Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pay to be Ex-Gay

It might just be me, but the website Peoplecanchange.com feels a bit too much like an online informercial. I just have the feeling that I'm being sold a service rather than reading a website that is really trying to help gays turn straight. Don't get me wrong, as far as ex-gay sites go, this one doesn't look outwardly negative or hostile to gays, but the sales-oriented site leaves me with a bad taste in my life.

Look at the site. The intro starts with a question, "Are You Conflicted Over Same Sex Attractions?" It then empathizes with the reader, saying the site's authors "know what it is like" and "have been there," and then offers a "way out," that they know from personal experience. The site goes on to give another list of qualifying questions--all designed to continue to build a connection with the reader (kind of like the infomercial whose host asks, "tired of burning toast in the morning," followed by a boisterous "Yes!" by the audience). The need has been found, the connection has been made, and the desire has been built. This is standard sales, folks. All we need now is the product...

Sure, there are some free resources on the site, but the seminars, coaching sessions, and books and materials all come at a price. The site kind of feels like the typical "get rich quick" or diet websites--they give you just enough free material to get you really excited, and then they suck you into buying the real stuff. Either way, it's just hard for to me to feel good about reading a site that purports to help people while following such textbook sales strategies to bring in customers, especially ones dealing with such vulnerable issues.

So, they're selling, but even still, they're selling some expensive stuff. Sixty bucks an hour to become straight seems kind of pricey to me, especially if this is going to take years and hundreds (or thousands) of hours of therapy to fix. Who has that kind of money laying around?

When my dad called around to some ex-gay therapy places when I told him I was gay, he even admitted that having to pay hundreds to thousands of bucks to a therapy for an indefinite amount of time to reach an indeterminable cure sounded a bit fishy to him. It sounds fishy to me too.

Round about hat tip to XGW's clown story.


At 11/7/06 3:36 PM, Blogger EL said...

I'm glad you mentioned the financial issue because I always wonder how much money people put into this and also how long they are told the process will take. Like, if you go see your chiropractor about your carpal tunnel, she'll say, "This will probably take about 12 visits to start healing." Do these folks have claims like that?

At 11/7/06 3:54 PM, Blogger Brady said...

El, my experience personally is limited, but my dad was told that therapy would not be a quick fix or cure. They even said the first couple of sessions would be free, but after that it would start to cost money. This was a referral from his church, too, someone you would think would offer free resources.


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