Former anti-gay activist Randy Thomas opened up about his sexuality in a lengthy and emotional blog post this week.
Thomas, who worked for the now-defunct Exodus International from 2002 until 2013, says he was inspired to come out as gay after the death of a friend and former date, Michael.
"Michael had several difficult issues contributing to his suicide, and I know he also struggled with his faith and sexuality," Thomas, who was the last Executive Vice President of Exodus International before the organization shuttered, wrote in the post, titled "A Peaceful Disclosure -- I Am Gay" and published on Jan. 12. "His death shook me to my core and made all the questions I had been asking were even more stark, consequential, and pressing."
Describing himself as "gay with some level of bisexual tendencies," he continued:
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.
After saying he'd initially come out at age 19 before becoming "an ex-gay poster boy," he concluded, "I am gay. I am ok with who I am. I hope we can continue to journey together."
You can read Thomas's full blog post here.
Thomas told The Huffington Post in an email that he felt "exhausted and exhilarated" by the "overwhelmingly positive" responses he'd received after posting the blog. While some of the other responses were "difficult to hear," he added, "It is very important, a high priority, to listen to the community I have been estranged from for too long."
"I feel more free and not constrained than I have in a very long time," he said. "I still, of course, have plenty to walk through, amends to make, and seek to apply lessons learned in a positive mutually beneficial way."
Before it closed in 2013, Exodus International was known as the world's most prominent "ex-gay" ministry, and was focused on "mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality," according to its original mission statement.
Thomas isn't the only member of an "ex-gay" organization to express sentiments about sexual orientation in recent months that are, by all accounts, a far cry from their former beliefs.
In November, former Love In Action Director John Smid, who was previously considered one of the foremost leaders of "reparative" or "ex-gay" therapy, tied the knot with Larry McQueen in Hugo, Oklahoma.
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place