Survivors Of Pulse Massacre To Headline ‘Ex-Gay’ Event In Orlando

Pulse Nightclub massacre survivor Luis Javier Ruiz
Pulse Nightclub massacre survivor Luis Javier Ruiz
Luis Javier Ruiz (image via Facebook)

Two survivors of the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting who say they are no longer gay have been announced to headline an “ex-gay” rally in Orlando, Florida.

Luis Javier Ruiz and Angel Colon will take part in the so-called “Freedom March” scheduled to take place September 14 at Orlando’s Lake Eloa Park, located just minutes from the site of Pulse Nightclub.

As Newsweek reports, organizers of the event say the point of the rally is to celebrate “freedom from homosexual/transgender lifestyles by the grace and power of Jesus Christ.”

The Freedom March organization has held similar events across the U.S. The most recent rally was held in St. Paul, Minnesota, in June 2019.

Both Ruiz and Colon say they no longer identify as gay.

At the Freedom March in Washington, D.C. in May, Ruiz told NBC News, “I don’t want to tell everyone it’s a ‘gay-to-straight’ thing because God is not calling me to that.”

“I feel that I want to live in a life of purity,” he added. “I feel that through loving Christ, he will walk me out of any situation. I love the LGBTQ community, I love my family. There’s no hate here—there’s love.”

During the Pulse massacre, Colon was reportedly shot six times and was trampled by club-goers trying to escape the shooter. It would be two months before he would be able to walk again.

Colon recently appeared on a Christian podcast, The Roys Report, where he told the host the shooting was the impetus for him to renounce homosexuality.

“A couple months before June, I started praying to God and I told him, ‘Lord, You know my situation, You know my heart, You know I want to worship you. But I cannot do it on my own will,” he told host Julie Roys. “Please help me come back to you.”

And according to Colon, on June 12, at 2:02 a.m., “everything just changed in an instant.”

The two men have also founded an organization called ‘Fearless Identity,’ which encourages people to “reject their LGBT identities.” According to Newsweek, forming the group was the mens’ response to backlash for identifying as ex-gay.

Ruiz posted this video to YouTube where he explains being diagnosed as HIV-positive was what pushed him to ‘reject’ being gay.

Filipino President Claims He Was Once Gay But ‘Cured’ Himself

Rodrigo Duterte, the controversial president of the Philippines, joked during a trip to Japan that he had once been gay but ‘cured’ himself upon meeting his ex-wife.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (screen capture via newscast)
Rodrigo Duterte, the controversial president of the Philippines, joked during a trip to Japan that he had once been gay but ‘cured’ himself upon meeting his ex-wife.

Duterte was in Tokyo for bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and during a public appearance he mocked a political opponent, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, for moving like a gay person.

Rappler, a Filipino newspaper, reports that Duterte was asked about Trillanes sexuality and he replied, “Ask any gay man and see that moving, they say that’s gay.”

“Good thing Trillanes and I are similar, but I cured myself,” he added. “When I began a relationship with Zimmerman, I said, this is it. I became a man again.”

Elizabeth Zimmerman was married to the Filipino leader for 25 years before filing for an annulment in 1998. She told the courts at the time that Duterte was a “womanizer.”

Admitting he once believed he was gay is an odd confession coming from Duterte who has had wildly inconsistent positions when it comes to the LGBTQ community.

Before being elected president in 2016, he expressed support for same-sex marriage.

During an appearance on the Vice Ganda talk show in 2015, he said, “Same-sex marriage is good. Everyone deserves to be happy.”

But he later flip-flopped on the issue saying he preferred same-sex unions instead.

He once asked the head of the country’s Commission on Human Rights if he was a gay pedophile because he was concerned about young boys being killed in the war on drugs.

More recently, before the recent elections in the Philippines, the 74-year-old president called out former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay who was running to be a Senator.

During a campaign rally, Duterte told the crowd, “Hilbay’s girlfriend is Agot Isidro. Her boyfriend is gay.”

He continued mocking Hilbay saying that as Solicitor General he had “filled his office with homosexuals.”

