John Paulk, who at one time was one of the leading faces of the "ex-gay" movement, has spoken out against his past in an interview with a local gay newspaper in Oregon.
Paulk told PQ Monthly that "I have made many mistakes and I have hurt many people." Now he's working at "giving generously to the gay community in Portland where I work and live." Though as The Advocate reports, some gay activists are skeptical of Paulk's change of heart.
"It is not enough to simply send an e-mail that says, 'I'm sorry,'" Besen said in a news release touting the story in PQ Monthly. "John Paulk must work to atone for the damage he has done to LGBT families by taking a public role in renouncing and working against the harmful 'ex-gay' industry by embarking on a speaking tour to show that he truly has changed. Further, he should advocate for a bill in Oregon that would ban so-called 'reparative therapy' for minors. Only then can he start to repair the damage he has done to countless LGBT people and their families."
Paulk himself says the last decade has been "a journey" to "understand God, myself, and how I can best relate to others."
While it's great Paulk has changed its tune, I agree with Besen that he burned a lot of bridges back in the day as an ex-gay poster boy, and may need to do more to make amends. What do you think?