Saturday, June 30, 2007

Dinner with Some Exodus Leaders

Some of you know that Christine Bakke and I sent out an invitation to Exodus leaders to have dinner with some ex-gay survivors. The dinner happened last night and was sponsored by Beyond Ex-Gay and Soulforce. Here is a copy of the invitation. I have received several messages from people wanting to know:
Did you have a meeting with Exodus leaders last night?
Did they accept your invitation?
What happened????
Christine and I told the three Exodus leaders present for our dinner last night here in Irvine, CA that we would not blog about the details or even mention their names. If they wish to blog about it, that is fine and welcome, but not necessary. In seeking dialog we need to develop trust and know that every word we say will not end up out on the web.

Three leaders of Exodus member ministries joined four of us ex-gay survivors for dinner. No one from Exodus International senior leadership or from the Exodus board attended the dinner, and those present for the dinner stressed that they do not represent Exodus International.

Beside Christine and me, two college students attended the meeting, Vincent Cervantes and Vincent Pancucci, both from California. These two are partners and met while students at Azusa Pacific University, a Christian school. They both received ex-gay therapy through their church and at the school.

The format of the dinner was simple. We shared our stories about our ex-gay experiences and the challenges and difficulties we faced in large part because of these experiences. We also answered questions and then we all discussed some of the issues raised. The Exodus leaders present listened respectfully and answers thoughtful and insightful questions. They took copious notes and said that they would report back to Alan Chambers. After the dinner some of the Exodus leaders came to my show at UC Irvine.

Overall I felt very pleased with the dinner and the opportunity to share our ex-gay experiences and that for us they caused more harm than good.

Alan Chambers did respond to our invitation via e-mail and expressed interest but stated that he did not have the time during this week but was interested in meeting at a later date.

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At 1:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peterson, I am so encouraged that there were three member ministries there. I hope this is the first of many steps of communication between ex-gays and former ex-gays.


At 10:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very interested to know how many ex-gays (married and living fully heterosexualized lives) there are in the world, by comparison to the number of gays? Just a question that I thought of while reading this blog. Do you know ANY men who are completely heterosexual, after the ex-gay experience?

At 5:53 AM , Blogger Allyson Dylan Robinson said...

I met the Vinces earlier this year while they were on the Equality Ride...if you see them again, Peterson, please tell them Aly from Texas said hello!

I'm so pleased this meeting took place...

At 4:41 PM , Blogger Joe said...

"Ex-gay survivor" is a provocative term. Is it meant to suggest a similarity with "rape survivor"?

At 8:42 PM , Blogger Bruce Garrett said...

What...more provocative then "ex-gay"...?

Spend some time listening to their stories, and you'll know why the word "survivor" applies.

At 9:05 PM , Blogger Jason said...

Wow Peterson. Wow. I love how you planned, approached this difficult situation and handled the outcome. Very professional and considerate. I wish I was there at the conference. I am so glad things went well.

Jason Ingram
Gay Prayer Resource

At 6:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peterson, I am so impressed with you and Christine in what you are doing. But not just the 'what' but the 'how' too. To read the respectful tone in which you dialogue with the ex-gay community, whether it be the leadership or others, is a testimony to the humility of Jesus in your midst. Thank you for representing so many of us in this way. We don't have the same voice that you have in speaking to those from ex-gay ministries and so not only do I want to thank you, but to also commend you for taking up this stand on our behalf. Stephen

At 9:22 AM , Blogger Anthony Venn-Brown said...

I like your style Peterson. I am endeavouring to do a similar thing here in Australia....that is.....create what I call an informed, respectful dialogue. I meet with church leaders all the time because I dont come across and a militant angry activist.....just another human being who happens to be attracted to the same sex instead of the opposite.

The talks I have behind closed doors cant be reported on and the conversations spoken of......but already and down the line they have impact.

one thing people can't argue against with people like the peace and resolution we have and that our lives are ones of integrity.

Good on you Bud


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