John M. Becker

Smid: 'Adele Makes You Gay' Line is False

Filed By John M. Becker | March 18, 2014 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Christian Jessen, conversion therapy, ex-gay, ex-gay myth, ex-gay therapy, John Smid, misquoting, misreporting, reparative therapy, undercover

john-smid.jpgJohn Smid, the former director of "ex-gay" ministry Love in Action who renounced "ex-gay" therapy, came out of the closet, and now runs an LGBT-affirming ministry, is denying reports that he advised a UK journalist that he should stop listening to Adele if he wanted to be "cured" of homosexuality.

In a documentary airing tonight on Channel 4 in the UK, doctor and TV star Christian Jessen explores the world of "ex-gay" therapy. Reports on the film from Gay Star News, the Daily Star, and the Press Trust of India claim that Smid "offered rehab" to Jessen and told him to throw out his Adele CD because of the singer's popularity in the gay community.

But as I noted here on Bilerico, those reports didn't jive with Smid's public repudiation of the "ex-gay" myth and his subsequent pro-LGBT advocacy. I contacted him for comment and he provided The Bilerico Project with the following statement:

The quote... and the reference to my reaffirming ex-gay ministry is false. Any statements that may have reflected this perspective would have only been made prior to 2008 when I was still involved in ex-gay ministry.

I do not know why or how that may have been reported. In the documentary, they came to me and asked me to do a "mock" intake to the program I used to be part of. I haven't seen the documentary so I don't know how they have used this recording.

The mock intake was followed by a secondary interview while they were here with me, speaking of the falsehoods in the process and the harms done by wrongly applying addiction recovery techniques to people who were not addicts [gays]. We spent quite a bit of time going over the inappropriately-applied techniques.

I have not turned back to my former beliefs and continue to embrace and appreciate my authentic life today. I continue to do a tremendous amount of work making amends for my former stance against homosexuality as well as reconciling whenever possible with those who have been harmed.

Once "Undercover Doctor: Cure Me, I'm Gay" airs, we'll see whether or not producers accurately represented Smid's current views.

UPDATE: Dr. Jessen has responded via Twitter that the media reports about John Smid's appearance in the documentary are inaccurate and do not represent Smid's current view.

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