Dec 31, 2010

Review Ex-gay - No Way by Dr Jallen Rix

‘Ex-gay, No Way’ is the ultimate ex-gay survivor guide and so much more. It’s actually a survivor guide for any gay or lesbian person who is in, or come out of a strong biblically-based belief system. Its relevancy will help each individual move through the complexities of the perceived conflict between faith and sexuality.

The term ex-gay survivor is a relatively new invention.  In recent years a growing number of us have shared our journeys in autobiographical form.  The internet has given another avenue for many more to share their stories through forums, blogs and YouTube. Once non-existent, the ex-gay survivor world is visible, strong, credible and well connected.

I first connected with the author, Jallen Rix, in the late 90’s when I began using the internet. I remember the thrill of finding another soul on the planet who had shared my experience as an ‘ex-gay’ and more importantly seemed to have come through everything okay…..eventually. Up until this point I naively believed I was the only one. Such is the result of being closeted for so many years and denial about faith and spirituality after coming out. Our previous lives of faith or ex-gay experience were kept secret in the LGBT world hostile to Christianity.

Jallen draws on several sources to write this very credible work; his academic background, real accounts from ex-gay survivors and his personal journey. The first two are well developed with the third running beautifully as a sub-text throughout the book. The mix works well. Jallen’s relationship with his Southern Baptist parents adds a lovely personal touch which keeps the reader wondering what the final outcome will be. I won’t spoil the surprise.

These three sources give us a comprehensive insight into all the issues faced by those who are same-sex-oriented and members of churches who believe homosexuality is caused by poor parenting, gender confusion, sexual abuse and is evil. To be gay or lesbian in a church that believes and preaches these outdated views creates a damaged sense of self.

Jallen understands the fundamental thing that must happen for gay and lesbian people from faith backgrounds in order for them to find complete resolution. People see the issues of faith and sexuality as intertwined; and they are. But for the vast majority they need to find resolution of the issues separately. Coming out does not fix it all. When we come out, particularly if we leave the church, the unresolved issues of faith goes into the closet. We can be in as much denial about our Christian experience, unable to separate the good from the bad, as we were about our sexuality. Add to this what many of us have experienced, spiritual abuse, trauma and grief; we have a lot of work to do on ourselves. It can take years to untangle the threads, gain clarity, find peace of mind and genuinely feel good about ourselves.

Ex-gay, No Way’ will not only show you the way, it will accelerate the process.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Co-founder and President of Freedom 2 b[e]
Twice voted one of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians

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