Chasing the Devil: Inside the Ex-Gay Movement is a new documentary available for download via for $14.95.

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According to film co-directors Bill Hussung & Mishara Canino-Hussung:

More than four years ago we set out to document the journeys of people belonging to the most politically incorrect subculture in America. The result is Chasing the Devil: Inside the Ex-Gay Movement. Spending time with those who claim to have changed their sexual orientation from gay to straight can be a bit of a paradigm rattling experience. We accept that identity is largely self-defined and acknowledge that sexuality can be fluid. Mick Jagger switches back and forth between men and women for much of the 1970s and defines jet setting chic. Self-defined identity and fluid sexuality are both left of center beliefs long associated with urban elites and secular progressives. Folks like most of those in the documentary film business.

But there’s a disconnect when this paradigm butts up agains the ex-gay movement. If we really believe identity is self-defined and sexuality fluid, then there’s nothing surprising, or offensive, about the x-gay ministries and reparative therapists claiming to ‘heal’ homosexuals of their unwanted desires. But we are surprised. And often offended. The central underpinning of gay identity is the belief that people are born gay and can’t change. The ex-gays challenge this belief. Their claims of having changed from gay to straight challenge our understanding of identity and tolerance. But are they living a lie?

I dispute the contention that ex-gays are politically incorrect. Quite the contrary: Thanks to Exodus, NARTH, and Focus on the Family, they have become a new epitome of political correctness. They are:

  • successful in commandeering conservative faith communities’ discussions of sexual orientation
  • closed to dialogue, to the point of banning all comments from their conventions and blogs that do not support their ideology
  • determined (via PFOX and Focus on the Family) to silence and discriminate against sexual minorities in schools, churches, and workplaces
  • committed to a cult-like language of sexual denial, evasive responses to simple questions, and self-deception. That language of evasion, half-truth, and double negatives serves to justify their public claims of “change” and “freedom from” sexual honesty.

I also dispute the contention that sexuality can be fluid for anyone. The bisexual Mick Jagger is in no way representative of most persons whose sexual and romantic orientation is exclusively same-sex.

And I dispute the directors’ failure above to make any distinction between sexual identity and sexual orientation.

I have yet to watch the documentary, and the film includes the voices of former and dissatisfied ex-gays, so I reserve judgment on the documentary itself. But I’m less-than-thrilled with promotional literature that merely reinforces memes that require critical analysis.