Last year Alan Chambers, a leader of Exodus International renounced “reparative” therapy for GLBT people. Now another such leader has seen the light:
Paulk founded Love Won Out, an organization that ran a series of conferences around the country, supported by Focus on the Family, preaching against gays and lesbians. He was also a chairman of the board for Exodus. Paulk and his “ex-lesbian” wife Anne once appeared on the cover of Newsweek and have been on shows like Oprah and 60 Minutes to spread the ex-gay message to anyone who would listen.
It’s the same old story. Gay basher gets caught in gay bar.
Stephen Cassell, a public relations expert and queer activist approached Paulk and challenged him to renounce his support for ex-gay therapy and speak out against it. Paulk told him he couldn’t for fear of ruining his relationship with his sons.
“I told him by not saying anything he validates the work that his wife does against our community,” Cassell recalled. “He then offered me an apology for the damage he caused if he hurt me. He was tearing up.”
Paulk then sent the following email to a newspaper:
“I have been on a journey during the last few years in trying to understand God, myself, and how I can best relate to others. During this journey I have made many mistakes and I have hurt many people including people who are close to me.”
As a straight person, I do not trust my “gaydar” but I am absolutely convinced that the most homophobic men I have met over the years are not afraid of GLBT people, per se. The typical homophobic male is afraid that he will be thought gay if he does not distance himself from such people. And, sometimes, the homophobic male is most afraid of the gay man he is trying not to see in the mirror.