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Feb 06 2013

Why I outed “ex-gay” Matt Moore

When I was tipped off that an “ex-gay” writer for the Christian Post may have been using a dating site for gay men, I had two options. I could keep quiet and let others handle this, or I could do something about it. And when I saw that no one else was going to address this, I made the decision to go public about it. I first wrote about the simple facts of the matter: that someone on Grindr was using the name, age, location, and photo of Matt Moore, a self-declared former homosexual. I then contacted Moore himself, who personally confirmed to me that this was his own profile, and I published this admission as well.

Some people have argued that outing Moore was an invasion of his privacy and an unnecessary exposure of his personal life. Others say this is little more than shaming someone who’s obviously struggling with his sexuality and his faith. Some have even claimed that since Moore regards his orientation as an addiction he’s fighting, much like that of an alcoholic or drug user, exposing him publicly is tantamount to criticizing someone for “falling off the wagon”.

I don’t see any of these critiques as legitimate. Matt Moore has already made what would otherwise be his private life into the cornerstone of a very public argument. As recently as last week, Moore was writing about the “real power” of his testimony of “leaving homosexuality”. Moore stated:

…what I believe speaks volumes of the grace of God and the power of the gospel, is that year by year, month by month, week by week, day by day – I continue to fight the fight of faith. I have sought after Jesus and I have turned from sin daily.

This is not merely a personal stance of his. It is a message to a wider audience. In his earlier document, “A Biblical Perspective on Homosexuality”, Moore wrote:

The Spirit of Christ transforms the persons life – day by day, making them more and more into the likeness of their Lord – and ridding them more and more of the corruption that the presence of sin has caused in their hearts.

He’s also targeted children with his call to “conversion”. In a post titled “Dear Gay Kid”, he describes his life as an openly gay man as being full of meaningless and unsafe sex, and devoid of healthy and fulfilling relationships. He claims this “lifestyle” is “driven by sex and indulgence, not by ‘love’”. And he tells queer youth that they need God to “rescue” them from “eternal condemnation”.

So, how has that been working out for him? This is a relevant question. Of course, there are already plenty of other angles from which to attack the Christian “ex-gay” movement. Its metaphysics are just as unproven as those of any other religion, its interpretation of the Bible is just one among very many, and its notion that celibacy is the proper response to homosexuality contradicts both scientific evidence and human decency. These are all completely valid points, and even if Matt Moore did remain entirely abstinent, this would in no way support these ex-gay beliefs. But when he and the Christian Post have turned his personal testimony into a promotion for this movement, it’s equally crucial that we examine just how true that testimony really is.

Moore has set out to engage in a discussion about the morality of homosexuality, the desires of God, and the possibility of personal sexual change through faith. He has cited his own experience in support of the notion that devout Christianity can help people diminish and resist their homosexual inclinations. But if he has any interest whatsoever in an open and honest discussion about that, why should he be the only one who’s privy to the fact that this religious program has failed even himself? This fundamentally compromises the value of his testimony as evidence.

Why should the rest of us have to remain unaware of this, while he continues to deceive people about whether religion can change their sexuality? Not only is it hypocritical to present oneself as a model of sexual reformation when one is clearly anything but reformed. Such a substantial omission is just unfair to all the participants in a public debate such as this. He knows something we don’t, and he’s withholding information that impacts the soundness of his argument.

Revealing this vital information is anything but an act of shaming, and this is not some malicious and arbitrary outing of a random person who was simply going about their business. Plenty of people go looking for partners all the time, and this is certainly not deserving of shame. It’s not a problem that a gay man happened to be seeking the company of other gay men. Indeed, I hope he enjoyed himself. But his public complicity in the ex-gay movement is what makes this publicly relevant, and that complicity is what’s truly deserving of shame here.

I also don’t care if Moore regards his own inclinations as an “addiction”. I might consider it unhealthy and maladjusted of him, but that’s his business. However, it’s no longer just his business when he proposes that the rest of us ought to regard ourselves similarly. And we are in no way obligated to humor a twisted belief that treats our own loving relationships as no more than a relapse into an “addiction” that we would have resisted, if only we had been stronger.

This is about more than just Moore. There are people who are going to read his story, and it will lead them to believe that their gay son or daughter could become straight if they were just willing to try hard enough. By keeping up this charade, he continued to promote the idea that prayer was an effective remedy to homosexuality. Now, people can see for themselves just how effective this really is. And the sooner people understand that sexual orientation can’t be forcibly changed by this or any other means, the sooner they’ll stop trying to force such ineffective change on themselves and others.

74 comments

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  1. 1
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    And, most importantly, it helps take legitimacy away from his public platform.

    This is what people who object to outing don’t get. Folks, the Matt Moores of the world aren’t the primary victim here. The victims with a greater claim to redress—-yes, we do have to weight these ethical judgments because there is no perfect solution—are the powerless people that the Matt Moores are hurting. The frightened, often abused LGBT people and kids who suffer the fall-out of his public soapbox pronouncements. You really need to understand that and acknowledge it.

    Gay public figures who use their relative power as public figures to promote a false agenda that hurts LGBT people need to be stopped. No, the fact they themselves are often confused and hurting does not change that. It is ethically obscene to put more effort into complaining about the outing (which takes away the credibility and power of the anti-gay-but-still-gay crusader) and how awful it is to the Matt Moores than you pay attention to the abused people who’s lives he’s harming!

  2. 2
    brucegee1962

    Zinnia, I just had to say that this was a beautiful bit of writing — forceful and crystal-clear.

  3. 3
    Aratina Cage

    You did alright by me. :) The man needed a serious wake-up call as to the incongruity of what he says about being gay and what he does as a gay man. All of his whining about how bad gay people are can now be seen clearly by everyone as self-projection. He doesn’t like the way he is (even though there is nothing morally wrong with it at all!), so he browbeats others for it.

