A Peaceful Disclosure – I Am Gay

I have read many stories of people who have “come out again” or accepted they are gay after some time in the ex-gay world. Many of their stories are compelling and well-written. But, sometimes I wish they would get to the point right off the bat. Just say it and then tell the story. So that is what I am going to do: I am gay.

Now take a deep breath (talking to myself here), and here is more of the story for those interested.

What Led To This Post?

The past six or so years have presented an opportunity to question my beliefs and evaluate my experiences without an idealized agenda. Then in 2011, as a result of all the turmoil that erupted at Exodus International (my former employer from 2002 to 2013), I began to dig deep and ask hard questions. Who am I? What do I make of my journey to date? How does God view me, my state of being? I questioned/pondered/re-examined all this and more again. Then in January of 2013, a man named Michael, someone I dated for a little while 24 years ago committed suicide. We remained good friends up until his death. His death was shocking and I still mourn his passing. Michael had several difficult issues contributing to his suicide, and I know he also struggled with his faith and sexuality. His death shook me to my core and made all the questions I had been asking even more stark, consequential, and pressing. After being laid off from Exodus International (as a part of closing it down) in August of 2013, I began to have the personal space to think things through without distraction or filters.

Parallel to all this was a deepening and expanded understanding of God’s grace. These factors get more specific and complicated, but I think that the above describes the gist of how I began to come to the conclusions that I present in this post. I could have written this post last summer but was discouraged by some feedback I received. Regardless, I needed to pray and think it through a little while longer. Now is the time to do this. There is more about my motivations later in this post, too.

The Spectrum Of Sexuality

To be honest and accurate, I would have to say that I am gay with some level of bisexual tendencies. The truth is, that my primary sexual attraction is toward men. It is also true that to date the love of my life has been a woman. I was attracted to her in every way. Many people won’t believe me but what I just shared is true. I would be lying by omission if I didn’t share that side of myself. For me, developing strong sexual attractions is driven by emotional attachment more than anything else. My relational history has shown that I can indeed have attractions to either gender if the emotional attachment is there.

If that is confusing to you… welcome to my world.

Motivation, History/Post-Exodus

Some snapshots of my history, at the age of 10 I was “out” to myself, I came out to friends at 16 and out to everyone as a gay man at 19. At 19, I paid a heavy price for coming out. I was as liberal a Democrat as one could be too. Then I became a Christian and moved toward being an ex-gay poster boy (the last Executive Vice President of Exodus International). At one point I was featured in a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times and featured in a book by Watergate figure Charles Colson called The Good Life. For about five years of my time working for Exodus (2003 to 2008), I was a political activist on the religious right as well. I was vocal and open about my beliefs that I no longer identified as gay while in Exodus circles for 23 years.

I shared the preceding paragraph to illustrate that it is in my nature to champion my personal beliefs. I’ve always believed what I have declared publicly to be true. Yes, those beliefs have been all over the map in 46 years but I have always been a true believer in whatever I was professing.

Four or five times, in offline social settings, over the past five months I was asked if I was gay. Each time I answered, without hesitation, “I am bi-sexual with a propensity toward dudes.” That brought smiles each time and I was told that if I was bi, gay, … whatever, they wanted me to know they accepted me. But, this is the first time in my life where I felt there were inconsistencies between what was happening in some circles as opposed to others. I started seeing the potential of a fragmented life developing and I *never* want that. There is nothing more tortured than feeling like you can’t be consistently you wherever you are. These recent offline disclosures were leading to an issue of conscience for me. As I was thinking through and writing this post it became clear that it is most accurate to say that I am gay with a bisexual propensity that I can’t adequately describe :).

Whether anyone cares, pays attention, approves, disapproves, friends or unfriends me isn’t the point. The point is that I need to stay true to how I am wired, be honest, and consistent with what I believe to be true in this regard. Writing this post is something I need to do as a part of taking personal responsibility for my past journey and being honest in my present reality.

Faith

My love for Jesus and His finished work on the Cross is unwavering, and stronger than ever. I am as saved today as I was the moment I believed in, and received Him as my Lord and Savior. He rose from the dead to open the door to reconciliation with God and eternal Life. I’ve already walked through that door. He is in my heart. None of that changes regardless of my sexuality or my all-to-human musings. It doesn’t change because it’s all on Him and He never changes. He loves me, I know it. He loves you, is not angry with you, and I hope you know that truth.

Dating

Currently I am not dating. I have not been dating. I have not had a sexual partner in 24 years. I am in no hurry to change that reality. Plus, I have no doubt I would probably be a weird date ::: grin ::: I mean seriously, how do you explain all … this? Being single has been a life-giving state of being for me and my place in community. I am content. Today as a single gay man, I am relationally whole, and at peace. There is love in my life; God, friends, family, work … I’m in a good place.

About The Future…

One thing I definitely have learned is to stop declaring what tomorrow will be like or what the future will bring. Could I see myself with a man? Yes. Could I see myself with a woman? Yes. Could I see myself being celibate for the rest of my life? Yes. Today has its own troubles and I am not worrying about tomorrow. I rest in God’s grace and trust Him to be the Good Shepherd He has proven, over and over, to be.  Whatever happens, loving Jesus is at the core of who I am. Regardless of any relationship I have or will have, abiding in Christ will always be my “Home.”

Even though I have issued two apologies to the gay community (here and here) and found my first sense of identity and community as a gay youth/young man, I am not sure many will accept my apologies or this disclosure. I would definitely understand some people’s reluctance given my history. That said, while I care about what others think, I am doing this because I feel it is the right thing to do.

I am gay. I am ok with who I am. I hope we can continue to journey together.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I appreciate your honesty and your transparency in this post, Randy. I know we haven’t always agreed, but I wish you all the best. I pray for you, that God’s peace and strength will encompass you, particularly against those who might try to challenge your Truth.

    • Randy

      Thank you so much Bill. I appreciate you and your comment.

  • Alan Manning Chambers

    Does this mean you are going to buy a Jeep Wrangler? 🙂 Tons of love from the Chambers, my dear friend!

    • And season tickets to see Broadway musicals!!

      • No toaster oven? 😉

        • Michael, you know that he has to attend many “gay mafia” meetings before he can be awarded a toaster!

          • Randy

            Can I get a new Keurig instead? I will go to extra gay mafia meetings if that is a possibility. I think I have worn out my old Keurig …

          • Absolutely! And perhaps one day, we can sit down over a cut of coffee and have a long talk! (I prefer Breakfast blend, black, plez)

        • bobsf94117

          Toaster ovens are for recruitment, silly.

      • Randy

        YES!

    • Randy

      I wish! But only if it is black. Tons of love to you and Leslie too 🙂

  • You are such an incredible guy, Randy. I’m feeling very happy for you right now, and want you to know that you have our love and support.

    • Randy

      Thank you Nate. I am very happy for your friendship and support. It’s truly like a breath of fresh air.

    • Mark Hanson

      What Nathan said, Randy, in Spades. I hope and pray that you will know increasing peace.

      I have found this observation (made by an Episcopalian bishop) to be true in my own experience: “The older I get, the more deeply I believe but the less beliefs I have.” So in that spirit, may your faith and experience of Jesus deepen, whatever may come. Letting go – especially of dearly held beliefs – requires a deal of strength. courage and integrity, the more so when it has to be done under public scrutiny. Hang in there.

      • Randy

        Thank you very much Mark. Love your comment.

  • As someone also on the other side of ex-gay ministry, I really appreciate your honesty and openness regarding your journey. The complicated experience of orientation you’ve had is one that resonates with my own experience. Thank you and Christ be with you!

    • Randy

      Thank you for taking the time to send along this encouragement and empathy. I’m grateful.

  • I presume your conservative Christian friends will react negatively, so thank you for your bravery. I can’t wait to see you bring your talents to the affirming side of things.

    • You presume incorrectly. 😉

      • Randy

        Yay 🙂

        • Patrina

          Yes. He did presume incorrectly. I have never had the pleasure to actually meeting you, Randy, but I have heard some of your story through a mutual friend. You helped her immensely by being a friend and support to her in a tough and confusing time in her life. I applaud you for finding your voice and reconciling your faith with who you are. I can’t even imagine how hard it would be to reconcile both without compromising either. It sound like your journey has made you stronger and I know my friend cannot be the only person you have helped along the way. Thank you for your honesty. We need more of that in the world.

