Question Intolerance

Proclaiming Freedom from Religious Fundamentalism, since 1979.

Straight? Unhappy? Billboard Parody
Original image source: Exodus International, inspired by Michael.

I LOVE that parody is covered under fair use.

Update, March 2, 2006: I received a cease-and-desist letter from Liberty Counsel on behalf of Exodus International requesting that I take this image down.

Update, March 11, 2006: Friends and strangers on the internet take up the cause and start creating parodies of their own. I collected some of the best in my post, The viral parody.

Update, March 22, 2006: With legal representation from the ACLU and Fenwick & West, we responded to Liberty Counsel’s cease-and-desist letter. Worth a read.

Update, March 24, 2006: The story was covered in the local and national news.

Update, March 25, 2010: The webpage where I got the original billboard photo has been moved here: National Ex-Gay Ministry Sponsors Orlando Billboard Ad: Billboard Targets Individuals Unhappy in Homosexuality. However, you’ll notice that they’ve removed the photo from the page, so here’s a copy for posterity.

Update, June 20, 2013: 8 years after posting this parody, I just learned that Exodus International plans to shut down, with leader Alan Chambers apologizing to the gay community. See: SFGate, NY Daily News, LA Times, Adovocate.com, Huffington Post for more.

166 Comments

Ewwh. The original is way more creepy than the Photoshopped one is funny. (I’d never seen the original, so I read the image here out of context and grinned, thinking it was cute and funny. Then, when I clicked the link, well, eeewh. I’d think there are enough orphans and homeless to keep the “religious” too busy to post billboards. Gawd.)

Joe.My.God.

Hey there! Thanks for letting me bite on your fantastic remake of that dreadful sign!

-Joe

No problem, of course I’d like as many people as possible to see it.

Haha – sweet!

Wonderful! Now, if we could only get these up around town. Heh.

Fair use rules.

Congrats on the C&D letter!

Awwwww, the poor wittle lawyers can’t stand a little “liberty” or a public insult when it’s at *their* expense!

Dan, Jayelle, thanks for the heads up. I checked my recent blog comments before checking my email this morning—and was like, “what the?”.

How cool. I’ve posted the cease-and-desist letter here.

Too funny. Love it!

Nancy Phillips

Heh, heh. Justin, do you mind if I use these images in either a St. Louis Physicians for Human Rights, PROMO (non-partisan MO LGBT rights group), or Gateway Stonewall Democrats Pride booth, with attribution of course. All these groups were active in the counter-rally against LWO in St. Louis last week.

Nancy, definitely!, but realize you do so at the risk of being contacted by Exodus/Liberty Counsel.

The only attribution necessary (in print material) would be something like this:

Source: justinsomnia.org

or if space/design permits:

Source: justinsomnia.org/2005/09/question-intolerance

And if the material you include the image in is anything you can email or send me, please do so and I’ll include a screenshot (or link to it) on my blog. Thanks!

more fun with photoshop.
:)
ALLAN

Erik W.

The ex-gays really are a sad lot. In my mind, what they do is akin to coloring one’s hair. If you’re a brunette, you can color your hair blond so that it appears that way to everyone else. You can touch up the roots every few days so they never show. You can even go around saying to others that it’s natural. Yet underneath all the chemicals, the reality is, you’re still a brunette. Thus it is with the ex-gays. They too have only used false pretense to cover up reality. Therefore, I think just as we call individuals with a blond dye job ‘fake blonds’, we should call them ‘fake heteros’. Cause really, that’s all they are. They’re fakes.

Scott

What a great billboard! It’s about time the whacko fundies were given a dose of their own bitter medicine. As a gay Christian, I am all about being what GOD made you – which means being gay if you ARE gay. As for the goofballs like Falwell, they are not Christians and should be ordered to cease and desist in calling themselves such.

proudliberal

I looked at the original image on their website and noticed the trailer under their emblem “targeting the unhappy homosexual”. You bet they are targeting. How pathetic and evil they truly are.

[…] How’s this for liberty? The response, of course was issued a C&D. […]

Erik and Scott, generally I would agree that trying to be something you’re not is a bad thing. But there’s a very fine (and political) line to walk there. For example, I don’t think dressing in drag is wrong—but isn’t that being something I’m not?

I think gay people should be free to experiment with heterosexuality without being disparaged— just as much as I feel straight people should be equally free to experiement with homosexuality without stigma.

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that we should be fighting for greater freedom for the individual, not stricter adherence to the mores of your chosen sexuality.

Leave it to the individual to choose who they love.