    It is also another great stride in exposing the idea that one can be “ex-gay” for the nonsense that it is. Here, one of the “ex-gay” advocates’ leading lights is lying to himself and everyone else about his so-called “conversion” that never really happened. I swear, being an “ex-gay” is essentially going back into the closet in spite of all reality. It’s a form of denialism that is no less cranky than Holocaust denialism.

    1. 3.1
      bodhi

      aratina, it may be fully as cranky. but it is different in at least two important ways.

      first, one can deny the WW2 holocaust without directly hurting the people who died in it [though it disgracefully dishonors their memory; also, one may thereby be setting the stage for *new* victims -- on analogy with what josh says in comment #1].

      second, the holocaust denier is probably not undergoing the hourly personal anguish that the so-called ‘ex-gay’ is. people like this wretched young man are clearly living in hell. it sounds as though he hates himself and has been mired in depression for years. but rather than directly addressing those very basic problems, he has instead put his happiness into the hands of others who will likely ‘accept’ and ‘affirm’ him only as long as he denies his own nature. the fear and anxiety that this brings must be torture for him.

      but those are details in the larger picture. i think you are quite right that the whole notion of becoming an ‘ex-gay’ is a terrible piece of deceit — manipulative, self-congratulatory on the part of the toxic ‘christians’ who propound it, and doomed to failure in the case of people who are not sufficiently bisexual to opt for sexually ‘approved’ behaviors [such as marrying someone of the opposite sex].

      i also think you are right about the effects of his online pronouncements on all of this. he may not consciously intend it as ‘browbeating’; it sounds as though he honestly thinks he’s doing ‘the lord’s work.’ but to me it seems, first, that he is desperately trying to gain the approval of his church and its pastor; and second, you [and josh in comment #1] are exactly right that many others [including LGBTQ children] may suffer further abuse because of the falsehoods he is publishing. that is a serious problem, and a responsibility that i doubt has even occurred to him.

      the other thing i want to add [for the moment] is that he does indeed need a wakeup call. but so far it doesn’t look as though this incident has been that. he may need to undergo an even darker night of the soul before he realizes he can love and accept himself without rejecting something so central to his core identity.

  4. 4
    Marcus Ranum

    Public hypocrisy is always a fair target!

  5. 5
    Azuma Hazuki

    Absolutely all right by me too. Did you notice his arguments are all “look at the health outcomes for gay men, look at Romans and Timothy, therefore God hates fags?”

    Appeal to consequences. There is a logical disconnect here (several, in fact) and a lot of hidden assumptions he’s making. More to the point, though, the things he’s pointing out just seem like risk factors for being in a relationship with men, period. Gay women have low STD rates, lower than our straight sisters last I checked.

    One could definitely argue that things gay men do are unhealthy and dangerous, but it’s because of their particular biology as men, not because they’re gay in itself. And I’m sure being marginalized all their lives didn’t help them lead healthy lifestyles.

  6. 6
    paul

    I first wrote about the simple facts of the matter: that someone on Grindr was using the name, age, location, and photo of Matt Moore, a self-declared former homosexual. I then contacted Moore himself, who personally confirmed to me that this was his own profile, and I published this admission as well.

    I would have contacted him first, but that’s just me. Why the heck did he use his real name on Grindr?

  7. 7
    otrame

    I would be more sorry for the pathetic facts about Moore if he wasn’t getting paid handsomely to lie to people, hurting others in the process, as Josh said. There is nothing wrong with pointing at a liar and saying “That dude is lying”.

    Hell, maybe Moore will decide that telling the truth would make him happier, even if it doesn’t pay as well. I sincerely hope he does.

  8. 8
    Azuma Hazuki

    No, otrame, fuck him. He’s lying to everyone, especially himself. I’d have more sympathy if he weren’t ruining other peoples’ lives as well as his own.

    If he wants to “repent” he’ll read the scientific and psychological literature on the subject and sit down for a long, deep session of introspection. It is fairly obvious he is naturally gay or bisexual, that he didn’t choose it, and that his religion is making him hate himself so much he just has to spread it around.

  9. 9
    Buffy

    The entire “ex-gay” industry is a pathetic, hateful sham. It’s nothing but a scheme for the RRRW to make money off instilling more misery on LGBT people and using their alleged “successes” (nothing more than gay people pretending to be straight) as an excuse to promote more anti-gay laws.

  10. 10
    michaelbusch

    I am a little confused about the etiquette here.

    A man posts his picture and real name on a dating site for gay men. When asked by a journalist, he confirms that that was in fact posted by him. Does that count as him outing himself or not?

  11. 11
    BK

    The sad part is that his constant cycle of repression, failure, and guilt is way worse than the straw “party lifestyle” of gay people that he condemns. He could be happy- tons of people in reparative therapy could be happy. This is why I speak so strongly against the ex-gay movement.

  12. 12
    Eric Flores

    Hey ZJ,
    When I read the first article where you mentioned that someone had used the person’s likeness and details, I wanted to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. While I find his position repugnant (happy coincidence pun), I didn’t want to full out judge the jerk until I had more facts to have an opinion.

    I agree on some level that hypocrisy should not only be outed, but mocked mercilessly. But until we get all the facts, it’s better to keep my mouth shut so I don’t look stupid later on. (More accurately Let folks think I’m a fool rather than open my mouth and remove all doubt.) My main concern though is that we should not be guilty of the same tactics of the enemy. I’m glad you did due diligence here, I just hope the poor schmuck gets the help he needs before he winds up hurting more people.

