Ex-Gays Of Australia

Kohler_showerThe Sydney Morning Herald today published a small feature on pray-the-gay-away cults around Sydney, Australia. It's a good read, and it bears good news: The ex-gay movement in Sydney, like ex-gay movements everyplace, is on the wane, and groups which once claimed to utterly rejigger clients' sexual orientations now have lesser ambitions:

… the Australian ''ex-gay'' movement has shrunk and become more marginalised than it was when he went through homosexual ''healing'' in the 1970s. The sessions today are more in the style of confessional support groups, not dissimilar to Alcoholics Anonymous …

Of the three groups contacted by The Sun-Herald, only Haydn Sennitt, the pastoral worker at Liberty Christian Ministries, agreed to be interviewed. Sennitt says: ''We do not offer 'fixes' or 'cures' for homosexuality, but we do believe that it can be healed over time.''

''I have seen in myself and others an ability for people to overcome same-sex attraction by persistence, prayer, and patience,'' says Sennitt, who after years of living as a homosexual is now married with a child.

(" … and who is therefore probably naturally bisexual," one wishes the editors would add.)

The article's good tiding's aren't its most striking feature. That would be the description of the "treatments" used by Australian ex-gay groups to heterosexualize their clients, which are far more dramatic than those used recently by equivalent American organizations. In particular the "treatment" of Anthony Venn-Brown, "a former leader in the Assemblies of God who for 22 years tried to change his homosexuality through psychiatric treatment, exorcisms, ''ex-gay'' programs and 40-day fasts." According to the Sydney Morning Herald:

He was assigned a ''minder'' to monitor his behaviour. The minder combed through his wardrobe to remove all ''gay-looking'' clothes such as pink socks and colourful underwear, stood outside while he showered to stop him from masturbating, and made him do more manly activities such as gardening and maintenance.

(If you were running an "ex-gay" group, wouldn't you be more concerned by the proclivities of your willing shower-minders than those of your clientele?)

Read the full Sydney Morning Herald feature here.


  1. Joel says

    Those pink socks will get you every time. And we all know that straight men never masturbate.

  2. jack says

    All right, I’ll give up my pink socks if I can keep my collection of Cristiano Ronaldo photos. Thats where I draw the line!

  3. Michael says

    No wonder I am so gay but there’s no chance in Hell I am going to stop masturbating.

    Btw you can just picture the shower scene, “excuse me but you can’t masturbate but if you insist I can lend you a hand.”

  4. TampaZeke says

    What do you mean more dramatic than those used by American organizations. These are the EXACT SAME “treatments” used by Love Won Out, Evergreen and others. If anything, the American systems have been more dramatic. And I might also note that the Australian groups got their methods from American groups.

  5. Randy says

    Only a person stupid enough to think that there are “manly” and “unmanly” hobbies would think that gardening is an example of the former.

  6. Caliban says

    That certainly puts a new spin on going through a 12-Step program for crack addiction!

  7. says


    it always stuns me that they ignore the core of the ex-gay motivations: you want to rid yourself of those desires. why? because the people in your life won’t love your or accept you as you are.

    the ex-gay movement is, of course, intellectually primitive and a load of b.s. we get a bunch of people claiming religious faith in Jeebus, only to then break the 9th commandment every day of their lives by pretending to be “cured”. why? because they dont care about Jeebus, they care about the approval from jeebus-worshippers.
    big difference.

    plus, it sorta makes “God” sound like a complete ‘tard with bogus priorities.

    “Sorry, folks. Can’t cure cancer, end war, stop famine or attend to the actually-needy; there’s a group of boys over here that I need to help develop a taste for pu**y.”



  8. thinking about it says

    It’s through gardening that I met two landscapers!

    Oh, and eventually some people just tire of sex, are they calling that a cure? Haha.

  9. Den says

    Getting rid of pink socks. Having a ‘minder’ stop you masturbating in the shower. Being encouraged to take up ‘masculine’ pursuits like gardening. Is this ex-gay therapy a satirical spoof ?

  10. Caliban says

    I don’t think even those who use it as an argument against gay rights really believe in “ex-gays.” It’s just a convenient lie they use to excuse their homophobia. Would they want their sons or daughters to marry someone who claims they “used to be gay”? No, because they know it’s BS.

    But what a great deal for the poor deluded queers who fall for it! Basically the life they’re *allowed” to live is one of white-knuckle denial from puberty to the grave while their oh-so-holy straight religious leaders do whatever the f*ck they want, marry multiple times, bang the church secretary, hire hookers, etc.

    You’ve got to be seriously screwed in the head to fall for that.

    And what of the “lucky” ladies who get the privilege of marrying these converts? Isn’t it every little girl’s dream to marry a man for whom it took gory threats of eternal hellfire and damnation to make them say “I do”? Who wants to be the consolation prize at their own wedding?

  11. Gus says

    “made him do more manly activities such as gardening and maintenance.” In Columbus, OH, as “we” rehab the whole town, that is the first sign.