And this is my only qualm with Exodus. Their billboard advertising is deeply insulting, if not predatory. The primary intent of my parody is to draw attention to that.

werewolffan98

their website doesn’t allow comments;how come? are they afraid of the oppostion?

You know you’ve made it when you get your first C & D letter!

Buncha crybabies.

Mixter

Beth

More power to you–and all of us self-respecting and other respecting folks who don’t feel the need to deny who we are or who anyone else is!!!

Breezer

Brilliant billboard!
As Katherine Moenning (Hot Hot Shane) said in the first season of the L Word:
“ALL women are straight…until they’re not!”
so true, so true ;)

censoredagain

I love that that parody!

well done with the parody :-)

I hope these images get reposted all over the internet.

Adam

I saw one of their pieces-of-shit billboards driving down I-170 in Saint Louis County–nearly wrecked the car. I’m so insulted I could spit. [comment edited, explanation here]

Cease and de-sissy…

Blogger Justin Watt received a cease and desist letter on behalf of ex-gay organization, Exodus International after parodying one of their billboards. Liberty Counsel, which is based at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, sent the letter stating:[the]…

the clouds are very pretty.

brilliant parody.

Ben Clark

Freedom to “experiment” with heterosexuality is what we call “Questioning” in the GLBTQ list and it is just as valid as the others.

Ben Clark

I think that Justin’s parody is also a powerful statement as to how Exodus recruits people into their “ex-gay” lifestyle of pretense or asking participants to pretend to be what they are not. This parody is a work of art as well as a political statement.

John Paul

I think you should MOST DEFINITELY keep it up! Freedom of Speech, right? There’s no image that you’re actually using that belongs to them They don’t own the words and they don’t own the fonts. I don’t see any way how they can make you back down besides trying to use scare tactics.

frank

brilliant idea. i think you might be on safer legal ground, however, if you just photographed some random billboard and then photoshopped your copy into it. love and kisses …

Great stuff. I’ve mirrored the image on my site as well, you know, the whole solidarity thing.

Sheela, Bialogue

You go girl! The best laugh I’ve had all day. You should get GLAAD or The Task Force to fund an actual billboard. May I suggest you sell t-shirts, bumperstickers and mugs with Cafe Press. Stay strong and dont let those creeps intimidate you!

keep fighting the good fight. we’re all rooting for you.

Would you mind if I posted it at my blog too? I don’t mind a lawsuit. My goodness, maybe we can start a movement…lol

I think this and all of the follow-on parodies are beautiful. Mirrored on my site as well and sent it on.

Rudy

Haha! That’s wonderful. If you are ever forced into removing it by law, be sure that we’ll all be ready to host it on a web server outside the reach of US unfair laws ;)

Go Justin.

I’ve been keeping unofficial track of those who are showing the images on my blog … and the list keeps growing. :-)

Adam, I’m not opposed to cursing, but I prefer that we refrain from disparaging the members of Exodus. Criticize the organization and its actions, not the people who choose to seek solace there.

Manhattan offender, the title of your blog post, Cease and de-sissy is brilliant!

Ben Clark, thanks for the comments. I could imagine Exodus defending its billboard marketing as a form of “questioning”. I would say in response that there’s a gross difference between an individual’s self-reflection (perfectly valid), and an organization forcibly doing the questioning for you (Orwellian).

Sheila and others who’ve suggested tshirts. Nothing should stop gay.com from offering tshirts with “Straight? Unhappy? http://www.gay.com” on them as sort of an in-joke (hopefully donating all proceeds to gay rights, free speech, etc) but in order to defend my claim that this parody is protected under fair use, I will not be doing so.

And big thanks to everyone else who’s hosted or passed the image along. More important to me than my free speech fight is the ultimate goal of creating greater awareness of this predatory form of advertising.

Let’s shame Exodus in taking these billboards down.

BushNot

I say this is still America…keep it! What are they afraid of, that their might be many heteros out there who are unhappy being straight and who want to be gay? Of course there are!

TimmerInBigD

Don’t let them bully you! Their definition of “parody” is highly tainted with prejudice… You can do just about anything you want on your own blog. If they’re stupid enough to threaten a lawsuit, then let them spend their hard-ly earned money! You ought to send this to Jimmy Kimmel on ABC — he’d love to put down Exodus…

adam

YOU GO MAN!

Vince Herzog

Dude, I LOVE YOU! Okay, I love your mind- thanks, you made my week. Hope you don’t mind, I’m going to share this with a few friends. Thanks for speaking.

AWESOME!! Keep up the good work, Justin.