  13. 13
    left0ver1under

    The outing of Moore was as justified as the outing of “Jeff Gannon”. Both were duplicitous, both acting on behalf of extremist groups that promote hate.

    I have no problem with either. And since Zinnia confirmed it by Moore’s own admission, there is no “invasion of privacy”.

  14. 14
    Jafafa Hots

    Not only was it ok, it was necessary.

  15. 15
    Heather McNamara

    You didn’t out him. He was already out as gay. He just wasn’t out as a hypocrite yet.

  16. 16
    smrnda

    I don’t see how you ‘outed’ him. His own picture and name were there for the world to see. I’m not sure how *close* you two are (I doubt very) but if, when asked, he confirmed it was him you’re only publicizing his answer to a question that he seemed okay answering. If he didn’t want this know, he could have refused to answer.

    Though in a way, this type of thing can always get twisted around to prevent a person like this from really looking like a hypocrite to their fan base. He’ll say that this is a lapse, and then he’ll make some big confession and it’ll be a story of temptations faced and later overcome. It’s just as this script is repeated, how credible is the whole ‘ex gay’ thing going to seem? To me, the whole ‘ex gay’ thing seems to so clearly not work as to be laughable (if it wasn’t causing real harm) but somehow, the true believers never seem to give up on it.

    1. 16.1
      Mark Hedington

      ‘He’ll say that this is a lapse, and then he’ll make some big confession and it’ll be a story of temptations faced and later overcome. It’s just as this script is repeated, how credible is the whole ‘ex gay’ thing going to seem?’

      This is EXACTLY what what he did on his latest blog post.

  17. 17
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    I also don’t care if Moore regards his own inclinations as an “addiction”.

    He may regard sexual inclinations as an addiction, but no clinical definiton of addiction I’ve ever seen does so. An addiction is qualitatively different from a sex drive, and no amount of self-loathing will change that.

    I would say more, but I don’t have anything to add to what everyone who got here first said.

  18. 18
    Mum

    Agree with you 100%. Out the bastard for what he is: a bully! How dare he try and make youngsters feel badly about who they are. Even so-called accepting people in so- called accepting families and societies make it hard enough for gay kids to cope let alone £¥€#%^* like this sicko. Name and shame his sick Christian ways and then silence his $&@#%^*!

  19. 19
    Luka-Antonia

    It’s like trying to use a prayer as a cure for HIV or cancer. It won’t work.

    Unlike those, homosexuality doesn’t harm anyone. People need to reconsider how nonthreatening it is.

    Almost very religion I’ve come across have NOT been a very rational one. You always get someone who takes it that step further, and becomes an extremist follower, and tries to take away something from someone, just to suit their own needs. INCONSIDERATE!

    1. 19.1
      Josell

      Well, it depends on how do you define the phrase “prayer work”.

      It works for people during bad moments. Even if there is no supernatural intervention, you can see that it’s good for physchology. Maybe that’s the reason practicing Chrostians use to have a better mental health.

      However, again, maybe some people are not gay and they just believe they are. Prayer can work in this case to define themselves.

  20. 20
    GuddayM8!

    Having never had any inclinations to be gay, yet approached by many gay friends wanting to know if I did have any. I can say that never once have I felt threatened by their advances, actually a little flattered. I’m still good friends with many of them.
    I cannot really understand homophobia, I guess it is a condition that requires severe medication.
    I often feel more threatened by numerous advances from girls I’ve only just met, since I’m happily married.
    I think Matt Moore possibly had never been truly gay, more likely a bisexual who sees this as a way to make fame and fortune with increasing the membership of his church through this scam.
    He’s like a fake weight-loss model who was never fat in the first place, just used Photoshop or a fat suit for the before shot. Yes, it is great news that this fraud has been exposed. Thanks, great job!

  21. 21
    Counter Apologist

    I tangentially saw the story pop up a few times, but didn’t really read into it much. I filed it under “Yet another person speaking out against homosexuality turns out to be gay”, but with the little twist that this is a conversion dude.

    I didn’t know you were the first one who put it out there publicly.

    You. Are. Awesome. For pretty much the reasons you’ve stated. He made his sexuality part of a public discourse, and his “change” from it a central argument. Once proof that his argument was wrong became available, it is absolutely fair game. He put himself in the spotlight.

  22. 22
    Mara

    Yeah, I was kind of wondering that myself. I mean, if he’d been registered as Joe Schmo and someone figured out that that Joe Schmo was the same as Matt Moore and published it, that would be outing, but… It seems to me that this isn’t outing, it’s justifiable pointing and laughing.

  23. 23
    Mara

    My comment above was originally a response to michaelbusch at #10 but I got confused by the login process. ::sigh:: It’s already one of those days…

  24. 24
    Gregory in Seattle

    Moore outed himself, by posting a picture of himself — THE VERY SAME picture he used in his “ministry” — on a gay hook-up website. You did not out him: you merely brought attention to what he was doing in public.

    There is no need to justify your actions.

  25. 25
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    I think you yet need quotation marks around outed in the title.

    As for the rest: Look, it’s like pointing out that someone who pushes homeopathy does not use it himself, and obviously seeks real medical advice if you just look at his public internet activity, while he continues to shill for fake and dangerous treatments. (Of course, there is no dangerous social stigma for receiving real medical care, and no one is going to make your life a living hell for it., so the metaphor lacks this angle.)

  26. 26
    jamessweet

    So, I was going to make a comment on the last post, but decided it wasn’t important. I now AM going to make that comment, because the reason why it’s not important is germane to this post.

    I think there was a slight logical flaw in the argument from the last post: The fact that Moore has “fallen off the wagon” (in his mind) is not in and of itself an argument against the whole ex-gay thing, exactly in the same way that an alcoholic who has been sober for 10 years falling off the wagon is not an argument in favor of alcoholism. I don’t think the situations are analogous but they are in the narrow sense that Moore’s “failing” (in his mind) is not an argument against ex-gay pe se.