          • Randy

            You are very kind Patrina. Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment and for the encouragement. 🙂

    • I think I may fall into the category of “Conservative Christian” (although quite honestly I’m not good at labeling and I’m not certain what the heck I am). I do not react negatively to Randy’s honesty. I think the only way any of us can really be in relationship with Jesus is to be honest. I’m not of the culture that believes you “become” gay. I’m of the distinct belief that some may “become gay” and that some are simply “born” with same sex attraction. I have just about every sin imaginable on my account and come of my sinful nature has NOT gone away just because I have faith in Jesus and repent. I for one cannot seem to break away from coveteousness. Am I not saved? Is Randy not saved? I think as Believers, we better grab the planks out of our eyes, and build a new church.

  • John J. Smid

    Randy, it’s a wonderful thing to accept our reality with authenticity and then throw our arms into the air and say, “God, surprise me with my future!” You’re among many friends. The very Best to you!

    • Randy

      Thank you John, the best to you too.

  • katttt

    Randy, you are a man of great love and great courage. I admire you and love you. Hope you feel the love from all the people here!
    (If you buy a Jeep, I want a ride! 😉

    • Randy

      Thank you sweet sister 🙂 and if I do get that jeep… expect a honk outside your door!

  • Wishing you much peace and happiness. It’s a long journey ahead, but wow, you have come so far. Welcome out. 🙂

    • Randy

      Thank you Michael!

  • Peace and great blessing to you, Randy. We have had some pretty strong and not so friendly conversations in the past, and I just want to wish you every good thing on your continued journey. Surely there will be negative reactions to this post .. yet my prayer for you is that the positive and supportive will far outweigh any of the negative. Much love to you from Will Byrd

    • Randy

      Thank you very much Will.

  • chris ong

    Thank you for sharing your journey as you navigate through the messiness that is faith, sexuality, and labels. It takes a lot of courage to speak up as our fluid understanding of god changes, and I pray that you continue to seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our god.

    • Randy

      Thanks Chris!

  • I love you, brother, and got your back.

    • Randy

      I appreciate that Chip. I need the help 🙂

  • Jim Burroway

    Bravo Randy. I am so proud of you!

    • Randy

      Yay 🙂 Thanks Jim.

  • I’m very happy to read this and the peace you have with it and the realistic stance you’re taking on where you might end up. Way to be open-minded in God and to God. I’m also loving that Jesus is still at your core and you’re clear on Him and His love for you. Reminds me of how he loved more even more after I came out over 10 years ago.

    • Randy

      Thank you Cresec!

  • This is phenomenal! Thank you for your willingness to follow God through this, even when you don’t know where it is you’re going. Know that there are a bunch of us out here that are walking this with you! Peace, brother!

    • Randy

      I am grateful for your support and the willingness to walk with, Peace!

  • Laura

    Norm is incorrect:”I presume your conservative Christian friends will react negatively.” Aren’t presumptions/assumptions, etc what make this issue so painful? I am a conservative Christian. I have been Randy’s facebook friend for several years. I don’t agree with all the things he has written; he wouldn’t agree with me on all my opinions, either. So what? He’s on a journey. I don’t quite understand this new post, don’t quite know what to make of it, certainly have questions and some concerns, but so what? I can pray to our loving Heavenly Father and ask that he continue to show himself to Randy, pour out grace, mercy, direction and love on him – just like I need. I bless you on your journey, Randy.

    • Randy

      I appreciate your friendship and feedback Laura. I bless you on your journey too 🙂

  • Bill

    You are a cowardly man who lies to the world.

    Even worse, you lie to yourself.

    Your cowardice and weakness led you into a career which has caused actual harm in the lives of actual humans.

    And you must live with that. That your work, your cowardice, and your weakness as a man has actually harmed other human beings.

    I have no idea how a man comes to terms with the fact that he has harmed others in such a profound manner.

    But I do know this:

    People pay for what they do, and further still, for what they have allowed themselves to become.

    And they pay simply. By the lives they lead.

    • WOW! You are displaying the very characteristics you seem to dislike most in Randy. I can only assume you have never been wrong. You have never made a mistake. As one who was also in “ex-gay” leadership, I know how difficult it can be. Yes, people were hurt. I wish I could go back and fix it. But you are not allowing for any kind of personal change or transformation. You are showing only disdain. You are the sad one here, in my opinion.

      • jawnbc

        Being wrong is a specific point in time: engaging in a course of action isn’t being wrong.

        So after more than a decade being a public face of a campaign that denies the humanity of gay people, no one is allowed to express anger at this denouement? I suspect part of the reason he posted this is to acknowledge his terrible actions. He’s a big boy; he can take it.

        But don’t YOU for a minute try to equate the discomfort felt when esconced in a movement to how the ex-gay movement made US feel when you sought to exclude me from my basic rights as a person and a married (to another man) man.

        I’m not sad…not even angry. But I was never sucked into your lies.

        • tom

          Well said. These exgay losers think they deserve a pass for their past. They won’t get one from me. I wish they would shut up.

        • I’m pretty sure my friend Randy has never been involved in work that “denies the humanity of gay people.” Your humanity and value are unrelated to your apparent desire to update the definition of marriage. You are fully “human,” and very valued to the Creator.

          • Michael

            UPDATING the definition of marriage? That essentially proves the point the other made when he assumed conservatives would react negatively too this confession.

            If fighting for our rights as human beings too marry the person we love is considered UPDATING the definition of marriage then you have no clue what marriage is about too begin with which is LOVE not GENDER.

          • Frank Palmer

            The definition of marriage (as far as your Bible) has been updated since inception. And nobody gets to define a civil contract, based on the interpretation of a spiritual text. Marriage equality is happening. And it has been happening throughout history. That comment; “your apparent desire to update the definition of marriage” is one of the most condescending, manipulative, and passive aggressive statements I’ve seen in this thread. How dare you. If you want to define marriage biblically, according to your own views, please be so kind as to define it to your own marriage. Faith is personal. And it needs to stay that way. Your bible has no place in my marriage. Further, if my marriage poses some threat to your marriage, you might want to look into yourself, and not into the lives of a loving couple, who really has no real life effect on yours. The pain and hardship thrust onto gay couples due to their inability to be married has destroyed lives, created financial ruin, and inflicted unnecessary suffering purely for the vindictive and smug sense of superiority of the so-called “righteous”, who have done little for others beyond condemning them for living their own truth. Ex-gay ministries play a huge role in this suffering. And everyone involved in these groups has had a hand in denying the humanity of gay people. Every solitary one of them. Whether intended or not, the truth is there. And that warrants atonement to those who were wronged. Just as someone who backs into your car may not have intended it, the fault is there, and the damaged party has a right to be made whole, and the one who caused the damage has a moral obligation to make it right to the best of their ability. If you can’t see that, it’s amazing to me how you can see yourself as a Christian. As a humanist, I can see it, and my morality isn’t dependent on a spiritual god. Perhaps your god isn’t strong enough to make you human. That’s up to you to figure out.

      • We all make mistakes. And some mistakes have massive consequences. It is glib to just say “people were hurt”. People were hurt, in terrible, terrible ways. People were telling you for years that you were hurting them and you kept hurting them still.

        I don’t think you can easily do enough to make up for what you did, but I appreciate you trying. Keep speaking up, keep apologising and speak out against people who now still say the same things you once did. You owe the world at least that much.

        I’m sorry that your good intentions ended up doing so much harm. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.

      • Michael

        Oh alright so we are supposed too just ignore the fact that some people intentionally violate our rights tear down another persons value and self worth and then APOLOGIZE years down the line for all the damage they inflicted on so many? I think not I believe in forgiveness but not forgiveness for those who intentionally knew what they were doing and ultimately knew what their hateful words would cause too happen too other human beings.

    • James Bradshaw

      Bill, I’m very much a “marriage equality” activist. I was never a fan of Exodus and, like you, saw them as somewhat of an ideological opponent for a long time.

      Exodus was not ISIS, though. They did what they thought was best for themselves and others given the knowledge and experience they had. This is a difficult journey to go through. Besides, everyone is ultimately responsible for determining their beliefs on these things themselves.

      I’d cut them a little slack.

      • Randy

        Thanks for your thoughtful and honest comment James.

    • Timothy Kincaid

      Bill,

      It is easy to hold onto our hate. The comfort and familiarity of enmity towards those we define as our enemies can give us a sense of stability in a rapidly changing world. It’s safe, it’s comfortable.

      And when we’ve been hurt, sometimes that hurt becomes the most important thing in our lives. We see ourselves in terms of that hurt: how it feels, who to blame, what else could have been. Everything is filtered through the prism of that scar.

