John J. Smid was once the former director of Love in Action, an ex-gay ministry. Now he’s a happily married man living with his husband in Texas. His path from coming out to rejecting his sexuality to embracing it, is a long and twisty road.
That path started with his being married to his first wife, figuring out he was gay and getting divorced. It led to living as an out gay man during the 70s where John fell in with evangelical Christians. Where they witnessed to him and told him that he couldn’t be gay and a Christian. Seeking to be the best man he thought he should be he went to his church for help but they didn’t know how to help him
That is when he found the ex-gay ministry Love in Action.
He quit his job, joined Love in Action as a volunteer and completely embraced ex-gay ministry. Even to the point of leaving his children. He believed he couldn’t be a good dad and be gay.
Motivated by a driving desire for authenticity and succumbing to the viewpoint that the ministry taught. John believed that to have the connection he craved with another person was that it had to be with a woman. And that the only way to do that, was to deny all things homosexual. This led to a 30-year journey that nearly destroyed him even while he taught the same failed teachings to others.
*Apologies for the rookie mistake of the not putting the chatty Siamese out before we started recording. *
John struggled with the duality of finding some emotional healing from past trauma he’d experienced and a loving community in the ministry even while dealing with the damage that the self-inflicted denial of his natural inclinations was causing him. That is until a peaceful protest outside his door and the actions of a man of integrity showed John what kindness and love really looked like.
He finally resigned from the ministry.
Without the weight of managing the ministry or pushing its agenda he was able to finally reflect on what he believed. He started to meet other gay Christians and ex-ex-gays who opened his eyes to the truth of what his actions and beliefs had wrought. Rather and turn inward and become bitter, John faced the consequences.
John’s persistence at facing the process, while dealing with the consequences of his actions drove him deeper in to learning how to be a loving human being. In doing so he learned to love himself.
Read John’s Book! Ex-Out how I fired the shame committee
Host: Erin Furian
Producers: Erin Furian and Anjie Furian
Sound Engineer: Anjie Furian
Music- 7th floor Tango by silent partner from YouTube free music library