Stumble upon any of the YouTube videos where so-called ‘former lesbians’ offer testimonies about their “journey out of homosexuality” and, at first, they may appear to be some type of bizarre parody, not to be taken seriously. But for members of “ex-gay” group X-Out-Loud, this is no joke.
Not only do they profess to having overcome homosexuality, through the power of Jesus, but now their focus is on finding and ‘helping’ others who “struggle with same-sex attraction”.
Members of this group hail from dozens of countries, including Malta, Hungary, the UK, Germany, Ghana and Moldova, and are united by the desire to spread the ‘ex-gay’ ideology.
The fringe ideas that are publicised by this group may be outside of mainstream discourse in the United Kingdom, for now, but GAY TIMES can reveal that a registered charity in Northern Ireland is behind the ex-gay organisation X-Out-Loud.
The Core Issues Trust, a fundamentalist Christian charity, is described by CEO and ‘ex-gay’, Mike Davidson, as “the only registered charity in the United Kingdom that offers counselling and therapeutic support to those leaving LGBTAIA+ lifestyles and identity.”
Decades ago, gay men and women faced everything from electric shock treatments to chemical aversion techniques, where they were shown sexual images while given drugs to induce vomiting, in a bid to change sexual attraction.
Today, conversion therapy practices in Western nations are more insidious, mainly performed by unaccredited counsellors and therapists with a religious background.
All mainstream medical, psychotherapy and counselling organisations, including the NHS, in the United Kingdom are publicly opposed to all forms of conversion therapy, due to the harm these practices cause victims.
Conversion therapy conference
X-Out-Loud works closely with the Core Issues Trust and other organisations in the global effort to push conversion therapy practices. In late October, at an invitation-only conversion therapy conference held in the capital city of Poland, Warsaw, X-Out-Louders worked behind the scenes to ensure all panels and sessions happened without any issues.
Members sold books to conference delegates, including the official X-Out-Loud book called ‘Emerging Ex-LGBT Voices’. Priced at £16.50, buyers can read so-called testimonies from ‘former lesbians’ and those who have made the “journey out of homosexuality”.
Despite Amazon stating in 2021 that they “have chosen not to sell books that frame LGBTQIA+ identity as a mental illness,” this 100-page book was available to buy from the e-commerce giant, until GAY TIMES reached out for comment before this article was published.
The title is now under review at Amazon and, if the company believes content guidelines have been breached, the book will be removed from sale.
Waterstones, and its subsidiary Foyles, also offered the book for sale, until GAY TIMES contacted the bookseller.
A Waterstones spokesperson said: “When we are made aware that the content of a book may be objectionable, we will of course review immediately. In this case, we do not trade with the publisher and have removed the listing.”
Research published by Galop, the LGBTIA+ anti-abuse charity, found more than 400,000 LGBTIA+ people in the UK have undergone efforts to change, ‘cure’ or suppress their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Victor Novitchi, co-director of X-Out-Loud, is traveling the world in an effort to show how the “LGBTQ ideology has infiltrated the education system and entertainment”. Just a few month ago, Novitchi spoke at a youth rally in Barbados to share his message to young people. He also represented X-Out-Loud in Rwanda at the conservative Global Anglican Future Conference earlier this year.
On his website, where he asks for donations to support his work, Novitchi argues that people are not born gay. “Are people born liars, murderers, profane? No. Why would they be born gay?,” he says.
Members of X-Out-Loud also went to Lithuania in 2022. They were invited to speak at the rally organised by the right-wing political movement ‘Lithuania Family Movement’ that opposes same-sex unions and abortion.
“From the first time the concept of ex-LGBT was introduced and Lithuanians learnt that leaving LGBT is possible, that homosexuality and transgenderism are not innate,” reads an X-Out-Loud blog.
A report published by non-profit organisation, the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, finds that X-Out-Loud “co-opts and warps the language of the LGBTQ+ rights movement for its own ends, claiming its goal is “the coming out of a thriving X-LGBT community that is making history.”
While the Core Issues Trust and X-Out-Loud publicly say they do not perform or condone conversion therapy, much of the content they publish appears to contradict this statement.
Social media push
With the tagline of ‘We are young, we are free, and we are LOUD!’, the group are active across all major media platforms, despite numerous accounts being suspended for allegedly offensive content.
On Instagram, a live chat with a ‘former butch lesbian now fathered by God’ is promoted, with a TikTok clip showing members not being allowed into the recent Church of England General Synod because they were wearing T-shirts embellished with text reading ‘once gay not anymore’ in rainbow colours.
Another X-Out-Loud member, Matthew Grech, was charged with illegally promoting gay conversion therapy in Malta, one of a handful of European countries where conversion therapy practices are outlawed.
One of the latest projects by X-Out-Loud is a debut single. Under a generic hip-hop beat, three members of the group rap and sing about being ‘changed’ by the power of Christ.
Called ‘Not Anymore’, the lyrics reflect the message that it is possible to change sexuality, if you allow God to “rescue” you, effectively suppressing your sexual orientation. The chorus captures what X-Out-Loud is trying to achieve:
Ruby was trans
She’s not anymore
Tony was gay
He’s not anymore
Serina was lesbian
She’s not anymore
We are changed
By the power of Christ
Victor Novitchi did not respond to a request for comment.
This investigation was developed with the support of Journalismfund Europe (www.journalismfund.eu)