Coming Out

Former ‘ex-gay’ leader comes out, says he ‘can no longer condemn gays’

John Smid Staff Reports

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — John Smid, the former Executive Director of Exodus International’s oldest ministry “Love in Action,” has publicly admitted that he is gay, and now says that being LGBTQ is an intrinsic part of a person’s being, not a “behavior” that one can repent from.

Writing on the website of his new ministry, Grace Rivers, Smid said, “One cannot repent of something that is unchangeable.”

John Smid

Smid, who resigned as Executive Director of Love in Action in 2008 — an ex-gay Christian ministry that purports to “restore those trapped” in homosexuality — is now disavowing the message he preached for years that promised gays they could change.

In acknowledging that he is gay, Smid wrote:

“I also want to reiterate here that the transformation for the vast majority of homosexuals will not include a change of sexual orientation. Actually I’ve never met a man who experienced a change from homosexual to heterosexual.”

[…]

“I used to define homosexuality or heterosexuality in terms describing one’s behavior. I thought it made sense and through the years often wrote articles and talked from that perspective.

“Today, I understand why the gay community had such an issue with my writings. My perspective denied so many facets of the homosexual experience. I minimized a person’s life to just their sexuality but homosexuality is much more than sex.”

Smid also writes that, “I am homosexual, my wife is heterosexual,” and that this creates a “unique marriage experience that many do not understand.”

“For many years I tried to fit into the box of heterosexuality. I tried my hardest to create heterosexuality in my life but this also created a lot of shame, a sense of failure, and discouragement. Nothing I did seemed to change me into a heterosexual even though I was in a marriage that included heterosexual behavior.

“Today, I understand why the gay community had such an issue with my writings. My perspective denied so many facets of the homosexual experience. I minimized a person’s life to just their sexuality but homosexuality is much more than sex.”

Smid concludes by saying that honestly accepting your sexual orientation can open the door to a faith and life that makes sense.

“Far too many homosexuals who are seeking Christ perceive that they cannot come close to Him if they remain a homosexual. In this mindset they search feverishly for change that will not come to them,” he wrote.

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