A conservative Christian from Nashville spent a year "undercover" as a gay man after his extreme views on homosexuality were challenged by a close friend coming out as lesbian.
The man, Timothy Kurek, "came out" to his mother, got hold of a pretend boyfriend, and joined a gay softball league.
But, having once thought gays nothing more than "fags" destined to burn in hell, he also faced the kind of abuse he once doled out to others.
After a passerby called him "faggot" during softball practice, Kurek was so enraged he had to be held back from violent revenge - then broke into tears.
"When I was first called that for real, I lost it," he said. "I felt so violated by that word."
His book, The Cross in the Closet, was released this month.