Will

Gay? Unhappy?
Call Me ;)

lol. dont go down w/o a fight Justin.

BuzzK

As a professional writer for 30+ years, I am well acquainted with copyright law. I assure you, you have nothing to fear. Liberty (an egregious misnomer) Counsel has absolutely no case.

[…] Check out this article on how Exodus International, who seeks “Freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ,” tried to prevent a blogger from parodying their billboard advertisement. […]

MassM

I think this is great. It actually makes light of a group that has screwed up (and even caused the end of) so many countless lives that religion has convinced them that their sexuality makes them evil and worthless. I am hoping that this does go to trial and no matter what the outcome, it will at least bring to light all the false claims this group makes about their methods and (lack of) successes.

rebekah

I LOVE IT!!! Everyone knows that we gays dont recruit, but obviously the straights are a bit insecure that they could be recruited! LOL

Kif

I literally stumbled across this site. As a straight man and a Christian may I say that I despair of those who are prejudiced in any way against others because of sexuality, race, colour or anything else. I cannot see that my religion has anything to do with those narrow minded fundamentalists who put up those anti gay notices. I have gay friends who seem to be very happy and they treat my wife like a goddess!

lesbian lover

ah ha ha!! This is the funniest s–t I’ve seen in the LOOOOONGest time! ROFL!!!! LOVing it, who cares if the crazies sue, they’ll never win.

incidentally, anyone who supports end of youth being coerced into gay reparative, conversion therapy please see the Community Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Youth (CAFETY).

Kif, thanks for stopping by. I’ve been thinking more needs to be done to create some dialog between the mainstream religious community and the gay community.

If we could get some progressive religious organizations to speak out against Exodus—as far as how they promote an ideology that’s especially harmful to minors—that might help to damage their credibility among more fundamentalist leaning groups.

I’d like to see the parody get out beyond the gay community and to people who might not have initially perceived the original billboard as offensive. Conveniently Liberty Counsel is making that process the much easier by threatening me with a cease-and-desist letter.

But if anyone has any other ideas, or people they think might appreciate the message of this parody, please feel free to forward this post or the image around. Thanks.

lesbian lover, thanks for the CAFETY link, I’ll check it out.

calder

I think you should create an ad campaign for print and TV media to back up the billboard. You know, reparative therapy for those who felt coerced into becoming breeders by a right-wing heterosexual hegemony. Cartoon icons like Bert & Ernie, Tinky-winky and Sponge Bob can serve as spokesmodels, providing a comfort level for younger, oppressed straights. Amidst the parody can be authentic phone numbers that gay and lesbian youth could contact for support. And I hope you don’t have to take down the billboard ad. I would be happy to contribute to either lawyer fees or a more extensive campaign. Your ad is incredible, because humour and truth together have enormous power. Thanks for the much needed uplift.

Thanks from the mother of a gay son who has no intention of sending him off to be restructured or whatever it is they do.

Sometimes ridicule works better than the most serious protest letter.

pendragon3

They must be very insecure in their theology if they are threatened by your parody (which most fundamentalist groups are which is why they recruit).

If they sue in Federal Court, make sure your lawyer asks for Rule 11 sanctions for commencing a frivolous case!

Keep up the good work.

It is fair use. But how amused am I by the inclusion of wikipedia in the cease and desist.

aeon

These poor souls, they seem to have lost their way. I think someone needs to assemble some sort of prayer group or something so that we can pray that their firstborns all turn queer or something…. What? You don’t think that prayer could do that? Hmmmm.

richard bieth

Great job. Exodus international is such a sad excuse for bigotry and ignorance. Let’s hope in another 25 years they are gone altogether. Think of the progress in the last few decades, I now live in a country where I can marry my partner. It’s only a matter of time until my gay U.S. sisters and brothers can do the same. Keep fighting the good fight.
Toronto, Canada

Hope you don’t mind that I included your image in our article on the subject (a reprint of the ACLU press release).

The most absurd thing here is the notion that Exodus thinks they can claim copyright on the use of pink letters in italicized Courier typeface combined with black letters in italicized Times typeface. The only work of theirs that you used was the word “Unhappy” and I hardly think they can claim they own that word (despite how much they try to spread unhappiness).

They don’t have a leg to stand on, and this is just the wacko fundamentalist anti-gay hate industry trying to threaten its critics into silence.

Michelle

Justin, you ROCK! :)

Joe Bua

I hope you’re wearing that cease and desist letter like a badge of honor. Congrats!

I just saw this at morons.org. I’m posting a copy of this image as well.