    I had decided not to make the comment exactly because of the ways in which they are not analogous. I repeated the parenthetical remark “in his mind” twice in the previous paragraph, because Moore is quite simply wrong here. We know for a fact that trying to suppress one’s sexual orientation is mentally damaging, whereas there does not seem to be any such issue with trying to change behaviors such as alcohol consumption. (I can tell you from personal experience that it’s fucking hard, but it’s not psychologically damaging).

    I’m not entirely sure that outing Moore was any great virtue, exactly because of the fact that I don’t think his “failure” (in his mind) is an argument against the ex-gay movement per se. The fact that people try at it and fail is not evidence that it is a bad thing. There is plenty of other evidence that it’s a bad thing, though, so at the same time I don’t think it was a bad thing either to out Moore. I’m somewhat ambivalent about it, to be honest. But certainly the criticisms you are receiving — that it’s tantamount to publicly shaming a recovering alcoholic after a relapse — are not valid, simply because the situations are not analogous.

  27. 27
    Abdul Alhazred

    We know “ex-gay” is quackery.

    The question remains whether is it conscious deliberate quackery.

    I think we have an answer now.

  28. 28
    plutosdad

    Completely agree. He made his private life public and part of his fundraising. And his organization and activities harm others, which makes it important.

    Of course, i think some of the ruder comments I’ve seen on blogs and sites are off, the ones that are almost gleeful and full of anger towards him. Or “pointing and laughing” which I think is not really something we should do.

    I do feel sorry for him and others who feel trapped. But we still have to protect others from him and the organization he is part of.

  29. 29
    M can help you with that.

    I think the Frank Rule is pretty reasonable to apply to situations like this — “Don’t out people who aren’t publicly and actively working against the interests (and safety!) of LGBT people.” Not that one is required to out somebody in the latter case, but it’s not really unethical to do so.

    1. 29.1
      baal

      Well said M. Would that this idea were in the earlier posts.

  30. 30
    pianoman, Heathen & Torontophile

    Great post, Zinnia! We should forward this to Marcus Bachmann.

  31. 31
    baal

    Thanks for this post Zinnia.

    My primary concern was that the prior post looked way too much like gleeful bashing based on hate and that vengeance was the relevant rule (your post ZJ). Some of the commenters here still seem that way and willfully blind as to why vengeance is a terrible model for deciding right and wrong.

    A near second in concern is that the commentariat also has no fucking clue what privacy is or why breaking it is a problem (I’ll not expound here on that point).

    @ F & smrnda (who I otherwise greatly respect) & others – let’s say you have a date with your boyfriend and your girlfriend. You’re totally out to your family and friends. You three go to a movie theater and dinner and are PDA all the way 3-way. You’re out out out and all is fair game?

    Yeah no. Let’s say you have a co-worker who hates your guts for a trivial reason (you wear a body spray that they find off). That co-worker then takes pics of you and your dates and gives them to your boss, an utter homophobe. Let’s stipulate that the boss doesn’t ever go to the same movies or dinner places and the daters went a tow or two away. Did the hate filled co-worker out the person they hated? I’d say yes. Any expansion in the scope of who knows is an outing. Clearly a good number of you think that once it’s merely possible for someone to know something, it’s entirely the same thing as actual knowledge to everyone. I find that to be bs. People make uneven disclosures all the time knowing that there is a risk of information ‘escape’. That acceptance of incidental risk doesn’t normally include consideration of malicious use of information.

    You can re-run the same scenario with the co-worker who hates you for a substantive reason and it’s much the same. The one exception is where the hate is based on you doing something like outing them to the boss earlier. Tthe M.Moore case is pretty close to the exception but my point is the general case (which you all are arguing doesn’t exist).

    I’m not saying Matt Moore shouldn’t have been outed – far from it, he’s clearly harmful and exposure limits his harms. That’s 100% right, good and fine. The problem is that the supporters of the outing (and ZJ to some extent) were using the language of vengeance and glee. I.e. if you hate someone then they are fair game for outing or any other abuse you care to hurl their way. That’s wrongful and argumentatively sloppy.

    We get after moderate xtians for not limiting the rhetorical excess of the extremists. We get after rape enabling language from MRA’s and common cultural memes. I’m getting after your (anyone I’ve managed to offend or upset in this or the prior thread) use of vengeance as an appropriate way of getting what you want. It’s an emotional shortcut argument that may make you feel good but it entirely undermines calls for tolerance or acceptance of folks who are not of the main stream.

    Please don’t knee jerk label my arrangement as tone trolling. It’s not. I’m advocating tolerance, privacy, and decrying ‘vengeance’ as a social good.

  32. 32
    Jafafa Hots

    I don’t see anyone excited about vengeance.
    I do see people glad a damaging fraud has been exposed.

