It wasn’t until I was watching intro of the clip that I remembered I knew someone who went through “ex-gay therapy.” It was when the headline in the article that flashed briefly during the intro that I recognized my fraternity brother, Larry, in the “Campaign is ‘a Big Lie'” article. (I’ve tried to find the article online, and thus far haven’t had any luck.)
Peter’s story is pretty amazing. I posted an excerpt of it a while back.
At a cost of $950 a month, Toscano, now 40, stayed in LIA’s residential program for more than two years.
The rules dictated he shave every day, and stay out of the forbidden zones: Midtown, Downtown and anywhere west of Highland. In group therapy, clients were instructed to share their sexual thoughts and homosexual experiences in clinical terms. (Smid says the group sharing of sexual experiences is no longer a part of the therapy.)
Toscano says he was in a “biblically induced coma, with a toxic mixture of fear and shame.”
“We had a mock funeral for a 19-year-old” also in the program, he says. “We actually laid him out on the table, so we could talk about what a shame he didn’t live his life right.”
While he was at LIA, a fellow client tried to kill himself.
It took Toscano, now a Quaker, 17 years of submitting to the ex-gay movement to realize that “there’s nothing that can be done … and nothing need be done” about his sexual identity.
After being forced to endure an exgay therapy program called “Love In Action,” 18 year old Lance Carroll describes the nightmare of shame and humiliation that he endured at that program which cost his parents $10,000.
“Basically, their form of therapy is conditioning. It’s a negative reinforcement of shame. Anything that you connect to homosexuality, you connect to shame within yourself. You internalize this hatred toward yourself, this homophobia, this embarrassment…two months, every day, morning and evening, they would take turns. A person would get up and you would literally shame them for their feelings…
“I didn’t fit their stereotype. I wasn’t abused as a child. I had a good relationship with my father. I didn’t fit what they thought and they didn’t know what to do.”
Lance’s full statement, on the anniversary of his internment, is even more revealing.
In January of 2005, I came out to my parents as being gay. After an initial positive and supporting reaction they began to change their minds…I was sent to several different counselors, the last of which worked for a fundamentalist Christian church. This “counselor” informed me that I was not Gay, in fact, he said no one was really Gay…and anyone who claimed to be gay was living a lie. This pastor recommended to my parents that I be sent to Love In Action’s REFUGE program for teens.
On June 6, 2005 I left Jackson, Missouri at five o’clock in the morning to make the long trip to Memphis, Tennessee. The first things I saw at the Love in Action campus were the protesters. I spent the entire summer between my junior and senior year of highschool in Memphis, against my will, at Refuge, where I underwent many forms of “therapy” that were supposed to turn me away from being gay. These so-called “therapies” included group activities where one person was singled out and made to be ashamed of very personal occurrences in their lives. I had to participate in this activity many times. Other “therapies” included isolation, where you wouldn’t be allowed to communicate—we were not even allowed to make eye contact, with any of the other participants; making the women wear skirts and makeup to help them become more feminine; and making the men play sports in an attempt to help them become more masculine.
These are just a couple of examples of the type of “program” they use to turn people straight. Though while I was there, it just seemed to make people more depressed and self-loathing than they already were. I, myself, went through several of these depressive periods. After enduring this time in Memphis I returned home, unchanged.
My parents were very disappointed and didn’t know what to do next, feeling that they had tried everything. My mom took it upon herself to somehow change me. This began with daily bouts of verbal abuse, her telling me how ashamed she was of me. After a few months of this, the verbal abuse escalated into small episodes of physical abuse, with her cornering me and slapping me, while telling me what an abomination I was. This type of behavior continued until I could no longer stand to live at home. One day I packed up all of my belongings into my car, and told my parents that I was moving out right that minute. My mother got so angry when I told her this that she exploded and beat me into a corner, ripping my shirt and giving me scratches and bruises in the process. My dad had to pull her off of me so that I could get to my car to leave.
Fortunately I am now living with a wonderful, and supportive family who are very empathetic toward my situation. They have taken me in, and made me their son-in-spirit. Now that I am in a much-improved situation, I feel that I need to speak-out against the things that I went through. Parents should not be able to force their children to attend any type of program like the one I went to. When a child comes out to their parents as gay, lesbian, or bisexual they need the love and support of their parents. They don’t need to be made to feel that there is something wrong with them, something that needs to be fixed.
There’s also a clip of Lance talking about how he was forced into a program that, so the spokesperson claims, doesn’t take people who are there against their will. Unless they’re minors, that is, whose parents are forcing them into the program. (Also includes Zach’s story.)
I also came across this video by Daniel of Ex-Gay Watch, who’s also a former patient of Joseph Nicolosi, from the previous post.
This, from programs that actually have the words “love” in their names.
Again, this is what comes of “love”?