Jeffrey McCall, a prominent figure in the ex-gay movement, who has been criticized by the LGBTQ community for promoting the idea that people can overcome homosexuality, appears to have re-transitioned and come out once again as a transgender woman.
Writing on Facebook and Instagram, McCall announced that they were leaving the “ex-LGBTQ” lifestyle and re-emerging as Scarlett, the name McCall had used to identify as a transgender woman before becoming involved with the ex-gay movement.
“I wanted to post here before some people found out other ways,” McCall wrote. “I have went back to my life as Scarlett. I never intended to hurt or disappoint anyone. I felt like no matter what I chose someone would get hurt. That’s a horrible spot to be in. [I] felt like I tried to fight for so long. I tried to help many in ministry for so long.
“Please remember I’m just a human being and didn’t ask for any of [the] things that I have went through,” McCall continued. “I didn’t ask to feel this way. Please show me compassion as a human being just as I have always tried to show everyone else compassion and understanding.”
McCall became a prominent figure in the ex-gay movement after being interviewed on Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network.
In the interview, McCall claimed to have found Jesus and “surrendered to God” after watching sermons by evangelical pastor Jentezen Franklin on YouTube, leading McCall to renounce homosexuality.
McCall claimed to have struggled with homosexuality since the age of 12, and from ages 15 to 23, primarily identified as gay, getting involved in the club scene, regularly taking drugs to get high.
At 23, McCall moved to Georgia to attend college, and began performing in drag under the name Scarlett. McCall then claimed to present as female on a regular basis.
“I started living as Scarlett and I would start dressing and — and I started even dating men as Scarlett,” McCall told CBN in 2019. “And so, from there, it fed it even more that, you know, this is who I am. I’m in the wrong body.
“I thought, you know, I’m going to have the surgeries and transition into a woman and this is what’s going to make me happy. And during those years as Scarlett, I was beginning to be very promiscuous, very promiscuous, where sometimes it was more than one guy a day. During those years, I also prostituted my body.”
Through listening to Franklin’s sermons on YouTube, McCall claimed to have changed their identity. McCall became one of the leading spokespeople for the ex-gay movement. McCall’s message was clear: other people struggling with their sexual orientation and gender identity could overcome their feelings of same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria simply by embracing Jesus and living either a celibate or heterosexual lifestyle.
McCall founded the Freedom March, a program that holds rallies across America urging LGBTQ people to repent and come to Jesus.
Many participants of the Freedom March — including survivors of the Pulse nightclub massacre — claim that their religious conversion has allowed them to leave homosexuality and achieve spiritual healing, although they reject the claim that they have undergone a formal conversion therapy program.
McCall and other participants have claimed that the Freedom March is intended to push back against the idea — allegedly promoted by mainstream media and society — that people cannot “free” themselves from homosexuality or transgender identity. Instead, they claim that such feelings can be overcome by embracing and implementing Christian teaching into their lives.
McCall appeared in the 2021 Netflix movie Pray Away, which documents five evangelical leaders affiliated with Exodus International — a now-defunct organization that promoted a similar message of salvation from homosexuality — grappling with the aftermath of their actions.
In the film, McCall is seen sharing his story and pushing the well-worn narrative — currently being pushed by Republican lawmakers in various states — that the LGBTQ community is promoting an “agenda” of sexual promiscuity and encouraging trans-identifying youth to blindly pursue gender confirmation surgery.
But months after the film’s release, McCall became enmeshed in scandal after admitting to engaging in multiple sexual liaisons with other men while heading up Freedom March.
While McCall claimed never to have engaged in relations with other members of Freedom March, McCall did admit to having sex with someone they were trying to “help” leave homosexuality, and then repeated the behavior with other men not affiliated with the ex-gay movement.
At the time, McCall pleaded for forgiveness and recommitted to carrying out the message of the Freedom March, saying there were “no plans or desires to return to my old life.”
“If anything it makes me never want to fall into that sin ever again,” McCall said.
Wayne Besen, of Truth Wins Out, an organization that fights the ex-gay movement, has been critical of McCall, not only for promoting the ex-gay narrative, but for allegedly perpetrating a fraud on others struggling with their LGBTQ identity.
During the 2019 Freedom March, Truth Wins Out accused McCall of allegedly attempting to “bamboozle” donors, asking for financial support to share “testimony” about leaving the LGBTQ lifestyle with senators and representatives.
“It seems the Good Lord forgot to tell McCall that Congress was out of session that week, so there were no representatives or senators in town to visit,” Besen wrote in a press release responding to McCall’s recent announcement about re-transitioning. “He collected their donations anyway,”
“The Freedom March started with a lie and ended with Scarlett,” Besen said in a statement. “Jeffrey McCall is the latest failed face of the ex-gay industry and indicative of how these programs never work. It’s time the entire ex-gay industry disbands and stops peddling the poison that people can change their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
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