  33. 33
    Anthony Venn-Brown

    I dont agree with all outings but in this case I believe it was warranted. As a high profile preacher I was outed when my wife discovered a letter I’d written to the man I’d fallen in love with. The events (including a public confession) and years that followed were challenging to say the least. That was over 20 years ago. I can honestly say that now as an LGBT community leader I look back on those horrendous events and see them as a blessing not a curse because they caused me to face reality and cease my life of hypocrisy and deception. I trust in the long run Matt finds what I have. Authenticity, freedom and an amazing tribe (LGBT)

  34. 34
    Anthony Venn-Brown

    I had the opportuunity to do a similar thing here in Australia with and ex-gay leader. I wrote to him personally letting him know that I and others knew of texts and messages that would indicate he is not living the life of ‘freedom’ from homosexuality he preaches. I suggested that whilst I wasn’t going to out him (knowing personally how devastating that is) there were others who knew about his indiscretions who might not be as empathatic but would actaully delight in exposing him. I offreed to meet up with him to talk. Instead of replying to me personally he forwarded it on to the director of the ministry ‘Living Waters’ who said they knew about what had happened…..but basically told me to pull my head in. Some time after Haydn acknowledged publicly on his blog ” It is very true that I was not always faithful to my wife after we got married and we are working through those things in individual and marriage counselling. A lot of my unresolved brokenness has affected our marriage and I am responsible for it. ” http://www1.libertychristianministries.org.au/haydns-story-is-haydns-story/

    Like Matt…..he continues to hold his position on homosexuality because he has never know what it is like to live authentically with his gay identity or to have a sense of morality in that. Like Matt he has only experienced numerous meaningless sexual encounters. The dymanics of the closet, (suppression, denilal, self hatred) are powerfully destructive emotionally, psychologically and sexually. Hoping one day these people find true freedom.

  35. 35
    Great American Satan

    About the comment @18, is anyone gonna call out a blatant Jack Chick villain trying to make our side look bad? If you don’t recognize the verbiage “Mum” is spouting, I refer you to http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0094/0094_01.asp … Enjoy!

  36. 36
    Great American Satan

    PS, I think FTB is getting infiltrated by a lot of this stuff lately, so people should be on the lookout for it, and IMHO moderators should delete those comments. What do you all think?

  37. 37
    Great American Satan

    Oh, and @20, “I cannot really understand homophobia, I guess it is a condition that requires severe medication.” ?! Yes, we want to silence or drug our enemies, for the One World Government. If 20 was honest, and it seems more likely than 18, then it was a crappy joke or a piece of thoughtless babble.

    Slymepitters and Jebus creeps are combing places like this for ways to condemn us. Let’s not give them anything too juicy to nosh on if we can help it.

  38. 38
    Jafafa Hots

    Slymepitters and Jebus creeps are combing places like this for ways to condemn us. Let’s not give them anything too juicy to nosh on if we can help it.

    I wanted to call out that bit about medication, not because of concern people would think it means we want to drug our “enemies” but rather because it clearly is an attempt to use (supposed) mental illness as an insult. But I got distracted.

    At any rate, it’s really not worth worrying about how slymepitters etc. will twist what we say, or attribute what others have said to us, or attribute what they have said as “sympathetic” sockpuppets to us.

    They’ll just make things up as usual anyway.

    1. 38.1
      John C. Welch

      Not that the actual opinions of the people in the ‘pit matter that much, but I, and more than a few people over there think what Zinnia did is pretty awesome, and hilarious as well. It even fits one of the best guidelines for involuntary outing that I’ve ever read, by (former) congressman Barney Frank:

      Frank’s stance on outing gay Republicans has been called the “Frank Rule” whereby a closeted person who uses her or his power, position, or notoriety to hurt LGBT people can be outed.[80] The issue became relevant during the Mark Foley scandal of 2006, during which Frank clarified his position on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher: “I think there’s a right to privacy. But the right to privacy should not be a right to hypocrisy. And people who want to demonize other people shouldn’t then be able to go home and close the door and do it themselves.”

      I have yet to find a good argument against this. If someone is simply gay, and wishes to remain closeted for whatever reason, I may not agree with it, I may feel more than a little bad for them for feeling they need to hide it, but that’s their choice, and it should be respected. But, if someone is going around being a raging homophobe, and oh, they’re traveling to other states to nail male hookers while smoking crack (TED HAGERTY), then by all means out them. Especially if they’re so astoundingly stupid as to be on *grindr* while representing as “ex-gay”.

      Matt Moore was free to closet himself until he started telling people that being gay was bad. At that point, as far as I’m concerned, his hypocrisy removed his right to be gay in private.

      I’m not alone in thinking that, by the way, either in the ‘pit or anywhere else. Reading Zinnia’s thoughts on the matter, I can find nothing to disagree with there.

      Are there people in the pit who would disagree with me? Possibly? Probably? Does that mean I’d change my mind? Hardly. In any event, speaking for myself, Zinnia did a good thing here.

  39. 39
    Stu

    I’m really offended that you did this, regardless of your intent. Even though I came out of the closet to myself 30 years ago last month, coming out to those around me was process, and that process was forced upon me, before I could deal with it and the problems it created by a do-gooder such as yourself. Someone who felt “they had a right” to insert themselves into my life and the lives of people that I cared about and were worried about. In those 30 years that I have been out, and have talked with conselled and cheered on the closeted men and women around me to live honest open lives of joy and embrace who they are, I am still amazed by the level of malevolence, lack of support and snarkism by a good sized portion of the gay community who think that because they have made it through the journey, everyone else around them just needs to get with the program.

    Outting people doesn’t further the cause of LGTB rights, it makes it harder for people who are in, to come out. It also assumes that people are either gay, or not. For two thousand years, western civilzation has oppressed people’s sexuality by seeing it as an absolute. You either are either normal or abnormal, straight or gay, hetereosexual or homosexual. We know that sex attraction isn’t an on off switch to be thrown at will. Yet, as Moore is finding out his own truth, you’ve decided it for him by branding him a hypocrite. How noble of you.

    I simply cannot except is how badly you treated another person for your own gain. This wasn’t about Moore, it was about your needs, Zinnia. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t have had to write an explaination of why you did it. And this wasn’t journalism, either. Its about scoring points and driving readers to look at your blog.

