(Click the link above to hear the podcast.)
Own Worst Enemy
Broadcast the weekend of April 13 – 15, 2012
Featuring John Smid, and Morgan Jon Fox
My Thoughts on the Broadcast
I listened to This American Life the Monday after it aired.
One thing it definitely showed was my ongoing process and the conflicts associated with making the transition from ex-gay, to gay especially from the vocational history I’ve come from.
I was a little disappointed that they didn’t air more of the recorded interview and that the majority of the report was Jonathan Menjevar speaking. After six hours of taped interviews I thought it interesting that there were only a few clips that they actually aired. I would have also liked to have heard more of the recorded conversation between Morgan Fox and myself. We had a very candid discussion that included a lot of laughter too.
At the beginning, the host introduced the segment with the statement “John Smid does not approve of homosexuality” which is something that was not part of the interview and frankly I don’t know why he said that unless he was referring to the “old” John Smid that Jonathan spoke of at the beginning of the segment. I cringed when he said that because I’ve tried really hard to move past my old reputation of being a “disapprover” of people’s actions. I really try to live out that it’s not my place to approve, or disapprove of anyone’s life choices.
He also made reference to the words “perversion, and promiscuity” which is something that we talked about during the interview. Jonathan brought out those words and I was literally shocked when he brought them up. My first reaction to Jonathan was to deny that I had used the word “perversion” because it is not something I usually say when I discuss gay issues. I went back to reread the articles where those words were used on my website.
This is the excerpt from the article Jonathan was referring to:
There are perversions that occur just because of one’s lust and a breakdown of morality. These are the perversions that I think you may be speaking of. Men and women are certainly capable of extremes sexually such as in prostitution, pornographic exhibitionism and others. However, today I do not paint homosexuality into that broad brush. There are surely men and women who act in homosexual behavior but may not be intrinsically homosexual, but I would say that the vast majority of those who consider themselves gay would not fit in the “perversion” category.
I think this excerpt speaks for itself.
I would say the segment was pretty good, but I’m always over sensitive when a reporter tells my story. I have learned that if I want my story to be heard, I also have to accept that reporters will not get all of the details right.
Jonathan spoke of the conflicts that exist in my life from early on. He is correct. When I was nineteen, I was closeted with little knowledge of homosexuality in any personal way and I married my first wife. Then I came out at 24, got divorced and became a bar fly and had several unhealthy relationships. Then the conservative Christian world came into my life as well as the ex-gay world. So, I became ex-gay and bought into the whole separation mentality and division between the ex-gay and the gay worlds. I thought my problems were all a result of being “gay” so I stayed away from anything gay. But, I couldn’t stay away from myself no matter how hard I tried.
So, now, I’ve accepted the fact that I am gay, and out, but so many years have gone by and I invested so much of myself into hiding and believing things that were untrue. Now I am deconstructing the faulty foundations. Conflicts! Sure, I think many people can relate to this story.