Queer Action Coalition

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

LIA on WMCTV.com

An interview with John Smid and Brandon Tidwell, a participant of LIA, who has now rejected their teachings.
Go here and click on "Sacred Straight: George Brown".

QAC thanks Brandon for having the courage to speak out about his experiences.



Inside "Love in Action"
Jun 14, 2005, 10:57 PM Brandon Tidwell lives his life as an openly gay man but years ago he wasn't as proud so he turned to Love In Action in hopes it would change his life...and it did, "They're representing the radical extreme element of evangelical faith." Tidwell says he soon realized the Love in Action program wasn't working for him, "There were rules, intimidation techniques, manipulation and poor counseling or inappropriate counseling techniques used to continue to shame and guilt and manipulate people." Program director John Smid disagrees, "People come out of being here stronger, better, more authentic, more real, more honest and more potentially able to lead a positive life than when they came." Smid says his program which is based in Memphis and currently has 19 members doesn't dispute some people are born gay instead it teaches not to act on those feelings, "It is a form of re-thinking, it is a form of therapeutic principals to help us think differently so that we respond differently with the choices we have." Tidwell, "What it leads to is self hatred and denial." Love in Action has graduates who say the program benefited them and changed the way they feel...Tidwell isn't one of them, "I didn't shift my theology so I could be gay. being gay helped me to look at my theology though a whole new lense and see Christ through an embracing point of view rather than one through condemnation." John Smid said he wants people to know the program is voluntary. The teens that take part are often sent by their parents but he says they can leave on their own and if the resist the program they are asked to leave.
from WMAC Action News Page

9 Comments:

  • The link to the story needs an "h" at the beginning:
    This one should work...

    By Anonymous sarah, at 10:32 AM  

  • Fixed it. Thanks.

    By Blogger Fighting Homophobia, at 10:34 AM  

  • Brandon, I admire your courage. But I don't understand this: why did George Brown let Smid get the last word?

    By Blogger EJ, at 12:18 PM  

  • yes, Brandon - you rock!!! It was also nice to see a audio-visual on this :-)

    I dont know why Smid got the last word, it probably left a better flow, and because it's a news cast... they might have just wanted to please the conservatives - being that this topic is provocative

    By Blogger Will "Buddy", at 12:34 PM  

  • As a former roommate of John's when LIA was in San Rafael, I can say this group is totally off their rocker.

    I spent 2 years with LIA and all I got from it was thoughts of suicide because I couldn't stand being gay.

    Thanks be to God I got away from them!

    By Blogger Hobbes, at 3:31 PM  

  • Program director John Smid disagrees, "People come out of being here stronger, better, more authentic, more real, more honest and more potentially able to lead a positive life than when they came."

    LOL..you have got to be kidding me...I just may call this idiot myself.

    "Better...more authentic"?

    How is that, if you are telling a gay teen, who knows damn well what he is attracted to, that he must change and become his unauthentic self...burn in hell John you closeted shame-filled old queen.

    Sorry the guy really makes me sick.

    By Blogger Philip Racuel, at 4:17 PM  

  • The worst thing anyone can do, in spite of our collective distaste for Smid or LIA, is to fly off the handle. That's exactly what opposers of our position want us to do. When we do that, they make an example out of us.

    It is of the utmost, dire importance that before pursuing any form of direct action against LIA that we consult with people familiar with the program and our judicial system first.

    It only takes one victory for LIA to remain in business, and there are dozens of LIA/R programs around the country whose doors need to close.

    That being said, I still urge people to write people in our city and our school district paying close attention to how your emails/letters are phrased.

    How I feel about these people is less important than demonstrating, logically, why they are not fit to continue practicing their ideology in the name of Christianity or any other religion.

    By Blogger EJ, at 4:36 PM  

  • taken directly from the love in action website.

    "LIA will be hosting a press conference on Thursday, June 16, 2005 at 11 a.m. at our facility at 4780 Yale Road. For more information, contact Tommy Corman at (901) 751-2468 or tommycorman@loveinaction.org."

    By Anonymous Lydia, at 8:58 PM  

  • Gosh, Smid's irony is overwhelming.

    Keep up the good work.

    By Blogger Nic White, at 12:49 AM  

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