Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement / Edition 1

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Overview


Every year, hundreds of gay men and lesbians join ex-gay ministries in an attempt to convert to non-homosexual Christian lives. In this fascinating study of the transnational ex-gay movement, Tanya Erzen focuses on the everyday lives of men and women at New Hope Ministry, a residential ex-gay program, over the course of several years. Straight to Jesus traces the stories of people who have renounced long-term relationships and moved from other countries out of a conviction that the conservative Christian beliefs of their upbringing and their own same-sex desires are irreconcilable. Rather than definitively changing from homosexual to heterosexual, the participants experience a conversion that is both sexual and religious as born-again evangelical Christians. At New Hope, they maintain a personal relationship with Jesus and build new forms of kinship and belonging. By becoming what they call "new creations," these men and women testify to religious transformation rather than changes in sexual desire or behavior. Straight to Jesus exposes how the Christian Right attempts to repudiate gay identity and political rights by using the ex-gay movement as evidence that "change is possible." Instead, Erzen reveals, the realities of the lives she examines actually undermine this anti-gay strategy.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This is ethnography at its best: an outsider's careful, respectful translation of a subculture that is often poorly understood and easily dismissed in academic and political discourse. In this case, the subculture is religious conservatives who believe that homosexuality is a choice to be overcome. Erzen, an assistant professor of comparative studies at Ohio State University, spent a year of intensive dissertation fieldwork in 2000 with a residential program in the ex-gay movement called New Hope. The ministry caters to men, usually from conservative Christian backgrounds, who struggle with a deeply felt contradiction between their sexual desires and their religious convictions. Erzen argues that most analysis of the ex-gay movement has failed to grasp the powerful role of religion, and how many homosexuals yearn to reconcile sexuality and faith. Her study puts complex human faces on this small piece of the ex-gay movement while at the same time providing a well-researched backdrop for where the ministry fits into ongoing debates. She has terrific chapters on the history of the ex-gay movement, the nature/nurture debate around homosexuality and the discourse of addiction that undergirds much of the ex-gay movement. Her book is likely to become a staple for college courses on political discourse, religion and sexuality. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520245822
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 6/27/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 293
  • Sales rank: 1,318,945
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author


Tanya Erzen is Assistant Professor of Comparative Studies at Ohio State University. She is the coeditor of Zero Tolerance: Quality of Life and the New Police Brutality in New York City (2001).
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Table of Contents


List of Abbreviations
Introduction

1. Steps Out of Homosexuality
2. New Creations
3. A Refuge from the World
4. Arrested Development
5. Testifying to Sexual Healing
6. Love Won Out?

Conclusion: Walking in a Dark Room
Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2013

    Horrible.

    I would rather slap myself in the face than read this all the way through, but from what I've seen, in the author's twisted mind, becoming straight=baptism. How incredibly bigoted.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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