Reparative Therapy is splashing across national news again. It is a highly controversial “brain-washing” program to help LGBT people become heterosexual by changing their outward behaviors and trying to adjust their thinking patterns. This system is discredited by all reputable medical and pyschiatric professional associations, yet some religious leaders still endorse it. Certain states have already declared the practice illegal, but others, like Oklahoma, are in various stages of defining it as a legally protected method of therapy.
Pastor Neill Coffman, founder of Expressions Church and Expressions.Today Ministries in Oklahoma City, shares his story in two short videos about this experience growing up as a gay boy, getting married in his teens in order to “change”, and then his time in conversion (ex-gay) therapy. Through it all, he held on to his faith, his love for “Daddy God” (as he called Him), and somehow managed to hold on to his sanity. Now, Pastor Neill is happily married to the man of his dreams, and actively engaged in loving and caring for the LGBTQ community in OKC. And through Expressions.Today he and his team are reaching out to other pastors to help them do the job of caring for their own communities.
Part 1 is an 11 minute backstory of his early struggles.
In Part 2, Neill describes in 16 minutes the trauamatizing experience of being in an ex-gay program and the damage it did to his psyche. Coming out of it, he went through a “psycho stage” (as he calls it), then the “rainbow stage,” and then finally finding a place in wholeness and acceptance of God. It was a return to a basic intimate relationship with God that ultimately set him free. And now he wants everyone to know that they don’t need to be “fixed.” God loves them just as they are.