      And to see someone forgiven for the hurt they caused you can be infuriating. HOW DARE anyone ever be nice to that person again?!?

      But that attitude is debilitating. If we never become more that our pain, we live a life full of nothing but pain.

      Anger and hatred and “calling out” and “shaming” others may seem like a way to hurt one who once hurt us, but it doesn’t really. It hurts ourselves. It feeds into the cycle of pain and anger. It picks at the scab, owning the sore and never the healing.

      Anger twists the soul. Hatred poisons the heart. If we can’t forgive others, we become bitter, miserable people that no one else wants to be around.

      And all for nothing. Not only does it accomplish not good, it’s counterproductive.

      If we ask others to change, then it’s foolish and childish to hate them when they do. If others know that the reward for change is an even greater fury, we can expect no respect for our requests or pleas.

      We should not take that path. We should celebrate change, rejoice in enlightenment, dance when those who once disagreed reconsider perspective, and freely give not only forgiveness but friendship when apology is presented.

      It’s the road to happiness both for others and ourselves.

      • Mark Hanson

        Amen, Timothy. A concrete example of such Christlikeness that springs to mind is the way that Corrie Ten Boom reacted when, years later, she met one of her WWII camp guards. It was a very difficult forgiveness, but once it was extended God met them both in it.

        http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/questionofgod/voices/boom.html

      • Randy

        Wow Timothy… your comment was inspiring the first time I read it and just touched me again re-reading it. Thank you.

  • Thank you for your refreshing self-awareness and honesty. May God grant you good things <3

    • Randy

      Thanks Alison for your very sweet comment. 🙂

  • DAVID E LARSON

    Randy Thomas, as a Gay Christian I offer to you the same unbounded love that the Divine Creator has given to me and all of creation. I stand in awe of the courage you have to take this amazing step. Blessings and love be with you always! – David L.

    • Randy

      Blessings and Love to you too. I appreciate it David.

  • Randy, do you now believe that a monogamous same-sex relationship would be blessed by God? I ask for clarification sake. Your post leaves many wondering.

  • Good job, Randy! 🙂 You are part of Christ’s mighty work to defeat homophobia. And without your ex-gay journey, we wouldn’t know that doesn’t work so well. Blessings to you from a gay pastor who was married to a woman (she is a lovely person and is happily remarried). I wish you every good thing!

    • Randy

      Thank you very much Michael.

  • tom Remillard

    Better late then never. I was 59 when I came out, best day in my life. Congratulations to you for being honest to yourself.

    • Randy

      Thanks Tom!

  • Thanks for sharing your journey with all of its vulnerability. I recently began sharing my story too as a former pastor and husband who came out last year!

    • Randy

      Thanks for speaking up Robb. I am glad you are willing to share your story.

  • This video lecture by Lisa Diamond may help explain why you can write

    To be honest and accurate, I would have to say that I am gay with some level of bisexual tendencies.

    Because Diamond’s research shows that it is the minority of same-sex-attracted persons who are exclusively same-sex-attracted.

    • Timothy Kincaid

      Eric, it’s been a while since I reviewed Diamond’s research, but I believe her conclusions were primarily about women.

      • That is what makes this December 2013 lecture of hers significant. She bases her findings on significantly larger and statistically valid studies that include both men and women, unlike her research done for her 2008 book Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love and Desire. This is potentially very significant, as she explains throughout and especially toward the end.

        • DJ

          Timothy, Diamond has been looking closer at the male fluidity spectrum more and more over the last couple of years. She’s been saying at a lot of her public events that she’s been surprised by what she’s finding there. I haven’t looked at specifics myself just yet. But I’m eager to when I have some time…

        • Timothy Kincaid

          I guess I’ll have to take a look at her data and her conclusions.

  • Rev. M. Vernon Hunt

    Congratulations, Randy, and welcome to authenticity. The grass is definitely greener over here.

  • Pingback: Ho-Hum, Yet Another “Ex-Gay” Former Exodus Leader Comes Out As Gay | Bulgebull.com Blog()

  • Liz

    Randy – I really admire you taking the time and effort and probably courage to write this post. I appreciate your honesty and transparency and humility. I wish you the best as you continue to do the work of becoming the best possible you that you can be.

    • Randy

      Well, I don’t feel brave, I feel wore out :). Thank you for the comment and encouragement. I am grateful.

  • tom

    Not all of us forgive you. You have not done enough to overcome the harm you and your kind have caused.

    • Michael

      Exactly correct actions speak louder then words after causing the loss of so many innocent young lives forgiveness will not come this quickly …possibly never from those of us who feel this was way past wrong.

  • Nathan

    I wish you’d reached this conclusion before some of the destructive work you have done in your career, but we all reach these things at different points, so welcome.

    That said, what volunteer work are you going to do to try to reverse some of the damage you’ve done?

  • Honestly youworked to hurt as many gay families as possible and publicly cheered at your success. You’re trying desperately to reclaim some sore of relevance. You should have long ago been relegated to the dustbin of history and forgotten forever.

  • Pingback: Former 'Ex-Gay' Leader Comes Out | TKG News()

  • Jake Riley

    Thank you for your courage. Wishing you all the best at this new chapter in life.

    • Randy

      Thank you Jake.

  • Ginger Saunders

    I don’t know why God allows His children to wade through difficult waters. I just know He walks with us. And when I pray like Paul–“That I may know Him in the power of His resurrection AND the fellowship of His suffering”–I tremble. My heart says: Lord, please keep Randy safe and lead Him according to Your perfect will. Bring about your highest good in his life. Amen. –Love, Ginger

  • This is wonderful Randy!
    I know the road will be rough and you’ll get some serious flack, but living with integrity is worth every bit of it!
    I was involved with Living Waters for around 15 years in Australia and New Zealand.
    I’ve just published my story “It’s Life Jim…” if you are interested.
    Blessings bro 🙂

  • “…while I care about what others think, I am doing this because I feel it is the right thing to do”.

    While I appreciate the apology, I’m not sure of the reason for it. Apology, by any definition, is about expressing regret for harm caused to others. That is the first and foremost reason for an apology. A by-product can be a sense of well being and relief with having issued a sincere apology; especially once accepted.

    The actions being apologized for are not simply those of deceiving oneself due to sexual confusion. Your field of past work hurt a lot of real people. While your apology makes it clear that you and Jesus are good, I think you miss the point in that many people are offended by the name Jesus because of the type of work organizations such as Exodus does.

    So what do you REALLY have to say to the young men and women who still struggle with themselves as a result of organizations such as Exodus; who may live on the brink of despair? Who may have serious mental health problems unresolved? Do you think they want to hear about your relationship with Jesus, or do you think they want to hear what you, Randy, are tangibly going to do to make it right?

    The apology is just the beginning.

  • Pingback: Another Prominent “Ex-Gay” Activist Comes Out As Gay (With Bisexual Tendencies) / Queerty()

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  • don Sloan Brown

    I’m right there with you Randy! So proud of you!

  • Pingback: Another Prominent “Ex-Gay” Activist Comes Out As Gay (With Bisexual Tendencies) | TKG News()

  • Irene

    Beautifully written. What a tragedy that you were made to feel any kind of shame or “less then” because you are gay. A travesty that your little boy ten year old heart felt the need to hide the real you. Even more tragic…that those that proclaim the love of Jesus Christ really did not show you the real love of Jesus Christ. Finally, you can live your truth. Fully knowing that you are a loved and precious creation, and child of the one who holds you in the palm of His hand.

    • Randy

      Very sweet and kind comment Irene. I appreciate you.

  • katttt

    what color Keurig? I might could start saving up! 😀

  • DJ

    Randy! You probably don’t remember me, but I was heavily involved with LHM/LHY not long after you left.

    This is wonderful and refreshing to hear. I can’t say I’m surprised. In some ways, there is nothing particularly ground-breaking about what you’re saying here…most of us paying attention would have guessed this was here you stood anyway. But in other ways, it takes guts to put this out there for the world to see, and I applaud that. I join with the other folks here who wish all God’s blessings on you as you continue your journey.

    • Randy

      It’s good to hear from you DJ :). I agree, I don’t think this is too much of a shock for most who I am in relationship with. Thanks for the encouragement and don’t be stranger.

