Sunday, July 24, 2011

Former Love In Action Director Responds To "The Pain Of Reparative Therapy"

To those who recall, about a month ago, I wrote my story about my experience in the ex-gay reparative therapy program Love In Action. I receive alot of feedback on my story, one of which was from my friend Liz Dyer, who asked if she would be able to post my story on her blog. I gave her permission, and pretty soon, my story had been read by the former director of the Love In Action program John J. Smid. His apology was quite touching.


First of all, I have always felt a love for you and really enjoyed seeing you each time we talked. My compassion for you was genuine and stemmed from a real desire to be supportive of you in your life while you were with Love In Action. I am in a position of evaluating what has happened to many people from my 22 years involved in Exodus and Love In Action. Please allow me to share some of my thoughts.
Kyle, I am very sorry for being part of a system that didn’t validate your experiences with homosexuality. I am sorry for being a part of a system that didn’t understand the difference between addiction and sexual orientation. I am sorry for not knowing what you really needed and for not being part of a system that would validate your true life experiences.
I am sorry for the role I played in causing you to feel ashamed, unimportant, insignificant, and devalued. I am sorry for the ways I was involved in a counseling program that brought you such confusion, especially as a young man who really didn’t know how to differentiate for yourself.
Kyle, being in the position of an authority over a program that utilized tools designed for helping people with addiction to erroneously respond to a homosexual orientation causes me great grief today.
I desire more than anything that you would know you are deeply loved by God and that He sees you, your heart, and your homosexuality and does not condemn you. 
There are many more things I could say but will remain brief. If you are open, I would welcome a personal dialogue.
Will you forgive me, Kyle?
John J. Smid

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