In 2017, the Filipino president mocked the idea of transgender people in the U.S. saying during a speech, “There is no gender because you can be a he or she.”

“That’s their culture,” he added according to the BBC. “It does not apply to us.”

Duterte is most well known for not only encouraging but overseeing the killing of thousands in his brutally violent war on drugs.

Notorious ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapist Announces He’s Gay And Actively Seeking To Date Men

Notorious 'ex-gay' therapist David Matheson announced he is now living an openly gay life and is seeking to date men.
David Matheson (image via Facebook)

My grandmother used to say all the time, “Ye who protesteth the loudest, do it the mostesth!”

That echoes in my mind as I report that a prominent therapist in the so-called conversion therapy industry has announced he has left the ‘ex-gay’ movement and is actively looking to date men.

Truth Wins Out, a nonprofit think tank and advocacy group that fights against anti-LGBT prejudice and discrimination, obtained screen captures of a private Facebook group that shared the news David Matheson, who penned the controversial ‘ex-gay’ book, Becoming a Whole Man, is now living his life as an openly gay man.

During his career as a therapist, Matheson has authored several ‘ex-gay therapy’ programs including the notorious Journey Into Manhood program.

Rich Wyler, Journey Into Manhood’s director, broke the news in the Facebook group writing, “David…says that living a single, celibate life ‘just isn’t feasible’ for him, so he’s seeking a male partner.”

Wyler added, “He has gone from bisexuality to exclusively gay.”

TWO reached out to Matheson and received a statement which was appallingly absent any regret for his actions in the past. He also reveals he plans to remain in the Mormon Church.

“My time in a straight marriage and in the ‘ex-gay’ world was genuine and sincere and a rich blessing to me,” Matheson said in text messages to TWO. “I remember most of it with fondness and gratitude for the joy and growth it caused in me and many others. But I had stopped growing and was starting to die. So I’ve embarked on a new life-giving path that has already started a whole new growth process.

“I wasn’t faking it all those years,” he added. “I’m not renouncing my past work or my LDS faith. And I’m not condemning mixed-orientation marriages.”

“I continue to support the rights of individuals to choose how they will respond to their sexual attractions and identity,” he wrote in closing. “With that freedom, I am now choosing to pursue life as a gay man.”

At least one former client of Journey Into Manhood rejected the announcement.

“While I am pleased for Mr Matheson that he has found a path forward for his life, I can’t help but think of the hundreds if not thousands of people who are still stuck in the closet, a closet that was created in part by Mr Matheson himself,” said Chaim Levin, who was psychologically harmed by the program Matheson helped design for Journey Into Manhood. “I hope that Mr. Matheson will do whatever he can to rectify the harm that he’s inflicted on many people in the LGBTQ community, myself included.”

A 2007 New York Times article revealed Matheson had earned a master’s in counseling and guidance from Brigham Young University. He began full-time practice in New Jersey in 2004, where he charged clients $240 per 90-minute session.

Matheson helped develop the ‘program’ for Journey into Manhood, which took gay men go into the forest where they were encouraged to engage in “manly” activities in an effort to change their sexual orientation.

“For some people ‘gay’ is never going to work,” he told ABC’s Nightline in 2010 while discussing Journey Into Manhood. “That kind of life, and that kind of living, is never going to gel — ever — with their value system.”

“For those men, that’s why we exist, so that they can have another way, another approach of dealing with their sexual feelings,” Matheson added.

Since the publication of TWO’s report, Matheson has posted a coming-out essay on his Facebook page, which reads in part:

I know my work helped many, many people because they’ve told me so. But I’m sure I’ve hurt some people too.

Not that I would excuse myself, but any shortcomings I had as a therapist came from too narrow a view of what “emotionally healthy” can look like. They came from my own homophobia and narrow mindedness. I am truly sorry for those flaws and the harm they have surely caused some people. And I’m sorry for the confusion and pain my choice may be causing others.

Even today, as a newly-out gay man, I still find too much homophobia in myself.