Yep, I’m linking/posting/whatever the image. It’s the bestest.

Thanks to you and the ACLU! I’m linking to it as well. Nice work!!!

George

Way to show the bigots! I’m proud of you and of being a card-carrying member of the ACLU

spatula and everyone else, definitely feel free to use the image where ever and however you please. Thanks for the support and kind words!

rodrigo

I can’t believe there still exist such ignorant organisations as exodus. Your response letter is great! Justin, you rule! Greetings from mexico.

Anthony

You go, Justin! That billboard is AWESOME! It’s about time someone stuck it to the “ex-gays”!

Anders

Way to go! Good thing those Christian-right aren’t as accepted here in Sweden as they are in the US…

peter

excellent !!!!

albert

thanks for taking the time to fight [Exodus]!!

Bob

Thanks for confronting people with the obvious answer to the ex-gay ideology.

michael Tew

awesome!!! go go go!!!

nipper-dawg

Often people who never intented to take up the spear of battle, often have been forced to through others stupidity.

I am happy that the ACLU has decided to take a stance. More and more with the present tone of todays politics and society, it seems like the constitution is an annoying little piece of paper getting in the way of the extreme right tryng to take over the country.

Thank you for taking a stand not only against the bigots that spread hatred, but standing up for free speech.

scott kincade

Love your take on the Ex-gays ministries. Would have loved to see ur billboard here in st louis when they came to town, would have been a great contrast to there bigotry.

biva

hello justin…well done…here’s something that might wind them up even more: http://www.biva.co.uk/html/ex.html

perhaps we could all get together and have a CONFERENCE on how to save fundamentalist christians…….a gathering of gays who feel the need to save “them” from themselves….

paul

thank you for answering the aggressive bigots with such tact!!! my membership with ACLU stands strong. brotherly/sisterly love from massachusetts

Jackie

HAHAHA, i’m dying here. This is GREAT. I, too, am completely offended by the original bilboard which essentially says “Gay? Call us! We’ll fix you”. As a straight, married, mother of 1 boy, I sure hope that when he’s an adult he won’t have to be surrounded by images that make him (and whatever life choices he makes) feel questioned by society.

Randy

Thanks for showing the hypocrisy of what they are doing.

My friend, C, posted this in her LJ and i just had to come over and say CONGRATS on your win!

:-D

i would be the “C” that alisha is referring to. i slapped your parody there and also on my diaryland site. this MADE MY DAY. i am in love with revolution and resistance, and the fact that one person can do a LOT…and be funny at the same time. congratulations on fighting the good fight. you rock. :)

Joseph Galliano

Hi Justin,
please contact me as soon as possible. I can’t find a direct email contact on your page,
best wishes and HURRAH for your sign!
Joe
deputy editor, Gay Times magazine, UK

Hi Justin – AWESOME site. May I get your permission to post your exodus parody on my web-site. You’ve got guts. I love that.
Regards, Brian

Brian (and anyone else who’s interested), please feel free to download a copy of the parody image and upload it to your website. The only thing I ask is that you attribute the parody to me, preferably by having the image link back to this post.

To everyone else, thanks for the kind comments and support.

Benjamin

This is a perfect example of being able to dish it out but not being able to take it.

[…] I thought this was funny on a couple of different levels. […]

[…] Justin Watt, a blogger who disagrees with the premises undergirding the “conversion” of gays to heterosexuality, created a parody, which he posted on his website: […]

[…] A quanto pare, un blogger gay americano si è sentito offeso per una pubblicità, creata da un gruppo religioso, che prometteva di ritrovare l’eterosessualità attraverso Cristo. Il ragazzo ha quindi creato una immagine digitale per fare il verso ai cartelloni bigottoni. Diffidato dal continuare, si è rivolto all’Unione per le Libertà Civili, ottenendo un ottimo supporto. L’Unione ha infatti sostenuto il diritto del giovane di affermare in maniera critica e creativa la propria opinione, in una materia nella quale ha profonde convinzioni. Sul piano giuridico, Aclu denuncia l’emergere di una strategia ormai consolidata che consiste nel far pressione indebite sui blogger (e su quanti pubblicano in internet) invocando immaginifiche violazioni dei diritti d’autore. Al contrario, queste forme espressive ricevono un forte tutela, in quanto manifestazione del pensiero (e purchè un pensiero effettivamente esprimano…) Comments » […]

[…] Exodus is so convinced they can cure gay people “through the power of Jesus Christ” they took about a billboard. From USA Today: Watt, operator of the Justinsomnia blog, says he exercised free speech when he parodied the Exodus billboard, which says, “Gay? Unhappy? http://www.exodus.to.” Wyatt re-created the billboard on his site so it read, “Straight? Unhappy? http://www.gay.com.” Exodus’ next project? How about curing priests that molest children (through the power of Jesus Christ). […]

Dan

Bravo to you. I wish more straight guys had your insight.

