‘Ex-Gays’ Wish People Would Just Leave Them Alone

BornwayThe New York Times, a paper whose editorial board once described right wing reparative therapies to "cure" homosexuality as "absurd", today has a piece about how so-called "ex-gays" are feeling ostracized and oppressed by all the work against harmful ex-gay "treatments".

According to them, they should be able to "turn straight" without fear of recrimination.

An excerpt:

Cameron Michael Swaim, 20, said he is in the early stages of his struggle to overcome homosexual desires. Mr. Swaim is unemployed and lives with his parents in Orange County, Calif., where his father is a pastor of the Evangelical Friends Church of the Southwest.

He tried the gay life, but “it just doesn’t settle with me,” he said, and ultimately decided “there’s got to be a way to heal this affliction.”

Through weekend retreats and participation in a Southern California support group Mr. Swaim has started to explore his family relations, he said, something that has been painful but seems to be helping.

“I’m building my confidence around men,” he said, “ and that has built my confidence around women.”

Five years from now, Mr. Swaim hopes, he will be engaged or married. In the meantime, he is trying to scrape together enough money to start seeing a reparative therapist.

Aaron Bitzer, the man suing the state of California over a ban on reparative therapy for minors, says that his own experience with innate gay feelings left him depressed and suicidal, two of the side effects doctors say reparative therapy can cause.

"If I’d known about these therapies as a teen I could have avoided a lot of depression, self-hatred and suicidal thoughts," he said. "I found that I couldn’t just say ‘I’m gay’ and live that way."


  1. Pete N SFO says

    I’ll leave them alone, when they stop calling normal sexuality an affliction, and when they stop grabbing a microphone to tell everyone about their ‘epiphany’

  2. jason says

    I don’t have a problem with ex-gay if it means removing oneself from the unrelenting promiscuity of the male-male social scene. However, I do have a major problem if ex-gay means fighting against your natural thoughts and feelings. Here, I draw the line.

    Let me make this abundantly clear: orientation (automatic thoughts and feelings) are immune to change. They will always be there in form or another. To pretend otherwise will lead to social dislocation and depression. Be happy with what you are.

  3. Disgusted American says

    Five years from now, Mr. Swaim hopes, he will be engaged or married

    ..and in 6yrs – Mr Swaim will be having Secret meetings with men, in all kinds of secretive places….for MEATINGS. while his unssuspecting Wife sits home waiting for him….7yrs from now…Mr Swaim, will be in a secret affair with another man….while his Then pregnant wife sits home waiting for him to come home from the Ofc (cough,cough) – wow, what sad young man – who’s brain/mind is poisioned by his father and religion.

  4. jason says

    The other thing I should mention is that I sympathize with Cameron’s dislike of the “lifestyle” associated with male-male sexual socialization. It can be fun for a while but then the reality of its coldness seeps into you. You realize that it’s based on an appearance fascism. You realize that you are just a cab off the rank.

    A friend of mine who got turned off by the gay scene once put it very succinctly to me: when someone says hello to you in a gay bar, they’re looking at your crotch.

  5. says

    Yeah, I read that article this morning.
    What strikes me is that all these “ex-gays” proceed from a religious belief that gay is wrong and sinful.
    They all start out with that fundamental guilt.
    It’s not that they simply want to be straight; they want not to be sinful…..and it looks like they will do anything, including psychological self mutilation just to be “not-sinful”.
    It’s a shame that a church or a religion makes a person feel that bad about themselves.

    It’s also preposterous that the first guy interviewed, Blake Smith says :
    “Every inch of my body craved male sexual contact……”
    and says “homosexual behaviour is wrong on religious grounds” and after attending “Retreats” for ex-gays, he suddenly can look at a woman and think “she’s hot “……

    Such self loathing , such self delusion based on a religious supernatural fiction is as absurd as it is pathetic.

  6. endo says

    Jason sympathizes with ex-gays. How shocking.

    Is there any opportunity you won’t take to bash gay men? Everyone here is on to your charade. Give it up.

  7. jason says

    Look, if these men wish to marry and have children, who are you to stop them? I’m of the view that most such men are at least residually heterosexual and can cultivate this aspect of themselves towards their goal of having a relationship with a woman.

