and why of my beliefs. Then not be afraid of where that examination led. As a result it made me more secure in my acceptance of myself as a gay Christian.

Up until two years ago, I felt that I was on a very productive and beneficial spiritual path. I considered myself asexual at best and homosexual but not responding to my attractions, at worse. I had also gained invaluable experience of living in community while in Love in Action, which carried over to my Orthodox community experience for three years prior to my 7 year monastic community experience. Now I live an extremely isolated life with no foreseeable future because I live at the constant point of tension between my heart and my spirit.

It confirmed that I was, indeed, gay.


It helped me leave religion behind and that still feels like I've been let out of a cold, dark cell into a beautiful summer day.

I explored avenues of my sexuality that I never did before. it helped me understand myself, God and others better. Before the ex-gay experience I never thought about my sexual identity or actions, I just indulged indiscriminately.

it helped me see value in myself without the need to be a sex addict and sexually compulsive ..

I gained a deeper understanding of myself, my sexuality and of scripture.

Although the therapy didn't change me, it was good to help me fix a lot of issues not related to homosexuality.


Got me through some difficult times.

It caused me to become stronger. It made me a better person in that I will no longer be a doormat or someones experiment any longer. I realized how I can survive and God still resides in me and He has allowed me [to] help others with my story.

I emerged with a stronger self-awareness and a better acceptance of my own manhood and humanity.

It broadened my experience and led me to full understanding. No one can say I didn't give change a try. I tried and learned that repression and self hatred are not Godly.

I have 3 amazing children. I can honestly say with conviction that I KNOW I'm gay because I tried and wasn't able to change.

Nothing good

I met some of the greatest friends of my last (we are still close friends to this day). I found God in some very dark places, and he was with me throughout that experience. It made me more compassionate and empathetic to others. Though I did experience a certain sense of shame and failure during my Exodus indoctrination, I also experienced (for the first time in my life) a loss of shame about being "same-sex-attracted" by being in community with other "strugglers". I'm not sure I would have ever been OK with my sexuality given the theology and opinions I had in my upbringing in a conservative pastor's family. Exodus offered me a safe place to BEGIN asking questions about my sexuality...where I didn't have to worry about the devil's influence in trying to make me the worst of all things: gay. Could I have ever come to terms with being a spiritual AND gay person had I not had my ex-gay community? Doubtful.

I made friendships that remain. Most of them have also left the movement.

I found myself and became a community leader


Some good counseling about past abuse.

I went to counseling and in that counseling and reading self-help books did learn how to be self-aware and absorbed good counseling skills and skills from when I went to group therapy.


It helped to push me out of the closet faster than I would have otherwise.

If I wasn't pursuing celibacy during the part of history before the cause of AIDS was discovered, I would likely have contracted it.

They were there for me at a time when I was very alone and felt extremely conflicted. They could speak to me where I was at and with where I wanted to go. They were very kind when I told them I felt spiritually-led to leave, so I did not experience any sort of pressure to stay.

I had positive experiences as a Christian, in general but nothing specifically positive from my experience in the ex-gay movement.


I have a big heart towards the marginalized and disenfranchised. I'm a much better critical thinker. I went from ex-gay to ex-fundamentalist.

I finally was able to see what the truth is and that God is not hateful and loves unconditionally.

became self aware

I realized God loved me regardless,

I learned that Mahatma Ghandi was right. “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

I know God and am closer to Him than ever. I am a fully fledged Anglican and am going to become a Priest


A lot of good. I came to a better understanding of myself and same-sex attractions. I appreciated the sincerity of those in Christian support groups, but they weren't always the most helpful. Most of them are not trained therapists, and they tend to speak in terms of spirituality rather than in psychological root causes of same-sex attraction.


It helped me come to peace with my sexuality.

Learned I could be faithful to a partner without sex.

I got to know myself better, even though it was painful.

My group leader, was very understanding and accepting about other issues in my life, in ways that helped me *a lot*.

I found people who felt like me and still loved God.

i married and fathered a child

it brought me to a breaking point, allowing me to begin the slow journey towards accepting and learning to love myself as i am. without the crisis point it brought me to, i might not have gotten the help i had needed all along, even before the ex-gay group.

Greater understanding of Gods acceptance

I am happy with myself

I learned to love and accept myself as I was created and as I am and always will be.

good information to protect against emotional dependency

I have 2 wonderful little girls.

