Monday, February 25, 2008

A Surreal & Amazing Radio Exchange About Ex-Gays & Gays

This past weekend in Memphis I saw wonders. Really amazing things as people stepped up and told their stories. My jaw continued to drop at the stunning things I heard and saw, the healing, the art, the honesty, the love.

Today I experienced yet another wonder of sorts. Dr. Larry Bates of the Info Radio Network invited me onto his hour-long radio talk show News & Views along with a pastor from Central Church, which hosted Love Won Out this weekend.

Just to give you a sense of the flavor of this conservative Christian program that airs on over 70 Christian stations around the nation, some recent show titles include, The Fight for Morals and Values: It's Up to You. Socialism and the Democratic Candidates in their own Words. Surviving Homosexual Parenting.

Before we started the show, I requested that we pray, and I had my Quaker Friend (and elder for the weekend) Kristi praying in the lobby for the show and for me.

I cannot fully describe what took place. The show is not for the faint of heart, but I truly felt deep peace, clarity and gentleness throughout. Lots of people were praying for me and I felt lifted and held. Also, Christine Bakke and others helped me prep in advance. It went so well for the first hour, that Dr. Bates asked us to stay for a second hour as the show went out live and the bank of phones flooded with callers wanting to weigh in.

All I can say is listen to the show (if you can) and see what you think. I walked away thanking God that I had the opportunity to share a simple, sane message.

Listen to Homosexuality: Choice or chance? With gay activist Peterson Toscano and Central Church Director of Pastoral Ministry Bill Bellican.

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At 1:52 AM , Blogger D said...

Congrats, wonderful job on the interview... just dang awesome. You did a great job... it's too bad that that pastor is so binary in their way of thinking.

At 2:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How nice to listen to a real life active homosexual.

Are you sure sex is not all that you do? I have seen your card too and it is almost pornographic.

Excuse me but I have to go and trow up and refill my brain with logical and nice stuff. I could only do half of it for now.

alex. resare

At 3:11 AM , Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

I just read this quote over at

"It seems to be a fact that you suffer as much from the church as for it."
~ Flannery O'Connor

At 5:23 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Man, this was very difficult to sit and listen to.

I don't think I could have kept my cool in that situation with some of the things that the host was saying, so I commend you for being so level-headed and answering their questions (or, more often, accusations) so well.

So, thanks for just being a wonderful person, and for reminding me why I don't listen to talk radio.

At 10:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


My respect for you is tremendous! I agree that I would not have been able to maintain my composure in such an attacking situation. I am thankful that it didn't take me 17 years to see the cloack of what some claim to be the truth. Please continue your faithful journey to be a logical voice against those that are using God as an opportunity to hate what they don't, and don't want to, understand.
Peace and Grace, my friend!

At 4:08 PM , Blogger Lij said...

My mom (Carol) wanted to listen to this on the car on her drive home from Memphis, but she couldn't find a station playing it. She called me at work, and I ended up finding it online, putting her on speakerphone, and letting her listen to it that way for the whole time.

I'm glad we got to listen, but my word, that program had a lot of commercials!

Anyway, you did a nice job!

At 5:47 PM , Blogger Brian said...

I listened to most of it (had to stop part way through the call-ins to do "real work") and was inspired and refreshed by the way you conducted yourself. I might be biased, but the flaws and mischaracterizations of the anti-gay/ex-gay position seemed to glare through all on their own.

Thank-you for stepping out into hostile territory and bringing grace and truth along with you.

At 5:48 PM , Blogger Allyson Dylan Robinson said...

I'm not quite in a place spiritually or emotionally where I can listen to a charged conversation about all this in a healthy way right now, Peterson, but I'll definitely get back to it soon.

And I'll echo the admiration and gratitude of others for your willingness to participate in this kind of dialogue, and your ability to do it so well.

At 6:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Peterson! Congrats on the interview! (I won't be listening to it, though.)

But, thinking of you!

At 7:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I've one criticism, it's that Peterson did not alert the rest the non ex-ex-gays about the show and call in.

That said, kudos to you Peterson for not getting up and smacking the stupid out of that radio host. Comparing being gay to the chinese toy recall?

I can only wonder what other surprises are in store as I listen to this.

At 7:25 PM , Blogger Joe G. said...

Today I experienced yet another wonder of sorts. Dr. Larry Bates of the Info Radio Network invited me onto his hour-long radio talk...