CM

Just to be safe, if I were to copy the image under creative commons for my blog, how would you prefer to have the attribution read?

CM, the prefered attribution is to have the image you include link back to this post. However there are a number of other options which I’ve described on my Attribution Policy page.

michael

Justin – great job. Thanks for speaking up when so many are silent. We need folks like you.

Trish

I don’t know who you are but THANK YOU SO MUCH for doing this, I am a straight female living in Orlando and whenever I see this billboard I want to scream! It is intolerant, rude, discriminating and fascist… Like a previous blogger said, thanks [SO MUCH!] for speaking up when others are silent! Keep up the good work

Max

I’m white and unhappy. I want to look like the real Jesus, i.e. more like an Arab and less like a WASP. Can Jesus heal me? Funny how so many Christians can be so un-Christlike. I mean most of us don’t even look the part.

Trish, I’d do it again in a second. Thanks for leaving a comment, I think it’s important for the gay community as well as Exodus to know that there are straight people who find this marketing hateful and repulsive.

I’m a straight woman and that Exodus International billboard offends me deeply. Thanks for taking them to task on this, it matters!

Mike

You go, mister!!!!!

Mark

Thanks for your time/efforts on this … I’m sure I speak for many that this IS TREMENDOUSLY APPRECIATED! It’s time some of the fanatical “thumpers” start actually READING that book that they jump on.

Evolve — and push forward!!!!

mike

I just read about this in the NY Times today. This is so funny. I’m gay and don’t think there is a cure even if I wanted one. Good to see the high heel is on the other foot! Keep up the good work.

Steve

Thanks for the Parody of Exodus. ! I Was involved in Gay Rights in early 70’s with all the Falwell, Anita Bryant, and Moral Majority crap that was spewed out by the Homophobic so called krisstiens of the time. (Note the spelling- no REAL Christian would be so hate-filled). These folks really hurt a LOT of good people with their self-serving agenda. My loved ones, of ALL orientations, are deeply appreciative of your Parody.
Steve.

Ton

Hi Justin,
your parody has drawn international attention. Read about it in the Netherlands. You are doing a great job. Just make fool of those fundamentalists.

Roy (netherlands)

Hello….i support your actions too!
Great job!!!! Hold on!!!

Kris

Hi Justin!
You go boy!! Good stuff!
I read about this on a dutch gaysite.. You come across intolerance everywhere, nice to know there are people man enough to deal with that!

Rebecca (Netherlands)

I love your Parody ! I’m a lesbian and i’m happy. Why should i heal? I can get so angry at organisations like this. These guys don’t know anything about life and about respect. Great action !! Thanks !

GREAT! Very nice artwork… Who knows someone might even put up a real billboard like that. I hope more media from around the globe pick up on this… it deserves the attention!

Hjalmar Friesland (Europe)

Wicked guys those religious persons, religion should be forbidden. Support your parody LOL!! Go on fighting homophobia caused by religious persons!

Wil

Comment from the Netherlands:
Great job.
Keep going on.

Lenny Z

Maybe we should start a collection to post some REAL billboards around town!

This is great – keep up the good work. More importantly fighting the fight. (sorry to be so cliche ridden today)

Jeroen

From Holland my support for this parody. God Loves gaypeople, that’s why he made so many!

Roger

Hi Justin,
Take their balls!!!
Greetings from Belgium…

Hey folks, I’d be neat to create some multi-lingual versions of the parody. What is Straight? Unhappy? in Dutch? French? Spanish? German?

WHAHA GOOD STUFF Justin haha. I am from the netherlands. They should not be angry They know people read there board right!!?? but if they agree with it is a other part whaha. Well anyway. I hope you find more boards whaha greets Devid

Justin, you have to do that on a shirt or I’m going to! :P

Jim
OGA

Jorn (NL)

To say it with Rufus Wainwrights words: Exodus International, “better pray for your sins, cause the gay Messiah is coming!”
And apart from the fact that these ‘religious’ people don’t read the bible very well, there is something that is called ‘freedom of speech’!

Well done Justin, hold on! :-)

Arjen

Hi Justin, go for it man!
the Dutch word for sraight is: hetero and the Dutch word for unhappy: ongelukkig

El

Justin,
Straight in Dutch is: Hetero.