  • Hi Randy…Cindy Hinsch here a former Exodus ministry director from 1998-2005 in Las Vegas. I never planned to be a director but I was open to talking about the profound effect that members in Exodus had on me. And the exodus administrater at the time said …I should go for it. Anita Worthen was my go to girl and I must say everyone put in my path was a God send. Immediately upon my engaging with Exodus I witnessed so many anointed Holy Spirit filled Christians. I watched Alan Chambers especially transform from Cocky to the most humble, loving man that I have witnesssed in my years. You Randy from my perspective are one of the most inteligent men in that movement. I have seen so few gay people have life changing modifications but I am one of them. Yes I seriously struggle and when I do…I throw caution to the wind and take crazy risks. God has always brought me back to his utter and complete service even in the midst of falling. I fall for the wrong people Randy. I exclusively fall for females too. I have just been too far removed from familiarity to the male sex. I, like you have had a first love with a boy. (refering to you with a woman story ) Maybe the unfulfillment of that desire led me to women. I also listen to the fact that you have not been sexual for 24 years . I was also not involved that way for 18 years and I made up my mind to have a last Harrah at 51 years old with a 37 year old hottie. I don’t believe however that I could be happy with anyone that does not love Jesus as much as I do…regardless of their sex. I know God has lots of grace and I am saved and headed for heaven. But Randy…I don’t think I could be with anyone who is not as layed back and resigned to have an effect on this world. You have had a great affect on this world and me. I just can’t believe I am gay knowing my first love connection with a guy. For me, I am conditioned to be good with girls but I want to be best with God and I resist partnering with anyone vunerable to anything but the Lords desitny for a life. I pray destiny for you Randy. We are both so fortunate to have friends that love and adore us unconditonally. I always keep in my mind that lovers come with conditions. I love you smart and creativeand honest man, Cindy Hinsch

    • Randy

      Thanks for sharing your story and opinions Cindy :).

  • Mickey

    With all due respect, you have clearly described yourself as a bisexual. It’s much more accurate to say you are a “bisexual with a primary attraction toward men.” Switching the label to “gay” and saying you’re “gay with a bisexual propensity” is what’s confusing. Now you’re single, but what if you happen to meet a woman you’re attracted to and start dating her? Will you continue to call yourself gay? Many bisexuals feel the same way you do and acknowledge a definite preference for one gender without discounting their attraction to the other.

    • After watching the Lisa Diamond video that I posted a link to above, you’ll realize that the old LETTERS and categorizations – L G B etc. – probably needs to change.

      • Mickey

        Change to what?

        • I don’t think Diamond states or knows what to propose, only that the old categories are no longer scientifically or possibly even legally (the last several minutes of her lecture) tenable.

          • Mickey

            So orientation categories are only valid if they can be scientifically proven? What’s the benefit of dismantling something that functions pretty well for most people without even suggesting a different model to replace it?

          • It is not simply a matter of her wanting to dismantle it but the fact that her findings have legal implications that will have to be dealt with, as she explains toward the end.

          • Mickey

            Yes, I saw that. She’s challenging the “born this way” and “we can’t change” statements by saying that because sexuality does change over time, those arguments aren’t valid anymore. But that doesn’t address the fact that you can’t force a change to a person’s sexuality (which is the whole thrust of the ex-gay movement), nor does it address the societal factors that affect sexuality, such as the stigmatization of same-sex attraction and activity (particularly male-male attraction and activity) or the constant bombardment of female sexual imagery in the media and on the Internet.

    • Randy

      Honestly Mickey, this is something that I am still considering. The truth is that from day to day my primary attractions are toward men. But, from time to time I am drawn toward women. It seems that being gay with bi tendencies is the most accurate, but again those are secondary to my primary identity as a Christian.

      • Mickey

        To me, “gay with bi tendencies” is confusing and self-contradictory. It’s like saying, “I’m gay but really bi.” As a man who once again has clearly indicated his attractions to both genders, and especially since you stated the one true love of your life was a woman to whom you were “attracted…in every way,” this still comes across as much more bisexual than gay, more along the lines of, say, a Kinsey 4 or 5 (primarily attracted to the same sex but occasionally attracted to the opposite sex). But as you indicate, it sounds like you’re still working through all this. I wish you the best regardless of where your path leads you.

  • lovely Randy….the journey to true authenticity is a challenging one. We have to work through so many layers of our own ‘stuff’ (personal issues and self deception) and all the other beliefs we’ve embraced but never really questioned….which is why I guess I called my autobiography “A Life of Unlearning”.

    I have watched for some time, with great delight, your unfolding journey with no expectation of what the final outcome may be. It’s your journey. Whilst others were quick to condemn I held on to the belief that you are a good man with a good heart http://gayambassador.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/exodus-international-closes-behind-the-scenes-No5.html . I applaud you for the courage in taking this journey. Not everyone has because it includes great risks. Risks of being judged, rejected, alienated. Many of us have paid the price for living authentically. But the rewards are far greater than the costs …..we discover on the other side.

    I am not aware of any special verse in the Bible that talks about authenticity (from the versions I’ve read anyway). But I am convinced that one of the challenges God places on our lives is honesty with self and others. Maybe the closest verse comes from the words of Jesus. “you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free”

  • John Watson

    Cheers, my friend!

  • Love you, Randy. It’s a crazy journey, and the path through ex-gay-ville is not without its good points. I’ve always said I learned a lot from my time there, and it was the first place I was able to say out loud that I was attracted to guys. I probably said it to you, lol. Anyway, the fall out from our different communities after this kind of announcement can get weird and sometimes painful. If you need to talk, I’m here.

    • Randy

      Troy! It is so great to see you! Yes, it is online but great to “see” you nonetheless :). I remember you saying that to me oh so many moons ago :). I do appreciate your understanding and availability.

  • Tim

    Blessings on you Randy. I soooooo relate in many ways. I’m that ‘owning’ your truth, gives you much peace of mind for yourself, and that’s what matters. Many, blessings on you, and may you continue on your journey with peace of mind, and the peace of Christ. Whatever and/or whomever God has in store for you – is a gift to cherish. Go in peace!

    • Randy

      Thanks for your heartfelt comment Tim.

  • GayDawg

    Randy, I appreciate that you are doing this publicly. It shouldn’t be any other way, honestly. I hope this is only a first step in erasing the damage you have contributed to in your past.

    We have queer kids walking out in front of trucks killing themselves, shooting themselves, hanging themselves, overdosing on pills, and slitting their wrists. There’s a huge gay youth homeless problem. “Christian parents” are disowning their children and casting them to the streets. My Christian parents don’t accept me as gay, and when I was in college sent me to a Christian counselor trying to change me. Christians such as Ex Gays have done a lot of real damage to gay people.

    Yes, we’re all allowed to make mistakes and get forgiven. But this community needs a little more than a wishy washy coming out and no particular plans on where to go from here. All those dead kids deserve more. All of us who’ve been disowned by family in the name of Jesus deserve more.

    You left this family of the LGBTQ community. Just ask all the kids who’ve been disowned by their parents – it’s not so easy to get back into a family. We can forgive you, but admission into our family won’t come so easily as a quick coming out story with some emoticons. Not for someone who worked for a decade against us. I suggest following Ken Mehlman’s lead. As someone in the public eye leading other people, you owe it to the public to put in an equal or greater effort helping reverse all that. I hope you chose to now make a positive difference in the world.

    • Randy

      Thanks for your honest response and your care for LGBTQ youth. I came out the first time when I was 19 and thrown out of the house for it. I have also lost a dear friend of 23 years to suicide 2 years ago. A man I loved and deeply respected.

      All that to say I hear you and am contemplating and praying through ways that I can contribute positively to our community. Again, I am grateful for your honest response.

  • Greg Gough

    I’m happy for you Randy, somewhere in time we might have been friends, but something may have gotten the best of it. Above all this I wish you love.

  • Pete Austin

    All of the desperate ones that listened to you for what they thought was an answer. I hear this news about you, and I think mostly about them.

  • I love Brene Brown’s encouragement when we learn to stop pretending that our actions haven’t had a negative impact… “I made a mistake. I’ll fix it.” I hope your journey will include at some point the curious personal inquiry…”How can I make it right?” That’s when the real work starts.

  • Hi Randy,

    I could probably agree with most of what you wrote (I’ve been challenging sexuality identity assumptions within our shared Evangelical community for yonks now), but I’m intrigued (with my conservative pastor hat on) with this sentence:

    “Could I see myself with a man? Yes.”

    Perhaps you could unpack that for us?

  • Christopher

    I have to say that I’m really bothered by how quick people are to “forgive” when contrite repentance is supposed to be the precursor to such a response. I haven’t seen that from Randy in this post.

