Last night on his HLN show, Dr. Drew interviewed Janet Boynes, friend of Marcus and Michele Bachmann, about her ex-gay identity and advocacy. She unsurprisingly reiterated her belief that “change is possible through [Jesus Christ],” a message she profits off of through her book and the counseling she offers through her ministry. Luckily, her message was interrupted by a caller who happened to be sexologist Jallen Rix, a survivor of ex-gay therapy who now advocates against the harmful and ineffective treatment:
RIX: As an ex-gay survivor myself, and now as a sexologist, who has studied the damaging effects of reparative therapy and ex-gay ministries, I can tell you that I have been inside these ministries and they are hotbeds of religious abuse. I have really never seen anyone truly change their orientation and what I’ve experienced there has been great shame, great depression, and others feeling hopelessness, having suicidal tendencies, heightened fear, all these things not because they’re trying to work the process but because the process did not work for them. As a result, they felt like a failure.
You know, you’re talking about pain. I think we need to look very carefully at the messages that reparative therapies and ex-gay ministries put out. Because essentially they are saying that homosexuality does not really belong in their society. If there was a real perfect society, everyone would be heterosexual. How close is that message to what the bully says, when he says, “Well, you know what? I don’t think you, as a homosexual, belong around, and I’m going to do something about it.”
Boynes responded that she merely provides spiritual guidance and proceeded to complain that she is the victim because people attack her church. Watch it:
Of course, the biggest problem in the media, as was evident in this very segment, is that ex-gay advocates have the chance to provide “balance” for their junk science while ex-gay survivors are often excluded from the segment.
Boynes is a phony who profits off of shame and stigma. She admitted in her own book that she has attractions to men, suggesting she’s not ex-gay at all, but rather a bisexual woman who doesn’t act on her same-sex attractions. Rix was also correct in his implication that she is a bully. She was one of many individuals trying to maintain a norm of anti-gay bullying in Anoka-Hennepin School District, testifying that “gay activists will continue to use the curriculum as a means to force an acceptance of this behavior on kids and this school district.” Her message is one of harm, and thankfully Rix took it upon himself to make sure it did not go unchallenged on the air.