I guess Spanish would just be heterosexual (said with a strong latino accent) and unhappy would be infeliz….
Swahili may be Nyofu? Huzuni?
How can we interpret all those Netherland comments from that website post?

Jim, feel free to do a tshirt, though to be safe I’d suggest just using the language “Straight? Unhappy? http://www.gay.com” and avoiding using the billboard photo. IANAL, but staying noncommercial makes it easier (for me) to defend the work as a parody.

My intention was never to make money directly off of this parody, it was to engage the community in a discussion about what I felt was predatory marketing.

Many people have suggested creating an actual billboard with the parody message, but when I think about it, I’d rather not continue to spread this message in a format where it might not be clear to people it was indeed intended as a parody.

ddotk

how about

“christian? unhappy? http://www.exjesus.com

JT Stout

Justin: I am taking your suggestion to heart. I will be joining the ACLU citing their representation of you as the reason.

Sir, I am proud of you!

BushNOT

RIGHT ON DUDE!!! Stand up to the christian BULLIES!!!!!!!

Carl

Exodus. Hmm. Sounds like another stupid exit only joke. Christians are very pushy. What say we get some buddhists and some atheists and some gay folks and go knocking on doors to try to convert people, insisting politely and with love that their christian ways must end. Hmm? Dear God, save me from your people.

BushNOT

Hi folks,

I bumped into a cool website, it is http://www.elroy.com

Very informative and it shows ways on how to combat the religious right. Interestingly, it also shows how the Bible CONTRADICTS itself in many ways. Click and read the articles “Do unto others” and “How to fight the religious right”

Fred (NL)

It would be fun if Christians would be a bit more like Christ. But I guess that is still a dream. Keep up the good work bro…

Keep it up Justin! We’re all pulling for you! :)

Vic

Great job!!! I will send it to all my friends here in Texas!!!

kev

Hey wtg. i actually got wind of it thru a large gay site in the netherlands, so i guess word’s starting to spread :) good goin’
it’s so unreal to me that sth ike exodus still appeals to lost souls… so every attempt to reflect on their absurdity is grand :) tx

Dan Druff

Dude, I love Jesus, but the savior that I know didn’t go around suing people. If they didn’t like what he had to say, he just went and talked to someone else. Matter of fact, that’s exactly what he told his followers to do. (Matthew 10:14) You can go through all four gospels — plus the ones the Nicene Council decided not to put in the Bible — and not find one mention of Christ filing a lawsuit. Course, you won’t find mention of Christ saying anything directly about homosexuality, either.

BEarFL

Is just a shame that all the Exodus failures will not come out of the closet. I dated two guys that were so troubled by their dealings with Exodus that I ceased and desisted in seeing them. They were unreachable emotional heaps of baggage beyond comprehension. Both admitted that they were nothing but homosexual.

Jimmy Val

Carry on dude – saw those billboards myself last week in Orlando and had to pull over I was laughing so hard! Next billboard – how about:
“Christian? Hypocritical? http://www.keepyourgodtoyourself.com

Will

We are standing right behind you with full support! keep it up dude!

Miss Teddy

I’m sickened by finding out the US is not only anti-gay (as we all knew) but isn’t too shy to actually support and fund those who are also without class or sensibility. They should sue Exodus!

Keep that parody not only alive, but spread it. Just to raise conscience with those who cán think clearly!!

Miss Teddy

Jim C.--Austin, TX

Justin, keep up the good work, man! That billboard parody was great and should have been all over the country! Until people “get it” that God created us all and loves gays too, I guess the struggle will continue.

Leather Goddess

This is now my signature on all outgoing email.
Read about you in the Buzz magazine here in San Diego, California.
I’m a African-American bisexual female, and it’s no longer civil rights,,,,it’a all about HUMAN RIGHTS.
Props.

Lara

I love this more than life.

mattyb

well done keep up the good work

baby jane hudson

god, this is funny… blanche almost fell out of her wheelchair she was laughing so hard… keep on trucking…

God, I hope Blanche was ok. :)

Emily

I’m writing a research paper on exodus/reparative therapy and it has been a long morning of seeing horible, bigoted material. This is the first thing I’ve seen that brought a smile to my face. Keep it out there!

Emily, thanks for the positive feedback. If any of your research makes it online, feel free to come back and leave a comment with a link to what you discover here.

Mel, The Netherlands

The powerfulst country in the whole world and still afraid of gays. What are people doing there? Why do they fight things they can’t change? Being gay is part of who you are. You don’t destroy people, do you?

