Ex-gay “role model” comes out – says being gay “a gift from God”


Christian Schizzel in a 2011 episode of Our America

The ex-gay Christian movement in the US continues to crumble as another high profile member publicly comes to terms with his sexuality, saying that he refuses to “be a weapon anymore.”

Christian Schizzel, who spent seven years rallying against homosexuality as a model “reformed” gay man, thanks to so-called reparative therapy, has spoken to Religious News Service about unsuccessfully “trying to be straight.”

Schizzel campaigned at churches, spoke to young people and appeared on television, including in the Oprah Winfrey Network’s Our America (see below), in a bid to convince the world that homosexuality is “curable.”

He now says: “I’m coming out this second time as my true self – a gay man — louder than before so we can all learn from the mistakes made and the harmful effects of reparative therapy can be uncovered and so that people who have used my story against other gay people won’t have it as a weapon anymore.”

Schizzel revealed that the reparative therapy he underwent to “become straight” involved a psychological “breaking-me-down” and isolation from his friends and family.

“They did this to achieve complete domination over me to build me up and mold me from there. I had to do activities that were stereotypically manly and I couldn’t have too many female friends that would encourage me to be effeminate.

“I was kept from attending the funeral of the mother of one of my closest friend because, they said, the devil was using this funeral to lure me back out to become reacquainted with non-believers. I didn’t talk to my mom for almost a year and a half. I was told it was my family’s fault I was gay because of how I was raised.” he said.

When asked what he would tell Christian groups that continue to promote reparative therapy, Schizzel replied: “I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone, not even the ones who harmed me the most in this life. In the end, my sexuality is a beautiful gift from God…”

In August, nine American former leaders of “ex-gay” ministries denounced-the dangerous practice of attempting to “cure” gay people through reparative therapy.

In June 2013, Exodus International, one of the leading gay cure Christian groups in the US, shut its doors, with its leader apologising for the harm he’d caused.

Major medical and mental health organisations around the world, including the South African Society of Psychiatrists, have denounced efforts to change sexual orientation or gender expression as ineffective and potentially harmful. Instead, they believe that therapy should be used to help people accept their sexuality.

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