Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Ben Appel On Woke And Christian Cults

The normie gay writer has a compelling story of survival.

After working as a hairstylist for over a decade, Ben got a creative writing degree from Columbia University and started contributing to publications such as Newsweek and The Washington Examiner. Raised in a Christian cult, he’s close to publishing a memoir, Cis White Gay, about his liberation from that church and what he calls the Church of Social Justice. You can also read Ben on his substack. I find his story a fascinating glimpse into our fast-changing world.

You can listen to the episode right away in the audio player above (or on the right side of the player, click “Listen On” to add the Dishcast feed to your favorite podcast app — though Spotify doesn’t accept the paid feed unfortunately). For two clips of our convo — why women bond with gay hairdressers, and what queer theorists and Iran’s theocrats have in common — pop over to our YouTube page.

Other topics: Ben’s upbringing in a Christian cult while being a “super effeminate girly kid,” his OCD through praying, his escape into alcohol at age 12, his parents’ divorce and leaving the church, his codependency with his mother, being tormented as a “faggot” at his public high school, his drug addiction as a teen and dropping out of college, his 17-year sobriety, his marriage to a man, his activism for gay and trans rights, getting a college degree in his 30s, and the brutal woke bigotry he experienced at Columbia.

Browse the entire Dishcast archive for an episode you might enjoy (the first 102 episodes are free in their entirety). Next week is Nicholas Wade on the lab leak theory. Before we air emails from listeners on Rod Dreher, here’s a moving one that’s very relevant to the Ben Appel chat:


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