    One of the crucial things that needs to be understood in relation to these men is they are told that even if only 1% of their feelings are to the same sex, they are still “gay” and thus need to be cleansed. They are told that there is no room for flexibility and that even a speck of same-sex attraction is an abomination.

    In view of this, it is easy to understand why such men often have a difficult time. I have to also say that the gay community needs to take some of the blame for having a similar attitude. The gay community often forces men with small amounts of attraction to men to become converts to an entirel gay identity. This is wrong and needs to stop.

  8. johnny says

    If someone is gay, let them be.

    If someone is straight, let them be.

    If someone no longer wants to be gay, let them figure it out in their own way, whatever way they choose, it’s their life.

    If someone chooses to live a lie, let them, karma is waiting.

    People trying to control others to forward their own agenda is pathetic and boring.

    Live and let live.

  9. MateoM says

    Don’t even address Jason. He’s a homophobic troll. Just ignore him and he’ll eventually disappear.

  10. says

    @ Jason :
    I’m not stopping anyone of them from marrying and having children…..I may think it absurd.

    But they ARE stopping me from marrying and having children, stopping me having residence with my BF,DOMA, stopping me from hospital rights and from social benefits to which I would be entitled if I were in a straight marriage.
    They legitimize their nonsense by passing it off as religious truth. They make homosexuality more than something they don’t want to be; they make it universally wrong !

    But your comment that the gay community “forces ” men with a small amount of attraction “to become converts to an entire gay identity”, that comment does not merely identify you as a “troll” it is deeply offensive and treasonous to our community…….and without a scrap of evidence other than your mental ramblings.

    Please stop posting your illiterate babble.

  11. Andrew says

    Cameron is 20, from Orange County, and unemployed. As soon as he finds a steady paycheck in San Diego or LA, we’ll all start seeing him at Fiesta Cantina, be it the Hillcrest or West Hollywood location.

  12. jason says


    I don’t resile from what I said. The gay community DOES promote the gay identity. Don’t deny it. It turns sexuality into a brand. One of the reasons for this is that the business owners love the effin money that they make from the gay identity. Gay identity = money in their hot little hands.

    There are pluses and minuses to both sides in this ex-gay argument. Yes, I think ex-gay is a flawed concept if it means changing one’s orientation. No, I don’t oppose the desire of some of these men to remove themselves from the male-male social scene, a scene that can be unhealthy and sex-soaked.

  13. Hawthorne says

    If they feel they want to change, let them pursue the change they think they need. Whether it will succeed or fail is not our concern. Where I have an issue is when others (parents, say) force this change on children/young adults. When I was younger I deeply desired not to be gay, and sought change through religion. It took years, but I finally realized I did not need to change my orientation, God loved me just as I was. My life is better with self-acceptance. My point is that each person’s journey through this issue is his/her own, and others should not force something on the person. So, if a gay man or woman desires to be straight, that’s their business. HOWEVER, if they go straight, they should NOT take to the airwaves and media to push their path as THE solution for all. Most of us, I would wager, are at peace with who and what we are, we don’t need a “solution.” We don’t need some former gay person cramming their new life down our throats. Now, about the use of the word, “lifestyle.” It’s a life, people, it is not a style!! Thanks.

  14. endo says

    Jason, your observations of the “gay community” are limited to what you’ve seen in bad movies.

    Stop spreading your lies.

  15. Chuck Mielke says

    @ Johnny,

    I agree. If we want to deny straight people the authority to legislate our lives, we should stop trying to inflict a definite lifestyle choice upon them.

    I’m perfectly happy to let Marcus Bachmann live his life as a notably effeminate straight man; it’s none of my business. Our biggest social problems, it seems to me, arise from an essentially ignorant inability to tolerate ambiguity. We want simplicity and clarity while reality is often neither simple nor clear. This is not a fault of reality.

  16. jason says


    I will have you to know that I’ve done research. I could also research your brain, too. Doubt I’ll find anything remotely palpable.

  17. Lymis says

    This is so utterly disingenuous as to be criminal.

    The Ex-gay machine has hitched its wagon to the anti-gay political movement.

