John Smid

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John J. Smid
Known forLove In Action
Spouse(s)Larry McQueen

John J. Smid is the former director of the Memphis, Tennessee ex-gay ministry Love In Action, a group that claims to convert lesbians and gay men to heterosexuality.[1]


During his time directing Love In Action, Smid faced controversy over the organization's treatment of gay teens in their youth program "Refuge".[2] Smid subsequently resigned his position in 2008,[3] and in 2010 apologized for any harm he had caused, noting that his teen program "further wounded teens that were already in a very delicate place in life".[4]

In 2011, three years after leaving Love In Action and stepping down from its leadership, Smid announced he was still homosexual and stated he had "never met a man who experienced a change from homosexual to heterosexual."[5]

In 2012, Smid wrote and self-published the memoir Ex'd Out: How I Fired the Shame Committee.[6]

In the 2018 film Boy Erased, based on the book of the same name, the character Victor Sykes, portrayed by Joel Edgerton, is based on Smid.

A November 2018 Radiolab podcast titled "UnErased: Smid"[7] features Smid's life story.

Personal life[edit]

Before claiming he had changed from homosexuality to heterosexuality, Smid lived for years married to a woman and fathering children. It was during this marriage that he realized he was gay, divorcing his wife in 1980. Four years following his divorce, Smid became a Christian and sought conversion from homosexuality to heterosexuality.[2] In November 2014, Smid married his same-sex partner, Larry McQueen. The couple live in Texas.[8]


  1. ^ "Ministry seeks to lead away from gay life". Arizona Daily Star. 1997-11-08. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  2. ^ a b Julian Borger (2005-08-26). "Straight and narrow: church's 'gay cure'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  3. ^ Herrington, Chris (2008-04-10). "Fly on the Wall". Memphis Flyer. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  4. ^ Jason says: (2010-03-30). "Ex-gay leader apologises". Star Observer. Retrieved 2011-10-13.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  5. ^ Wayne Besen (2011-10-12). "Former 'Ex-Gay' Activist Admits Gay People Don't Change". Falls Church News-Press. Archived from the original on 2011-10-15. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
  6. ^ "Ex'd Out - Grace Rivers".
  7. ^ "UnErased: Smid". Retrieved 2019-01-14. (podcast)
  8. ^ "US: Former 'ex-gay' leader gets married... to a man - PinkNews · PinkNews".

External links[edit]