The Sad, Sad Face Of ‘Ex-Gay’ Zealotry

Just found this new video that I was sure was parody. I was five minutes into it before I realized that there wouldn’t be a blooper reel at the end, and that I wouldn’t see the Bieber wig fall off or the guy giggle in the middle of his ridiculous lines. Astonishingly, it’s all real.

Remember, all that was added was the on-screen commentary. This is the ex-gay pitch laid bare, code words (struggle, accountability, common sin, lifestyle, etc.) and all.

I feel bad for Aaron Barton. He’s so sad, so bottled up, so ashamed. Really, this video, and his act of accepting applause for lying about who he is, is a form of mortification. The only difference between him and the medieval monks is that instead of flagellating his flesh, Barton abuses his soul.

Perhaps that’s the only way he can feel.

This is his life, the life he chose instead of standing up to his family’s shame and his church’s bigotry. And for that, I feel pity for Barton.

At the same time, it’s important to recognize the sinister (to use his word) harm Aaron Barton is doing to gays who see him as validation of the irrational hope they hold that one day they’ll wake up straight.

To all those closet gays who might be tempted by Barton’s lie, I would say that the most important thing to remember is that your “struggle” is not about attraction, it’s about whether you will tell the truth or tell a lie.

Aaron Barton’s made his choice, at least for now. I hope you will choose to live with integrity.