So happy to see Karen Mason Riss nominated for Mothers & Sons and for the cast to be nominated for small ensemble.
As someone who went through the program (3 years) while John John J Smid was the executive director, I can attest to the damage that the program did. As well I can attest to the change that has happened in John. He happened to see me in midtown Starbucks one afternoon and we spent almost two hours talking about his life, the program and how we both were duped and abused by the program and by those who brought us into it and guided us through it. It took some serious and emotional thought for me to decide to forgive him and welcome him into the LGBT community. Frankly, I'm glad that I have. Since the story of his marriage to Larry has come out, I have seen posts from many in the community (including others who also went through LiA) demanding some kind litmus test as to whether or not John J Smid will be accepted and received, i.e. that he hasn't made amends enough. For each of us who has come out of the ex-gay movement, I venture to say that it has never been instantaneous and we all have had amends to make. The journey out of the lie of the ex-gay movement and back into the truth of living your own reality is a process for all of us. John has his own journey as well. Has he made amends? Yes, he has, both personally and publicly. He has been on national news and declared that he was wrong and admitted to the damage caused and has spoken publicly in support of equality and diversity. (IMO, it has not been promoted as much since ex-ex-gay is not as controversial as ex-gay. So his public apologies haven't been as newsworthy or post-worthy.) Is there more that he should do? Probably. None of us are ever done. It's going on eight years since I was in LiA and I still find things that I need to process and sometimes need to apologize to someone. I feel certain that as John continues his process that he will find the same. In the meantime, let's not ostracize him. We are not completed works ourselves, either.
She should have just let her husband handle this photo-op. I'm sure he could have downed in record time...and even swallowed.
By Richard Alley
download this issue
click here to see more »