US: lesbian describes escape from “ex-gay” ministeries in documentary

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

Julie Rodgers, 35, grew up in a small, religious Texas town, and when she came out as gay, she was offered meetings at Living Hope Ministries, a so-called “ex-gay” organisation which still exists today.

She was promised that Living Hope would “heal” her homosexuality with conversion therapy, and she would go on to spend almost a decade in the ministry.

She attended multiple meetings every week, moved into the organisation’s “recovery house”, and even spent time living with Living Hope Ministries founder Ricky Chelette.

Rodgers became somewhat of an “ex-gay” poster child, and was coached by Chelette to speak at the notorious Exodus International, which at the time was the largest proponent of conversion therapy in America.

But she began to struggle with self-harm, and as her mental health deteriorated, she realised that the “ex-gay” movement was having a devastating impact on those around her, too.

Although she was determined to leave, when Exodus International president Alan Chambers eventually realised the harm he had done and renounced conversion therapy, he asked Rodgers to tell her story. A year later, Exodus International shut down.

Continue reading at: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2021/06/26/netflix-ex-gay-documentary-pray-away-christian-lesbian-julie-rodgers-exodus/ (Source)

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