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"Phil Comer, on his 'All Write by Me' blog... Definitely worth a look-see." Chuck Sambuchino, Editor, Guide to Literary Agents, Writer’s Digest Books.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010



[Start with Part 1 (Go!) Or click the title above to hear Talley sing.]

Ex-Gay Kirk Talley Sings To His Helmet

The Evangelicals' music is good.

All that hands-up-in-the-air business looks too much like waving bye-bye to Jesus.

Pert, creased, manicured and coifed gospel singer Kirk Talley said he practices while wearing a motorcycle helmet, "Try it. It beats singing in the shower!"

Talley also described in graphic detail the exorcism that presumably delivered him from homosexuality. The exorcism was orchestrated by Rev. Roy Blankenship of Exodus International. Rev. Blankenship, a dead ringer for Karl Rove, was another of the presenters.

I'm skipping this part. If the Village People included "Gospel Singer," that Talley guy would have been "Miss It"!

Misses Indian, Cop, Biker and Construction Worker were quite sufficient.

Need a beer? I'm outta here.

Quickly while he's away: Crucifixes (not the Christ-less Protestant kind). Bibles. Ice water. Non-erotic writhing. Shouting. Tongues. Exhortations. Gnashing teeth. Rending cloth. Meanwhile, members of the opposite sex gather within earshot for prayer and supportive wailing. Upon deliverance of a sign -- perhaps calling "Uncle"? -- the recipient receives a change of orientation. The ladies then serve red velvet cake and the sweet iced tea of thanksgiving.

Back. Can't make that stuff up! That part was SO creepy. What needed changing after all that was the guy's underwear. The crowd ate it up!

Interesting, "ex-gay" ministries preserve quaint anachronisms like exorcism yet eschew sacred rites such as snake-handling. Frankly likely due to the latter being too gay.

Shaking your serpent or somebody else's could open any number of wormholes.

Because of you, we'd never make it past the "ex-gays'" "overcoming gay sarcasm" step.

Nah, we love our husband too much.

True. We are blessed. Life with Rob Duck is a joy. Evangelicals, by the way, don't refer to it as exorcism, but "deliverance."

Saw the movie. Can't get the sound of pigs squealing out of my head!

You can't help yourself, can you? I feel the name of that step should be "overcoming gay irony" rather than "sarcasm."

It's an ironical world.

You know perfectly well "ironical" is not a word, though the kids are bandying it about as if it were about to become one.

In case you missed it, one of the more disturbing scenes from the movie Deliverance is a homosexual rape in which the perpetrators repeatedly instruct the victim to "squeal like a pig." It was filmed just up the road.

Those toothless perps could be our neighbors.

Fried Green Tomatoes also was filmed nearby. It's about two women who ran the Whistlestop Cafe. The movie glossed over the fact that they were a lesbian couple.

So read the book.


"Sometimes it takes years to uncover the roots of an individual's homosexuality. But that's alright. We're willing to wait." And did we mention there's no such thing as a happy, well-adjusted homosexual?

"Another horror story's coming up in a minute. You're gonna love this next one!"

Listening as these "strugglers" confess their sad foibles, what they term their "testimony," I suspect many suffer from demons having little to do with sexual orientation.

Straights must be envious. They don't have a catchall for all life's problems.

A reality check: John Paulk founded Focus on the Family's "ex-gay" ministry "Love Won Out." He and his ex-wife "ex-gay" Ann Paulk made it to the cover of Newsweek in 1998 as new parents and paragons of "ex-gay"ness. Focus on the Family and the Board of Exodus International subsequently had to let John go for trolling gay bars. Gary Cooper (not that Gary Cooper) and Michael Bussee co-founded "ex-gay" ministry Exodus International in the 1970s. These "ex-gays" fell in love. With each other. They got "married" in an early gay wedding.

Remained a couple 'til death did they part.

With all due respect, I'm not sure I'd relish having an "ex-gay" for a son- or daughter-in-law, or having a sister or brother marry one. The risk of recidivism, pain and broken families is too great. I apologize in advance for having said that to all those who struggle to be someone other than who they are.

The Lord must be OK with Creation. Otherwise, changing something as simple as orientation might be easier.

The major conflict for the "ex-gay" wannabes appears not to be "unwanted same-sex attraction" so much as their faith. Why assail beliefs of others? Why not tweak their own to allow their God to love them as they are?

