1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Featured Discussion: Netflix’s “Pray Away”

Discussion in 'EC Monthly Spotlight: August 2021' started by Spartan 117, Aug 6, 2021.

  1. Spartan 117

    Admin Team Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    457
    Location:
    Isle of Wight, UK
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    On the 3rd of August, Netflix released a documentary on so-called ‘Conversion Therapy’, called “Pray Away”. The movie primarily focuses on the former leaders of the so called "ex-gay" movement, many of which are queer themselves and who have since realised the harm that they've wrought.



    "Former leaders of the "pray the gay away" movement contend with the aftermath unleashed by their actions, while a survivor seeks healing and acceptance from more than a decade of trauma."

    A Netflix subscription is required to watch, but a free trial is often available.



    Did you watch the documentary? What were your thoughts on the issues covered?
     
    #1 Spartan 117, Aug 6, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2021
  2. Spartan 117

    Admin Team Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    457
    Location:
    Isle of Wight, UK
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    First of all, I recommend you all watch the documentary. It took me a little while to build up the motivation to watch it, but I'm glad I did. It was sad but not as traumatising (for me personally) to watch as I first feared.

    Mild spoilers below!

    I was struck by the fact that all the voices in the documentary were queer people. I was expecting to see at least some straight male faces, but actually this was a documentary very much from the queer perspective - not all of which victims of conversion therapy (at least not in the traditional sense). Though it's clear to see that all involved had experienced severe trauma. I am all too familiar with the vicious cycle of confirmation that some of the people in this documentary experienced.

    It was also sad, but I suppose balanced, to see that some queer people are still stuck in this cycle of shame and have hope they can be cured through belief alone.

    It's also shocking to see how recent some of this stuff is. The organisation featured in this documentary was an active part of pushing through Proposition 8 - and to hear those involved have near-instant regret after it's passing was pretty heartbreaking.
     
  3. QuietPeace

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2020
    Messages:
    1,637
    Likes Received:
    1,078
    Location:
    Northern Europe
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    A few people
    I am glad that someone is covering such things. I cannot watch it though, I am afraid that it would be too triggering for me as I have been put through conversion "therapy".
     
  4. rtoddhix

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2020
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    El Dorado Arkansas
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Some people
    I watched it. It was very sad to say at the least. What shocked me the most is to see that it is still going on?
     
  5. Spartan 117

    Admin Team Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    457
    Location:
    Isle of Wight, UK
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Yeah, I agree. I think the toughest part to watch was the group that was still preaching that you could change your sexuality and gender identity.

    Also, for some reason I naively didn’t realise how much of these groups are run or fronted by queer people. I always assumed it would be sadistic straight people behind these organisations!
     
  6. PatrickUK

    Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    6,563
    Likes Received:
    1,841
    Location:
    England
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Before the documentary even began, the filmmakers (quite rightly) inserted the following comment, which should be clearly understood by all members of this forum:

    "All major medical and mental health associations have denounced the practice [conversion therapy] as harmful"

    I was pleased to see former members of Exodus International being so candid about the harm caused by their programs, which seemed to be predicated around lies about childhood experience, perceptions of masculinity and femininity and religious belief.

    It's incredibly sad that that the ex-gay movement continues to indoctrinate vulnerable people who are burdened with shame about their sexuality and gender identity. Even sadder that many of the people leading the movement are very clearly gay themselves and haven't moved on at all. Essentially they are loading their personal shame onto others, with potentially devastating results.

    Most revealing for me was the body language of the former Exodus leaders. Now they are able to speak their truth there is a freedom and openness about them. The words they use now have authenticity and integrity. Contrast that to the older clips in the documentary when they were promoting the ex-gay movement and the body language was very different. It was remote and rather detached. There was a stiffness and sadness about them and it all seemed insincere. There is sincerity in truth!

    Summary: conversion therapy/reparative therapy (ex-gay movement) is based around fundamentalist religious indoctrination and a pack of lies. Those in positions of leadership are totally unqualified and play Russian roulette with people's lives. It is clear that people who undergo conversion therapy are at high risk of self harm or suicide. If you are struggling with your sexual or gender identity you will find no answers in these dangerous programs.
     
  7. Unsure77

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    All but family
    I think the biggest things I saw were loss of years and loss of life and potential. Those people spent years and years of their life pouring themselves into an organization that was completely toxic. One of the women even outright said she knew it was toxic, but she hung on and tried to conform anyway because it was the only community she had. It was a horrible community, but it was at least some community. As an ex-Southern Baptist, that definitely resonated.

    There was also a sense (then and with the guy leading a movement now) of queer people trying to perform to comfort the straight people. Trying to make the straight, right wing people feel better about themselves and more justified in their hate, knowing they were lying to themselves and everyone around them.

    I’m glad I watched it, but it was super triggering for me. But, not in the ways I expected.
     
  8. Unsure77

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    All but family
    I think the other thing that struck me…One of them talked about learning to see being gay as good. I’ve accepted that I’m gay and it’s unchangeable. But, I don’t think I’ve been able to see it as good. Maybe because I’ve never been able to get to the good or happy parts of it. I got the stress and shame and therapy part, but haven’t done the gay part of being gay.
     
  9. Shoun

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2021
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Texas
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    It was a hard movie to watch. Very sad.
     
  10. Spartan 117

    Admin Team Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    457
    Location:
    Isle of Wight, UK
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Yes, apart from this statement, the documentary didn’t outright condemn conversion therapy - presumably in it’s attempt to be unbiased.

    However, the fact the very people who led and organised this huge group (according to the documentary the “biggest” movement of its kind) admit on camera that it was a fraud, it didn’t work, and was damaging to those involved is a pretty damning indictment.
     
  11. Unsure77

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    All but family
    That and they were all damaged themselves. There were 3 people who had been spokespeople for conversion therapy. One of them talked about her decade in legitimate therapy recovering, one said it caused her to engage in self-harm and had scars up and down her arm from it, and the guy that wound up at the gay bar said in so many words he was either going to learn to accept his sexuality or he was going to end his life (the realization he’d had after he finally broke down and went to a gay bar because he couldn’t take pretending to be straight anymore). And those were the people selling it. They were the poster children who had been used as the “success” stories in the 90’s. So, you look at them and you look at the guy pushing conversion therapy now and he constantly looked like he was about to break down into tears and it’s not exactly a shining beacon of success or a path to “abundant life”.
     
    #11 Unsure77, Aug 11, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
  12. caden0803

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2021
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Alabama
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    A few people
    It definitely made me uncomfortable and sad at points, but I’m glad I watched it. The documentary shedded a lot of light on this subject I wasn’t fully aware of prior. Sincerely hope that LGBT people who survived this, and are going through it right now are doing okay. Even if I wasn’t apart of the community myself I wouldn’t agree with the act of converting someone into something their not.
     
    #12 caden0803, Aug 11, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
  13. DavidDublin

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2021
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Dublin
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    I think I'll have to build up to watching this. I found the movie Boy Erased pretty tough and that was fictionalised.
     
  14. Unsure77

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Lesbian
    Out Status:
    All but family
    For me this was worse because the church stuff was real. The Boy Erased movie didn’t capture what church felt like, which eased it for me. It was sort of a Hollywood-ized version of church
     
    #14 Unsure77, Aug 13, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2021
  15. UDNZebra

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Wednesday
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Texas
    Gender:
    Other
    Gender Pronoun:
    Other
    Sexual Orientation:
    Questioning
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    I don't think I have to watch to know it will be shockingly ignorant at the idea that prayer fixes everything given my experiences with the fire and brimstone crowds