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Introduction to the Ex-Gay Encyclopedia – “you don’t have to be a rocket scientist”

By Thomas Coy

The term “ex-gay” is used to describe individuals who once identified as gay and who no longer do. In a broader way it also describes individuals who didn’t necessarily identify as gay, but were labeled gay because they had same-sex attractions, and they went through a process to overcome those same-sex attractions.

Many, if not most, ex-gays do not particularly like the term “ex-gay” because it does not describe who they are. The term describes what they no longer are. But the term is very useful in that respect in giving a name to those who have overcome the condition of homosexuality, just as the term “veteran” gives a name to those who have served in the military and “ex-alcoholic” gives a name to those who have overcome alcoholism.

What makes the term “ex-gay” controversial in American culture is the claim by gay activists that sexual orientation cannot be changed. In general gay activists consider homosexuals that seek to change their sexual orientation as traitors to the gay community. They even advocate not telling individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions that sexual orientation can be changed.

Every ex-gay is empirical proof that homosexuality can be overcome. Most are also empirical proof that sexual orientation can be changed, just as a picture of the earth from outer space is proof that the earth is a sphere and every ex-alcoholic is proof that alcoholism can be overcome.

This ex-gay encyclopedia offers empirical proof that homosexuality can be overcome and that sexual orientation is changeable. The entries are in the form of case histories documenting causation factors of homosexuality, motivations for change, and the process of change. Case histories are a foundation of the clinical science on behavioral disorders. They help not only the student and professional understand behavior and behavioral change; they enable the lay person to understand it as well. As Sy Rogers said, “you don’t have to be a rocket scientist” to understand the causative factors of his homosexual attractions. That is the goal of this ex-gay encyclopedia, to help the public understand the causes of homosexuality, why some individuals seek to overcome homosexuality, and how the process actually happens.

This ex-gay encyclopedia is a work in progress. If you know of a person who has overcome homosexuality and might want to share their case history you can contact me at