Gay Model in Controversial 'Ex-Gay' Billboard is 'Shocked'

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Friday December 12, 2014

The male model used in a controversial billboard in Richmond, Va., that is making headlines this week, is speaking out about his face being used on the "ex-gay" organization's anti-gay ad, saying he is "shocked," NBC 12 reports.

It was reported earlier this week that the "ex-gay" group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) erected a billboard on I-95 in Richmond, Va., that promotes the controversial conversion therapy, which some believe can "turn" gay people straight. The ad reads that "nobody is born gay" and references a study about identical twins.

"Identical Twins," the billboard reads. "One is gay, one is not. We believe twins research studies show: Nobody is born gay."

Kyle Roux, who lives in South Africa, spoke with NBC 12 about the billboard via Skype, and said he is an "out and proud" gay man.

"I was obviously quite shocked, so that why I decided to send you guys an email saying hey, I'm that guy in that billboard," Roux told the news station.

He said he hasn't thought about the photo used in nearly 10 years, and that the photo used on the billboard were part of a stock photo shoot he did. Roux said he signed away the rights to the image and was told his pictures would be used in a commercial and in cooperate ads and brochures.

But on Tuesday, Roux's friends, family, and even his trainer asked him if he was featured in the anti-gay ad.

"It just seems like there no place in today's world for an organization that is promoting this as being some kind of deviant or distasteful lifestyle, because I've lived my life openly gay and happy for my entire life," Roux, who isn't even a twin, told NBC 12.

PFOX believes that no one is born gay, and that there is no so-called gay gene. Members believe people choose their sexuality. Chris Doyle, a member of the group who is a licensed clinical professional counselor and former board member of PFOX, told the news station: "The issue isn't the photo on a the billboard, but the actual science."

"PFOX supports the rights of everyone who wants to pursue that for themselves," Doyle added.

Roux said he considers the billboard's message bordering on hate speech.

It should be noted that many consider conversion therapy harmful, including the American Psychiatric Association. California, New Jersey and most recently Washington, D.C., have banned the practice on minors.