|Paulk running away from Wayne Beeson's Camera in 1997|
John Paulk is at it again. Running away from something that he proclaimed was the truth.
We should all be very aware of who he is and what his track record is, because he is a shape shifter, and all others be damned.
In 1983 I lived in an apartment complex in Columbus, Ohio called Alhambra Court. I lived in the north building, looking south. And John Paulk lived in the south building looking north. Our balconies looked onto each other and I met him about a month after moving in.
John and I pal'd around a bit, then he got squirrely.
Then he got hostile. Then he mercifully moved away.
And all this time I have been watching John on the big screen of life.
In a nutshell, this is what John has been up to since the fall of 1983:
1) He is a voice student at The Ohio State University
2) He is gay.
3) He is not a prostitute, he is an "escort"
4) He "borrows" things from people.
5) He lies to his friends.
6) He is not a drag queen.
7) He wears his mother's clothing to gay bars.
8) He becomes a drag queen and uses the name Candy.
9) He appears at a club called the Ruby Slipper in Columbus Ohio.
10) He burns bridges.
11) He surrenders his life to Jesus Christ. He is Born Again.
12) He sheds his gay lifestyle.
13) He becomes the heterosexual that he always wanted to be.
14) He gets married to a reformed Lesbian who has discovered her heterosexuality.
15) He appears on Oprah! as someone who has shrugged off the gay mantle.
16) He gets involved with Focus on the Family's "Exodus" program of religious based reparative therapy.
17) He (and his wife) appear on the cover of Newsweek promoting "the cure" and their marriage.
18) He becomes the face of Exodus International in full page newspaper ads.
19) He sits on the Board of Exodus International.
20) He writes a book (actually its "as told to") called Not a Afraid to Change.
21) He publicly and frequently testifies about how he prayed away the gay to packed rooms.
22) He travels to Washington DC for such a meeting and on the sly enters Mr. P's Bar in DuPont Circle.
23) He tells men his name is John Clint, but leaves out the "Paulk" for he is well known in the gay community.
24) He gets busted hustling drinks by Wayne Beeson.
25) He is called back to Colorado Springs, where his boss James Dobson demands the truth.
26) He claims it wasn't him.
27) Dobson wants the truth.
28) Paulk admits it was him, but that it will never happen again.
29) Dobson puts him back on the road, but with minders to keep him on the straight and narrow.
30) Paulk leaves Exodus.
31) Paulk becomes a chef in the Northwest.
32) Paulk, while apparently still married, is apparently dating men.
But here is our dilemma: Past behavior is a good indicator of future behavior. And in 1997, I wrote for a piece in the Gay People's Chronicle about Paulk:
"If the Christian right wing sleeps better at night safe in the comfort that people like John Paulk are there to defend their ideals and promote the "Exodus cure," then I would advise them to start sleeping with one eye open. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I predict that John Paulk will yet recreate himself again when this folly, like the ones before, runs its course."
For every action, there is a reaction. And frankly, I have to hand it to him, he held out for 15 years. But the jig is up.
So number 33 on my list above now reads: Paulk admits that Exodus and reparative therapy doesn't work and issues an apology for all the hurt he has caused.
Everything in this list can be found, either in John's book, Wayne Beeson's book, or in an internet search. John is a very public person and he and his life are exceedingly well documented. He loves being on the center stage. He loves the attention. He can't help himself. It is his compulsion. And no matter what he does, what he says, the attention is like a drug and he lives for it.
As I warned the Fundies, and now to the gay community, do not be lulled into complacency. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction and if we welcome him and accept this "apology" we will pay a price for it. He is saying this for his own gain, for the rest of us its a zero sum game. And he is not someone we want on our team in this social tug of war.
Instead I say, sit back and watch. Something is bound to happen with John Paulk. It always does. And there is a pretty good chance that when it does none of us will be surprised. And we'll all say "I told you so." Because John Paulk is always running away from something. Always.