9 Longform Stories We’re Reading This Week

This week for BuzzReads, David Peisner profiles the minister Alan Chambers, who led the ex-gay ministry Exodus for twelve years before shutting it down — and apologizing to those he hurt. What happened? Read that and these other great stories from around BuzzFeed and the web. posted on

1. The Man Behind the Historic Implosion of the Ex-Gay Movement — BuzzFeed

Photograph by Edward Linsmier for BuzzFeed

Alan Chambers wasn’t just the leader of Exodus International, he was also a member. When he shut down the ministry network this summer, foes and allies alike debated whether this was a tipping point for conservative Christians’ acceptance of homosexuality or merely a symptom of his own inability to practice what he preached. Read it at BuzzFeed.

2. The World Begins — BuzzFeed

Focus Features

British geek heroes Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright have a new movie, The World’s End. They tell Jordan Zakarin all about the drinking, laughs, struggles, music, chance meetings, and friendships that came before success. Read it at BuzzFeed.

3. What I Learned From Getting ShotSalon

“I haven’t said or written much publicly about the shooting that nearly killed me in 2008. But a recent confluence of events — Trayvon Martin’s death, the Zimmerman trial and the public pronouncements of mostly privileged, mostly white people in the aftermath of the verdict — has left me feeling like I have something to share.” A powerful essay by Brian Beutler. Read it at Salon.

4. Murder by CraigslistThe Atlantic

Akron Beacon Journal, Paul Tople, Pool / AP

Hanna Rosin tells the gripping and strange story of Richard Beasley, an Ohio man who, along with a teenage accomplice, lured fellow middle-aged men with the promise of work, and murdered them. Read it at The Atlantic.

5. Merge CountrySpin

Superchunk co-founders, Merge record entrepreneurs, and proud North Carolinians Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan are leading a progressive, DIY renaissance in the Research Triangle. David Bevan joins them for a punk civics lesson. Read it at Spin.

6. After BloombergThe New Yorker

Andrew Burton / Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg’s third and final term as mayor expires this year. Ken Auletta reflects upon the city he’s leaving to his successor. Read it at The New Yorker.

7. Disney’s True Believers — BuzzFeed

Welcome to the D23 Expo, where 45,000 Disney superfans descend on the Anaheim Convention Center for a celebration of all things within the Magic Kingdom. A weekend’s journey into the heart of a massive fandom. Read it at BuzzFeed.

8. The Hard Life of Celebrity ElephantsNew York Times Sunday Magazine

In India, elephants are desired for festivals of all faiths. Rollo Romig discusses the difficult existences these seemingly celebrated animals lead — and the one man seeking to free them. Read it at the New York Times Sunday Magazine.

9. NASA’s Mission ImprobableWashington Post

Joel Achenbach discusses why the once-proud space agency wants to spend $2 billion dollars to capture a space rock and put it into orbit around the moon. “Rarely has the agency proposed an idea so controversial among lawmakers, so fraught with technical and scientific uncertainties, and so hard to explain to ordinary people.” Read it at the Washington Post.

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