Former Ex-Gay Leader Tim Rymel Releases ‘Going Gay,’ Memoir About His Life-Long Struggles With Homosexuality, Religion

TimRymelAs the former Outreach Director for ex-gay group Love in Action, Tim Rymel was convinced that the years he had spent praying for a heterosexual life had come to a fruitful end. He married a woman, had two children, and appeared on national talk shows assuring gays and lesbians that they too could change. After a bad divorce, though, Rymel went on an arduous journey to come to terms with his homosexuality. Now he has released a book, Going Gay: My Journey from Evangelical Christian Minister to Self-acceptance, Love, Life, and Meaning, telling his story from start to finish. 

From the press release:

Going Gay not only recounts Rymel’s journey but provides a starting point for dialogue about LGBT inclusion in the church.

“I want the conservative church to see the painful reality that many of their own believers go through to come to terms with their inborn homosexuality,” Rymel said. “I wrote the book ‘as one of their own’ to create dialogue and cause them to rethink what they believe and what the Bible says about homosexuality.”

Going Gay is a heartbreaking, thought-provoking account of one man’s journey to accept and understand himself,” said Justin Lee, founder and Executive Director of Gay Christian Network. “In a culture where faith and sexuality seem often to be at war, the stories of those caught in the crossfire are critically important. Readers may not agree with all of Rymel’s views, but this is a story worth telling and a story worth understanding.”

A Q&A with Rymel reveals a self-loving, accepting human being. “Being LGBT does not send you to hell,” he says, and “God loves you exactly the way you are.” These are certainly words to live by for many struggling LGBT folks around the country.

Congrats to Rymel for not only persevering through numerous difficult years, but for sharing an important story. His book is available in paperback, hardcover, and as an e-book.


  1. Ben in Oakland says

    Does this mean that’s Jeebus changed him from gay to straight and then back again? or that he never changed from gay to straight, just from bisexual to not as bisexual in one direction to not as bisexual in the OT her one.

    I’m glad he’s telling his story. Yet, at the same time……..

  2. says

    Good for him. Bad for many many others who were taken in by the ex-gay program, lied to, made to feel guilty, dismissed as “cured” and sent on their way. This leader and all the others who ran such programs and are now proudly gay and happy with their lives need to contact everyone who ever went through their program to make amends. Sorry to sound so “bitter” about it, but those of us who are gay and have always strived to be integrated within ourselves lost loved ones who just had to give the “cure” a try. I’ve seen too many broken and guilt-ridden friends waste the best years of their lives over this. It’s like they entered prison for crimes they didn’t commit when they were twenty and were released from prison when they were old when new evidence surfaced that showed they were never guilty. The new evidence in this case? The ex-gay program was a lie.

  3. wheelie81 says

    I figured there would be negative, hateful comments about this fro the queens. Thank you Bollox and PPP for proving me right. As for myself, I just might get his book since I am one of the few LGBT that actually embraces differences of opinion and ideas.

  4. Bernie says

    Sorry guys, I have to give kudos to this guy! And, even though I despise the so called “ex gay” movement it is important to acknowledge Mr. Rymel’s struggle and coming to terms with his sexuality and figuring out for himself that being ex-gay is fake and this may actually help others stuck in the phony ex gay nonsense.

  5. jazzy says

    So he tries to make money as an ex-gay and now he’s trying to make money as an ex ex-gay. How about you get out of the self-help business, buddy!?!

  6. Rowan says

    Have you gullible muppets not been suspicious to all these x-gay people ‘coming out’ these past months?

    And, cough, cough, you don’t think it has anything to do with the tireless work by lgbt advocates…?

    Come on now.

  7. TampaZeke says

    He’s just found yet ANOTHER way to make money off of his sexuality confusion and religious delusion. Once a snake oil salesman, always a snake oil salesman.

  8. Josh M. says

    Why not write a cookbook or a collection of short stories or a sic-fi epic? Oh, that would require actual talent and a desire to give up the grift! It’s really an especially fuqd universe these people live in–the delusion is bone deep. Only when I ritually burned every last ‘ex-gay’ piece of rubbish book in a flowerpot in my backyard did the healing really begin.