    My suggestion is that instead of holding people up to ridicule, you need stay out of their lives. Perhaps you need to look in a mirror and ask yourself why do I need to make other feel and look misreable to feel good about myself. If they really are hypocrites, then they’ll ruin their own lives. That’s how the world works for the most part. Thats what I have learned in twenty years in the closet, and thirty years out of the closet. Thats my perspective, and I have earned that wisdom – a wisdom you lack.

    1. 39.1
      Zinnia Jones

      “coming out to those around me was process, and that process was forced upon me, before I could deal with it and the problems it created by a do-gooder such as yourself.”

      Moore was already out as gay, if you read his work. And he was already out as “ex-gay”. He just wasn’t yet out as… still-gay.

      “Outting people doesn’t further the cause of LGTB rights, it makes it harder for people who are in, to come out.”

      Most closeted people aren’t “ex-gay” activists. This would be rather infeasible considering how these “ex-gays” tend to wax poetic about the gruesome, graphic details of how awful it “was” to be gay. Some closet that is. And yes, debunking this “ex-gay” nonsense absolutely furthers the cause of our rights, by revealing the emptiness and sheer inefficacy of their anti-gay positions. This makes it easier for LGBT people to come out.

      You seem to think I should care more about the personal well-being of hypocritical ex-gays, closeted anti-gay politicians, and so on than I should about the much wider multitude of everyday LGBT people they’re actively harming. I do not.

      “For two thousand years, western civilzation has oppressed people’s sexuality by seeing it as an absolute. You either are either normal or abnormal, straight or gay, hetereosexual or homosexual. We know that sex attraction isn’t an on off switch to be thrown at will. Yet, as Moore is finding out his own truth, you’ve decided it for him by branding him a hypocrite.”

      Well, maybe the hypocrite shouldn’t have been such a hypocrite if he didn’t want anyone to notice he was being a hypocrite. Moore has given no indication that this is a matter of fluid or non-absolute sexuality, and none of that would invalidate the reality that he has acted in a hypocritical way. He could be gay, bi, straight, pan, asexual… maybe even trans? I can’t say. I also don’t have to say and I don’t have to decide anything like that for him. The fact of the matter is that he identified as a gay man and had lots of gay relationships, then stopped identifying as a gay man and claimed that religion was helping him resist and diminish his gay inclinations, then he started using a hookup app for finding other gay men. His words and actions were hypocritical regardless of whatever he may discover about his identity in the future.

      “I simply cannot except is how badly you treated another person for your own gain. This wasn’t about Moore, it was about your needs, Zinnia.”

      I am glad that you are concerned about treating people poorly for one’s own gain. But I am not so sure of why you’ve chosen to ignore the fellow who’s telling queer kids they’ll go to hell. Just what do you believe constitutes treating people badly, anyway? Indeed, this is not just about Moore. Is it not legitimate to be concerned about more people than just this one guy and his troubled life, such as the people he’s affecting with his selective testimony of lies-by-omission?

      “If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t have had to write an explaination of why you did it.”

      You have implied that anything requiring explanation, anything that is not immediately obvious, is in fact nothing but mere rationalization and after-the-fact justification. Please support this contention.

      “My suggestion is that instead of holding people up to ridicule, you need stay out of their lives.”

      I believe that a good way of staying out of people’s lives is to refrain from telling queer youth they’ll go to hell.

      “Perhaps you need to look in a mirror and ask yourself why do I need to make other feel and look misreable to feel good about myself.”

      Pretending that someone must have personal motivations in criticizing someone is not the equivalent of offering any actual case for why their criticism is unsound or inappropriate. You can save your amateur psychoanalysis for when you’re not trying to make a convincing argument.

      “Thats what I have learned in twenty years in the closet, and thirty years out of the closet. Thats my perspective, and I have earned that wisdom – a wisdom you lack.”

      Age doesn’t make your perspective inherently any more valuable than mine, any more than if I argued that you simply can’t comprehend my youthful idealism from your jaded and cynical point of view. One just happens to sound better in a rhetorical/narrative sense.

      1. chukee

        Great job Zinnia. Now re-out Michael Glatze; that little bitch deserves to be exposed as the fraud he is.

  40. 40
    Great American Satan

    Jafafa- True enough. I just want to see someone call stuff out, so we can at least say we did that much.

  41. 41
    Great American Satan

    btw, Zinnia @39.1 is kicking ass as usual. Well done! But a lot of the commenters in this thread are raising the hackles of my inner tone troll. Must… resist… !!!

  42. 42
    Matt Bracken

    Truly revolutionary and innovative journalism. NOT! You’ll realize one day, too late, the damage you caused and the hate you helped fuel with all of this. Sure you made a little bit of a name for yourself with your self proclaimed need to expose, but really its the same old boil in the bag paint by numbers hate bullying that the like of Perez does (better than you). Call it what you want, slap the label of peace upon it, whatever makes you feel better! I’m sure you’re lapping up the praise from the people who think like you in the captive audience of your site, but you left integrity in the dirt a long way back. Your actions will have the opposite result and will allow fear and worry to be buried and fester away into hate and terror. Well done atheist (that label that allows you to selectively act without conscious), but your actions will come back to haunt you for all eternity. I promise you.

    1. 42.1
      Zinnia Jones

      “Sure you made a little bit of a name for yourself with your self proclaimed need to expose, but really its the same old boil in the bag paint by numbers hate bullying that the like of Perez does (better than you).”

      Well, since we’re going there… I’ve already made a name for myself; this isn’t like some big break.

      1. Matt Bracken

        Sure you have you hack. Sure. I’m sure you think exposure is the same as success or talent and that bottom feeding is great journalism. It is not. Grammatically you’re writing is poor to say the least, the rest is just sensationalist BS. Bye.

        1. Great American Satan

          Bad grammar, says the user of the wrong “you’re!” Zinnia, you’ve been burned! Best resign in shame!

