**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
Contact: Jallen Rix, Ed.D., ACS
400 Ex-Gay Survivors Document Harm of Reparative Therapy
Beyond Ex-Gay announces the results of extensive survivor surveys
Washington, D.C. - Beginning November 2011, Beyond Ex-Gay partnered with its global network of survivors of reparative therapy in order to study and document the abuse and unprofessional counseling tactics of the ex-gay movement. More than 400 survivors shared how their ex-gay experience(s) damaged their social, emotional, financial, spiritual, and sexual health and wellbeing.
The Beyond Ex-Gay survey results expose how the practices of organizations like Exodus, NARTH, members of the newly formed Restored Hope Network, and others have often led to devastating harm for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and their families.
Beyond Ex-Gay makes these survey results available to support legislation which plans to ban reparative therapy for minors. These results will also serve psychological and religious communities in advocating for more research and better resources for those harmed.
All of the results can be viewed at the website: http://www.beyondexgay.com/survey/results and several excerpts can be found at the end of this press release.
For the facilitators at Beyond Ex-Gay, these survivor voices are inspiring and paramount to any political, spiritual, or mental health discussion on the topic of sexuality. As Gail Dickert states, “Those who have been damaged by these organizations are often ignored in the media. This gives the public an inaccurate view of what happens in the ex-gay movement. Prevention of future victims starts with hearing from survivors.”
“It was our desire to provide a safe format for ex-gay survivors to tell their stories. We were very pleased to receive such a large initial response, but we know there are many more people harmed by these organizations,” said Christine Bakke-O’Neill, co-founder of Beyond Ex-Gay.
The following are excerpts of survivor comments:
“I was told to view homosexuality as being akin to alcoholism. I had to repent of the sin, have the spirit of homosexuality cast out of me.”
“I was told it was a response to childhood abuses that happened even if I did not remember them.”
“My reparative therapy counselor initiated ‘holding therapy’ with me, which progressed into intimate physical activity between us.”
“I lost 20 years of living to the lies of the ex-gay crowd, and never once saw a single person become straight. I wish I could sue for fraud.”
“Self-hatred, isolation, depression, and flashbacks continue to be mental health issues.”
“The financial cost of ex-gay ministry is not what I paid during the experience, but the thousands of dollars I have spent for therapy to get over the experience.”
The survey remains open, as Beyond Ex-Gay is committed to gathering survivor stories and documenting the harm done by suppression and efforts to change orientation. http://www.beyondexgay.com/voice
About Beyond Ex-Gay:
Beyond Ex-Gay (BeyondExGay.com) is a volunteer-led online community resource for survivors of “ex-gay” experiences. Founded in 2007 by survivors, Christine Bakke-O’Neill and Peterson Toscano, Beyond Ex-Gay continues to serve survivors by creating a safe place for discussion, groups, profiles, blogs, resources, and online chats.