"Ex-Gays" | Chris Matthews | John Smid

Former 'Ex-Gay' Activist John Smid Tells Chris Matthews He's Gay and Gays Cannot Turn Straight: VIDEO


Last week I posted about former Exodus International leader John Smid, his acknowledgement that he is gay, and his remarks that homosexuality is unchangeable:

Bachmanns"One cannot repent of something that is unchangeable. I have gone through a tremendous amount of grief over the many years that I spoke of change, repentance, reorientation and such, when, barring some kind of miracle, none of this can occur with homosexuality."

Smid took his story to Chris Matthews last night and talked about "ex-gay" thera[y, the Bachmann clinic, and Marcus Bachmann's statements about "barbarians [needing] to be disciplined".

Said Smid: "I think that's horrific and an amazing denial of human experience."

Smid and Michelle Goldberg from the Daily Beast then go on to discuss why GOP candidates glom on to the "gay is a choice" meme.


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  1. this was very interesting to watch.... where I live (midwest), I seem to "meet" all kinds of men who used to be "straight" and r now gay... or at least doing gay stuff

    married men, with children, on the DL, cheating, etc....

    according to the republicans, those men would have chosen to go gay, so in a way they support that position...

    but in talking to them specifically, they all seemed to have chosen to play a role they did not see as their, that of straight men... they all fell prey to their religion and community to be just like everyone else... and in a way that caused them to behave in ways that r not christian at all (lying, cheating, deceiving, etc)...

    I think what the guy said, that he is gay and he chooses to be married to a woman, is a very interesting concept, I specially like his choice of words... I like it because it acknowledges his giving in to a community pressure (to be straight), his past mistakes (of praying the gay away and being an advocate of that), and his honesty with his current partner...

    now I am not saying all gay people (or any for that matter) should marry straight opposites, but I think it would be great if, in case one ended up doing that, that one could come out and live in honesty with their partners, so that neither was shamed into being in that position....

    Posted by: V-8 | Oct 19, 2011 7:54:11 AM

  2. Your orientation - which I define as automatic thoughts and feelings - is not a choice. Your behavior, however, can be chosen. You can choose to refrain from sex altogether. You can choose to be promiscuous. You can choose to be monogamous. These different forms of behavior require the act of choice.

    Therefore, it's important to note that the Bachmanns of this world are partly right. However, they are very poor at making the distinction between orientation and behavior. In fact, most people, including many gay guys, are very poor at making the distinction.

    Posted by: jason | Oct 19, 2011 8:38:54 AM

  3. And believing in a supreme deity is a choice too. Nobody comes into this world religious from which most homophobia originates. Antigay, religion based homophobia is learned behavior, also a choice, whereas sexual orientation is immutable.

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Oct 19, 2011 8:57:06 AM

  4. "Therefore, it's important to note that the Bachmanns of this world are partly right. However, they are very poor at making the distinction between orientation and behavior."

    I think that some homophobes are becoming more sophisticated about this subject.

    No doubt many homophobes would be happy if homosexuals would just stop having gay sex. Whether or not those homosexuals choose to be celibate or choose to have sex with the opposite sex, the homophobes don't care. They just want gays to stop having gay sex.

    Posted by: elg/edwin | Oct 19, 2011 9:37:15 AM

  5. Goldberg's point about the homophobic patriarchy is very apt. The biggest anti-gay denominations in America (Catholics, Southern Baptists, Mormons) all deny women the opportunity for ordained ministry.

    Posted by: Skye Winspur | Oct 19, 2011 9:53:26 AM

  6. @V8, That would be a pretty great evolution of the straight relationship. I like your idea as a way to break up the iron shackles of jealousy too.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 19, 2011 10:38:24 AM

  7. The basic arguments against accepting homosexuality for what it is, a fact of life and part of the human condition, are religious.

    Yet religions proselytize, send out missionaries to "help" people in exchange for adopting their religion, and brainwash children practically from the time they're born to believe those mythic stories. And people change religions all the time for various reasons: to marry a person of another faith, because it's socially or financially advantageous to do so, or because their beliefs have changed.

    Yet they accuse GAYS of "choosing" their orientation? It's a classic case of projection.

    The rhetoric of "choice" and "change" is mostly just politically advantageous. If you admit that gays DON'T choose then you can't exploit them (us) as a handy wedge issue to convince people to vote against their own financial interests (as the middle-class has at least since 1980) in favor of plutocrats.

    Would anyone who claims that being gay is a "choice" want to marry or have a loved one marry someone who "used to be gay"? I seriously doubt it. They know it's BS. And who would WANT to marry someone for whom it took the threat of eternal hellfire and torment to MAKE them say "I do"? To always know your spouse only ever saw you as the "safe" choice, a fallback position? It doesn't sound like a recipe for happiness; just look at Michele Bachmann.

    Posted by: Caliban | Oct 19, 2011 11:47:33 AM

  8. I grew up in the WELS (aka the First Church of Saint Bachmann) and became a progressive Methodist later on in life.

    That was a choice.

    I figured out that I was attracted to (some) men (and no women) in about sixth or seventh grade. No positive role models existed for me, so I tried to choose to be straight.

    That didn't work. Gay is not a choice.

    I started dating men when I was nineteen.


    I was much happier dating men than I would have been celibate or dating women.

    Not a choice.

    So the message of the social conservatives is clear: Gays have no right to pursue their own happiness.

    Posted by: JDB | Oct 19, 2011 1:12:57 PM

  9. Smid is still a flaming egotist. "It's all about MEEEEEEEE!" He really can't admit the harm he's done.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 19, 2011 3:58:04 PM

  10. Do you hear that Bachmanns? Gays can't be reprogrammed.

    Posted by: lk | Oct 19, 2011 4:01:32 PM

  11. Yeah, well Smid, here's the thing: ALL OF US have had to, "go through a tremendous amount of grief over the many years that YOU spoke of change, repentance, reorientation and such ..."

    You'll find no sympathy from me until you spend some years repenting for and repairing the very real damage you have dome to countless lives.

    Posted by: Inis | Oct 20, 2011 1:15:02 PM

  12. Gay definitely IS a choice. Homosexuality is not. I am a non-gay, same-gender-attracted man, who repudiates the gay label. "Gay" means pink, promiscuity, fabulousness, feminine men, vulgar, in-your-face, flaunting, etc. You get the drift?

    Posted by: Clif Rogers | Nov 8, 2011 8:11:55 PM

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