Metro Weekly

The Domino Theory and the Ex-Gay Movement

It hasn’t been that long since anti-gay activist George Rekers put “lifting my luggage” into the American dictionary of hypocritical sexual innuendo by taking a European vacation with a young man from But Truth Wins Out today went public with accusations of another closeted hypocrite — although this case is more disturbing because of the claims of sexual abuse.

From TWO:

Truth Wins Out (TWO) released an exclusive video statement today from two former clients of “ex-gay” life coach Alan Downing. The clients, Ben Unger and Chaim Levin, alleged that during individual therapy sessions, Downing (pictured) made them undress in front of a mirror and touch their bodies while the significantly older therapist watched. Unger and Levin call the sessions a “psychological striptease” and believe they were harmed by what they consider unprofessional behavior and sexual misconduct.

Downing, who admits he is still attracted to men, is a major player in the “ex-gay” industry and a practitioner of so-called “reparative therapy”. He is the lead therapist for Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH) and is listed on the People Can Change website as a “Senior Trainer” for Journey into Manhood, which is a controversial “ex-gay” backwoods retreat designed to supposedly make gay men more masculine.

It seems that as one reparative therapy charlatan falls, another soon follows. Perhaps the domino effect may finally take effect, even as the far-right, anti-gay establishment of organizations such as the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage try to keep putting new pieces into place. But the whole facade’s looking shakier than ever.

Sean Bugg is Editor Emeritus for Metro Weekly.