There’s a short podcast series (four episodes) called UnErased, talking about the history of gay conversion therapy in the US.
You’ll experience at least most of the span of human emotions listening to it—or at least, I did.
In the last episode, they spend time with John Smid, a man among the leadership for 25 years—many of them as the top dog—of Love in Action, a giant inpatient evangelical gay conversion program—”ex-gay ministry.”
Unsurprisingly, John is gay. (The most vitriolic anti-gays almost always are.)
He had this to say.
“I don’t like my life to be painted as a villain, and that’s kinda the way I feel about this movie [Boy Erased]. It’s like, I don’t like it, it’s uncomfortable. I don’t like the movie. I don’t like the book. I don’t like what people are saying. I don’t like hearing Garrett talk about it. I don’t like it; it’s uncomfortable. At the same time, there is truth in that I was a forerunner and a spokesperson and a national and international leader that said you must eradicate homosexuality from your life.”
I’ve written here about “when you know better, do better,” and I thought this quote exemplifies that so clearly. No, he doesn’t like it, but it’s real, and he owns it.
(Later in the podcast, they get into some philosophy behind that—with all of the suffering he induced, should he get to just walk away? So interesting!)