    Gay people would be far more wiling to “leave ex-gays alone” if they weren’t in bed with the people who are working tirelessly to have us be permanently denied our equal rights.

    This is like someone saying that they wish the person they’re beating with a baseball bat wouldn’t squirm so much, because it’s interfering with their right to assault them.

    It ISN’T the “I want to be with an opposite sex partner” part that causes the hostility. It’s the “since I was cured, anyone else can be too, so no gay people deserves equal rights” part.

    At best, these people are bisexual. At worst, they are lying closet cases. But either way, they have the right to marry an opposite sex partner, and if that makes them both happy, more power to them.

    They’ll have my blessing the moment they work WITH us for equal rights for everyone, rather than working against us because they want all of us to make the same choice they did.

  18. endo says

    “I will have you to know that I’ve done research.”

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Most unintentionally hilarious thing you’ve ever posted.

    Yeh, you had to “do research” because you’re not actually gay, and your only purpose here is to troll everyone. Thanks for confirming that once again.

    I’ve done research into the gay community too. But I just call it living my life.

  19. Francis says

    As has been said here……….ex-gay is one thing. Anti-gay is another. Virtually all ex-gays are also anti-gay and condemn gay persons who are actually secure and accepting of our natural sexuality. That tells me being ex-gay is really about rebelling against the “vice” of being gay, something ex-gays hate. They hate gay, and they hate being gay. Similar to homophobes who are in the closet.

    Therefore, they will not be left alone, when their lies and intentional spread of misinformation is harming our community.

  20. says

    @ Jason :
    Now you are being disingenuous.
    What you said was that the gay community “forces” ( not promotes, forces) men with a small amounts of attraction to men to become converts to an entire gay identity.

    You now seek to down play your ramblings to “promote”.
    Quite frankly it doesn’t matter; you are simply wrong on all issues.
    I know that we are mature enough to spend our money in straight venues, restaurants,shops, etc as easily as we spend money in gay owned stores. For most of us it’s a matter of value not doctrinaire monotones.
    If you believe that our sexuality is a “brand”…..you have adopted a very nihilist view of gay history, gay rights and gay development……and your belief is utterly depressing to any young gay teen or young man struggling to come to terms with his sexuality.
    BTW removing from the gay “social scene” and becoming an “ex-gay” are totally different concepts which you are confusing.

    And finally, your perception of “gay social scene” seems to be bar/club orientated; well, let me tell you there is a big world out there beyond New York or Los Angeles; there are many of us gays to whom your definitions of the gay scene are irrelevant. And we survive without forcing any agenda on anyone, without being “unhealthy and sex-soaked” as you say.
    It is you who need to broaden your world; get out more, travel more , see more…..you seem too caught up in your sex clubs.

  21. Steve says

    What a load of crap. It’s them who can’t leave anyone alone. They can’t just be content to live in their delusion. No, they have to get involved in politics and lobby against *any* advance in gay rights. Especially PFOX, which is indistinguishable from any other hate group.

  22. Henry Holland says

    Some people criticize the play/movie “The Boys in the Band” for being dated and Not How Things Are Now, but here’s Harold’s speech to Michael at the end:

    “You’re a sad and pathetic man. You’re a homosexual and you don’t want to be, but there’s nothing you can do to change it. Not all the prayers to your god, not all the analysis you can buy in all the years you’ve go left to live. You may one day be able to know a heterosexual life if you want it desperately enough, if you pursue it with the fervor with which you annihilate. But you’ll always be homosexual as well. Always Michael. Always. Until the day you die”.

    1968 or 2012, it never changes, there’ll always be guys like Michael. Always.

  23. jason says

    I have seen the gay scene with my own eyes. It’s a horrible form of commercial profiteering from a cornered market. It reduces our sexuality to the level of posters of porn performers and Tom of Finland. Sorry, but I bailed out of this crap.

    The gay scene is crappy and depressing. It reduces male-male interactions to the level of pig snorts of ecstasy.

  24. Alexx says

    If he feels this is the only way he can find happiness, then I wish him luck. But what the hell does he mean by “living the gay life” ?

