Ex-Gay Ministry Responds to
Ellen's "Coming Out"

SEATTLE--On April 30, Ellen--the main character in the ABC sitcom by the same name--will "come out" as a lesbian in a special one-hour episode. Meanwhile actress Ellen DeGeneres, who portrays Ellen in the series, has announced her own lesbianism in this week's issues of Time and Newsweek.

"I can understand Ellen's desire to come out of the closet," says Bob Davies, executive director of Exodus International, a worldwide ministry to men and women overcoming homosexuality. "I spent many years hiding my own homosexuality. After finally admitting the truth to family members and friends, I felt an incredible weight slide off my shoulders. It felt so freeing to end the pretense of being 'straight' when my sexuality only pulled me toward my own sex."

Davies says, however, that "coming out" is not the true solution to Ellen's situation. "My own 'coming out' was not the same as finding freedom," says Davies. "I had to find out why I was gay in the first place and how I could overcome those feelings."

Ellen DeGeneres told Time (April 14) that her announcement was a result of a long process of struggling with her sexuality. Now, DeGeneres believes, "no one can hurt me." Her assertion is contrary to the testimony of thousands of former homosexuals and lesbians, who admit to finding ongoing hurt, pain and confusion within the gay community. In the past 20 years, over 200,000 individuals have sought a way out of homosexuality through the ministry of Exodus International.

"Coming out is a false solution to a real problem," Davies says, who has now been married 11 years. "I applaud Ellen in taking the first step by acknowledging her same-sex attractions. Now she needs to take the next step: searching out the underlying causes of her lesbian feelings and seeking a resolution so she can move forward into healthy heterosexuality."

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Exodus International