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'Ex-Gay' and 'Ex-Ex-Gay' Disagree Over 'Gay Cure'

09/25/2017 - 10h55

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ANNA VIRGINIA BALLOUSSIER
FROM SÃO PAULO

Claudemiro Soares, 43, says he is an "ex-gay". Sergio Viula, 48, on the other hand, says he is an "ex-ex-gay".

The first is an evangelical. The latter is a "former evangelical." Both have sought the "gay cure" at some point in their lives, in church and in therapy.

Each of them considers himself a case of success. Claudemiro succeeded in getting rid of the "devil" of "homosexuality." Sergio was happy to come to the conclusion that denying his nature was nonsense and God had nothing to do with it.

Although the stories' ends diverge, their starting points are the same: childhoods tormented by bullying. In their own words, they were "effeminate" kids.

Claudemiro has a Master's degree in health care from Fiocruz and made a speech as a specialist in a judicial hearing that ended with the victory of psychologists in favor of "sexual reorientation."

The decision was made by Judge Waldemar Cláudio de Carvalho, who granted an injunction that suspends part of the Federal Council of Psychology's resolution against the practice - the council appealed.

After converting to evangelicalism, Claudemiro sought a psychologist. With him Claudemiro underwent therapy used against post-traumatic stress disorder - he was promised his brain would be reeducated to "digest" past disturbance.

Claudemiro also practiced "self-hypnosis." He says he suffered "homosexual abuse" when he was eight years old.

When he was a church minster, Sergio led the Movement for Healthy Sexuality. Later, disappointed with the church, Sergio realized that he had only ever met one "cured" homosexual, and he had a drawer "full of antidepressants."

A homosexual and a member of an evangelical church, Artur Vieira, 33, was lucky in therapy. "I remember my therapist say: get out there and be happy," says the host of Rede Brasil TV channel's "De Volta ao Reino."

He rejects the idea that sexual abuse during childhood stimulates homosexuality. "I never had that experience."

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

Read the article in the original language

Raquel Cunha/Folhapress
Sergio Viula, 48, says he is an "ex-ex-gay"
Sergio Viula, 48, says he is an "ex-ex-gay"

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