          I wonder if the hate is mostly coming from closet cases with bad ‘tudes. Y’all can blow, homies.

    2. 42.2
      Raging Bee

      …the hate you helped fuel with all of this.

      Yeah, because there was no hatred toward LGBT people before Zinnia showed up, nosireebob, everything was bunnies and light in the happy little ghetto before the do-gooders came and caused all that trouble.

      …hate bullying that the like of Perez does (better than you).

      Hey, if you like Perez better than Zinnia, just go back to watching Perez. Just don’t come back here thinking you’re on higher ground than us.

  43. 43
    Fidelio01

    I, for one, think you have wonderful grammar.

    Moore is lost, for sure, and I became concerned the negative attention would be too much for him to handle. But I’m beginning to sense that is not the case. Moore should understand that if he continues advocating faith as a means of quelling one’s innate sexual desire in such in such a public manner, then he ought to be prepared for the consequences this ill-conceived platform of his will yield.

    I agree the lives and well-being of LGBT youth far outweigh Moore’s well-being. His propaganda affect real lives and as long as he is is out there perpetuating this nonsense he is fair game for criticism.

    Good job.

  44. 44
    Heather Wipf

    Cutting edge nothing! You outed nobody! What a false headline! The guy wasn’t in, in fact he was totally honest with his struggles all along. How about some real creative writing instead of pot shots at the vulnerable and sad and scoring points off of somebody elses plight?!! and the gay rights movement. I can answer that, because looking at what you have already written you don’t have it in you. I guess that’s the difference between real writers and bloggers. Feel safe, brave and right behind your computer screen I guess. Enjoy your five minutes. I hope you find its worth it.

    1. 44.1
      Zinnia Jones

      What are you so worked up about? After all, I “outed nobody”.

    2. 44.2
      Raging Bee

      …in fact he was totally honest with his struggles all along.

      Repeating a lot of hateful lies about gays and gayness is not “honest,” by any stretch of the word.

  45. 45
    Danny Wainwright

    I think a few things about this cutting edge expose, but mostly how badly written it is.

  46. 46
    =8)-DX

    Ex-gay therapy works just about as well as abstinence-only sex education. I could probably add that it also works about as well as telling people not to eat or breathe or defecate.

    You can only deny your basic urges for so long.

  47. 47
    Great American Satan

    About the dude @45… Is there something about this issue that causes people with pathetic grammar to go the full Dunning-Kruger over it? I mean, that was technically a grammatically correct sentence, but there’s mos def something amiss there.

    1. 47.1
      trina

      Yea, there’s definitely something wrong with 45. If you read it out loud it just..doesn’t work.

      Anyway.

      I think you did the right thing, and maybe adding quotation marks around ‘outing’ would help because you did not actually out anyone. How can you out someone who makes their living talking about how gay they are? (I should say ‘were’, but since there is no such thing as an ex-gay….)

      As far as the criticisms of you as someone who hides behind your keyboard and does nothing for the ‘gay rights movement’- I know that made me laugh. I love when anonymous critics chide people for not including their home address and social security number in the heading of their blog.

  48. 48
    Entaro

    I’m…not so sure about this one. It’s good that you messaged him first…but I can’t help but feel that proceeding to out him and post his confirmation response was just wrong. Of course the things he publicly argues for are wrong too, but I’m not sure that’s a good enough reason to do what you’ve done. There was an opportunity here to show him how damaging his opinions are (“if I released this information, it would cause difficulties in your life, wouldn’t it?”), instead you used it to take away his voice. Yes, people will be able to put his public remarks in proper context in the future; but he’s still going to run away from who he is, perhaps now more than ever.

  49. 49
    Reks

    I don’t think you should have outed this guy. You gave your reasons but tomorrow another person may consider that has also right reasons to do the same thing with other guys. He may be wrong and you may be wrong too. It’s a personal decision what to do and to say privately and publicly even if it’s not the same.

  50. 50
    Josell

    > “its notion that celibacy is the proper response to homosexuality contradicts both scientific evidence and human decency. ”

    You are not the most adecuate person to say that. For example, genetically we are men or women… even if you change your genitals.

    I don’t want to offend you, yeally (I’ve lern to love others) but it bothers me the fact you are talking about sexual issues and desires as scientific facts, when they are not. In fact, we know little about sexuality.

  51. 51
    Great American Satan

    For some weird reason, I ended up looking at this post again lo this long after the initial kerfuffle. Curious to see if the critical comments were still from Dunning-Kruger grammarians. I was not disappointed!

    And the people being wimpy about this issue – Get real. This man is harming people by lying that A) Being gay is bad, and B) that it can be cured. Any opportunity to provide a counterpoint to harmful lies is a good thing. His hypocrisy needed to be exposed, absolutely.

  52. 52
    Oakley Holbrook

    He used to learn everything by rote.Congratulations!He has a remarkable memory.On behalf of my company, I would like to welcome you here.They hurt.His cake is four times as big as mine.His cake is four times as big as mine.It’s going too far.I am a football fan.The secret was spread among the crowd

  53. 53
    Ed

    I think you have proven your hatred and prejudice more than anything else. Who are you to say that Moore wasn’t helped most of the time through his faith to not act out? How many times was he able to prevent himself from hooking up with some other guy because of prayer? How is he not living what he believes? You fail to explain this at all. You simply point to a weakness or failure and say that it proves the whole thing is a sham, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because he is tempted and has fallen or given in to those temptations, doesn’t mean that God hasn’t done some truly great works in his life and improved it in many ways. Likewise, just because a Christian denounces sin, it doesn’t mean he or she is no longer (or never really was) a Christian, or are a hypocrit, if they at some point give in to a particular sin which may be incredibly difficult for them to resist. You demonstrate your lack of knowledge about the Christian faith more than anything else by what you’ve done and written about here.

