Dear Friend:

Who says one person can’t make a difference?

A young man named Wayne Besen has made a tremendous difference in the lives of GLBT youth facing the psychological torture of so-called “reparative” or “conversion” therapy.

He has made a difference to our community’s efforts to defeat anti-gay initiatives. He has made a difference to you and to me. Let me tell you about Wayne and how you can help him continue to make a difference for us all.

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Billy Bean: ‘Ex-gay sports therapy is ludicrous’

For a number of years, Wayne was a spokesperson for one of our large national GLBT organizations. He enjoyed that work, but was frustrated watching the dramatic growth of the ex-gay movement, as they opened clinics and facilities and expanded their campaigns to convince parents they could turn their GLBT children straight.

In his spare time, Wayne began to protest at their conferences and expose some of their individual leaders as self-hating frauds (yes, you guessed it, more than one closet case amongst them).

He wrote a book about the ex-gays, “Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth” and has become our community’s undisputed expert on this dangerous and growing movement. You’ve probably seen him quoted in national media or on television (his appearance on the Jon Stewart Show was especially memorable).

After years of working mostly alone and with a few friends and volunteers, Wayne has decided to combat the ex-gay movement full-time. Wayne told me: “I want to bring them down, discredit their science and put them out of business”. I am asking you to join me and Wayne in this important mission.

That’s when was born, to create a full-time campaign to fight the lies of the ex-gay movement. I give to because I believe they are one of the best bargains in our movement. With little overhead, they have already had a fantastic record of success:

  • TWO has countered the ex-gay ministries in the national media including the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Fox, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and the New York Times
  • TWO has created a cutting edge website and produced creative informational videos that tackle this subject from every conceivable angle. I only wish that such an invaluable resource were available when I was wrestling with accepting my sexual orientation.
  • TWO challenges ex-gay organizations across America directly where they are spreading their propaganda.

But beyond these victories, I support because they help protect GLBT youth from terrible and painful damage “ex-gay” programs inflict. As young people come out at earlier ages, sometimes as young as 10 or 11, it is critical that we destroy the credibility of the ex-gay movement so they can’t harm these kids.

“Destroy” is a strong word, but it is the appropriate one. We don’t want a dialogue with them, we want to shut them down. Challenge their professional licenses, withdraw potential government funding and close the facilities that are little more than hell-holes for struggling LGBT youths or adults who have been brainwashed into believing there is something wrong with them.

Let me tell you how is going after the ex-gay movement. When the ex-gay movement’s leaders distort research findings, goes directly to the original authors of the study and videotapes them documenting how their work was distorted by the right-wing. posts those videos to Youtube and directs members of the media to them to avoid further dissemination of false information about gay people. That’s direct action, it is effective and well-worth our support. also combats the ex-gays in the media, specifically focusing on one of their major weapons, the harmful misconception that homosexuality is a “lifestyle choice” which should and can be overcome through therapy and prayer. They have invested millions of dollars to convince parents that LGBT youths can “pray away the gay.”

Political research has proven that once people are convinced that homosexuality is a temporary phase that can be altered, they are much more likely to vote against GLBT equality. Indeed, such damaging beliefs give people permission to discriminate if they think this is a choice against God.

Make no mistake. The ex-gay movement is not so much about converting young people as it is about creating an industry to fund their propaganda, their disinformation campaign to convince vulnerable segments of the public that gay people could choose to be straight if they only prayed harder.

You and I know that it is garbage and we must combat it. As a former Major League Baseball player-and a gay man who struggled with the pain of coming out-I know how myths and stereotypes about gay people can be degrading and destructive.

Whether mean-spirited comments shouted in a locker room or trash -talk directly from an angry fan, anti-gay attitudes flourish when we fail to challenge such hurtful and deceitful rhetoric. is on the frontlines, challenging the lies of the ex-gay movement at every turn. Wherever the ex-gay movement tries to recruit new “patients” for their discredited therapies, is there, protesting, educating and exposing their lies for all to see. proves how the ex-gay movement distorts science. They show up at ex-gay conferences and professional meetings to challenge the ex-gay movement in public. Sometimes volunteers even wear duck suits to make the point that the anti-gay science is quackery.

Anti-gay laws are a result of bigotry infused into policy. gets to the root of the problem and confronts anti-gay propaganda on the ground where it is spread and at the same time is protecting children and helping combat the “lifestyle choice” belief that underlies so much of the opposition to equality for GLBT people

I proudly stand with Their website bursts with fresh information and is the premier resource in the world on this issue. But they need our help to continue and expand their work.

Your gift-of whatever amount is appropriate for you-will help pay for direct action like I have described above, educational work in the media and further research to discredit their junk science and dangerous therapies.

A few years ago, the major ex-gay group-Exodus International-was taken over by James Dobson’s huge Focus on the Family organization. Focus on the Family cruelly exploits the desperate fear of parents unfamiliar with GLBT issues by convincing them that their children can be made straight.

With their recent affiliation with Focus on the Family, the ex-gay movement has more resources than ever. The budget of Exodus International, the largest provider of “ex-gay” therapy has grown to $1million a year and they now have thirteen employees. Exodus International has seen a 59 percent increase in its member agencies, growing from 117 in 2003 to more than 200 in 2008, according to their most recent newsletter.

But is ready to grow to meet the challenge, if you can help. I implore you to open your heart and consider a generous tax-deductible gift today.

Together, we can hit a home run by combating the lies of the ex-gay movement, protecting future generations of LGBT people and furthering our fight for equality.

Since I came out to much media acclaim, I have often been asked to endorse fundraising efforts. I try to help where I can, but there is no community cause closer to my heart that

Their work is important and it deserves our support.

Thank you and warm regards,

Billy Bean