IN 2016 American Christian rock star musician Trey Pearson, told the world he was gay. Fundamentalists were horrified that the married-with-kids musician, who made his name with the rock band Everyday Sunday, had not only come out, but had said hurtful things about evangelicals.

In a June, 2017, interview with Billboard, he said: “Religion can be this beautiful thing that feeds the poor, cares about the marginalised and stands up to injustice and is a powerful force of love, and it can also be a toxic thing that destroys lives. And unfortunately it’s been too much of that. In the LGBTQ community it’s taken too many lives, destroyed lives and ruined families.”

A few months before, writing for the extreme right-wing Life Site News, Doug Mainwaring said: “When Christian rock star Trey Pearson announced he was coming out of the closet and separating from his wife and their two children after seven and a half years of marriage, he said that his wife had been his ‘biggest supporter’ and that ‘she just hugged me and cried and said how proud of me she was.’

“If this account is exactly true, it is troubling. Think about the degree of social decay required – especially within Christianity – for a Christian wife to be so conditioned by popular culture that she immediately congratulates her husband for abandoning her and their children, rather than reaching out for help to preserve their marriage and family. A man who walks away from a marriage because of same-sex attraction is no different from a man who abdicates his role as husband and father for sex with other women. We shouldn’t view Trey Pearson’s actions as heroically true-to-self, but as simply selfish.”

Mainwaring, for the record, is gay.

But what happens if a man or woman in a loving same-sex relationship suddenly discovers Jesus, abandons his or her partner and takes the “ex-gay” route? Well, that of course would be a source of enormous delight to hypocritical godbotherers like Mainwaring.

Take the sad saga of Michael Glatze, subject of a 2015 bio pic called I Am Michael. When it was released Joseph Farrah of World Net Daily was beside himself with glee. In a February 2017 article he wrote: “There’s an astonishing movie out there right now called I Am Michael, based on the true story of Michael Glatze, once a ‘gay rights’ activist who finds God and renounces homosexuality, gets married – to a woman, no less – and becomes a Christian pastor.”

A decade before, in July 2007, Glatze penned an article for what I call World NUT Daily entitled “How a ‘gay rights’ leader became straight”. In it he said: “Homosexuality took almost 16 years of my life and compromised them with one lie or another, perpetuated through national media targeted at children. In European countries, homosexuality is considered so normal that grade-school children are being provided ‘gay’ children’s books as required reading in public schools.

“Poland, a country all-too familiar with the destruction of its people by outside influences, is bravely attempting to stop the European Union from indoctrinating its children with homosexual propaganda. In response, the European Union has called the prime minister of Poland ‘repulsive’.

“I was repulsive for quite some time; I am still dealing with all of my guilt.

“As a leader in the ‘gay rights’ movement, I was given the opportunity to address the public many times. If I could take back some of the things I said, I would. Now I know that homosexuality is lust and pornography wrapped into one. I’ll never let anybody try to convince me otherwise, no matter how slick their tongues or how sad their story. I have seen it. I know the truth.”

Peter (“Barbie”) LaBerbera, of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, claimed in a 2013 article that he was a “friend” of Glatze, and posted a message from Glatze, which reads in part: “Dear friends and prayer warriors: I am so grateful for all the prayers that have gone up to God for myself, and for Rebekah, as we have been so blessed to have gotten married in the past month. It has certainly been a journey! Going from being involved in the gay community, to traveling through various spiritual searches, to finding myself (personally) in many tumultuous situations, to meeting the woman that God provided for me, to being able to have a healthy relationship, to building relationships with parents and friends, and to finally have our families and friends converge in a beautiful wedding . . . all has been a difficult, powerful, and awesome journey!”

The delight expressed by Farah and lunatics like him was short-lived, for Glatze’s venture into the world of “straight” was soon exposed as a sham, and WND has since removed the Glatze piece, but you can read a cached version here.

In February 2014, Glatze wrote a letter of apology to the LGBT community via the Truth Wins Out website:

“I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to you for wisdom and compassion. My interest is not to sit here and lecture you – God knows you’ve heard enough of that. My interest is to ask that you exercise wisdom and compassion with respect to my life and I promise to do the same with you all. I want to say, here and now, that evangelical Christianity here in America (especially) is failing to reach souls with the love of Jesus Christ. There is far too much commercialism, fear, hatred, and dogmatism . . . AND, I HAVE BEEN PART OF THAT TOO MUCH! And, for that, I apologise.

“I want to say that I am sorry for the way that Jesus has been represented through some of my actions in recent years, as ‘a hateful bigot who hates gays.’ That is not the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“On my own personal journey, I have found that there are many approaches to Christianity. If you are a Christian, I would ask that you would commit to praying that I would find the true Christ amidst the many denominational approaches to Christianity.

“And, at the same time, I would ask that you grant me the kind of grace that He offered this world. I do not have all the answers. But, I am – earnestly – seeking the truth. I want to thank you for your forgiveness and I want to say that I am personally sorry for the pain that any of my words, or actions, may have caused any of you.

“Thank you, and God bless you.”

In real life, according to Jerry Reiter, writing for the Skipping to the Piccolo blog, the man the movie is based on said he is not ex-gay nor an evangelical pastor. He legally changed his last name and moved back to San Francisco, the gay capital, where he used to publish sexy pre-twink teen magazines.

“Glatze (played by James Franco) has rejected evangelicalism as fiercely as he once rejected his LGBTQ identity. On his recently defunct blog Glatze hid his identity from his audience by changing his last name to Elliott before he published harsh condemnations of evangelicals as ‘heretics’ and mocked what he calls ‘the evangelical gospel’.

