After spending seven years as the triumphal face of the religious-based ex-gay movement, the aptly-named Christian Schizzel now admits he’s totally gay and says reparative therapy is “harmful and excruciatingly painful.”
In an interview with Religious News Service, Schizzel speaks out against the Janet Boynes Ministries and The Bachmann & Associates counseling centers (yes, the ones run by America’s sweetheart Michele “Killer Clown” Bachmann and her totally masculine-sounding husband Marcus) and says his sexuality has been — both knowingly and unknowingly — “exploited” by the Christian community.
“I’m coming out this second time as my true self — a gay man — louder than before,” he says, “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, who was taught that his gayness was the result of childhood sexual abuse, says he was not only fed his answers before going on talk shows but that he was encouraged — by religious folks — to lie about his newfound attraction to women.
As for reparative therapy itself, Schizzel says it goes a little something like this:
“There was a psychological ‘breaking-me-down’ and isolation process from my friends and family because they were considered unhealthy. They did this to achieve complete domination over me to build me up and mold me from there. I had to do activities that were stereotypically manly and I couldn’t have too many female friends that would encourage me to be effeminate.”
Even though the Janet Boynes Ministries claims to embrace “love” and “acceptance,” Schizzel says when he told Boynes he was no longer interested in the de-gaying process, she demanded he delete her contact information and never speak to her again.
“In the end,” says Schizzel, “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.”