    Randy, you have been one of the most outspoken, public faces of a movement that has contributed immeasurable harm to individuals and families over several decades. Countless gay people have killed themselves because of the lies that the “ex gay” movement has promoted. Numerous family relationships have been permanently damaged. Employment and housing protections of fellow Americans have been curtailed due to the lie that one could “pray away the gay.” In fact, this thinking *continues* to do damage to GLBT individuals. What is happening in Uganda can be directly tied to the lies that Exodus promoted, with Don Schmierer from Exodus International being present at the 2009 conference that served as the catalyst to the “kill the gays” bill in that country. This is not something you can sweep under the rug as an “oops, my bad” moment. This matter is gravely serious and you have a lot to answer for.

    Can you be forgiven for 24 years of being absolutely, completely dead wrong about sexual orientation? Of course. But it doesn’t end there. The least you can do to show how sorry you are for being wrong is to publicly testify in favor of laws that protect minors from being forced into “ex gay” therapy, if you’re admitting that this doesn’t work. Adults can make their own decisions about how to live their lives, but young people are especially endangered by the thinking that they can simply “turn off” their feelings and go straight… or else lose the love of their family and be thrown out on the street.

    If you can’t be as public and outspoken about such damaging therapy, especially when it comes to minors, then I can’t take your apology seriously, and you don’t deserve anything more than criticism and scorn. I’m not talking about the occasional blog post saying “tsk tsk” which will accomplish little. I’m talking about leveraging your past position with Exodus to undo the damage your movement has created. That means getting on Fox and CNN, that means testifying in court cases against “ex-gay” therapy, that means promoting organizations like the Ali Forney Center, which help GLBT kids who have been thrown away by their families. You *can* work to undo the damage you’ve done, but a single blog post won’t cut it.

    If you can’t do anything close to this, then I have to assume your post was nothing more than empty self-promotion. Because lives are at stake here, and I hope you, and everyone else on this thread, realizes that.

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  • Randy, I have known you now for many years. When you started fame-climbing, appearing as an “expert” on homosexuality before congress, I was angry watching you use your influence to fight against our equality before the law, taking photos with some of the most hateful politicians in DC. I had to wipe the dust off my sandals and walk away. I thought, “Some day, he’ll realize what he’s done.”

    It’s nice to know you’ve accepted yourself, but as a public person — a place you willingly put yourself — you’re obligated to more fully address the evil done by Exodus past and by conservative Christian ex-gay groups now.

    Your friend’s suicide is but the tip of the iceberg of the private damage and violence that was done, AND IS CONTINUING TO BE DONE in the name of Christ, to the hearts of many more young people. Exodus can shed its skin, but the snake beneath continues on in new groups formed from its ashes.

    You must do more than simply repent for past deeds. (Have you repented or did you just apologize?).

    I know your heart and you’re a loving person. You wouldn’t hurt a fly, if you could help it.

    But just because you were sincere in your journey in Exodus. And sincere in your fight against human rights. And sincere in your “walk with God,” don’t let sincerity blind you to the role you played as an agent of destruction as a “leading voice of Exodus.”

    Do you still think it’s a sin to be gay in a relationship? Do you still support the neo-Exodus groups and their message? Do you have the courage to fight them as vehemently and publicly as you fought to insinuate yourself into our private lives, to destroy our marriages?

    I don’t envy your position. But you put yourself there. Now, as a public voice who was listened to and taken seriously, we’re happy you’ve finally come out of the closet as a gay man.

    You fought loud and long for the anti-gay forces.

    Now, fight for us, Randy.

    For too long you’ve been fighting on the side of untruth. Luckily, Christianity is about redemption. But it begins with repentance. Now, you can, for the first time in your life, fight for the actual truth.

    I wish you love in your life, too. We all need a little love. Best of luck to you.

  • I know of people who have struggled with their sexuality for years..and I know the damage that organisations like Exodus have caused..but Randy has helped to disband this group, and he is making renumerations to set things straight..and he has suffered in his own life. And wasn’t its God’s mission when he was on this earth to love thy fellow man, and show unconditional love?? Before you judge too strongly, try and remember this: http://youtu.be/S3J_3mcOwdQ

  • Randy, I am happy you find comfort in the Lord, and for speaking your truth. I’ve always known you as a good friend who has stood by me whenever I have asked. We are each on our own journeys through life and however you choose to identify yourself is fine by me.

    • Randy

      Love you Jack. Thank you so much. I am very grateful for our friendship and your fantastic heart!

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  • Timothy Kincaid

    Randy,

    It looks like you’ve had a visit from the “Never Forget, Never Forgive” crowd.

    Please know that you are forgiven. Not only by God, but by those who see growth and appreciate honesty.

    Don’t take their hatred and anger to heart. It’s not about you and what you have or haven’t done; it’s about them and their need to own their pain and live in their hurt.

    Continue to acknowledge your past and work towards your future, be humble and generous towards those who have been hurt, but don’t get caught in their cycle of misery.

    • Michael

      Oh PLEASE stop acting like YOU are the VICTIMS here you are NOT period.

      This man and people like him caused dozens upon dozens of people who were gay too take their own lives because people like this LOVELY man Randy selfishly felt that just because they couldnt accept themselves and they werent happy that they would destroy those individuals who WERE happy.

      Cut the garbage about US being hateful and angry we have every right too be that especially after someone has gone years and years debilitating destroying and damaging other peoples lives and happiness .

      Yes MISERY is right all those children all those teenagers who felt that their lives were not worth living because of the hateful vicious and cruel words of people like Randy .

      Yes THEIR misery counts this guys misery however…which is nonexistent in the first place does not.

      There is no remorse there never is when it comes too the ex gay faction .

      Its always about THEM.

      Pathetic.

      Im sure this will be deleted this guy has already made it his mission too delete anything that remotely resembles the truth so he can keep approving the lovey dovey comments.

      • Timothy Kincaid

        Michael

        I wish you healing, health and happiness.

        • Michael

          Wow how shocking my comment was not approved. I wonder why? Sarcasm end.

          Ty for the predictable response nonetheless though. Much appreciated.

      • Tom

        Michael you are absolutely right. The only people forgiving him are the ones who have been involved in the exgay movement themselves. Those of us that have been honest with ourselves and others about our sexual orientation take him and them to task for their past

    • Randy

      Thanks Timothy. I think anger is a God-given emotion and like any emotion, it informs. So, it is easier to hear others who are angry when I remember that venting can sometimes be helpful for them (regardless of whether they forgive or accept me and my apologies or not.) Also, angry feedback can sometimes help inform/motivate good life-giving efforts.

      It does affect my heart because that is just how I am wired. However, I am able to keep my head engaged and remember to seek God and find ways to bring about good from the difficult. I appreciate your forgiveness and hope to do right by you and our community.

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  • james brunk

    Good for you! Having made a similar journey I find hope when others gain integrity! May hashem. Turn his face to you and grant you peace.

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  • Charlie

    Congratulations on getting to this point personally, but given the harm you have caused the only civil thing to do would be to apologize abjectly and unreservedly and then disappear into anonymity, dedicating your life to truly making things right.

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  • marknyc5

    A moving post, but now I’d like to know what you will do to repair all the damage you have done to so many LGBT people over the years. Saying “I”m sorry” isn’t enough. You must now be as active in pro-gay organizations as you were in ex-gay organizations. There are many ways you can do this, but it must be done, in the same way an ex-alcoholic must make amends to all those s/he has hurt.

    I will look for updates from you – and I don’t mean just reparations in your personal life, but publicly getting involved and doing all you can to fight the terrible harm done by groups like Exodus. As someone who endured 15 years of such conversion efforts, I know how scarring it can be. You now need to do everything in your power to fight such efforts, and to help those who are being hurt by them.

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  • Andy Burdge

    Randy,

    I admire your strength and courage. Your unwavering faith is very inspirational to me. Like you I have held tight to my faith in Christ and He has brought me through many troublesome times. Understanding “the man in the mirror” and accepting him is a huge deal. Thanks for sharing. I hope a book is in the works! I for one would buy it. Blessings and peace.

