Celebrate Ex-Gay Visibility Day

By Jennifer Roback Morse Published on June 2, 2024

Unless you’ve been living on another planet since 2021, you are no doubt aware that June has been declared “Pride Month” across the United States. So at the Ruth Institute, we plan to spend the next four weeks discussing a topic you aren’t likely to hear about from anyone else.

We are going to talk about people who have journeyed away from an LGBT identity and are now living happy, fulfilled lives. In fact, that information is so suppressed in mainstream sources that you may never even have heard that many people have at one time, in one way or another, identified as lesbian or gay, but no longer do so.

We think society would benefit from including their voices in the conversation about the meaning of human sexuality and its place in a well-lived life. Therefore, we are proclaiming the first Sunday in June to be “Ex-Gay Visibility Day.” So we’ll be featuring conversations with people who have made that journey on our Locals channel — the free-speech alternative to YouTube. We’ll also be talking with therapists and other experts who have accompanied them on their journeys.

How Many Ex-Gays Are There?

Everyone knows that millions of people identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual. (I’m going to leave the “transgender” issue aside for the purposes of this discussion. Those who identify that way have a unique set of circumstances to which I cannot do justice here.)

Ruth Institute Senior Research Associate Fr. Paul Sullins has been studying people’s current behavior, self-identification, and patterns of attraction with what they reported five years ago. Though I have been aware for some time of people who have journeyed away from homosexual identities, and am proud now to call some of them friends, I had no idea how many people fit that description until I looked at Fr. Sullins’s charts.

He estimates that at least as many people have journeyed away from a homosexual identity as those who currently embrace one. In the United Kingdom, there are slightly fewer ex-gays than men who currently call themselves gay, and decisively more ex-lesbians than current lesbians. Taken together, “ex-gays” and “ex-lesbians” in the UK outnumber those who continue to identify with those labels!

Likewise in the US, there are a LOT more ex-lesbians than ex-gay males, producing the same overall result: more people who formerly identified as gay or lesbian, than those who currently do.

Nurture, Not Nature

Why don’t we hear more from ex-gay people? As I mentioned earlier, it may be that their stories are being suppressed. The very existence of psychologically healthy people who have journeyed away from an LGBT identity suggests that the “born gay” narrative cannot be the whole story.

The best modern science has already cast substantial doubt on the “born gay” claim. Genetic studies and others conducted on identical twins show indisputably that being gay is nothing like being left-handed. “Gay” is not “the new black.” Sexual orientation is a complex set of thoughts, feelings, behaviors, self-identification — and yes, let us say it plainly: for some people it’s also a set of political commitments. It would be astonishing if that whole complex could be an “inborn immutable trait.”

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But many people don’t talk about their “gay” past for understandable personal reasons. Some prefer to put the “gay” time of their lives behind them. They are now living satisfying lives with opposite-sex partners. They figure their past is no one else’s business. Some don’t care to tell their stories because it might “out” family members who harmed them through emotional or sexual abuse. For many people some form of toxic or warped family dynamics is a part of their journey they’d prefer to keep to themselves.

Coming Up This Month

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard some version of the following story:

A young man is not classically “masculine.” Maybe he is slightly built, not athletic, or has a sensitive nature. His father is absent, abusive, or otherwise not a model of healthy adult masculinity. Other kids (both boys and girls) start teasing the boy. Then he has an encounter of some kind; perhaps it’s with homosexual pornography, or with an older man who seduces him. The young man concludes, “I guess this means I’m gay.” So he embraces the “gay” identity in one way or another, but it does not satisfy him.

Our “feminist” culture has repeated the term “toxic masculinity” so frequently that a young man may be forgiven for wondering if there is any other kind of masculinity to be had. So we’re going to talk about what healthy masculinity really is. And we’ll give Christian men some pointers on how they can mentor younger men into a sense of it.

You’ll meet men and women who have found a pathway out of the gay identity and subculture. Some of them used therapy. Some have had profound Christian conversion experiences. Many mourn the years of their lives they now consider “wasted.” As one 60-year-old man wrote, “All I was looking for was friendship.”

The gay lobby continues to claim that no one can change their patterns of thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and self-identification. But even a single ex-gay person is enough to disprove that claim — and there are many of them.

I invite you to join us today in celebrating these brave men and women who have quietly defied one of the strongest social taboos of our time. They left Pride behind.



The Ruth Institute is a global nonprofit organization leading an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love. Founder and President Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse is the author of The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village. Subscribe to the group’s newsletter and YouTube channel to get all its latest news.

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