Marlon James on ‘exorcism’ in Jamaica’s ‘ex-gay’ movement

Marlon James the

The real title of the article is “Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James reveals he was given exorcism by Jamaica’s ‘ex-gay’ movement.” Here, Maya Oppenheim writes about Marlon James’ memories of an exorcism he undertook through the “ex-gay” movement on the island.

[. . .] Speaking at the recent Hay Festival, the author has revealed that he struggled with his sexuality in his mid-thirties and was pushed into having exorcism which was presented as a type of therapy by the ‘anti-gay’ movement.

The ex-gay movement attempts to stop people from pursuing same-sex relationships and to eliminate homosexual desires and thus pushes them to enter into heterosexual relationships instead. James recalled being in a room with two preachers and having an exorcism via “a mixture of prayer and support and shaming and vomiting” according to reports in The Times.  Initially, James said the exorcism made him feel cured. “I thought ‘Great, I am getting rid of demons’, until I read up on the whole ex-gay thing,” he said. “It is dangerously misleading and I think has been discredited. It is a really primitive and backward way of curing people.”

In the end, James chose to “get rid of the church part, not God, and that worked wonderfully”.

James left Jamaica at the age of 37 because of cultural taboos surrounding homosexuality – being gay remains a criminal offence there – and to further his career in writing.

[Photo above: Marlon James by Charlie Forgham Bailey, from

For full article, see

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