And it isn’t the Otto Preminger film of the novel by Leon Uris.

This summer, the antigay group, Exodus International, will hold a conference in Black Mountain, entitled “The Reality of Grace.”  In response the local LGBT community is organizing “The Reality of Will and Grace: a Refutation of the Ex-gay Movement,” a conference with film, panel discussions, and exhibits at Tressa’s (June 8th – 11th) and First Congregational United Church.

Help us bring author/activists Mel White and Wayne Besen to Asheville.



Dr. Mel White

Mel White is the founder of Soulforce, a LGBT organization seeking nonviolent dialogue with Christian leaders.  Before coming out, Dr. White was a ghostwriter for Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson.  Dr. White’s journey is recounted in his autobiography, Stranger at the Gate (1994).  His most recent book, Religion Gone Bad (2007), is an expose of the Christian Right.

Wayne Besen

Wayne Besen founded the nonprofit Truth Wins Out (TWO) in 2006, which was instrumental in convincing Apple Computers to drop its ‘gay cure’ iPhone app.  He has written two books on the exgay movement Anything but Straight (2003) and Bashing Back (2007) and has appeared on The NBC Nightly News, Fox’s O’Reilly Factor and Hannity and Colmes, MSNBC News, PAX’s Faith Under Fire, and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.


A Refutation of the Ex-gay Movement

June 8-11, Asheville, NC


  1. #1 by Bishop Andrew Gentry on May 18, 2011 - 7:13 pm

    I hope we don’t end up preaching to the choir. I know that for many people GLBT is no longer “the” issue de jour on the social issues radar screen. Poll after poll of people under 35 supports this view and as per usual it is only the older folkes that see gay ordination, DADT, marriage and gay adoption as a sign of the End! But it is these people who generally hold positions of leadership in their respective faith traditions. There are a lot of what I call “vanilla ice cream liberals” who supposedly support inclusive and welcoming communities of faith as long as it is someone else’s faith community. Mel White and Wayne Besen are certainly two good people to bring to our area and we are fortunate to have them but we need people who do not have “celebrity” and who “fight in the trenches” every day for justice and inclusion also present and visible.

  2. #2 by therealityofwillandgrace on May 20, 2011 - 1:27 am

    We have two stars in Dr. White and Wayne Besen. We also have people who are “in the trenches” such as Cecil Bothwell, Rev Linda Veltheim, Rev. Bill Johnson, Angel Chandler, and Jessica Carter. We can’t have everyone we would like to have and there are many unsung heroes out there who are fighting in the trenches but who we aren’t aware of. We have also asked some people who were not able to attend. We have worked to have a well-rounded group. If there are any suggestions as to folks we should have please share those. Thanks for the comment! Any and all feedback and suggestions welcomed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: