The largest closet in the world is the “ex-gay” closet

//The largest closet in the world is the “ex-gay” closet

The largest closet in the world is the “ex-gay” closet

One statement we have heard over and over again is that 1,000’s have left the “homosexual lifestyle”. Claims have even been made that there are 100,000’s.But we have never been able to find these 1,000’s of people or are they too afraid to come out as “ex-gay”? 

Statements about large numbers “leaving homosexuality” have been boldly declared regularly by religious leaders and organizations such as Focus on the Family,  Family Research Council, Exodus, Charisma Magazine, Frank Worthen – Love in Action, Parents and Friend of Ex-gay (PFOX) – to name a few.

Here in Australia the same claims have been made by Rev Fred Nile of the Christian Democratic PartyBill MuehlenbergRon Brookman – Living WatersPeter Stokes – Salt Shakers and Margaret Court People have been exiting the “ex-gay” closet by the back door for decades as they come out in their 40’s, 50’s and even 60’s; finally admitting that nothing ever changed and they have accepted the fact that they have always been and always will be gay. The impacts on former spouses and children when the marriage becomes unsustainable can be devastating.

It is public declarations made by high profile people like John Paulk,  Michael Bussee (one of the founders of Exodus), John Smid former Director of the ex-gay residential program Love in Action that cause the “ex-gay’ tent to deflate the most. Even Exodus’s current leader Alan Chambers admitting that 99.9% of people he’d met had never changed their orientation.

The same thing has been happening in Australia with former”ex-gay” leaders for some time.

Yesterday, American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios spoke to Ex-Gay Pride Month organizer Christopher Doyle about today’s ex-gay lobby day on Capitol Hill. Doyle, who was organizing the since-cancelled Ex-Gay Pride banquet at the Family Research Council, complained in an interview with the Christian Post that “un-American” LGBT rights advocates have “shut us out,” explaining that “because of all this homo-fascism and indoctrination in the media, ex-gays aren’t given a fair shake.”

Rios confidently predicted that “thousands of ex-gays are descending” on Washington for a press conference planned for today at the Supreme Court. She lamented that when she led Concerned Women for America the media refused to hear “our ex-gay friends” because it “undermined the whole effort of the homosexual lobby.

Doyle told Rios that “tens of thousands” of ex-gays exist but are “in the closet because of fear, shame and threats from gay activists. They’re just too afraid to identify themselves. And I hope they can receive hope from people like me, and people who are going to be out there trying to give them a voice,” he said.

Clearly their hope and strategy didn’t work. Despite the expectation that “thousands of ex-gays” would partake in Ex-Gay Pride Month, fewer than ten people showed up for the big event. And on the YouTube video they had to highjack unsuspecting tourists  to promote their cause.


The 1,000’s who showed up for the Ex-gay Pride event, Washington

Read Right Wing Watch report of the event here.

Anthony Venn-Brown 

About the Author:

Anthony Venn-Brown
Anthony Venn-Brown is one of Australia’s foremost commentators on faith and sexuality. His best-selling autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning – a preacher’s struggle with his homosexuality, church and faith', details his journey from being one of the first in the world to experience religious gay conversion therapy, becoming a married, high profile preacher in Australia's growing mega-churches, such as Hillsong, to living as an openly gay man. Anthony was the co-founder and former leader of Freedom2b. He is an educator and consultant on LGBT/faith issues and leader in deconstructing the ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapy myth. Anthony is the founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International. Anthony has been recognised on a number of occassions for his contribution and impact including being twice voted one of 'The 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians’.


  1. Anonymous September 4, 2014 at 4:00 am - Reply

    My wife and I are both ex-gay and have been married for over ten years. We chose not to be "therapized" into heterosexuality, rather we let God do all the work, meaning it is not by our own efforts that we have been redeemed, but we give glory to Abba Father alone, lest "the rapist/therapist" take credit. We feel as if we have been rescued into a sort of "Abba's witness protection" program. Without being too overly melodramatic, we know that we are a sub-minority of a minority of people to whom this new life has been gifted. It is NOT easy. None of our so called "friends" from either of our past lives has continued, and none of our friends of our new lives knows the truth about us, because we already know they would not understand. We will not attend church because most of them are under judgement due to their 501(c)3 status. Neither are we married in the "legal" sense, because we feel that we do not need the state's "validation" of what Jesus has freely given us.
    That does not mean that we are worry or struggle free. By no means. We both still have "issues" that have nothing to do with orientation. Because both of us have bad role models as parents, as well as neurological disorders, we have no children. We do not feel that we are in any sort of "closet" from which we need to emerge. We find that we do not "fit" into any sort of category, and here's the really strange part, in either world, gay or straight. Statistics, though flawed, report that gay men have had hundreds or more "lovers" in their lifetimes. That was never the case with me. I just wanted to let you know that we exist. We live somewhere on the west coast. Because of the sensitive nature of this subject, even in 2014, we feel as if our privacy is more important than "flaunting" our freedom. To those who are redeemed, we will see you there. Maranatha!

    • Anthony Venn-Brown
      Anthony Venn-Brown April 5, 2017 at 4:45 am - Reply

      33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 10;33

    • Anthony Venn-Brown
      Anthony Venn-Brown April 5, 2017 at 4:51 am - Reply

      Matthew 5:14-16The Message (MSG)

      14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven

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