Rev. Jerry Stephenson was a Southern Baptist minister who desperately tried to change his sexual orientation. He attended Worthy Creations, a Fort Lauderdale ministry affiliated with Exodus International.
After three miserable years and thoughts of suicide, he realized that the “ex-gay” ministries were a fraud. During his time in Exodus, Stephenson says that he met no one who had changed. Even the leaders of the group were still attracted to the same sex.
Today, he counsels people who are trying to get out of ex-gay programs.
“They are selling a lie,” said Stephenson, a Truth Wins Out board member. “Exodous traffics in intolerance and profits from pain. I just hope I can help people avoid the suffering I endured at the hands of Exodus International. The truth is, you can only fool yourself for so long before you have to come out and be real. The best thing I ever did was come out of the closet.”
Note: Exodus has since disbanded because its leaders said the group’s efforts to turn gay people into heterosexuals didn’t work and was harmful.