  9. Bravo says

    Well I figure since none of us have actually read his book we might want to ease off the trigger a bit. It’s quite possible he understands all too well the damage he’s done and has written about it in the book. Seen in a different light, this book might be a beneficial aid in ending ex-gay therapy. But we’ll have to read it first…

  10. EchtKultig says

    Like it not this book is an important one that will hopefully speak to people like Grady whatever & Matt Moore. As I’ve pointed out, kids, in flyover country, there are a lot of closet cases just like them.

    It’s a shame he can’t just realize what a crock religion is but obvious it’s just not wired in his mind to be able to do that.

  11. RonCharles says

    I have not read his book, and I have no desire to do so. The ex-gay movement turns my stomach. Having said that, I am not going to judge his book or him without my having read it.

    What I can say is that if he wants to make amends for the damage he has done to so many, he can start by his putting as much energy in the future into supporting gay rights as he did in harming gays. Furthermore, he can donate a portion of the proceeds from his book to HRC, GLAAD or GLSEN.

  12. Sam says

    At least Rymel has found peace and self-acceptance after a series of self-destructive life choices from his beliefs. Religion is the most oppressive form of social institutlons that one can impose ones own personal freedoms and truths, including modern society and nations.

  13. Rees Cramer says

    It saddens me that a public institution of faith spends such an inordinate amount of time obsessing about my sex life. What’s more sad they are teaching hate. Hate of those who do not believe and hate for those who are not like us. it has no reason

  14. says

    what he’s doing now is SO NEEDED – the ex-gay myths and lies and propaganda need to be called out. The “Matt Moore/Grady Smith” boys – who constantly try to recruit others in their lie, so as to make it seem like it might be a truth (which it ain’t ever gonna be) – need to not only read his book, but they need to have this book be read by everyone else – we NEED to eliminate the False Narrative of “the ex-gay life” from our culture. it does nothing but lower the national discourse, and avoid real issues.

    this man has had a struggle and he has inflicted much harm on others with his past promotion of this abusive ideology – and yet he’s now doing the right thing. not apologizing – but proactively working to undo what he helped do. it’s a terrific and brave and much needed thing he’s doing, and i’m proud of him for this.

    it’s sick how so many religions choose, with all that’s going on in the world and all we now know in society about culture, and science and nature and world history….that they harp on a few tiny wee shreds of “let’s spin this into something about someone else” scriptural lines – choosing to see and spin and promote an “anti-gay angle” – rather than take that old book of theirs and see hope and inspiration and a call to love one another.

    more and more i’m reminded of how lucky i am that i was raised in the united church of canada. i came out as a teen, and my congregation only love me more – as it put “me” in context. no dogma. no exclusivity. no sin. no hellfire. no fear-mongering sermons. it was all love, and embracement of diversity – we had interfaith couples and marriages in our congregation. all the little old wrinkly grey-haired folks who’ve known me since i was a toddler, who (when i drop by) ask if i’m ever going to marry a nice man in our church. that should be the experience of everyone who chooses a religious outlet.

    and it’s going to happen more and more – my generation (i was born in ’82) is having children – and barely any of my friends are raising their kids in the religious denominations that they themselves were raised. the few that are brining their kids up in a church? you best believe they’re the progressive Affirming ones.

  15. says

    to the other point – while i too roll my eyes at the “now i see that God really, blah blah blah” side, i have to concede that not everyone is capable of being a free thinker. some people just “need” religion – they need to be told what to do, and think and feel.

    it’s weird – the dependency on religion that some have. but hey, some kids graduate high school at age 10, and some people don’t finish high school til they’re 20, and some don’t ever finish it. period.

    mental capacities and aptitudes vary. alas.

    so , while i do also have the “can we stop talking about religion and start talking about REALITY?” frustration when it comes to talking about LGBT Issues, at *least* this book and this man’s experience may speak more closely to those out there who are, perhaps,
    “low” or “limited” thinkers, who need to be spoonfed ounces of Jesus in order to better swallow a message about diversity and Equality.

  16. iDavid says

    What isn’t present in this article, is whether he is having gay sex or not. Or is he celibate, still struggling with the religious Vampire bite. I don’t care about reading the book, but a bottom line sex acts update would have helped this article immensely.

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