  54. 54
    Linda Dashwood

    Matt Moore is now claiming he was merely trying to meet men for other reasons than sex. This other reason was to tag along with men living near him to visit gay bars.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/01/matt-moore-christian-blogger-grindr_n_3193171.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

    If you just wish to meet and talk to men for 100% platonic reasons, you can simply talk to your neighbours, your colleagues or members of your church. If you wish to visit a local gaybar, simply google gaybar and the name of your city and then go there. If you really wished for platonic buddies to take you there, you could post on a GLBTW internet forum that does not revolve around dating. Grindr is the worst possible choice if you merely wish to meet men for 100% chaste reasons. There are several options here and none of them reflect well on Moore: he is an idiot, he is lying or both.

    What is it with fundamentalists that causes them to tell transparent lies? This only causes you to look dumb and makes you lose what sympathy you had.

    Granted, he does tell the truth when he says he has never identified as ex-Gay. He has in fact never claimed to have turned straight. He has consistently preached that chastity is the only acceptable choice for gay people who consider themselves Christians.

  55. 55
    Terri

    I am writing from my experience as a woman.Being indoctrinated into a cultish kind of bible religion is really intense.It’s been pushed on me most of my life by family and by religious friends.

    I have gone from being into men,to being into women, to both, and to periods of asexual feelings.
    I thought I could really say I was an ex-gay…but even if you look at alot of “ex-gay” cases…
    most still are attracted to same sex.A lot end living out a life of chastity with no sex, or some try to
    turn straight, and I do think a lot fall back to same-sex desires.

    The experiences I know of…it doesn’t work for alot of people,
    and I’m at a point where I don’t want any more to do with ex-gay stuff or bible stuff anymore.

    I think at this point…living a healthy life with no sex or with “safer sex” is the best way to go.

    I just finished reading about the ex-wife of the on the down low guy.She is really into the bible,but at least is smart enough to know a man with a wife and kids,that wants to run off to meet men,is better off without a wife
    that’s not into that, and he’s better off coming out and and his wife is better off.

    The last I’ve heard of John and Ann Paulk…it seems alot like he is back into chasing young guys and
    trying to sneak around,but still have a wife. He was a poster boy for ex-gay. It’s not working for him.

    Dennis Jernigan chose to give up same-sex stuff to stay married to a woman.I don’t feel all his same-sex desires are gone…but the way he thinks of god,it’s like he has no choice but to try to live out a straight life with a woman. OK maybe that works for him…but for most people-that would not work.

    Indoctrination into religion from an early age makes it really hard to think critically and consider other points of view.For once in my life, I think I can see more clearly in looking at life outside religious ideals.
    It’s a start but I have a long way to go.

    T

  56. 56
    luis

    The one lying is you. Gays arent born and it is an addiction. I was free from homosexuality and it isnt natural so it can be changed.

  57. 57
    Toronto48

    I do not detect fraud, hypocrisy or self-hatred in Matt’s blog. He never claimed to be ex-gay or even to be trying to be ex-gay. He is not in denial about his same-sex desires. His blog faithful reported both successes and failures. Christians who choose not to act on their same sex desires are not hating themselves, they are denying themselves. There is a difference. I admire the man’s courage. It comes at a higher price than much of the anonymous contempt found in this comment thread.

  58. 58
    tonny johnson

    THE GREAT POWERFUL SPELL CASTER THAT
    STOP ME FOR HOMOSEXUAL.

    Hello To the general public in the word

    my name is Johnson tony from UNITED STATE.

    i was once a homosexual for like 5years i was thinking how to stop it

    but i couldn’t until i meet Prophet Ahmed,he can stop you from homosexual, he

    can also stop you from lesbian,ha can bring your ex gay/lesbian back to

    you, i explain every thing to him.
    he said he will help me out i was doubting him but i gave him a trier.
    he only ask of my name and my country before i know it 4day after i

    real stop homosexual.my lives became much better.in case you are in any

    situation you can contact
    prophet Ahmed at his email [email protected] or his personal

    cell +2347053375151
    Thank you for all your help prophet.

  59. 59
    Oscar

    Dear all,
    I read with great interest the post and, as a gay man I have a contribution to make:

    I don’t like my being homosexual. It’s something that interferes with my life and my beliefs and a part of me that I want to change. That said I do not think that prayers alone can solve it. And I speak as a Christian, so I’ve already tried it for a lot of time :)

    In my personal case, my homosexuality roots in deep and painful scars. Faith gives me the courage to pursue the change and cope with bad moments, but psychological help, friends support, a lot of studying and self-reflection is what is helping me heal.

    In my case, homosexuality is a response to problems I have beneath. So I stopped worrying to much about it and started focusing on the real problems: low self-esteem, difficulty expressing emotions, fears of betrayal, a false image of my self, and so on.

    It’s not like one morning I wake up and homosexuality is gone, it’s like a journey, and yes, sometimes it’s raining, or I take the wrong direction and get lost.

    But there is hope and healing is possible,

    Best,

    Oscar

  60. 60
    Matt Bracken

    People should stop commenting on this trashy site. It deserves to be ignored and forgotten.

  1. 61
    “Ex-Gay” Blogger Sells His Computer, Locks His Phone to Avoid ‘Giving Into Temptation’ | Beutiful Magazine Online

    [...] But therein lies the problem says Jones in a blog post called “Why I outed ‘ex-gay’ Matt More: [...]

  2. 62
    Praise for the Prodigal

    [...] that can change the world. And you know what—I’ve read what they say about you. Them. And them. I’ve heard the accusations—and read the thousands of comments—and I know that [...]

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