Did you mean to write: Dr. Larry Bates of the Info Radio Network relented to have me on after I begged him to be on the show because I can't go a week without some sort of media attention?

Just wondering.

Dear God, Peterson, you really will go on just about any show.

At 7:59 PM , Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

joe, I'm overexposed among liberals and you never invite me on your show anymore, (and I may hang back on your podcast for now. frankly I think your hives might be one of those new wild gay diseases they warned about during one of the many breaks) :-p

And as I already commented on your blog, your current show is one of your best. Suffering improves your skill. :-D

At 10:00 PM , Blogger BlackTsunami said...

hey peterson,

great interview! You were awesome under ridiculous pressure ;p

At 5:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You were completely fantastic.
I am in awe of anyone who can go into a situation like that and keep themselves together faced with such ignorance and downright rudeness. You were a voice of honesty, intelligence and your respect for them came over so clearly.
Thank you so much, and I hope you weren't too wiped out by it..!

At 6:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should listen to the next day's broadcast. It is a continuation of the 'homosexual agenda' theme--without the opposition.

They were somewhat complimentary toward Peterson. Of course, they refused to actually listen to Peterson's message, but rather repeat their misguided dogmatic views. They compared his cool, smooth style to slick lawyers and judges (who by implication also destroy America). In fact, there was fear in their voices that you may have won the discussion. They refused to admit defeat of course. (GOD cannot be wrong...)

Thanks to all of you for telling us your lives here in Memphis.

At 7:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: mudd

call the show damage control.

At 2:59 PM , Blogger Contemplative Activist said...

Wow - respect to you for staying so calm, relaxed and positive. I think I'd probably end up throwing a punch - in a non-violent and peace loving way of course...ahem!

At 3:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did you chose to to go on? There are many respetable evangelicals who hold an orthodox sexual ethic - why chose to go a show hosted by a guy who has developed a cottage industry around his end times "prophesies"?? Most Christians would dismiss that guy based on those teachings alone -never mind the fact that he profits from them.

You of all people must be aware that someone like that is incapable of real discussion.

At 5:25 PM , Blogger Willie Hewes said...

Wow, I just listened to it and it was all flavours of interesting.

Peterson, I live in awe of your patience, your honesty and the sense of peace you seem to bring with you whoever you're talking to.

I disagree with the comment above that it's pointless to talk to people who won't listen anyway; this is clearly a widely broadcast show, not all the listeners will have their mind as closely shut as the host, and hearing a real life practicing homosexual who has a truly humble and peace-loving manner can make a difference to those people.

I agree with what you said Peterson about listening to the other side, talking to people you don't agree with, it's vitally important.

At 7:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You did an incredible job maintaining your composure in the face of that twisted logic, baiting, distortion of data, and outright deception they threw at you. I hope a few of their regular listeners realized that the guy brought on as a villain was in fact the most Christlike on the show.

Thank you for all the work you do, many lives have benefited from it.

At 1:40 AM , Blogger Rob said...

Great job, i'm not sure I could have handled that.

I did find it rather amusing when the last caller, called in to use Romans 1. I guess she thought in all the years you searched for answers, you never thought to read Romans 1. It's as if, the fact that you searched for answers and found the answer was to be honest with God and yourself, was just not good enough.

I also found it interesting when the gentlemen claimed that being ex-gay does not necessarily mean being free from Homosexual desires...what exactly does it mean than? Thats certainly what I thought it meant.

Again great job, God bless you!

At 2:24 PM , Blogger Mark said...

Excellent job :-)

I particularly enjoyed their little commentary about you on the next day's show. Though I'm sure you've already heard it, one letter they read began:

"Good show, although perhaps a little edgy to discuss that particular subject with someone as convincing and verbally
gifted as Peterson Toscano."

Poor guy must have felt convinced :-) You did well!

Keep it up

At 1:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You handled yourself well. I just listened to the entire 2 hours....

Must be pretty bad when the Pastor needs his daughter to call and support.

They kept repeating their old churchy catch phrases "Get right with the
bible"..."Adam & Steve", "gay lifestyle", "You are against LIA because you
don't like the competition?", etc., etc.

I wonder if in this environment the pastor and the host were in any position
to listen to any new light and wisdom...or were they clsoed-minded to

I noticed with the points you made that they never had a response....but I
don't see that they were convinced either.

Again, you handled yourself with humility, and that was good.

I was pleasantly suprised that the Pastor and Host were as civil as they


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