Then who'd buy all the stuff they're selling? This snapping wrist band could be kinky in the right company.

Put that away.


I'd wager the difference between gay and "ex-gay" is often less than a six-pack of beer.

Beer happens.

Denial, there really is a homophonic river in Egypt. I've seen it. The surprise was the Pyramids are right on a busy city street. You must snap the photo from just that one angle to get the image we've been conditioned to expect.

You could get run over trying to take the picture!

Heavy hitters like NARTH, Focus on the Family and Exodus International promise change but don't reveal any sort of scorecard, no actual statistics. You'd think they'd tout their odds. But no, this modern day Medicine Show rumbles in, shills hope, moves on.

I bet there are more ex-"ex-gays" than "ex-gays" in this world.

The LGBT community even has a term for ex-"ex-gays," those who've tried, failed, yet survived: "dos equis," same as the Mexican beer with "XX" on the label.

Cool people. Great stories. Can be high maintenance.

They made an honest effort but seem relieved even in an unexpected destination. Many wings remain broken.

On the bright side, the dos equis receives free interior decorating, and one of us gets a toaster.

That's such an old saw about gays recruiting that actual toasters get passed around.

If I see one more red velvet toaster cake...

Here in the South, we're forever aspiring to make red velvet cakes into something else: Armadillos, opossums, toaster ovens. People persist in slapping gray icing on what is actually a fabulous confection.

No matter how it's frosted, it looks like roadkill when you slice into it.

Dare say that's part of Southerners' morbid fascination with the things.

More NARTH research: 85% of all red food coloring sold in the South ends up in red velvet cake. I made that up. But I suspect that's how NARTH does it.

A bunch goes in hummingbird feeders.


Focus on the Family and Exodus International don't recommend stalking all same-sex practitioners equally, only those openly "living homosexually." It's the LGBT community they mean to bring into submission at the Foot of the Cross. They aren't particularly bothered by wives' husbands cruising parks, parsons diddling choirboys or hiring rent boys, or any Right Wing "I am not gay" U. S. Senators alleged to solicit in airport relief stations. Those aren't their concern. Closet cases don't demand equal treatment or recognition for families.

Look, I'm gonna throw the skunk on the table if you won't: "Strugglers" who straggle sometimes cash their chips in desperation. These "ex-gay" ministries leave a body count. They claim to be people of God, but their consequences can be evil.

The devil travels in many guises, my friend. My task here is not to judge, merely to provide sufficient rope for "ex-gay" ministries to hang themselves before others.

One of their mantras is, "The ground is level at the Foot of the Cross."

It's not really.

In Jerusalem we trudged every step of The Way. What surprise did we find at the rocky end? A nice kid we knew from back home in Macon, Georgia, who has two gay moms.

Coincidence? I don't think so. I got goose bumps from the touch of the Hand of the Lord.

Now who's the recovering Southern Baptist? Matt's since made them doting grands. But no, Calvary's ground was nowhere near level.

Glad I talked you out of renting one of those crosses to drag along.

The vendors' crosses all have little wheels mounted on the bottom.

We do commend this faction of the Religious Right for damping its rhetoric against our community.

Peace be with you.

Peace be with you.

The closet may be sordid and shameful, but that's precisely what Evangelicals propose "to unconditionally love" us back into.

While splitting infinitives and a few hairs.

Even after that unfortunate Judas Iscariot incident, still in at least five places the New Testament teaches Christians to greet one another with a kiss (Romans 16:16; I Corinthians 16:20; II Corinthians 13:12; I Thessalonians 5:26; Acts 20:37).

So, if you run into that gay dude at Starbucks, tell him when an Evangelical comes at him with a great big bear hug, he ought to demand that kiss.

End of Part 4 of 4.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
PART 4. THE EXORCISM Back to top (Go!)

© Phil Comer [This piece won first place in nonfiction at the Sandhills Writers Conference.]

This "ex-gay" revival, "The Philadelphia Conference: Loving Homosexuals as Jesus Would," was held Saturday, September 30, 2006, Christ Chapel at SportsTowne, 170 Starcadia Circle, Macon, Georgia. All speakers were affiliated with "Focus on the Family" and/or "Exodus International." For more information on “Ex-Gay” ministries, see "Truth Wins Out". Unless stated otherwise, photos and links outside this website are not property of the author.

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