Charlene Cothran (Venus magazine) and Michael Glatze (Young Gay America magazine editor) were gay niche publishers who discovered that peddling fiction is much juicer (and potentially more profitable) than selling straight news on gay life. The newly minted "ex-gay" stars tell us they have seen the light – unfortunately, it appears to be the spotlight – as they now parade themselves in the Christian media, pawning their terrific tales of transformation. Cothran and Glatze explain that they are simply offering a small snapshot of their new lives, but it sure seems like a full-blown photo shoot.
Interestingly, both Cothran and Glatze found God and renounced homosexuality shortly after they split up from what they once considered their spouses. In a sense, it seems like these break-ups caused nervous breakdowns where the embittered party tried to punish an "ex" by becoming ex-gay.
Cothran's conversion occurred after she split up with her life-partner of ten years. The divorce hurt so bad that Cothran remained celibate for three years – hoping that they would eventually reconcile. When the relationship was finally on its deathbed, the former Venus publisher became born again. How convenient.
Meanwhile, Glatze moved from San Francisco to Halifax, Canada in 2004 with his partner to start a family, according to Weird Nut Daily, a right wing publication. His conversion happened after a speech in 2005 – which means that he and his husband likely split within months of his miraculous makeover.
Instead of checking out potential new dates, Cothran and Glatze simply checked out, found Jesus, and blamed their personal failures on homosexuality. Whereas most people handle getting dumped by drinking at the bar, those susceptible to the ex-gay myth simply drink the right wing Kool-Aid. They drown their pain in prayer and their sorrow in Scripture, while rationalizing that if they quit love, they will never hurt so badly again.
Unfortunately, the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality for ex-gays – it is a lifetime of loneliness, despair and celibacy.
"I am physically attracted to the spirit of Christ right now," Cothran said in an interview with the online website Clay Cane. "I would say after 29 years of walking in the sin of lesbianism that if the devil were going to try and tempt me that he's probably not going to send a football player, if you will, because that didn't do it for me. You follow me?"
Yeah, we do follow you – you are a re-closeted lesbian who has given up sex, hardly an accomplishment or meriting a toxic appearance on Rev. Pat Robertson's 700 Club.
Likewise, Glatze suggests that he isn't having any luck with the opposite sex. "Healing from the Sins of the world will not happen in an instant, but, it will happen," he said.
Actually, if ex-gay history is any indication, it won't happen, and Glatze will be quite disillusioned when the promises of "healing" turn out to be a mirage.
Ironically, the new spokespeople can't even agree on the nature of homosexuality. Glatze glibly dismisses the love of countless people as "lust-based." Meanwhile, Cothran diverges from this viewpoint by saying that, "it's not all about sex. I say that in every interview Heterosexuals have this view that it's all about sex, no, it's not." (However, she does believe being gay is the work of the Devil)
Equally vacuous is the shallow reason Glatze offers for his homosexuality – suggesting he was gay because his parents died before he was 20. I happened to have had lunch with my parents this afternoon. Guess what, I'm still gay.
Glatze also condemns his life as a gay man because of "the darkest days of late-night parties, substance abuse."
And, I suppose, gay people built all those meth labs dotting the Midwest. Part of right wing dogma holds that when a straight person snorts a line it is a personal sin. However, when a gay person does the exact same thing, it is a communal sin and part of a "lifestyle."
While Cothran and Glatze claim to be washing away their sins, it seems more like brainwashing or a deliberate attempt to strike out at those who hurt them. Whatever their true reasons – judging by the number of cameras following them around, I suspect that both already feel like they are in heaven.