4.   The honesty factor

Azariah Southworth, Christian TV host, like many, paid a high price for his honesty
Yes, simple honesty contributed to this tipping point. The message for decades was "Change is Possible". The goal of people who sort out ex-gay organisations was always to rid themselves of homosexuality and become heterosexual/'normal'.  Even though some groups and leaders profess today that heterosexuality is not the goal they still constantly refer to now being married and fathered children......thus setting up a false hope.

Alan Chambers was once of these people. "Our organization hears from thousands of teens and young adults each year who are desperate for information and resources beyond the one-sided 'born-gay' message that saturates our culture".

In a written testimony he said, "In 1998 my ultimate earthly dream came true when I married my best friend. My wife, Leslie, is the embodiment of all I consider to be godly, pure and beautiful. She is not my diploma for healing, nor is she proof that I have changed."

Alan like many others in Australia like Rev Fred Nile of the Christian Democratic Party, Bill Muehlenberg, Ron Brookman – Living Waters, Peter Stokes – Salt Shakers and Margaret Court repeatedly have told us about the 1,000's of people who had left the "homosexual lifestyle" and were now married.

First it was 1,000's then 10,000's

"Again, I am one of tens of thousands of people whom have successfully changed their sexual orientation. I am grateful for the message of change and for the current laws that saved my life". (April 17, 2004) Opening Testimony of Exodus President Alan Chambers U.C. Berkeley Debate on Same-Sex Marriage

Then it grew to 100,000's

In an interview with the San Francisco Gate in 2006 he said, "If people like me exist," Chambers said, "then they weren't born like this (gay). Change is possible or could be possible."  The article went on to say. "Chambers claims there are "hundreds of thousands" of ex-gays, his evidence being the nearly 400,000 phone calls the organization receives each year from people seeking their help."

In 2009 Alan, along with others, signed an open letter to the President of Uganda saying Exodus opposes Anti-Homosexuality Bill, as a former homosexual. I doubt that had any impact. Probably the opposite.

Finally the honesty comes out January 9, 2012 when Alan says at the Gay Christian Network conference, “99.9% of people do not change their sexual orientation”.

What a lot of people missed however was that Alan was beginning to face up to the reality that change is not always possible some five years earlier. Alan Chambers told the Los Angeles Times in 2007 that “by no means would we ever say change can be sudden or complete," adding that he was uncomfortable with the term 'ex-gay' as he didn’t believe he’d ever met one the article says.

At last some people were becoming honest but not all. What was going on before? Self-deception or denial? It was both for me. Deceiving myself that being married and having children meant I was actually straight (or that it was a possibility) but still "struggled" with homosexual thoughts and feelings. Denying the reality I desperately never wanted to accept that, I was, am and always will be gay.

Alan's new level of honesty and openness was refreshing  The honest truth is, firstly there were not 1,000's and 1,000's of ex-gays and secondly that Alan himself and others had not miraculously turned from gay to straight.

“As far as my life goes, I am married. I am happily married. There’s not been one day in the course of our nearly 16 years of being married that I’ve been tempted to be unfaithful to my wife. I would say I have an orientation towards her. I do have same-sex attractions."  Alan admitted in an interview with the Huffington Post.

If you want to know what I think of Alan and Leslie and their relationship listen to this interview on ABC Radio National.

If you would like to receive a PDF of the complete article click on this email address info@gayambassador.com and hit send.

Or read the 8 Factors that Created the Tipping Point separately.
No.1 The Society Shift Factor 

No.2 The Gulf Factor
No.3 The Internet Factor 

No.4 The Honesty Factor
No.5 The Bridge Building Factor
No.6 The Listening Factor
No.7 The Evolving Faith Factor

No.8 The Midlife Factor

Copyright © Anthony Venn-Brown is the co-founder and former leader of Freedom2b, Australia’s largest network of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people from Christian backgrounds. He is also an educator and consultant on LGBT/faith issues and leader in deconstructing the ‘ex-gay’ myth. Anthony’s autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning', details his journey from married, high profile preacher in Australia’s mega-churches to living as an openly gay man. Anthony has been twice voted ‘One of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians’ (2007 & 2009) and  was one of four finalists for the 2011 ACON Community Hero Award. He is also the founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International.

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