John M. Becker

Another Former 'Ex-Gay' Leader Recants

Filed By John M. Becker | December 09, 2014 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Christian Schizzel, ex ex-gay, ex-gay, ex-gay myth

christian-schizzel.jpgAnother big name in the "ex-gay" movement is publicly repenting of his past: in an interview with Eliel Cruz of the Religion News Service, Christian Schizzel -- who spent seven years being touted by the movement as a "success story" -- comes out of the closet as a gay man and repudiates the "ex-gay" myth.

Here's an excerpt from Schizzel's remarks:

There was a psychological "breaking-me-down" and isolation process from my friends and family because they were considered unhealthy. 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. They demonized my entire support system until I had no one to turn to except them. After roughly two years of the break down I was finally on the same page as them and I began conforming to their wishes all on my own. Being young and impressionable, I was unknowingly being groomed as the next leader of the next generation of ex-gays. All I was seeking was acceptance.

The most offensive thing out of all this by the Christian community was that they told me that I was gay because of the abuse. They grasped at straws for a "cause" of my homosexuality and they used my sexual abuse against me. Now that I am coming out this second time I have to finally deal with my sexual abuse almost as if for the first time, understanding it didn't cause my orientation.

Click here for the full interview.

If Christian's name looks familiar, it's because he was prominently featured in a 2011 episode of OWN's Our America with Lisa Ling called "Pray the Gay Away?" A promo trailer for the episode, featuring Schizzel, is after the break.

I remember my heart breaking for Christian when I first saw him in Ling's special back in 2011. I'm so glad he's since been able to own and embrace his truth and love himself for the wonderful gay person he is.

Welcome out, Christian!

Image via the Reformation Project.

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