This is a series of articles where John Smid clarifies elements of regret that he has from being a leader within the “Ex-gay” movement through Love In Action and Exodus International.
I acknowledge that I was a covert messenger of the false hope for a change in sexual orientation from gay to straight. I perpetuated a message that gave the perception that if someone tried hard enough they would experience a new heterosexual desire that would replace their same sex desires. Click Here to read further how I have come to this conclusion.
We wrongly applied therapeutic tools and structures that were designed to help people who were faced with chemical dependencies and sexual addiction and were never designed for use with homosexuality. Read here to find out how this happened.
I taught material on child development theories to groups of parents with a bias towards a developmental causation of homosexuality. I would often teach that we really didn’t know the cause of homosexuality and that science had not found definitive answers to its origins. However, I confused this message through the content of material I brought to groups of parents.
Teaching child development with an overlay of my own life development I would often relate it to how I believed I had become gay. Since science had not found absolutes, I was arrogant in teaching information as if I knew the origins! Here is the article.
Through the LIA program, our teaching, and program activities, We established structure and rules that clients had to adhere to that promoted traditional gender roles and society’s assumptions.
We held them accountable regarding how men and women express themselves through their appearance. We also brought exposure to hobbies and activities that were traditionally male or female. Our structure and teaching stifled individuality and authenticity.
I acknowledge that through over 20 years of ministry with hundreds of men and women there were many misguided elements that were wounding, confusing, and just plain wrong.
But, I also want to acknowledge that it wasn’t all bad. I’ve received some emails and messages from people who have commented on the good things they received from being a part of Love In Action, or Exodus.
So, now the message of “change” felt like a mandate. “You must change!” If being gay is a sin, and God hates sin, then the only way for God to love me was to eradicate sin from my life. So, I “must” change this part of myself, push it away somehow.
I acknowledge that the many changes I have gone through in these years since I left Love In Action, have caused some challenging reactions for some of you.