- On Thursday, Metro City Church in Riverview is set to start a six-week course pegged as the "Unashamed Identity Workshop." Targeting people assigned female at birth between the ages of 12 and 16 who "think they may be gay, bisexual, or transgender," the church explained on its website that the $200 course would "help your girl be unashamed of her true sexual identity given to her by God at birth."
The phrasing and intentions of the course — using "thoughtful, relevant and biblical counsel" to help girls be "unashamed" with their "true sexual identity" — has raised red flags for locals, who draw parallels between the church's programming and so-called conversion therapy, which promises to change a minor's sexual orientation or gender identity via prayer.
- In response to news of the workshop, the church has gotten thousands of e-mails and complaints, Metro City Church head pastor, Jeremy Schossau told the Detroit Metro Times via e-mail Monday.
"The vast majority are filled with vulgarity, hate, and threats of all kinds. What we find incredibly odd is there is no seeking to understand what we are truly doing. Only the assumption that we are practicing some sort of conversion therapy," Schossau wrote, adding that the people attending the "Unashamed Identity Workshop" were "seeking" the church out.
"These are folks who are questioning their sexual identity or maybe they are in the gay or lesbian community and they are just not comfortable there," he wrote. "They think maybe that they don’t want to be there. And they are seeking out conversation. Again, nobody is forcing them to be there."