Booker Award winning author experienced horror gay “cure” exorcism

Marlon James (Pic: Facebook / Jeffrey Skemp

Marlon James (Pic: Facebook / Jeffrey Skemp

Acclaimed Jamaican author Marlon James has revealed that he underwent a harrowing “exorcism” in a misguided attempt to erase his homosexuality.

The openly gay James, 45, won the Man Booker prize last year for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings.

While attending the Hay literature festival in Wales on Sunday, James spoke about the horrific experience in his thirties in Jamaica.

According to The Times, he said that two preachers, who were part of the ex-gay movement, conducted the exorcism through “a mixture of prayer and support and shaming and vomiting”.

He explained: “I thought ‘Great, I am getting rid of demons’, until I read up on the whole ex-gay thing.”

James went on to describe the ex-gay movement as “dangerously misleading” and “primitive and backward”.

He added that he later decided to “get rid of the church part, not God, and that worked wonderfully”.

James, who now lives in and teaches literature in Minnesota, told The Guardian last year that he left Jamaica because he feared being violently targeted because of his sexuality.

Jamaica has been dubbed one of the world’s most homophobic countries and is known for violent mob attacks against LGBT people. Those found guilty of having gay sex can be jailed for up to ten years.

In a damning 2014 report, Human Rights Watch found that “LGBT people in Jamaica face intolerable levels of violence” and are taunted, threatened, fired from their jobs, thrown out of their homes, beaten, stoned, raped, or killed.

Last week, it was reported that two men, believed to be a couple, were murdered in Montego Bay by a group of armed thugs because of their sexuality.

Attempts to cure or change people’s sexual orientation or gender identity, known as conversion therapy, have been widely discredited by major medical and psychological groups around the world as ineffectual and harmful.

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