I've been doing a bit of research into the whole so-called 'ex-gay' phenomenon - self-hating or self-oppressed is probably a more accurate description, but still.....one thing I have noticed is that they like to festoon their blogs with pictures of Wifey, if indeed, their self-deception has reached those remarkable levels. I suppose its a way of convincing themselves and creating the necessarily heterosexual image! One of them even wrote 'isn't heterosexuality great' as a blog entry. he must really need to convince himself.
On one level I find these sort of people very dangerous. They can severely mess up people's lives, and having seen the effect they can have, I certainly think they need constant monitoring.
But, much more positively:
1. In the UK at least, there are very few of them. Even the largest of the groups, which takes a reasonably moderate position (carry your cross, not God will turn you straight) has a remarkably small number of members. And the throughput appears considerable given those who leave and then find partners, leaving that world far behind
2. It appears to me that with gay people now finding it easier to come out, most of those attracted to this sort of group are likely to be those who have been brought up within evangelical Christianity. The church has displayed so much homophobia over the past few years that it certainly hasn't gone unnoticed, and i think few young gay people are in the least interested in the institutional church
3. Their stance is ever more an anachronism. Gay people have become so much part of the mainstream these days: you realise this when you work with students who simply can't conceive that anyone would find being gay any sort of problem. They have gay friends and thats just one factor about them. I think thats good and demonstrates still further just how irrelevant the church has become
Of course, many in the church love this sort of martyrdom. it also fits into their theology of being 'counter-cultural' (in Christian speak - the real meaning is 'outdated and fearful of anything in contemporary society') and being a small, fringe group standing firm against the wicked, fallen world.
Looks like they will have plenty of chance to carry on practising!