Stephen Bennett, the founder of the
“ex-gay” ministry Stephen Bennett Ministries, told Joy Behar on
Tuesday's edition of cabler HLN's Joy Behar Show that she just
met a former gay man.
On the episode, Stephen Bennett
appeared with his wife of 18 years, Irene.
He told Behar that a drunken “fling”
with another man at the age of 18 caused him to drop out of art
“And for the next 11 years, dropped
out of art school. I figured I'm gay. This is who I must be. Went
into a very bad depression. Just hated who I was. Bulimic,
alcoholic, cocaine dealer in Connecticut. All of this crap. And I
nearly died from a cocaine overdose one night back in '87. My life
was just so screwed up. I went to a drug rehab, got drugs, alcohol,
bulimia taken care of. But I still had this secret which I was gay,”
Mr. Bennett said.
The Bennetts also told Behar that they
oppose the vilification of gay people.
“No one chooses to be homosexual,”
Stephen Bennett said. “We have nothing against gay people.”
“We support homosexuals who choose to
change,” Irene Bennett added.
Stephen Bennett, however, has
previously said that he “always knew it was wrong” to be gay, and
he's used the narrative of seeking the love of his distant and
drunken father to explain his attractions to men.
Near the end of the segment, Stephen
Bennett told Behar: “You'll never meet a former Black man, but you
met a former homosexual today.” (The video is embedded in the
right panel of this page.)