I feel as if I was able to come to terms with my rocky relationship with my father. I was able to get over my ambivalence toward butch straight men. I was able to deal with my actual co-dependency issues at times. It made me stronger as an individual and no longer as needy; I'm capable of living a fulfilled life if I do end up single for the rest of my life.

To a degree, it provided a sense of community, and diminished the sense of isolation.

I did grow closer to God and met some good people.

I suppose that I needed to see for myself that changing my sexual orientation was not possible, nor was it necessary.


Decipher truth from lies.

I escaped a church environment that I had not previously recognized as abusive.


It became clear to me that being gay was who I was, not a spiritual/sexual sin that I needed to overcome/correct.

I had access to professional (and non-professional) help, plus a social support at a time when I especially needed it.


Made me stronger, in the since that you can be different still be worthy of a lot of things like the ability to love oneself and to realize that other people opinion about you does not have to be your reality. You can be gay and happy and have meaningful relationships.

I realized that I am who I am and if God had really wanted me to change, He who created the universe could have changed me with a snap of His fingers. From this I headed off down the path to realization and acceptance that there is no Biblegod.


I am a stronger person and more secure in myself. The gay issue was secondary to me.


I'm a much more psychologically healthy gay man

Learned a lot about God in the process.

Being able to further distance myself from all established religion


I am a much stronger person - it was either become healthy, or die.

None - however it did prove I am gay as there isn't anything anyone can do to influence the outcome of those body temperature tests. The electronic shocks were automatic whenever my body temperature rose when I saw pictures of men. The doctors machine never recorded anything when I saw over 1000 pictures of nude women over 10 days. I asked the doctor who did it how many had changed their sexual orientation and he said, I quote "none".

Being able to relate to others who had similar experiences

I think it did keep me away from being exposed to older gays who take advantage of younger men, so didn't have to deal with that and I've seen a lot of younger guys tricked, controlled, and taken advantage of.

You know I truly believe that the good that came out was me exposing the organization I went to and the church that sent me in the media. I went public with some not all, but some of my story in the hopes to try and change it and make it so that others wouldn't have to go through it. I also started my own Non-Profit that helps people work through the hurt of what i call "straight camp"

made me realize i am totally accepted and loved by god at all times...regardless of who or what i am.

The ex-gay experience comprised approximately half of my life, a long period that has a lot of good in it. I think that there are three major good things that came about during my ex-gay period that probably would not exist without the ex-gay experience: (1) a very fulfilling and intimate relationship with Christ, (2) my (mixed orientation) marriage with my wife (and best friend) and (3) my three amazingly wonderful kids. These three treasures are the best things in my life.

My psychologist helped me to appreciate my own athletic abilities.

Deeper awareness of family dynamics.

I really saw and know that God is real and that there are many good men and women in the church though some are just misinformed

became more sure of path I was taking, because I exhausted all alternatives.

I learned first-hand what this experience is like and can help others to understand the dangers of this movement and its unbiblical doctrine. It has also inspired me to do my doctoral dissertation in this area.

I have three children whom I love. My ex wife is still a friend and supporter

I did finally realize that love exists in the world. Even if I never experience it, I am glad that I know it is there.

I'm still HIV negative. My partner was also in an ex-gay ministry for about a year. It really gave us something to connect.

In spite of all the misinformation, I think I learned some things about myself as a person, and from a psychological perspective.


I learned how to work and became a more empathetic person

Thorough understanding of what the Bible does or does not say on homosexuality. Understanding of the churches perspective on how they deal with gay and lesbian issues. Understanding that I am loved by God no matter my sexuality.

Despite a lot of bad information, most of the people I encountered in these organizations treated me with kindness and respect (with a few notable exceptions). I was able to process some issues related to my childhood and increased frequency of spiritual practices (prayer, scripture reading) did strengthen my faith despite the shortcomings of some ex-gay groups (although this might have been in spite of what was going on around me in some cases).

I have learned some of the bible by heart; learned to feel, but in a "biblical" way (Psalm 51); learned about organic foods.

The ability to talk to others about my feelings

I found my true calling - to be a minister for the LGBT community so they will never have to face what I've faced.

2 beautiful children who wouldn't be who they are without me as a parent.

