In 1979, Michael Bussee left the conversion therapy organization he co-founded.
At first, he wanted to heal in private: Bussee himself is gay, and had left to be in a relationship with Gary Cooper, a man who also belonged to the Christian-based organization known as Exodus International. Together, they tried to forget about Exodus, which went on to become one of the most influential conversion therapy organizations in the world until its 2013 closure.
But at some point in the 1980s, Bussee finally came to terms with what Exodus had done—and it nearly destroyed him.
“When the full extent of what Exodus had done to people hit me, I must have sobbed for days,” he told The Daily Beast. “It was just gut-wrenching. The guilt was overwhelming, crushing guilt. I thought, ‘How am I ever going to deal with this guilt?’”
Today, Bussee has found his answer in part by creating another group: a confidential online discussion group for former ex-gay leaders—call them ex-ex-gay leaders—that he set up in 2015.
That online forum now contains some of the most powerful voices in the continuing fight against conversion therapy organizations—the people who used to lead them. Read more via Daily Beast