Over on Good As You, I found another hilarious “ex-gay” video, this one hawking The WorkOUT, a degayifying “Life Coaching” program from the suspiciously named David Pickup. A couple of the best quotes from the clip: “The WorkOUT is a unique program that helps a man who’s dealing with homosexual issues go deep.” And: “I love helping other men be men.” Oh, me too, sister!
The cost of joining the WorkOUT program is $250 a month. That includes a one-hour life coaching session per week (which is conducted “face-to-face” (ahem) or on the phone), plus one hour of “911” phone counselings, for those “Help! I’m buying poppers!” moments. Pickup’s counseling appears to all but ignore the usual Christian admonitions against gayness and mostly focuses on “manhood” and “masculinity.”
Pickup: “The authors of this site are opposed to any hate-filled effort to judge or disrespect any man, and recognizes that bigotry sometimes comes from the very people who claim to love God.” Mostly, he seems interested in men who are unhappy with their gay-ass queeniness and pledges that he can turn them into self-loving butch breeders.
So. Real or satire? A little research reveals that Mr. Pickup has been in a couple of queer-themed movies: Queerspiracy, a 2007 short that played at least one gay film festival, and Deviant Desires, a 2002 flick that appears to be soft-core lesbian porn. With Pickup’s film history and the double entendres in the above clip, one is inclined to think that he’s pulling a Donnie Davies on us. But on the other hand, on his site he does link all the foul “ex-gay” ministries and he has penned at least one definitely unfunny anti-gay rant. (Donnie Davies was always funny.)
On the other other hand, this gem also appears there: “Dave has a passion for helping men be men. He wants to help as many guys as possible and invites men who have the same desire to join with him. If you are interested in joining the Life Coaching team, please contact David for an interview and training program details.”
So I don’t know. As someone said about The Daily Show, “The best satire is transparent, sitting back and letting the absurdities of its subject do the talking.” Therefore David Pickup is either a (mostly) sharp satirist or an unintentionally funny masculinity-obsessed self-hater. You decide.