(h/t Truth Wins Out)

Former Gay Escort Now Straight After A Year Of Celibacy

Dominic Hilton says a year of celibacy turned him heterosexual
(image via Instagram)

A former male escort says he’s now straight after a year of celibacy.

According to The Mirror, Dominic Hilton resolved to take a year off from having sex after breaking up with his last boyfriend on Christmas Day 2017.

Now, after 365 sex-free days, Hilton plans to begin dating again, but he says he feels no attraction to men and he’s looking to date women.

The mental health worker, who came out as gay at the age of 14, told The Mirror, “Sex is always something I enjoyed, but this past year, that sexual attraction to men has just gone.”

“I’d been wondering if perhaps I was bisexual, and attracted to both men and women, but now, I just don’t find men attractive anymore,” he says. “I have no intention of sleeping with a man again.”

“If you’d have asked me in the past if a person can change their sexuality, I’d have said no – but I’m living proof that you can,” he adds.

Hilton is getting some media attention lately having appeared on the UK dating show, Naked Attraction, where contestants meet potential dating partners for the first time naked.

Hilton is open about the fact that when he was 18-years-old he worked as a male escort for a couple of years. But he gave that up to become a ‘serial monogamist.’

He estimates he has had between 100 and 150 male sex partners, but now wants to settle down with a woman – although he’s never had sex with some of the female persuasion.

“I’ve had sex with men, but not women, so I want to find an open-minded girl I can lose my virginity to,” says 27-year-old.

That said, Hilton admits being honest about his gay past with prospective females on dating apps can “shut down a conversation.”

He says many women stopping communicating with him once he shares the news. “I told one girl, and she ended up blocking me an hour before we were due to meet which was hurtful.”

Hilton says he understands some people don’t understand his new heterosexuality, but says this isn’t a phase.

“I have no doubt that I am straight,” he declares.

And he definitely recommends celibacy to folks who might be feeling “a little lost in life.”

“Even if you don’t go a whole year, just take some time and focus on yourself – you may be surprised at what you learn.”

(h/t The Mirror)

Former “Ex-Gay” Poster Boy Speaks Out Against Harmful Reparative Therapy

After years of being used as an “ex-gay” poster boy, Christian Schizzel has come out publicly against the techniques and practices used to try and change his sexuality.  Says Schizzel of the “ex-gay” movement, “I won’t be a weapon anymore.”

From Religion News Service:

In an exclusive interview with RNS, Christian tells about his experience with the Janet Boynes Ministries and The Bachmann & Associates counseling centers, the latter operation owned by U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann and husband Marcus Bachmann. Both entities were associated with the now closed Exodus International but are currently still in business. (No response yet for comment. Will update post if that changes.)

At nine years of age, Christian was sexually and physically abused by his step father — a missionary who used Bible verses to silence Christian into submission. He even used scripture during the acts itself to justify the abuse. Years later at the age of 18, after coming out to friends and family, Christian was encouraged to seek help at the ministry. It was there that they used this horrific experience to pinpoint the “cause” of Christian’s sexuality, although Christian said he knew about his sexuality before the abuse.

“Coming out publicly and sharing is important to me because my sexuality has been exploited my whole life by the Christian community both knowingly and un-knowingly.”

Christian ends the Q&A by saying he considers his sexuality a natural gift from God, and urges those who support reparative therapy to rethink it’s harmful and excruciatingly painful practice.

(h/t JMG)

Renounce Your “Gayness” For $100

This video, apparently from the “COGIC 107th Holy Convocation” (whatever that is), went viral today all over Facebook.

A 21 year old in Missouri is cleansed of his “gayness” by the Holy Spirit. According the goings-on in the video, at least.

“I am not gay no more! I am delivered! I don’t like mens no more! I said I like women! Women, women, women, women, women, blub, blub, blub! I said women! I’m not gay! I would not date a man! I would not carry a purse! I would not put on makeup! I will, I will love a woman!”

