"Ex-Gays" Hub




Former 'Ex-Gay' Leader John Smid Marries His Same-Sex Partner In Oklahoma

Smid.John

File this under, "Signs we've almost won."

John Smid (above right), the longtime leader of one of the most prominent "ex-gay" therapy programs in the US, has married his same-sex partner — in Oklahoma, no less. 

Smid served as director of Love In Action and spent 11 years on the board of Exodus International. Three years ago, Smid publicly renounced "ex-gay" therapy and came out as gay.

Smid said he and his partner, Larry McQueen (above left), obtained their marriage license in Hugo, Oklahoma — a 35-minute drive from their home in Paris, Texas — before holding a ceremony in Tulsa on Sunday.

"I believe that due to my former notoriety, my marriage will definitely have its impact," Smid told Towleroad on Monday. "I believe it is encouraging for other former ex-gays, and maybe even those who are still trying to hold on to their ex-gay belief system. We think our relationship reveals something very normal, not strange or deceptive gay stereotypes. We have come to realize that our marriage is very much the same as your average heterosexual marriage."

Smid has apologized extensively for his role at Love In Action — penning a book and reaching out to survivors of the program individually. He has pointed out that the leaders of "ex-gay" therapy programs are often victims, too.

Asked whether there are still those in the LGBT community who don't think he deserves to be happily married, Smid said, "No actually, I think that's been worked out, but you never know, there may be some."

Smid has been married twice before — both times to women. He had two children in the 1970s before living as openly gay for several years in the 1980s.

After marrying again and spending two decades in the "ex-gay" movement, Smid said he began to drift away from it in 2005, when Zach Stark, a teenager in Love In Action’s residential treatment program, posted cries for help on MySpace.

The posts fueled protests outside Love in Action, as well as stories in the national media. One of the protesters was Morgan Fox, a filmmaker who eventually directed a documentary about the experience called, “This Is What Love In Action Looks Like.” Smid agreed to be interviewed by Fox, and they became friends.

After leaving Love in Action, Smid launched his own ministry, Grace Rivers, which now focuses on the gay community. He divorced his second wife in 2011 and moved to Texas to live with McQueen last year.

"I realized this week that my relationship with Larry is a mirror I see in every day," Smid wrote in announcing their marriage on Facebook. "For most of my life, the mirror I saw reflected my mistakes, shortcomings and failures. The reflection I see today with Larry shows me the positive things in my life, my strengths, gifts and talents. I see how I can succeed at a mutual intimate and loving relationship. For this, I am truly grateful.

"At this time our federal government recognizes our legal marriage, our home state of Texas does not," Smid wrote. "However, we hope that Texas will soon accept our marriage as legitimate and legal." 


'I'm Not Gay No More' Man Responds to Viral Video of His Megachurch Conversion

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb07a94b4b970d-800wi

The International Business Times reports that Andrew Caldwell, the "not gay no more" young man from the viral megachurch video, has written a response via Facebook.

Ha addresses his criticism — the widespread doubt that Caldwell had actually been "turned straight," but also the suggestion that Caldwell staged the moment for publicity.

Here's an excerpt of the statement:

As a child, I was raped by a member of my own family. At that time I did not think of it as abuse. I kind of enjoyed it. I kept it to myself, not realizing how it had changed me. Growing up wasn't a pleasant experience. I was harassed, heckled, and ridiculed by classmates...After joining my present church, it came to me that this lifestyle was not right. It seemed that the more I tried to quit on my own, the more intense was the temptation. All last week I fasted and prayed. On this past Saturday at the Convocation, there was an alter call. I came forward and offered my testimony. It was unscripted.

If you are quick to mock Caldwell, or if the story is leaving a bad taste in your mouth, be sure to check out BET Entertainment Editor Clay Cane's take, over at HuffPo. It's an empathetic and sensitive reminder that in discussing this issue, we should use care. Says Cane:

I hope this boy is on suicide watch. The way he is being shamed in the public [and] in that church is heartbreaking to see...The bishop said he chose to do this. No he didn't. When you're brainwashed you're not choosing anything...He's doing what he thinks will make him feel loved and accepted in his community. The funny thing is, people are mocking it... but if he were 'more masculine,' people would take it seriously.

Caldwell's "conversion" took place at the Church of God in Christ’s 107th's Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Missouri. In a statement posted online, COGIC responded to the viral video:

We believe that we should reflect the love and compassion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all that we do. We do not in any way compromise our biblical position against same sex unions or in favor of biblical teaching on matters of sexual conduct. At the same time we expect that our clergy and laity will be civil and considerate as they speak to men and women regarding issues related to our Christian faith. We love all people, regardless of their faith or moral standards. When we fail to express ourselves with love and humility we contradict our witness
to the world.

