Ex-Gay Group Uses Openly Gay Model In “Nobody Is Born Gay” Billboard

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A billboard recently erected in Richmond, Virginia, declares that “nobody is born gay,” and features a pair of identical twins—”one gay [and] one not.”

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX), which advocates reparative therapy, paid for the billboard, which is slated to remain up through January 4.

There’s just one problem. Well, there are several problems—but a big one is that the images on the billboard at right are not twins.

It’s one model—and he’s an out-and-proud gay man.

Model Kyle Roux posed for a stock photo shoot more than a year ago and didn’t think of it again until friends told him his face was being used to promote an ex-gay agenda.

“I was obviously quite shocked, so that why I decided to send you guys an email saying hey, I’m that guy in that billboard,” model Kyle Roux told  NBC Channel 12. “There no place in today’s world for an organization that is promoting this as being some kind of deviant or distasteful lifestyle, because I’ve lived my life openly gay and happy for my entire life.”

PFOX board member Chris Doyle says the photos aren’t important, just the message: “The issue isn’t the photo on the billboard, but the actual science,” he insisted, referencing a disputed 2000 study that denied the existence of a “gay gene”.

He insists people choose to be gay and that his group can help them live a more godly lifestyle. “PFOX supports the rights of everyone who wants to pursue that for themselves.”

But the majority of research suggests identical twins are significantly more likely to share an orientation: An exhaustive 1993 study published in the Journal of American Psychiatry found that 52% of the identical twins of gay men were also gay. For lesbians with twins, that number was 48%.

California, New Jersey and Washington, DC, have all banned reparative therapy for minors, calling it harmful and linking it to youth suicide.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.