“Ex-gay” celebrity Christian
Schizzel has come out gay, saying that he was manipulated into
believing that he was or could be straight.
Schizzel was encouraged to seek help
after coming out gay to friends and family at the age of 18.
Christian counselors told him that the “cause” of his sexuality
was the abuse he suffered at the hands of his stepfather.
He appeared on several daytime talk
shows, including Oprah and Dr. Drew, where he discussed
his attempt to change his sexuality from gay to straight.
In 2011, he told Our
America host Lisa Ling that being gay wasn't “God's plan
Schizzel told Religion
News Service (RNS) that the therapies he received at the
Janet Boynes Ministries and Bachmann & Associates counseling
centers damaged him. Boynes has built a career promoting the notion
that being gay and Christian is incompatible. Outgoing Rep. Michele
Bachmann and her husband Marcus Bachmann, who together own Bachmann &
Associates, have previously touted Boynes' work.
“Coming out publicly and sharing is
important to me because my sexuality has been exploited my whole life
by the Christian community, both knowingly and un-knowingly,”
“When I was trying to be 'straight' I
spoke to youth, churches, camps, on television shows and even shot
documentaries in hopes of proving my worth to my Christian community
and God. I'm coming out this second time as my true self – a gay
man – louder than before so we can all learn from the mistakes made
and the harmful effects of reparative therapy can be uncovered and so
that people who have used my story against other gay people won't
have it as a weapon anymore.”
Schizzel said that Boynes reacted badly
when he told her that he was gay.
“[W]hen I told her I was gay and no
longer going to continue in trying to change my sexuality, she told
me to delete her contact information and never speak to her again,”
“In the end,” he added, “my
sexuality is a beautiful gift from God, and every day, I have found,
I have to make a choice to honor it in the straight man's world.”