Noted conservative culture warrior Milo Yiannopolous, who claimed recently to be “ex-gay,” has announced he will launch a conversion clinic in Florida in the coming months.
The former Breitbart News editor and bestselling author told the New York Post that his “reparative therapy” clinic aims “to help other people go through the same journey that I’m on myself,” even as some claim that there is a dearth of data indicating such treatment is effective.
Asked to explain what he means by ‘ex-gay,’ Yiannopolous said that he’s actively engaging in a reorientation of his homosexuality while currently in a state of abstinence. Also, he told The Post the term is meant to goad and provoke critics.
“‘Ex-gay’ is a silly expression but it has the virtues of slotting into a print headline neatly and absolutely enraging the opposition. Celibacy is a modest and achievable middle-term goal; naturally, in the end, my aspiration would be to take it all the way,” he told the outlet.
The conservative provocateur said that a “Christian renaissance” was taking place in the U.S. and that raising funds for the proposed clinic was proceeding apace amid pushback throughout the country against the LBGTQ activism on the left.
“This has been the easiest thing to raise money for that I’ve ever done. There is an enormous demand for this among people who believe they’ve been led astray by — it sounds silly to call it this — but you know, the gay establishment,” Yiannopoulos told The Post.
“I think part of that is the resurgence of religious, socially conservative, kind of reactionary politics among noisy young conservatives,” he noted further. He went on to say that “people who are kind of like DMing me now” are asking, “‘Where do I send the f**king check?’ You know, like, get me in your program.”
Yiannopoulos also dismissed concerns that the therapy could be harmful to young gay people, saying it has gotten an undeserved bad reputation.
“Basically, people who don’t believe in it call it ‘conversion therapy,’ and people who do believe in it call it ‘reparative therapy,’” he said, adding that “the gay lobby” is “so poisonous and wicked and evil.”
He also argued that he doesn’t believe the data cited by LGBTQ groups and their allies downplaying the effectiveness of conversion therapy.
“For those people to suggest that reparative therapy is somehow damaging to people’s self-esteem, is so laughably preposterous, I don’t take it seriously,” the author said.
The Post noted that The American Psychological Association has been critical of conversion therapy since 1998, claiming that “no credible evidence” exists indicating it changes a person’s sexual preferences and orientation.
“Conversion therapy has a terrible reputation for precisely the reason that a lot of other things associated closely with either the religious right or the nationalist right have a terrible reputation. Because they’ve been lied about consistently and strategically for decades,” Yiannopoulos said.
“We don’t know very much for sure, we have a relatively clear idea about a lot of it, but here’s the thing: since the eighties and nineties, we haven’t really been able to do any research that doesn’t conform to the propaganda because you cannot get funding for anything other than finding the gay gene,” the “Dangerous” author added. “So we’re operating in a gray area.”
“Anybody who tells you that they know the short, precise etiology of homosexuality is lying to you,” he told The Post. “What we also know for sure, is that ‘born this way’ is not science. It’s public relations. It’s a lie.”
He went on to say he is interested in publishing new research on the subject in a bid to “help people.”
“My aspiration is to rebrand, revitalize, rehabilitate what they call ‘conversion therapy’ for two new generations in the same way that I obliterated feminism for two generations, because it’s dying, and horribly maligned, ridiculed and prosecuted industry. It’s an industry in crisis, but it’s an industry whose addressable market has never been larger,” he said.