    • Randy

      Thank you for your encouragement Andy 🙂

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  • DMB

    Hey there Randy,
    I just read this today, and then I read that you’ve been swamped by replies, so no pressure to respond.
    I appreciate the time that you’ve spent in thoughtful contemplation over these things, and the depth of wrestling with it all. And I can also appreciate that you’ve written this post for a wide audience with a ton of different world-views, and I’m betting that fact will explain some of my confusion.
    In reading what you have written, though, I’m missing something – where is the Lord’s guidance in all of this? The way that this was presented, it seems that this was between you and you, and the impact and concerns of others, and then the Lord comes into it as an aside. And again, I don’t mean to nitpick at this post that you’ve spent a good deal of time putting together, but this is how it strikes me.
    Of course we all need to stay true to ourselves, but as followers of Christ, we are now new creations, and staying true to ourselves takes on a new meaning. It seems from what you’ve written that you’re leaving Christ out of this, ironically creating a fragmented identity that you emphasized that you never want.
    I have another, related question that stems from this, but I will leave some space to bring that up later…

    • DMB

      By the way – praying for you in the midst of the variety of responses you’re dealing with, along with balancing work, exercise, life, etc. And personally, my friendship is not thrown by what you’ve written. (For what it’s worth.)

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  • Alec

    Thank you for sharing so honestly. Just continue to love God, love others and love yourself, and you won’t go far wrong.

  • Lorian

    Thank you, Randy, for coming out and telling the world the truth that God loves us and made us as we are, and wants us to be happy, loving people within the context of our own, God-given sexual orientation. Bless you, and thank you for the sincere apologies.

    • Randy

      Thank you for your opinion and encouragement Lorian.

  • It sounds like you are bisexual.

  • Jeff Norman

    Thank God, Randy, you found salvation and redemption in Jesus…your sins are washed away—so are mine, praise God.
    But, please help me, and some fellow believers understand something… Why do you feel the need to embrace your temptation as part of your identity, and not call it ‘SIn?’ As you know, we are all born into sin, and, even as Christians we all need to battle our sin nature– not cave into it. The sin and temptations I struggle with are not the same as yours, Randy… I have my own battles to fight — but I don’t cellebrate, identify and embrace that temptation as defining who I am. Taking a (somewhat silly) look at other behavior condemned in the Bible:
    We don’t see an adulterer suing a church because thier teaching discriminates against adulterers.
    We don’t hear about rapists marching in ‘rape pride’ parades, claiming those who disagree are “rape-a-phobic” and “intolerant”. We don’t see ax-murderers sue a local hardware store because the owner won’t sell them a hatchet. (Obviously I’m going to the absurd side, but, I’m guessing you see my point).
    Your blog post doesn’t put you in the same “Gay Adgenda” camp the above scenarios illustrate, but you seem like the kind of guy ( or should I say, gay) that we can trust to bring clarity to the whole “coming out – gay identity” issue in light of scripture.
    I’m not a hater– I have ‘Gay’ employees, friends and family members who I adore– but I can’t dismiss that biblically Homosexuality is a SIN to be repented of — (“If any man come after me, let him DENY himself, take up his cross and follow”– Jesus), not some “gift” to be celebrated, nor a harmless desire one should act on, just because they “feel the urge”. Are we missing something?
    I write this as your brother in Christ who is (myself) growing in, and appreciating God’s wonderful Grace.

  • J Wadding

    “Be who you are and say how you feel. Those that matter won’t mind. And those that mind don’t matter.” Dr.
    Seuss

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  • Andy

    I am so encouraged by your post, and I am in awe of your strength. I am 37 years old, and I came out last year to my wife, kids and extended family. It was painful, but continuing with the status quo was even more painful. Reconciling my past and strict religious upbringing with what I believe about God’s love for me was difficult. Many are still in pain over my decision to live my life as my true self. But I feel the lightness of being honest and sincere and that makes every day better.

  • Dan R.

    If you haven’t done so yet, get a copy of Mel White’s – Stranger at the Gate – book. Coming from an Evangelical Christian background, and being outed back in my early 20’s, that book helped me accept myself as a Gay man. I spent about a year of weekly meetings with the local Exodus Intl group. I came to the realization, that I was happy with who I am. I finally accepted that I was Gay. I was able to move on with my life once I accepted myself.

  • John Paulk

    My dear friend: As the days pass, you will experience a greater freedom from being honest with yourself and others. Don’t feel like you need to respond to and answer to everyone who comments. God will show you what steps to take. As one who has been right where you are, do only what you can do in one day. There will always be haters out there who won’t forgive you no matter how hard you try to repair damage. You don’t have to please everyone. Don’t even try…You have many, many, many who love and support you. Lean on them. xoxo John.

    • Randy

      Love you John. I am very grateful for your friendship and wisdom.

  • William Weeks

    What troubles me the most on this subject is that American Christians will declare the Lordship of Christ in every aspect of their lives, except their sexuality. How can I claim to be submitted to Him in my language, thoughts, conversation, etc, but exclude my sexuality. This has nothing to do with how one feels, but whether or not they are willing to submit their feelings to the Lordship of Christ.
    How can I tell the alcoholic to submit their thirst for alcohol to Jesus, but not submit my sexual desire to Christ as well. As a heterosexual, I may be attracted to other women, but I must still keep those feelings submitted to the commands of God.
    Thus, our identity should not be Alcoholic-Christian, or Heterosexual-Christian, or Homosexual Christian. We should say, “I belong to Christ and have submitted my passions and desires to His Lordship.”

    • William Weeks and others:

      I recommend all read this book to get a better understanding of the history of LGBTQs in America and in the church, a history of which many people are largely ignorant (I know I was): Walking the Bridgeless Canyon by Kathy V. Baldock: http://www.amazon.com/Walking-Bridgeless-Canyon-Kathy-Baldock/dp/1619200287
      The historical details and the numerous, numerous personal testimonies will do more than most books to inform you and others of the issues and persons/lives impacted.

  • Curtis Smith

    Bless you my friend. I support you. If you are ever back in Texas give me a shout!

    • Randy

      So great to see you friend :). Of course if I get back to Texas I will give you a shout 🙂

  • Doug Houck

    Randy, lots been said below, already. Thanks for your transparency. Welcome to a whole new world. Wish you could have joined us at the GCN conference in Portland, last weekend. Maybe you were there, we just didn’t run into each other.

    • Randy

      Doug, thank you. I wasn’t there but I am thinking about going next year. Not sure yet.

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  • Alex

    I followed your blog for a while after the closing of Exodus and the launch of Speak.Love, and I liked how you were approaching things. Hadn’t visited in a while, but now that this has been making the rounds, I wanted to show my support! I’m glad you are happy with where you are at, and happy with Christ! Much love.

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  • Randy Thomas’ ignominious career should not be forgotten, nor should his reemergence from the closet be minimized or downplayed.

    The lesson of Thomas’ coming out is clear: If a man as steeped in vituperative political rhetoric and vile “ex-gay” ideology can come out of the closet, then anyone can. While at first blush this outing doesn’t seem like a very big deal, it actually is A VERY BIG DEAL.

    http://www.truthwinsout.org/opinion/2015/01/40517/

  • joshinchicago

    Hi Randy! I read about you on a news website and then came to your site to read your story for myself. I am thankful that you have decided to share your story. I think it’s so important to let others read your testimony. I struggled for many years, in and out of Exodus, Living Waters, etc. and finally came out about 13 years ago. I have been married to my partner of 13 years for 2 years now and walking with God again for the past year and a half. I thank God every single day that He is in my life again and that I can be the person he created me to be. The space I live in can be tense at times: faith and sexuality at a crossroads. However, I am learning that faith is also being sure of what you cannot see and what you cannot fully understand. I trust in the Lord with all of my heart. Bless you!

    • Randy

      Thank you for sharing your story Josh, and of course for the encouragement.

  • Frank Palmer

    Staying true to how you’re wired is great. I only wish so many others would have been given that basic human right during the operating years of Exodus. I personally know dozens who are no longer alive to hear an apology, in the unlikely event any were offered. My happiness for you is severely drowned by my mourning for too many others.

    • Gary Stephenson Atlas More

      I wrote nearly the same thing earlier however my comment was erased I truely hope yours stays I lost a close friend to suicide after we attended reasignment therapy. I will not forget what he has done, I wish him no harm the only harm I wish upon anyone is to the relgions that hate us. I have since becme an atheist and would like nothing more than to see the end of religion.
      I use the handle on my emails of Atlas More because after this bad period in my life at last there is more.

  • Mark

    Randy, I struggle just like you and every other man or woman does with same sex desires and wishing it away.