My respects for Justin.

Brandon

Exodus International did and has helped me greatly. I was very confused and disheartened about my sexuality. Being a Christian and living a TRUE Christian life is what Exodus is all about. They speak the Biblical truth that homosexuality in God’s eyes is a sin. It is against the very nature he intended. Exodus’ mission isn’t to condemn people, but to enlighten them to the word of God. I was unhappy, being a Christian and beleiving the lie that I had to be homosexual and act on my desires, but Exodus helped me find a way out. You know, tolerance isn’t acceptance. It’s tolerating. I can tolerate anything, but it doesn’t mean I have to accept it. I no longer accept that my sexual desires have to control my life. I thank Exodus International and there message of truth, hope, and sincerity for helping me find a better life. If you truly do want help out of homosexuality, look them up, read their material, and keep an OPEN mind. That is far from being bigoted, as some would suggest. That is looking at all your options. You don’t HAVE to be gay!

Brandon, I’m glad you found solace in Exodus. People should feel just as free to experiment with heterosexuality as with homosexuality. I am not a Christian, so the religious rationale you describe is somewhat lost on me.

The intent of my parody is to suggest that people should feel free to love who they love—free from the sort of in-your-face stigma shown by Exodus.

Brandon

Justin, I appreciate the reply. The issue here isn’t about love. It’s sex. Yes, people can love whomever they see fit to love. We should all love everyone. Christ taught that. But the issue here is sex. The worlds view is that if you’re attracted to someone of the same sex, you basically have no choice but to engage in sexual activities with them. That’s not true.

As I said before, you DON’T have to be gay. Yet, that is what the world tells you. That is why I felt so lost before. I felt no hope for changing something about myself which I didn’t want. Now, I won’t lie. I still am attracted to other men. I realize that may never change. But that’s not the point. The point is that I want to change.

And there are many, many others like me. People who don’t want to be gay, but feel utterly lost and helpless in the world. Exodus helped me. They helped me see that change is possible. They gave me hope. So, for me and all others like me, they are nothing short of a Godsend. I’m sorry if they’ve offended you, or others, but as long as they can help even one person to become happy in who they are and to comfort them, and show them the love, forgiveness, and grace of Jesus Christ, then in my book they are doing a good thing.

You mentioned, Justin, that you’re not religious? I hope and pray that someday you will be. There is no greater joy in the world than that of finding God and his son Jesus. They can do so much to change your life for the better.

I guess what I’m trying to say here in summary is that sex and love are two separate things. Don’t sexualize everything about yourself. There is truly so much more to life than sex. If you’re going to love someone, then love them. No problem with that. But if you’re going to have sex with someone, first ask yourself why, and consider the consequences of doing so.

And as far as Exodus being, “In your face”, they have to be. In a world where everything seems to always be saying Gay, gay, gay, they have no other choice. How else could they be heard. I went years without ever knowing any organization like them even existed, and this was with me searching for one. Thank God I finally found them!

After I last posted on this site, I began looking at what others had written. I have to say that I am so very saddened by the hatred so many of you feel towards Exodus. Don’t you know that Exodus itself is comprised of people who have struggled with homosexuality? These are people who have been there and done that and know all the hurt and discrimination that a person facing this issue can have. How can any of you therefore call these people ignorant, bigoted, or anything else hateful as you have. These are people who know what they are talking about. They have experienced homosexualty firsthand.

All they want to do is reach out to others who have been hurt as they have and try to help them. What is so very wrong with that? That’s not bigoted, ignorant, hateful, or any of the other things you people have had to say about them. As for their billboard. I myself was unhappy about my sexuality. That billboard, is nothing but a “we can help you” sign for anyone else like me. Thank God they have the courage to stand up against all you like minded people to try to help those such as me. And I for one pray to God that they will continue to help those others struggling with this very issue.

angel

God bless you and may you one day find the real meaning of your life, He loves you just the way He created you, in His image.
Seek and you shall find, and when you do find Him do what you are doing now, let everyone know the truth, the truth will set you free!!!

Brandon, judging by the length and off-topic nature of your reply, I don’t think you appreciate the intent of my parody or my reply to your previous comments at all.

The real issue here is Exodus marketing in a way that hurts and stigmatizes an entire group of people. The primary intention of my parody was to demonstrate to those who might not have been offended that these billboards are both ridiculous and inflammatory.

If you believe, as you say, that the means (of Exodus’s tactics) justify the ends, that in order to reach people you have to hurt people, well then, we’ll have to agree to disagree, because I find that attitude truly reprehensible.