Furthermore, the Church of God in Christ wholly condemns acts of violence against and the subjugation of any person to verbal or physical harassment on the basis of their sexual stance. Such actions violate entirely the Christian’s obligation to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

The Church of God in Christ will have no further comment on this matter.

Video from HuffPo, including Cane's take is AFTER THE JUMP...

Caldwell also briefly spoke to Atlanta's CBS 46 News about the video and his "conversion," which you can check out after the jump as well. 

Continue reading "'I'm Not Gay No More' Man Responds to Viral Video of His Megachurch Conversion" »


U.N. Committee Members Find Use Of Conversion Therapy 'Troubling'

Picture 2The United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) finds the discredited practice of conversion therapy used on LGBT youth in the U.S. cause for concern as reported in a press release today from the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Leaders from the NCLR testified before the committee and the U.S. State Department asking the U.S. government to address the use of the archaic practice.

Notable CAT members Sabtyabhoosun Gupt Domah of Mauritius, Jens Modvig of Denmark and Sapana Pradhan Malla of Nepal repeatedly questioned U.S. Department of State representatives why conversion therapy is still considered a viable treatment for LGBT youth despite receiving condemnation from every major, reputable medical organization and is a treatment that is clearly known to lead to depression and suicide in its "patients." NCLR's Samantha Ames, a campaign coordinator behind NCLR's #BornPerfect campaign who testified before the U.N. Committee yesterday on the issue, praised the committee for addressing the issue.

Said Ames:

"Today, for the first time, a United Nations committee recognized that conversion therapy is an issue of international human rights. We are incredibly grateful to the Committee Against Torture for raising up the voices of conversion therapy survivors, and ensuring their suffering is finally being vindicated. Today was a historic day for LGBT people in the United States and around the world. There is no going back."

NCLR’s #BornPerfect campaign is a national effort aimed at ending conversion therapy within the next five years by introducing and passing laws across the country to protect LGBT youth, fighting in courtrooms to ensure their safety and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by these unsanctioned and dangerous practices. California introduced a bill banning conversion therapy in 2012 that was later challenged this year by therapy practitioners. However, the U.S. Supreme Court later upheld California's bill banning the controversial therapy.


Man Who Proclaimed 'I'm Not Gay No More' Gets A Funky Remix: VIDEO

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb07a94b4b970d-800wi

You may recall the story we brought you of an ex-gay man who proclaimed to his Missouri mega-church, "I'm not gay no more":

"I'm not gay no more. I am delivered! I don't like mens no more. I said I like women. Women women women women! I said women! I'm not gay! I would not date a man! I would not carry a purse! I would not put on make-up! I will, I will love a women."

Now, thanks to YouTube, what was once a sad statement on repression is now a funky tune. 

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

[h/t Joe.My.God]

Continue reading "Man Who Proclaimed 'I'm Not Gay No More' Gets A Funky Remix: VIDEO" »


Megachurch Celebrates After Man Declares He's Not Gay Anymore: VIDEO

Deliverance

At the Church of God in Christ’s 107th Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Missouri over the weekend, a 21-year-old man declared himself "delivered" from homosexuality, and a clip of his declaration and the church's subsequent celebration have gone viral with the help of a Vine clip.

Watch the full video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Said the man:

"I'm not gay no more. I am delivered! I don't like mens no more. I said I like women. Women women women women! I said women! I'm not gay! I would not date a man! I would not carry a purse! I would not put on make-up! I will, I will love a women."

As the church celebrated, the pastor rewarded the man with $100:

"We love you son. You can live for God. Your past is just that, behind you. Better is in front of you. He's a brand new creature...God said he's going to bless you because of your commitment. Just to prove it, he just told me to give you $100."

Watch the full video, AFTER THE JUMP...

100dollars

Continue reading "Megachurch Celebrates After Man Declares He's Not Gay Anymore: VIDEO" »


James Franco Boyfriends Up to Zachary Quinto in First Official Still From Gay-Themed Film 'Michael'

Michael

While we've seen various shots posted by James Franco and Zachary Quinto on Instagram, this is the first official still we've seen from the film, in which Franco plays "ex-gay" activist Michael Glatze, writer for the (now shuttered) gay twink magazine XY and co-founder of the short-lived publication Young Gay America, who denounced his homosexuality and became a poster boy for that movement. Glatze also became a pastor and married a woman.

Gus van Sant is executive producing the film with Franco, Vince Jolivette, Scott Reed, Ron Singer and Joel Michaely as producers. It's based on the Benoit Denizet-Lewis NYT article "My Ex-Gay Friend".

Quinto plays Glatze's former boyfriend Bennett. The film also stars Teen Wolf's Charlie Carver.

The shot above appears in an American Film Market preview story in The Hollywood Reporter.


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged