YouTuber Lohanthony said that he didn't go to conversion therapy and defended 'Christian celibacy' in a new video. Experts say his rhetoric could still be cause for concern.
- YouTuber Anthony Quintal, better known as Lohanthony, has shocked followers with his new commitment to "Christian celibacy" as he turns his previously pro-LGBTQ channel toward Jesus Christ.
- Quintal, 21, who came out as gay as a teenager, returned to YouTube to clarify his previous videos and deny suggestions that he participated in or is encouraging conversion therapy.
- "I support abandoning consuming lusts, both homosexual and heterosexual alike," Quintal said, but conversion therapy experts told Insider his rhetoric still stigmatizes gay relationships.
After fans expressed concern over Anthony Quintal seemingly abrupt shift towards a celibate Christian lifestyle, the 21-year-old YouTuber said in a new video that his beliefs are not anti-gay, and that he's abandoning his gay lifestyle to pursue God, but not out of homophobia."I apologize for the hurt I caused with my videos regarding my celibacy, regarding my sobriety, regarding being saved by Lord Jesus Christ," said Quintal, better known by his username Lohanthony. "I hope you can forgive me if my words offended you in any way."
"It's no coincidence that through pursuing my same-sex attraction I was also addicted to alcohol, I was also addicted to weed, I was also trying hallucinogenics, I was also addicted to money, I was also addicted to views, I was addicted to attention," Quintal said.Quintal's rhetoric, which conflated his addiction issues with his gay relationships, concerned LGBTQ advocates. Mathew Shurka, co-founder of the anti-conversion therapy advocacy organization Born Perfect, told Insider at the time that Quintal's language was "dangerous" for young gay people discovering their sexuality.
"It's incredibly dangerous and it's so upsetting," said Shurka, who is himself a survivor of a conversion therapy program. "That scares me, because a lot of teenagers to 20-something-year-olds are definitely watching him."
In his new video, Quintal said he did not mean to condemn gay relationships. "I support abandoning consuming lusts, both homosexual and heterosexual alike. No person is safe from lusting over whoever we're attracted to, both single or in marriage," he said. Previously, Matthew Vines, an expert in 'ex-gay' Christian rhetoric, told Insider that Quintal's video echoed a new wave of conservative Christian thought that encourages Christians to pursue celibacy or mixed-orientation marriages instead of same-sex attraction and same-sex partnerships.
Vines, the director of an LGBTQ Christian inclusion non-profit called The Reformation Project, said Quintal associated negative experiences like childhood sexual trauma, drug addiction, and addiction to social media fame with same-sex attraction, a justification for "Christian celibacy" that echoes the rhetoric of conversion therapy.
“I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.” Genesis 9:13 NKJV ☆ above is one of the verses shared in my testimony to Christ ... i shared my call to celibacy and sobriety well aware the majority would not understand. i shared my story with the hope that even just *one* person feeling stuck, hopeless, empty and unfulfilled by earthly pleasures could hear how Jesus fills and how His love overflows. Jesus is one name but He uplifts our lives in a multitude of ways. He helped me overcome lust, addiction and disappointment ... with Him, i am always satisfied. thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement. i hold my brothers and sisters in Christ close to my heart ... and i am praying that we never forget God’s promise to remain here with us. i pray we can all see that nobody is excluded from salvation through Christ, and i pray we can all come to Him and place our past at His feet. God bless
A post shared by lohanthony (@lohanthony) on Aug 23, 2020 at 1:23pm PDT
One study in 2017 documented the trend of "Christian celibacy," finding that many gay Christian men chose a life of celibacy in lieu of same-sex relationships.Having watched Quintal's follow-up video, Vines says that while he's "softened his rhetoric," Quintal is still describing that same-sex attraction as a problem, even if he seems to equate same-sex lust with heterosexual lust.
"Many conservative Christians view all same-sex relationships as 'consuming lusts," Vines told Insider. "As a result, they believe that avoiding lust for straight people means getting married, but for gay people, it means lifelong singleness and celibacy."
Vines says that if Quintal believes those in same-sex relationships can honor God in the same way heterosexual relationships can, "he should make that clear.""Unfortunately, nothing in this new video contradicts his earlier stigmatization of all same-sex relationships," Vines told Insider.
Quintal has not responded to Insider's request for comment.