CHICAGO — The founder of the first so-called “ex-gay” ministry died on Jan. 18.
Truth Wins Out, a group that advocates against so-called “reparative therapy” and the groups that champion the controversial practice, announced that John Evans had passed away at the age of 80 from heart failure.
Evans in 1973 co-founded Love in Action, which became what Truth Wins Out described as the “first modern ‘ex-gay’ ministry.” A gay friend’s suicide prompted Evans to leave the group, and he spoke out against so-called “pray away the gay” programs.
“John Evans is an important historical figure who will be missed,” said Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, in a statement. “Evans was the first ‘ex-ex-gay,’ meaning a person who touted the message of sexual conversion — before later renouncing it as a damaging fraud. He created a template for so many others who came after him and followed in his footsteps.”