UNCHANGED: QCF Launches Movement in Response to the Damaging 'Ex-Gay' Ideology
Bethel, A prominent conservative church wants to highlight toxic “ex-gay” stories, and the queer Christian community is fighting back.
Recently Bethel, a Southern California church, has launched a “Changed Movement” featuring “uncommon” stories of people who claim they have been changed by conversion therapy.
Conversion therapy, a type of pseudo-therapy promoted by conservative evangelicals, is an attempt to change a person’s human sexuality from same sex to the opposite sex. This idea is based on a misconception that LGBT+ people are sinful, broken individuals and that only God can “fix” them. The idea that there is something wrong with a person simply for who they are attracted to and therefor needs to change, is incredibly damaging.
This includes the idea that “God hates gays” and that God will cast them into hellfire if they don’t change.
The American Psychological Association and Public Health England reports a slew of consequences due to conversion therapy including mental health issues, suicide and contemplation of suicide. We know from other stories by people like John Smid who ran conversion therapy programs and who initially claimed to have changed, have come out later claiming that they were in fact gay, have always been gay, and currently live happily as openly gay men.
Bethel’s website uses trendy graphics, smiling individuals, and inspirational copy in an attempt to change the perception of this damaging practice. In response, Q Christian Fellowship (QCF) is fighting back with the “Unchanged Movement.”
On their website, UnchangedMovement.com they say: “UNCHANGED, a ministry of Q Christian Fellowship, is a movement of LGBTQ+ Christians committed to proclaiming God’s love and affirmation of our experiences, our identities, and our expressions of selves…We believe that any form of ex-gay theology–whether implicit or explicit–contributes to the statistically corroborated rates of suicidal ideation, depression, and trauma experienced by LGBTQ+ persons in religious settings. Every Christian who wants to come out should be able to do so safely, well- supported, and with the firm belief that they are beloved children of God, just the way they are.
The team at QCF has boldly taken the graphics directly from Bethel’s site and recreated it on their Unchanged website – except that QCF’s site includes stories of LGBT+ Christians, like myself, who have embraced who God made us to be, and the arduous journey to acceptance. These are stories of triumph over the voices of homophobia and bigotry.
Snippets from people’s stories have been posted to their social media accounts including Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #UnchangedLGBTWQ. However it’s their Instagram posts that are most clever. On Instagram QCF has been publishing the excerpts and tagging Bethel in them. QCF wants Bethel and its members to know exactly where they stand and hear the stories of the Unchanged.
In addition to the Unchanged stories of LGBTQ Christians and allies, QCF has included helpful resources, an e-book, and stickers.
“We believe the Church can and should do better, but we expect God to do incredible things.”