Can now have the experience of going through it and coming out healither/stronger in accepting myself and my faith. Being able to pass those experiences on. Show people within the church that there IS another way, and that it is NOT evil.

It helped me to remain abstinent from unsafe sexual practices I had prior to becoming a Christian. It also helped me to learn to relate to straight men and women "in the way God intended." It hasn't happened yet, but Scripture says that all things work for the good of those who love Him. I love Him and I look forward to this experience helping others get away from this type of brainwashing and spiritual abuse. I found the GCN and some other charismatic LGBTQQI folks.

Freedom from religion, development of a healthy spirituality and outlook on life, self

It 'forced' me in a short time period (a couple of years) to accept reality: I was gay and I was never going to change. I learned to embrace it.

I accepted myself

I learned that people can lie to themselves and believe they don't, but the truth is stronger and wins at last.


It made me face my issues head on and I became a stronger person because of it. I just thought that my issue was being gay but in reality it was not being secure in being who I was truly created to be.

Worked through issues I had with my father and stepfather.

To be able to share that God's love is not dependent on my sexuality. To learn that people who call themselves "God's people" may, in fact, be light-years from a true relationship with God.

I learned definitely that I cannot change and it's not worth it at all to try.

I realized that sexual orientation can not be changed and that being gay was not such a big deal after all.

After being disillusioned about God, made me search for the true God of love, the God that I am learning about now.

I got married and had three kids.

Ultimately, it led me to my current partner of 13 years. He and I are happy and content in our relationship, and very "out".

I did learn to look at my sexual behavior and determine why I was making some of the bad choices (e.g., casual sex, etc.)

I made some amazing friends.

I found out that the youth pastors who were walking me through the books and the experience were only doing so because it's what I said I wanted. When I came out as FTM, they supported me whole-heartedly.

Absolutely nothing. My life is ruined and so are my kids' lives.


Seeing the hypocrisy in the ex-gay leadership and the church really began to open my eyes up to truth. I realized more and more that homosexuality not only could not be changed.. but that there was really no need to change. I am who God made me to be.

It deepened my relationship with God. I really came to understand that God loved me and wanted only good for me. I came to appreciate God's grace.

Met great, lifelong friends

I did learn a lot about myself. The experience of not being able to reconcile my sexuality with my spirituality eventually led to my ability to come out.

Promoting love and celebration of all people, regardless of sexuality, is now a daily part of my life.

Given tools to manage depression.

I'm nicer to myself. i

I know all the tactics used by anti-gay Christians and cannot be shaken by them.

Gave be better perspective--to see that being gay was just a part of who I was but did not make a fundamental difference overall.

Learned to apply critical thinking skills, learned to stand on my own.

It made me so angry, I walked away from "church" and went into a world that exposed me to situations and experiences that I would have never had if I had stayed in my small town with my little white, privileged community! I am a better person and can minister to people I would have never understood had I not been pushed out of the church.

I made some friends who have been a vital part of my coming out experience and remind me frequently through their support that not all Christians are hateful.

felt a peace about myself

Self Reliance, eventual acceptance

Community, good friends, strength of character


The good that came out of it is that it made my relationship with God better. I drew closer to God and learned to worship Him with more ease.

I met some wonderful people who have become life long friends

That (believe it or not) there are ex-gay proponents who do what they do from a truly genuine concern, not with an angry, hateful attitude.


nothing. absolutely nothing.

I did have a very positive and supporting therapist in the end who did help me get over my self hatred. Once I found my self esteem I no longer believed being gay was wrong, a conclusion I believe i personally couldn't have come to without having participated in ex gay therapy.

I think it kept me from becoming sexually active too soon. I lost my virginity at 21 (and it was a positive experience), it took me awhile to deal with the emotions around that. It would have been too overwhelming had it happened sooner. I don't think it offsets the shame and self-loathing that I was so thoroughly taught to have. It wasn't until my 40s that I was honestly able to say that I was grateful for the gift of my gay sexuality.

Realized that their definition of the word "change" was different depending on who they were talking to and what the situation was.

I was advised to form more male companionship, because that would help recover some of my "lost" heterosexuality--through "camaraderie". (I've grown to abhor the very word). There was some truth in that...maybe I was avoiding male friendship because I thought I would not be accepted for being gay. I soon learned that, two good friends, at least, sexuality does not matter, despite what my ex-gay counselor would always tell me.