    I don’t believe the Bible teaches one sin is any greater than the other, outside disbelief in God. The key to our sinful nature/desires is how we choose to live it out. Do we live unto ourselves despite what pleases God or do we take on the struggles of this temporary life and deny ourselves for His sake? Homosexuality being a sin can be said for every other sin in the world…one no greater than the other and we all have the choice to either deny ourselves or live in it.

    What Is “coming out” saying to the world? Is it saying, I am what I am and have decided to live in the sin I was born in despite what God has to say about it? Wonderful as it would be, there’s just no way to dispute scripture and genuinely believe it’s “OK to be gay” and enjoy a peaceful relationship with God…or is it?

    “I was born this way” remains the age old justified statement within the gay community. Years of trying to understand the why’s, I’ve concluded, it’s not the works of a Holy God anymore than it is Him creating people with deformities, alcoholic genes, etc….it’s all boils down to our sinful nature derived from the sin of Adam.

    Based on my own experience, firmly believe that when a person denies themselves with a heart to please God, He not only blesses in ways never dreamed possible and will either heal the desires or help the struggle within bearable. He doesn’t allow a move toward Him go unnoticed. Having His favor far outweighs any self satisfaction found in this temporary world. No doubt…the Christian life is not for the weak and as followers of Christ…this world is not our Home.

    Anyway, I’ve known you from LH days and have grown to love you as a brother. I just felt like you were swaying in a direction that will do more harm than good…unless I’ve totally misunderstood your current stance in the article.

    Hope you take what I’ve said from a loving heart. Whatever you decide for yourself, I love you and wish you the best.

    Always,
    Mark

    • Lorian

      Mark, you really, honestly believe that every other man and woman on earth “struggles” with “same sex desires”? So all those love songs and movies and books, and all the people falling in love and getting married, and all the high school sweethearts — all of that is just because we all feel attracted to people of our own sex, but *most* people are so stoic and strong and put a brave face on it and go out and marry someone of the opposite sex, holding their noses and lying back and thinking of the Queen? Oh my. I’m not sure you’ve thought this all the way through, dear.

      • Mark

        Lorian, I was responding to Randy’s article meaning allot, (not all) men and women that “have”same sex desires, wished they didn’t. Men and women that don’t have this struggle, have struggles of their own. Hope this makes better sense.

        • Lorian

          It does, Mark. Sorry I misunderstood you.

          • Mark

            no problem at all Lorian, I could have worded it better. Thanks for asking!

    • Frank Palmer

      A book that is open to interpretation, is read differently by everyone, and which has been used to condemn others or as a tool to decide who is deserving and who is not, is not a book that requires my attention. “Because the bible says” is the most ludicrous argument for any discussion. When scientists disagree with each other, they have an experiment and reach a conclusion. When theologians disagree, there is violence. Being gay is not something that should be a struggle to survive. But the hatred and condemnation spread through your book has killed countless young men and women, many by their own hand. Because they were TAUGHT to believe they were defective, and not embraced for being born different. I was a man of great faith. Now I’m a man of great wisdom, and I pity those who are so weak as to require a book to shield them from reality, self acceptance, and true happiness on this earth, rather than a vague promise of some later redemption gifted by hurting others in the name of a so-called loving God. The bible means something different to everyone. It’s read differently by everyone. That makes it open to corruption. Corruption has no place in my life.

  • Randy, we have no past…I’ve not communicated with you before, but I have communicated with many who have found themselves in your shoes or bounced back and forth between gay and exgay. I have many friends who have been the “posterchild de jour” for gay groups and exgay groups. My advice is the same, whether going gay or exgay. Take time off. Don’t be anyones posterchild, on either side. Take 3 to 6 months minimally to not be public. Take that time to journal privately and discover You, not who you think you should be for others.

    You will come out mentally healthier and grounded, and more sure about who you are and what you want out of life.

    Being in the “spotlight” can mess up ones true authenticity and awareness. Being alone with yourself and God can prove to be life-changing. I believe you will be so much more healthy for taking the time.

    The LGBT community win no awards for you coming out gay, just as exgay groups win no awards for you being exgay. Win friends, lose friends will be inevitable, expect it…be thankful and appreciate all that do not walk away, for they were truly friends.

    Most of all….spend time with the Lord…your maker. Allow Him to bring answers and peace to the places inside that yet are uncertain or unhealed.

    God bless you in the process…
    Todd Ferrell, President
    The Evangelical Network

    • DMB

      Hey there Todd – in the past few days since reading Randy’s post, the wisdom of your advice has come to mind more & more. I think it’s important to have breathing room and not be in the glaring eye of the public – social media or what have you.

      I’m a PT / EMT and have often worked at the finish line of races. Many times family and friends who have cheered along their loved one for months and on the day of the event for hours are so excited to see their guy / girl cross the finish line that they run up and smother them…. They mean well, but most often that person is exhausted and could just use a few min. to gather themselves before they can take anything else in.

      That’s the illustration that has kept coming to mind. Especially in our society’s Age of the Immediate, we often forget that we’re talking to actual people, and that giving someone room to breathe is showing respect, kindness, and love. I don’t know Randy very well, but I know him a little bit, and he’s not a poster boy either way for me – he’s a well-rounded, gifted, funny, thoughtful and interesting person.

      Thank you for your eloquent letter – regardless of how Randy may take it (which I don’t doubt would be kindly), it was a good reminder for me to not contribute to the smothering, and not to put people onto posters, but instead contribute to lifting up life (in prayer, friendship, etc.)

      Dee

      • Thanks Dee – my comment in no way is anything but meant to encourage Randy that taking time to heal and find himself is of utmost importance – more than speaking out, responding to pro/con comments. Just as your “end of race” analogy – taking time to gather yourself is just vital.

        • DMB

          Right on. (PS – I didn’t complete my thought in the first paragraph. The second sentence should read: “…or what have you, when dealing with transitions in life.” But, I’m sure you and others caught my drift.)
          Giving oneself space and spending time with the Maker of our souls is a great gift. Thanks again for writing this.

    • Randy

      Thanks Todd for your advice and perspective. We are on the same page and I am grateful for the peace that comes through your comment. I have felt some pressure to join various groups/efforts and I have quietly (to myself) made the determination that I can’t even think about that stuff right now. Definitely taking time to chill out and pray/think through all of this.

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  • Jeff Coe

    Well good for you. I know that this was not an easy thing to do nor something to take lightly. After having worked at Desert Stream for a few years and been in the ex-gay world for a little over 20 I know the dilemma well. For me it was being in a relationship with a very good woman and knowing I could not love her in the way she needed or desired to be loved was my wake up call. Sure there are the ups and downs but I know sit with a man who loves and cares for me deeply (and vice versa) and so glad I did come out (again). The real issue is letting go of the past and sadly many friends but in all honesty you become a better and more humane man not only for yourself but for the world at large. Welcome, and now go have the life you never thought possible for yourself.

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  • Beau Hammonds

    I am sorry, but if you had made this blog post BEFORE Exodus closed, I might feel differently. As it stands now, it seems like the gravy train ran out and now you have no reason to go on with the lies you fostered to keep that money rolling in.
    You own a LOT of people a LOT more than an apology.
    May God be with you and may you find the forgiveness that you crave. I just cannot be one of the people to give that to you at this point. Perhaps one day I will be able to, but that is my problem not yours. Until then, I would recommend that you funnel as much of yourself into telling the world that God loves the LGBT community as they are. Maybe if you say it enough times, to enough people, you CAN undo some of the damage you have done in the name of God.

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  • Elizabeth Putnam

    I am wondering have you ever looked at homoflexible? It means you generally are in love with the same sex but at times can love the opposite sex.

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  • kyndnotes

    Hey, what’s always mattered to me is that you are Randy, which makes you special. xo, Natalie

  • Randy,
    Please don’t do this. The Bible hasn’t changed. God hasn’t changed. The only thing that has changed is the culture and please don’t listen to it.
    I have sat in classes you taught and you have spoken against the very thing you now are saying is ok. I have heard you say you wouldn’t even accept the “exgay” label and now you’re taking on the “gay” label.
    You know in your heart of hearts what is true. Please don’t give in.

  • Concerrned Christian

    Randy
    I have an idea on how you feel. I attended ex gay groups and saw myself as ex gay. Yet all that changed when I left the ex gay group and then stated I am gay. I found it liberating seeing myself as a gay man. I saw it true freedom at that time.

    Yet now I see that homosexual acts are a sin. No matter the world is becoming more acceptable of homosexuality and more and more people see the Bible as irreverent, God has the final say on that subject.

