A Pulse Survivor Comes Out As “Ex-Gay”

He will be headlining the Freedom March in Washington, D.C., an event in support of converting gay and transgender people.

A survivor of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida has come out as “ex-gay.”

Luis Javier Ruiz, who sustained injuries during the shooting that require hospitalization, and had friends among the 49 victims, posted on Facebook that he is no longer gay, crediting his Christian faith.

After noting his “struggles of perversion, heavy drinking to drown out everything and having promiscuous sex that led to HIV,” Ruiz said he should have “been number 50” when gunman Omar Mateen opened fire on June 12, 2016.

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

“The enemy had its grip and now God has taken me from that moment and has given me Christ Jesus,” he continued, adding that he has “grown to know his love in a deeper level.”

“[Now] I have the chance to live in relationship and not religion,” he said, stating that he was “not just loving Christ but being in love with Christ and sharing his love I know who I am.”

Ruiz also said he is “not defined with who the enemy” says he used to be, but instead by who “Jesus says I am.”

He concluded his post with a series of hashtags, several promoting the Freedom March, a worship event and march scheduled for May 5 in Washington, D.C. Ruiz is one of several individuals who will speak at the event, alongside other self-described “former homosexuals” and “former transgender” people.

The Freedom March Facebook page is also promoting his upcoming appearance at the event as well, including with a post featuring pictures of Ruiz, with the words, “Share if you believe homosexuals can change.”

Conversion therapy has been widely debunked as having no scientific evidence, and has been tied to increased rates of depression and suicidal ideation.

Last month, Hawaii’s legislature passed a bill that would prevent it from being practiced on minors. It awaits the governor’s signature.

Florida does not have a statewide ban on the practice. Some cities in the state, like Miami and Tampa, do have bans in place, but Orlando is not among them.

A measure to prohibit conversion therapy for adults is also currently working it through the California Legislature.

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