Ex-Gay Awareness Dinner Features Music, Speeches and Awards
What is the difference between "pride" and "awareness?" In the case of ex-gay advocacy group Voice of the Voiceless (VoV), that answer would be a little over fifty persons.
After a dismal showing for the First Annual Ex-Gay Pride rally in July that drew fewer than ten participants, ex-gay advocacy group VoV’s latest event, the First Annual Ex-Gay Awareness dinner, appears to have been a comparative success; featuring a key note speaker, award presentation, the debut of the long awaited winning entry from their music video contest and according to The Christian Post, "about 60 Christian leaders and ex-gay individuals."
As The Christian Post (CP) reports, the First Annual Ex-Gay Awareness Dinner and Reception was held as scheduled on Monday evening, Sept. 30 in Washington, D.C. Speakers at the event included anti-gay activist Harry Jackson, who gave the keynote address, and Liberty Counsel’s Mathew Staver, who received the "2013 Ex-Gay Pride Freedom Award." Also honored at the event was self-proclaimed "former Satanic drag queen," Trace McNutt.
"When gays come out of the closet they are celebrated in the movies and on TV, when an ex-gay tells his story, he’s mocked, ridiculed, defamed - and ask Trace McNutt, he gets death threats," Christopher Doyle, VoV Co-Founder and President explained. According to the CP article, Doyle called on the movement to "go on the offensive with the message that people can determine their sexual identity."
Placing an emphasis on youth outreach, Doyle explained "Somewhere along the journey, they listened to the lie that they had to rid themselves of all homosexual feelings in order to be loved by their church, their community, and an opposite sex partner, so they gave up and went into the gay lifestyle."
Ex-gay singer-songwriter and minister, Dennis Jernigan, provided the musical entertainment for the evening with what Doyle proclaimed "the anthem of the Ex-Gay movement," a song called "Rise Up," which was originally penned for the inauguration of Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin. Earlier in September, Governor Fallin ordered the Oklahoma National Guard to stop processing requests for military benefits for same-sex couples, despite a Pentagon directive to do so.
The Christian Post further reported that, many ex-gays shared their testimonies, from former prostitute the, Rev. Douglas McIntyre, founder of Acceptance Fellowship Ministries and co-founder of Homosexuals Anonymous; to former transgender, the Rev. J. Grace Harley, founder and overseer of Jesus is the Answer Ministries.