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Identity Thieves explores the pitfalls of the ex-Gay movement
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Identity Thieves explores the pitfalls of the ex-Gay movement

by Scott Rice - SGN Contributing Writer

Identity Thieves
April 25
Living Water Fellowship,
7204 N.E. 175th St.,
Kenmore, WA


Jason T. Ingram didn't want to be Gay. He believed, as he had been taught in his Christian faith, that his sexual orientation was at odds with God's law. He believed his orientation and God's law could not be reconciled. So, as a good Christian, he chose the only viable option he could see: He would seek treatment to cure him of his affliction.

Identity Thieves is a multimedia performance piece written and performed by Jason about his five-year journey through the ex-Gay movement. It premiers Sunday, April 25 at 6 p.m. at Living Water Fellowship in Kenmore, WA (www.livingwaterwa.com/index.htm). Admission is free.

Jason has been out since 2006, and says he has fully integrated his Queerness and his religion. But as I chatted with Jason on the phone, I got the feeling he might not have it all worked out just yet.

I don't mean that as a pejorative, either. I mean, who does have it all worked out? Reconciling religion and Queer identity is tough to work through, and some branches of Christianity can be especially hostile. Though I moved on from any sort of organized religion long ago, I still try to remind myself that Jesus was a pretty cool guy for the most part - Paul, on the other hand, was a little nutty.

Jason also is careful to remind me this is the premier of his multimedia show, and that it's also a work in progress - aren't we all, my friend, aren't we all.

It's clear Jason's experience was devastating for him. "I felt like it was the only option at that time. I had tried lots of different counseling and things that didn't seem to work," he said. He was lumped into reparative therapy groups that included GLBT folks along with adulterers, sex addicts, and even pedophiles. Talk about a self-esteem spoiler.

It's also clear that Jason believed he was in the hands of caring people who wanted to help him. For those of us who look at these types of ministries as emotionally violent brainwashing factories, it may be hard to understand this trust. But that's part of the value of any community, religious or otherwise: the safety of shared fate. According to Jason, he was dead wrong.

He says, "It was shocking how hostile the environment was. I was in denial to the amount of damage it could have done, and even after the program I spent some time in denial about the damage that was really done. It led me to attempt suicide and it's taken years of counseling and lots of soul searching to find who I am now."

Part of that catharsis and a big step forward on Jason's journey is his multimedia show that is part entertainment, part artistic endeavor, and part outreach. I believe it's also 100% a reproachful scream directed at the people who hurt him.

For more information about Jason and about his show Identity Thieves, visit his website at sites.google.com/site/trilemmafilms/.

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