I learned about my unhealthy attractions. i learned i had anger issues, my low self esteem as well. Basically, i learned that people are more than just how they look, it is the heart that matters.

Developed some good friendships, although we no longer agree on major issues.

I learned that while the gay community is evil to its own, Exodus and Courage are even worse to my health.

I learned some good lessons about boundaries

Acceptance of myself and my unique qualities and perspectives.

I was, for the first time, able to talk about what I was experiencing and tell my story without fear.

Better walk with God

A stronger sense of self.

I began to see that the "clobber" passages dealt with a wide range of human experiences. I found the courage to admit that I struggled with same-sex attraction.

I feel like I needed to do everything possible to change my orientation and have it not work before I could even begin to consider that being gay wasn't a choice and start to accept who I am.

I did make some good friends and had some real loving supporting relationship BUT once I stopped my involvement Leadership in EX-GAY Dallas Main Exodus I was CUT OFF totally - NO CALLS. Nothing to this day.

I talked about being gay for the first time.

As recovery continues, I learn how to have healthy boundaries with people and avoid people who do not know what it means to think for themselves or pursue wholeness.

More peace of mind now.

Broke the silence; managed to share the secret I'd been carrying alone. Finally met and spoke to other gay people, albeit ex-gay strugglers like me. Initially gave me a sense of hope (though this faded)

I did find a community of people who understood what I was going through, and I met people who became close friends.

Friends. It was the first step in my coming out.

The pain helped drive me into recovery

I became the thing my religious leaders least wanted-- an Angry Gay Man. Between 22 and 26, I ran a state-wide non-profit that worked with LGBTQ youth.

I found out that I couldn't "perform" my way through the world, that sometime I had to let down and be myself, be honest with myself about myself, my relationships and my God. In 1988, it seems it was a much gentler time in the movement, and I gained a hunger for family and community that has never left me. Today, I want to see houses created for men to come and live and provide resources and permission for them to find themselves and define their own sexuality, philosophies of life and theologies. I'd like to integrate a lot of the streams that I have swam in, to give men opportunities to be their most authentic selves. Men's work has become the focus of my ministry.

I did come to terms with my abuse background slowly

I know how to live now, and how to best help others

Hearing the ex-gay line from someone else made it easier for me to analyze and (ultimately) discredit, whereas if I had kept it all inside myself, I wouldn't have been able to have perspective to analyze it.

I was able to connect with other Christians that were coming from similar places as it relates to those that were gay/had same-sex attractions and who were trying to figure things out related to faith and sexuality. Even though it can be used as a tool to keep individuals from identifying as LGBT, it was helpful for me to learn to put my main identity in Christ (even though I have now come out as gay). I was able to start working through some of the self-hatred that had built up over being gay.


My refusal to continue an ex-gay path put a wedge between myself and the church I called home. However that experience taught me to be more reflective and personal about my faith and to be open to other communities of faith that better aligned with my personal beliefs.

Although I entered ex-gay therapy/ministry with the goal of getting out of the gay lifestyle and minimizing my homosexual desires, I clearly didn't "graduate"; however what I gained was far more worth it - I truly gained a sense of self by understanding that I'm created by God to experience fellowship with him, and that's possible as a gay man. The group, although I left because of my coming to accept my being gay, is by far one of the most positive experiences in my life. It truly helped shape who I am today. My ex-gay experience was a safe, loving, trusting environment that didn't seem focused on making me straight, but rather focused on making me a better person. Most don't understand when I try to explain because they assume I was "brainwashed," but it was truly one of the most precious experiences of my life that has helped make me the confident, outgoing, comfortable in my own skin gay man I am today.

I asked questions which were important for me to ask and get answers for - I looked to reputable theology & psychology (rather than the weak theology & psychology offered by ex-gay movements)

I’ll never wonder if its possible to change - meeting other religious people with the same feelings - served as a stepping stone to coming out - would have never been able to go from religious to gay, but the ex-gay movement served as a medium to deal with the gay feelings until i was ready to come out

Made me work for myself to realize God loves me and created me as I am

well it did show that as much as I tried and was willing to change, I didn't change and therefore couldn't.

More self-acceptance. I was born bi and I must live with it but without self-reproach

friendships with other participants

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