Tyra Banks interviewed sixteen-year-old Jeffrey who was the subject of a dramatic video posted on YouTube by Manifested Glory Ministries in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where ministers targeted him for a “casting out of evil spirits.” The video shows Jeffrey flailing on the floor surrounded by several church members who call out for the “homosexual demon” to exit the boy’s body—and of him throwing up during the process.
Jeffrey, still sixteen, shared that he was aware of being gay at age five and began to date other boys when he became a teen. He reached out to counselors at True Colors, a pro-LGBT youth organization but three days after a gay prom, sponsored by True Colors, he participated in the exorcism and now says the "evil spirit" is gone but the removal of attractions is “a process.”
Tyra brought on both the ministers from Manifested Glory Ministries and Kamora Herrington of True Colors to discuss the impact of "the belief that gay people are going to hell and are possessed by evil spirits." Ms. Herrington said that she deals with the harm of these beliefs every week in her work with young gay people— and that too often kids harm themselves because of these beliefs.
GLAAD continues to provide resources to journalists about so-called “ex-gay” programs. When the exorcism video first came out in June, GLAAD directed The Associated Press to speak to the Rev. Roland Stringfellow, who spoke firsthand as an African American who had been subjected to exorcisms as a young gay man. He said he was put in front of the church as members shouted "demon of homosexuality come out of him" and said, "it caused nothing but shame and embarrassment.”
It is also important that media outlets who cover this topic know that the American Psychological Association recently concluded there is no scientific evidence that therapies to change orientation work—and these attempts can be harmful.