“But the former twink-turned-pastor is not ready to publicly come out either as an ex-evangelical or as queer. He avoids labels, though he said he is comfortable being called bisexual. So far he remains in his (childless) marriage since the camera-friendly wedding in 2013. It’s hard to tell if the picturesque wedding helped sell Hollywood on making his movie, starring Franco and directed by Justin Kelly . . . Michael does not wish to talk about his sexuality. Gay men who wed women rarely do. Though few go so far as to legally change their name. But Michael (Glatze) Elliott, has never been one to follow the usual path. He became a born-again Christian in 2003, then a Buddhist a few years later, left the Buddhists, went back to the Buddhists, became a Mormon, then an evangelical, and now looking into possibly joining the Catholic church . . . Time will tell.

“As the New York Times review of I Am Michael said, ‘Michael’s repetitive spiritual flailings quickly become tiresome. His wishy-washy soul-searching isn’t nearly compelling enough for us to care whose bed – or church – he winds up in’

“And I agree,” wrote Reiter. “He is not ready to deal directly with his issues, but this article is not about one man. It is about the message that the movie is sending out.

“While the movie is actually multi-dimensional, conservative audiences are literally buying the narrative of a gay activist becoming a heterosexual. The main point of this article is that the ‘gay turned straight message’ is not true.

“Every medical association has explained for years that sexual orientation is not a choice. And starting in 2011 many leaders of ex-gay ministries around the world admitted no Christian changed orientation to heterosexual. Ex-gays who stayed in heterosexual marriages happily were bisexual all along, but the divorce rates for so-called mixed-orientation marriages are so bad that it is a terrible idea to advise a straight person to wed a gay one. See the Straight Spouse Network to understand the damage that happens to the person often ignored in the debate: the straight spouse.”

Reiter then posed this question: “So, why did Franco make a movie promoting an ex-gay’s story? The 2011 article ‘My Ex-Gay Friend’ from the New York Times Magazine about Michael was so compelling a twist on a gay theme they thought they had a living example of a gay who chose to leave homosexuality behind. Franco is not fully aware of the harm done by ex-gay claims.

“I think by the time Franco and director Kelly realized that Michael is not what he claims in more ways than one, they were ‘in too deep’ (pun intended) and so they tried to find the heroic in their hero. But, as the New York Times review concluded, ‘Michael comes across as a thoroughly unlikable hypocrite, spouting hateful religious rhetoric one minute and ogling young men the next.’”

There is no doubt that Glatze did the LGBT community an immense amount of harm by joining forces with some of the most hateful evangelicals in America, and this is confirmed by “ex-gay” American preacher James Hartline who is quoted on a Religious Forums thread as saying: “In the short time that Glatze has been a self-declared ex-gay Christian he has short-circuited paying the dues that any reputable Christian pastor or evangelist has had to pay, to sacrifice and to suffer, to earn the right to be a God-ordained minister.

“This is in large part due to the corrupt and media-money-hungry pro-family ministries that are constantly in search of a token ex-gay personality that they can use, abuse and wave vindictively at the equally corrupt and media-money-hungry radicalized gay political machine that drives the core engine of America’s cultural homosexual movement.

“Without even considering his lack of dedication to Jesus Christ or the fact that he had zero examples of sacrificing his life for Christianity, the pro-family hucksters baptized Mr. Glatze as their latest professional ex-gay token. It is one more reason why I, as a former homosexual who has been faithfully and very publicly serving Christ inside of one of the largest homosexual communities in the United States for 20 years, cannot be involved in most of the so-called professional pro-family organizational groups. They reek with corruption, superficiality, insincerity, greed and hypocrisy. Which explains why they all so easily made so many backroom deals with demonic Donald Trump.”

He also harmed his former lover of almost ten years, Halifax filmmaker Benjie Nycum. But Nycum bears Glatze no animosity. It is clear from a Vice interview in June 2017 that he believes his Glatze had suffered a catastrophic breakdown.

Nycum recently met up with Glatze to make a documentary called Michael Lost and Found. He said: “I really wanted people to understand there’s nuance, that Michael is a complex person, that potentially he felt remorse for what happened, which is what you saw play out in Michael Lost and Found.

“I hoped he might have been able to describe his experience as an episode that had symptoms much like a person with mental illness. I’m not a doctor, so I had to ask my question carefully. I asked, ‘Do you think you were exhibiting symptoms of someone suffering from mental illness?’ and of course he said, ‘Yes, but it was more than that.’  I wanted that to be part of a story. Not just this inner search for belonging in the world, that had to do with the Bible, because frankly I feel those are just props in the story.

“He said that his gay relationships had made him sick and would make him go to hell, those kinds of things. In I Am Michael he makes those statements. As he explained in Michael Lost and Found, in a way it gave him a sense of purpose, which can be a very important thing for someone on a downward spiral. Unfortunately it was on a very negative platform.”

Back now to Mainwaring. “His story”, according to The Slowly Boiled Frog, “is that he knew he was gay since age eight. Nevertheless, he married a woman. They adopted children and a few years later divorced. After ten or fifteen years they got back together again as a (possibly platonic) couple.

“That would be relegated to whatever floats your boat were it not for the fact that Mainwaring actively opposed marriage equality. He testified before state legislatures, wrote articles, appeared at marriage marches and participated in public forums. Mainwaring did it all. He presumed to make a decision for all other gay men. Now he is back with a new polemic titled It’s Possible: Gays and Lesbians Can Have Happy Marriages. By that he means opposite sex marriages.

“What Mainwaring is now unable, or unwilling, to appreciate is that marriage equality coupled with societal acceptance reduces the number of sham marriages that gay men enter into. Mainwaring doesn’t realize that he is obsessing over the product of discrimination. He presumes to extend that discrimination and disapproval as a means of validation. At the end of the day, this is all pretext for resubmitting objections to marriage equality for religious purposes by a shameless gay man.”