    I live my life and I happen to be gay. This is why I hate that so many people think that if you;re gay you have to go to clubs and rut anything that has abs and pecs. Seriously. That is like the life of a straight teenager or man younger that 30.

  25. endo says

    I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Glory holes on fire in the dark crevices of gay bars. I watched drag queens glitter on the stage beneath shiny disco balls. All those moments make male-male interactions sting… like cum in my eye. Time to die.

  26. Rick says

    Ex gay “therapy” is a scam and a fraud and kills gay children because they use torture, this has been proven. The anit-gay Christians are covertly using psychotherapy to torture LGBT people into being straight and it does not work and harms people. These anti-gay Christian psychotherapist have been exposed for what they are, criminals who murder gay children in California and that is why California has banned it from being used. Smoking kills and so does ex gay therapy.

  27. hotbeef says

    unrelenting promiscuity of the male-male social scene.
    male-male interactions to the level of pig snorts of ecstasy.

    BOTH those statements made my day ..where does this guy live? and if you have never had the pig snort of ecstasy while having a male male interaction I feel very bad for you you little troll!

  28. says

    this is so hilarious it then becomes sad.

    right, they don’t want to be ostracized or oppressed. RIGHT>

    fun fact – the only reason that they wanted to be ex-gays was because they were being ostracized by family and community.

    told that in this life and the next they’ll be denied love, and God’s favor. fact. fact fact. fact. fact.

    without anti-gay culture there’d be no reason for a gay person to not want to be gay.

    this fact eludes the willfully ignorant.

  29. Houndentenor says

    What a load of crap! I have plenty of confidence around women. I just don’t want to have sex with them.

  30. says

    and remember – the only people who insist that “the gay scene” or “lifestyle” is nothing but meaningless sex are those who’ve never been laid and those who don’t know gay people.

    they scream _______ and cowardly gay idiots repeat it.

    everyone who lives an actual Out life knows it’s nonsense.

  31. BETTY says

    Oh man, JASON and his so-called “research”! I get the feeling Jason was in charge of the research pointing to WMD’s in Iraq.

    Look, just because you went to a gay bar doesn’t make you an expert or even constitute as “research”. Most gay men don’t go to gay bars. As usual, you are painting everyone with the same wide brush. If you have done such conclusive research, please provide the link to where it was published.

  32. Bernie says

    These so called “ex gay” are one of the sickest, lying and fakes of any group out there. There is no such thing as ex gay except in the mind of these sickos. If you are supposedly ex gay, are you not straight? If someone is so hyped about going from gay to straight, why not just say that? It is quite unfortunate that the city of Washington, DC recognized ex gay as a protected class. For them to give any bit of credibility is very sad.

  33. BETTY says

    I’ll believe in the “ex gay” conversion when you show me a person who goes from being completely straight to gay for the rest of their life. Otherwise I file it in the same category as unicorns, leprechauns, the Loch Ness monster and the Kardashians ever being taken seriously. Some peole want to believe, but come on, really?

  34. andrew says

    Mr Swain and all ADULTS should have the right to live their lives as they choose. However, the state, society has an obligation to protect children against the malpractice of reparative therapy.

  35. millerbeach says

    Oh, but I must know at which truck stop, rest stop, bath house or gay bar the lovely “Jason” did his research? One or more or all of the above? You must have liked it, otherwise, your “research” would have stopped, just like your gay friend “turned off by the gay scene” because he thought someone was looking at his crotch. Maybe they were eyeing the huge boner your friend had, just because he was standing in a gay bar. You are a pathetic joke, Jason. Really.

  36. tara17 says

    Dear Cameron, if you’ve ever had a crush or an attraction for a girl, please continue on your path. If not, you’re only going to hurt the woman you’ll choose. Choose a healthy monogamous lifestyle, sure, and it should be with someone you can love.

  37. bill says

    I am with Johnny, above; but as I have mentioned before, at my age, and what I have seen past friends go through, there is no ‘cure’ and people who are gay and decide to get married are doing a disservice to their spouses. Too many suicides by kids forced to ‘change’ by ignorant parents as well. I am 59, I have seen it all!

  38. says

    You know, it would be much better for these therapists to hold treatments to overcome laziness and procrastination tendencies.

    Much more useful for mankind.