Angel, my goodness, I have no idea whether your comments are addressed to me, to Brandon, or whether you’re just stringing together religious cliches for fun.

Brandon

Justin, my intent was to say that Exodus’ billboards shouldn’t be hurting anyone. If you’re happy you’re gay, more power to you. If you are happy, then what’s the difference. But if you’re not, as I was, at least Exodus is putting themselves out there to offer help. That’s the point I’m trying to make. Exodus made theirselves known, and pointed out what they’re about. It wasn’t a message meant to say that all homosexuals are unhappy, or that all homosexuals are depressed, or are even seeking to change their sexual identity. It was a message of help to those who are though. Now, I ask you, what is wrong with that?

Justin, I am sorry if you are somehow hurt or offended by the idea that changing ones sexuality is possible. I believe it is. I know firsthand that it is. I know this damages the theories, beliefs, and ideas of the gay community, and I know that it’s a set back for that community, but I can’t ignore the change I’ve made in my own life. And it is a REAL change. Deep down, I believe that is a key point to make here between our discussions. I feel one way about a sign because I’ve experienced one thing, and you feel the opposite because of your own experiences. Here’s a great idea, why don’t we learn to tolerate each other? Some people like one thing, others don’t. Some people believe in one thing, others don’t. Just to show you what I’m getting at, I will say that I thought your sign was a great bit of satire. I’m just concerned that when it comes to Exodus’ sign, people don’t know what it’s really there for and all about. If this doesn’t explain anything more clearly for you, then I’ll promise to quit writing you. Thanks for putting up with me so far. I appreciate the fact that you let others have a voice on your site.

[…] Absolutely fabulous. This guy’s website is right on the money, and I learned about it from a bi acquaintance at BiNet USA. Here’s what she wrote about Justin of Justinsomnia.org: […]

Bri

Reading some of the comments… it’s so sad that some people think that living god’s truth is suppressing their true self and sucking some unfortunate (opposite sex) person into a farce of a relationship.

Jonathan Krull

No problem on the link, though I was surprised to get any thanks. Just thought a little support from a Christian might be refreshing. Peace.

Personally, I’m ashamed to see Christians, who pull out the 1st Amendment to defend their views, resort to attacking it in the next breath. A little consistency never hurt anyone, gay or straight.

Billy

I like Brandon’s idea that it is not about love but about sex. As if the homosexual community’s eyes must only be awakened to love by a memeber of the opposite sex. It’s ridiculous to think that with all of the loveless heterosexual marraiges that are existing in limbo today that a straight society would know anything more about what love means than one that is homosexual. Brandon, it is not about sex. Our lives are not about sex. It is only about sex to you Brandon, you don’t see the many other spheres of influence homosexual relationships have on our community because you can’t get your mind past what happens in our bedrooms. I would suggest that you stop letting sex define what your idea of commitment is, maybe if you do that even your straight love life will improve.

I adore this parody.

And, Brandon, get over it! Not every gay person wants to be “saved.” Just because YOU find great joy in the writings of self-serving, sexist, religious fanatics, doesn’t mean others will.

I agree – you don’t have to give into homosexual urges, but why fight something that doesn’t even hurt you?

As far as ex-gays are concerned – I think they do not fully understand themselves and society.

It is their misguided notions of needing to be a traditional man, or woman, and their religious nonsense which have made them feel uncomfortable with their sexual orientations.

ETJB

It is a funny parody. In my opinion, the Ex-gay movement reminds me of Holocaust deniers.

Religion can be a wonderful or dangerous thing in a person’s life; irrespective of their race, ethnicty, class, nationality, ability, sex or sexual orientation.

The Ex-Gay movement seeks to promote (IMHO) a particular take on the Christian faith, that is not honest or healthy. No, I am not a Christian.

In my opinion, their are a lot of ex-gay leaders and tv preachers who are going to be getting a firm lecture from the man upstairs, when they meet him.

Yes, Freedom of Speech still applies to the ex-gay movement, but then it must also apply to Justin.

http://www.geocities.com/edwardtjbrown/

amanda

I’m very glad I stumbled onto this site. I’m doing a speech on gay rights and some of these comments were really helpful. Billy your comment was especially helpful, love and commitment should not be defined by sex alone.

bjorn

I love your billboard. Can we get one in singapore please?

This billboard is great! And like Bri, I find it sad that some gay men think that to live God’s truth for their lives means they must themselves live a lie. Worse, ensnare an unsuspecting heterosexual woman into the mix…

Bri/Dad

Glad to see this last update.

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