A controversial billboard promoting "ex-gay" junk science has yet another problem: the model says he's a proud gay man and not even a twin. Oops.
An anti-gay organization peddling the false claim that people can change from homosexual to heterosexual if they try hard enough this week leased a Virginia billboard next to busy I-95 to share its Christmas message: "Identical twins:Â One gay, one not. Nobody is born gay."
Millions of gay people would disagree, including the man whose photo is plastered across the billboard -- twice.
Kyle Roux, the South African man whose photo is featured on the PFOX billboard talked with WWBT.
Saying he was "obviously quite shocked," Roux told WWBT he's both openly gay and not a twin. He also had some strong words for PFOX.
"It just seems like there no place in today's world for an organization that is promoting this as being some kind of deviant or distasteful lifestyle, because I've lived my life openly gay and happy for my entire life," Roux says.Â
"It's actually quite a big thing that there is this kind of discrimination and borderline hate speech going on, you know," he said.
Roux says he's worried about teens struggling with their sexuality, and he hopes to empower others.Â
In the news video, anti-gay activist and ex-gay advocate Scott Doyle actually claims that the "issue isn't the photo on a the billboard, but the actual science."
AsÂ The New Civil Rights Movement reported on Wednesday, the issue is the scienceÂ â€“ only PFOX is wrong about it too.
"Identical twins have the same genes or DNA," Regina Griggs, Executive Director of PFOX claims in a statement.Â "If homosexuality is caused by genetics or prenatal conditions and one twin is gay, the co-twin should also be gayâ€¦Because identical twins are always genetically identical, homosexuality cannot be genetically dictated. No one is born gay."
That may be a common assumption, but false.
In reality, aÂ 2008 Scientific AmericanÂ articleÂ reviewed a study onÂ identical twins, noting that "experience shows that identical twins are rarely completely the same. Until recently, any differences between twins had largely been attributed to environmental influences (otherwise known as "nurture"), but a recent study contradicts that belief."
For example, identicalÂ twins do not have the same fingerprints. And one study found thatÂ identical twins are only about 85 percent similar in IQ.