    I no longer see myself as gay, ex gay but Christian. I choose to be obedient and even that means denying to act out on my fleshy desires:

    Matthew 16:24
    Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

    I pray for you.

  • DavidM

    Hi Randy,

    I don’t think you owe anybody anything. You and everyone you worked with was in the same mindset to hear what they needed to hear at the time and make their own decisions accordingly. We all have to in the end, take responsibility for our beliefs and actions. Some are slower than others. Noone outside of ourselves can take responsibility for how others will react, to anything. Cheers to your journey out of confusion. You deserve s medal.

  • Randy thanks for sharing. I have been through a similar situation as you. The other day as I was walking down the street this thought came to my mind, “God did not save me to make me straight, but to be conform to me to the imagine of Jesus Christ”. I too have a attraction to both men and woman. I use to receive newsletters from “Love In Action, Exdous International, Desert Stream and Life Ministry over the past 30 years. But something stuck with me, one of the leaders told me straight up that the attractions would be with for the rest of my life. I admitted I did not want to hear that at the time, I was hoping God to make me 100% straight. But that was so that I would be “accepted” in the church and straight community. Those words kept me sane and in the Love of Christ. I am happy for God grace that abounds to me just as I am.

    Paul

  • d jones

    Don’t you get it? Its not about you; its not about how you label yourself or how anybody else labels you: What box you fit in, because its not about you. It’s about what is acceptable before the eyes of God. If you could blow away the entire universe with one breathe, its about you facing only God alone; nothing else in view or existence.

    • But from your response, I would guess it’s all about YOU? About your idea of how Randy should live? Your understanding of God, and what God requires of Randy?

      If Randy is to face God alone, then it’s not about YOU, is it? Let him do it…with his understanding of who he is and his understanding of God and what God requires of him. We are not the one who convicts of sin and we are not the conscience of another.

      God bless you, Randy.
      I love you.

      • Randy

        I could hug you RIGHT now. 🙂 Thank you Bill. Love you too.

      • d jones

        I don’t want to sound rude, but why don’t you let Randy speak for himself, Mr. Pritchett?

        • I believe Randy DID speak for himself; this blog is his story and his experience. I wasn’t addressing him at all, in case you missed it.

  • d jones

    oh for God’s sake dude. Be a man and a true friend and stop playing this cat and mouse game with me. Homosexuality is sin. Run from it like the plague.

  • Yes, you sound like a GREAT friend. Such compassion, such empathy, such support. Can’t imagine what anyone would avoid responding to your taunting demands for an answer. Everyone needs “true” friends like you!

    (Oh, and just for fun, I challenge you to show us one verse that says homosexuality is a sin. Just one. But it has to use both of those words, otherwise, it’s just your interpretation. Ready, set…go.)

    • Ted Slater

      And I challenge you to show me one verse that speaks of “husband and husband.” I can give many that speak of “husband and wife.”

      • Oh, I’m sorry. That’s an incorrect answer. The category was “homosexuality and sin,” not marriage. Thanks so much for playing. Please accept our consolation prize as you exit.

  • d jones

    First of all, you need to stop playing the “poor me” victim routine. Secondly, I have no intention of quoting bible verses at you, since you already know the truth. Thirdly, I still can’t understand why you insist on talking for Randy, unless its because deep down you want somebody to challenge your current belief and stand on the issue. Yes, I think that is it. Ok, well let me lay it out to you: If you sow to your flesh, you shall die. Tough love, dude. Are you gonna rise to the occasion?

    • I have NO IDEA where you think I’m playing the “poor me” victim card. That’s just more of your baiting statements. I am highly amused that from that false premise, you think you can summarize my motives as wanting “somebody to challenge” my “current belief and stand on the issue.” You couldn’t be more wrong. I am merely responding to some of your bully tactics with my friend. And because you appeal to the Bible, I’m merely asking you for “proof” to back up your statements…which you still have not provided. (Because you can’t. The verses are not there!) I have spent 45+ studying and teaching the Bible, so I don’t think what you share will come as a surprise to me. But because I have such high regard Scripture, I won’t be silent while you twist verses to make them only say what YOU think they can say and mean. Disagreement doesn’t make one of us right and the other wrong, it merely makes us…different. It’s why we have Baptists, and Methodists, and Pentecostals, and Catholics.

      As to speaking for Randy, again, you are reading into my comments. I never spoke for him; I spoke TO you. I never said “Randy thinks,” or “Randy believes.” I spoke FOR myself…TO you. It’s called a discussion. Interaction. A conversation. A dialogue. Not as comfortable as a one-sided diatribe, but it has the potential of being more productive when people talk TO one another.

      And as to “rising to the occasion” of your Bible verse challenge, there is none. The verse you quoted no more condemns homosexuality than it does heterosexuality. It not about the desires that are inherent within us, but what we do with that desire. A heterosexual has a sexual desire for a person of different sex, but if they commit adultery, that is “sowing to the flesh.” Hunger is part of our flesh, but gluttony would be “sowing to the flesh.” According to the Bible “sins of the flesh” would also include “strife” and “jealousy” and “rivalries” and “enmity.” You could give some thought to those, I think.

      Finally…”dude,” your definition of “tough love” is little more than personal rants with cut-and-pasted Bible verses. You don’t know me, but you have made value judgments about me. That’s not love. You seek to impose your beliefs and your opinions on others, without the humble chance you could be wrong…or that others could just understand it or experience it differently. That’s not love. You are judge and jury of those who disagree with you, a role not granted to you by the One who actually does love us.

      • d jones

        Bill, you need to quit working.yourself up into such a dither. Relax and not take life.and yourself so seriously. Good grief. Now do what Stuart Smalley did, “go look at yourself in the mirror and.say I’m good.enough, I’m smart enough and doggonit, people like me!”

        • Pardon the pun, but this is a FRUITLESS conversation, You are little more than a troll, resorting to insults, innuendos, deflection and exaggerations to “win” your point. Rather than answer direct questions, you seek to dismiss, diminish and demean the other person. Apparently you are the only one who is allowed to have a serious point, and anyone who disagrees with you is taking themselves too seriously.
          I wish you all the best.

          I love you, Randy.
          Hope to see you again soon.

          • Randy

            Love you too Bill. I am sure we will meet up again. Thank you for your engaging d jones.

  • d jones

    I’m going to backtrack a little and say, in a way, you were sucked into a movement rife with inherent problems. Real leadership or fathership in the church has been sorely lacking. It wasn’t readily available to you when younger, neither to me. Discipleship would be the better word. Christian ministry here in America mirrors the business world: The bigger, more visibility, and every other metric makes it bonafide, and proof of its legitimacy. Nothing can be farther from the truth. So many people get swooped up in the whirlwind.
    So called “experts” in the mental health field can often be ignorant when it comes to practical application. I think and hope that the pendulum swing in your life will balance out – your views on the issue, and you will come back to what you originally knew was the truth. It can happen. As the saying goes, “it ain’t over til the fat lady sings”. So I hope righteous people out there are praying because we are promised that.it “avails, accomplishes much”.

  • d jones

    Bill, this may come as a surprise, but you actually have made something a little clearer to me. The road of discipleship is truly a very narrow one. And truly, very few are those who find it. I’ve often questioned, argued with God, why is it so difficult for a gay person to get out of the gay life? His answers are always so clearcut

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  • d jones

    You can call yourself what you like, but if you lie with another man, as with a woman, you are sinning, defiling your own body. Which, by the way, no longer belongs to you. It has been united with Christ. Do you really want to unite yourself with another man, in an act that defiled your own body?

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  • I remember reading your testimony during exodus year Randy, after a very long journey of struggle to accept myself as a gay christian. I questioned God, if those people from the ex-gay ministries could become straight? why couldn’t I? did they really become straight? what did i do wrong? Eventually, John smid, john paulk & etc that once were very popular as the poster boys from the ex-gay ministry came out as gay in the ex-gay world. That really compelled me to revisit and reconcile my faith and sexuality. I really appreciate your honesty and openness regarding your journey. I’m glad that you speak up now and speak out against people who now still say the same things you once did.

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  • Francisca I. Marchant

    Thank you Randy for your honest heart. As I am currently in a workshop called coming out I too deal with my bisexuality as the beautiful gift it is. Your disclosure makes me cry tears of happiness as it encourages me to press forward into the fullness of me.

    God bless you, as he/she has just blessed me by reading your post.

    • Hello Francisca! It’s so good to see you after all this time! Thank you for the encouragement and so glad you are pursuing authenticity. God bless you, too.

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