And then the reverend who oversees the whole shebang hands him a $100 bill…

“Ex-gay” Matt Moore says parents shouldn’t “fault” themselves for children’s homosexuality

In a blog post on the anti-gay website Barb Wire,  so-called “ex-gay” Matt Moore tries to tell parents that they should not fault themselves for their child’s homosexuality:

Neither you nor your psychologist nor your pastor nor your doctor will ever fully know why your kid is attracted to the same sex, but you can know that it isn’t your fault. Yes, you are a sinner and yes, you have sinned against your kids… and yes, you do need forgiveness for that — and you have it fully if you’re in Christ. But don’t blame yourself for their broken sexuality. There are a million different sinful things inside and outside of them (the main three being the flesh, the world and Satan) that have continually worked to shape, feed and further distort their sexual desires.

I know this blog isn’t a fully comprehensive overview of the doctrine of original sin, etc., but I just wanted to briefly tell the parents out there to stop beating yourself up. Please, hate sin and hate all of it’s workings and twistings and distortions in your own heart and in your kid’s heart — but don’t hate yourself for your kid’s sexuality. You are not to blame for this.

What misses by a mile here is that there is no “fault” to begin with.

To begin with fault means to accept that something is fundamentally wrong. That being gay is fundamentally wrong. And it’s not.

Moore has publicly struggled with his own sexuality going from gay to “ex-gay” to being found on the hook-up app Grindr earlier this year while in New Orleans.  (Moore later explained that he sold his computer and “locked” his phone so he wouldn’t be tempted again).

So,  I’m not sure that Moore is the person to calm anyone’s concerns about who their children may or may not be.

Texas state Republican Party endorses “ex-gay” therapy

Over the weekend, the Texas Republican Party voted to endorse controversial “ex-gay” therapy as a plank to the state GOP’s platform.

More than 10,000 attendees voted to add the following language to the party platform:

‘We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.’

According to CNN Cathie Adams, president of the Texas Eagle Forum, championed the inclusion of conversion therapy.

‘Nothing is mandatory,’ Adams said to CNN. ‘If a person chooses counseling, then it should be made available. California and New Jersey have passed bills outlawing it altogether, which is under litigation. It’s a freedom issue.’

The American Psychological Association has stated that “ex-gay” therapy, also known as “reparative therapy” is ‘unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm.’

(via Gay Star News)

More Scott Lively on Uganda: Gays should get reparative therapy or go to jail

In an interview with SiriusXM host Michelangelo Signorile, anti-gay crusader Scott Lively explains that his goal in advising Uganda on their recent Anti-Homosexuality Act was to have the government offer reparative or “ex-gay” therapy instead of punitive sanctions.

When asked what should happen if gays and lesbians in Uganda didn’t WANT such therapy (which has been shown to be very damaging to patients to the point of becoming torture), Lively says those people would have to “take whatever the other alternative is, which was probably going to jail.”

Listen below:

PFOX fails again to draw a crowd for “Ex-Gay Awareness Month” Lobby Day

Greg Quinlan and his "ex-gay" group PFOX again failed to draw a crowd as only 15 people showed up for his Ex-Gay Awareness Month Lobby event.

Right Wing Watch reports that Greg Quinlan and his “ex-gay” group PFOX failed again to gather the “thousands” of “ex-gays” for a Washington lobby day he swears are TOTALLY out there. Although the group claims ‘thousands of Ex-Gays’ were ready to march on D.C. – only 15 showed up:

Despite claims that “there are more ex-gay people in the world than there are gay people in the world” and that there are “thousands of ex-gays” ready to march on Washington and make their voices heard, ex-gay gatherings always seem to assemble just a small handful of people. And it’s always the exact same people.

Ex-Gay Awareness Month, which immediately followed the disastrous Ex-Gay Pride Month lobby day, managed to muster “about 15 ex-gay activists to lobby Capitol Hill” yesterday.

The pathetically unsuccessful lobby day was followed by an equally feeble First Annual Ex-Gay Awareness Dinner and Reception for 60 people, that attracted such “Christian” haters of Mathew Staver of the Liberty Counsel, and Bishop Harry Jackson, the Christian Post reports.

The winner of their “ex-gay theme song contest”, a dramatic ode called “Rise Up” by Dennis Jernigan, was announced and debuted at the event.