Conversion therapy has time and time again come up with data that proves it does not work.
Tantamount among the proof that it does not work are its leaders, doctors, and advocates—often gay men themselves—who later on in life embrace their sexuality.
One recent addition to this list is Randy Thomas, the former Vice President and spokesperson for Exodus International which was active from 1976 until 2013.
Thomas, in a tearful interview with Truth Wins Out, acknowledged the group's and his personal betrayal of the LGBTQ+ community and announced he was about to get married—to another man.
Former 'ex-gay' lobbyist to 'marry a dude': The Randy Thomas Story youtu.be
Thomas, who was born in Tennessee, turned to Exodus International after being thrown out of his home for being gay, which he describes as "one of the most traumatic experiences" of his life.
After being the victim of an anti-gay hate-crime, he began to search for support, which he says Exodus International (EI) offered—though, with a terrible price.
"The false sense of community and acceptance that I experienced there was the first time I'd ever really felt accepted."
"It did not take long after I joined … to kind of put on the identity of being a former homosexual."
"And I found my voice, and I shared my story, and people were crying and sharing how impactful it was."
Former "ex-gay" who is now ex- ex gay and an LGBT+ lobbyist, Randy Thomas will marry a dude. https://t.co/4yEiuGaJRi via @YouTube— Alexis Gay 🏳️🌈 (@Alexis Gay 🏳️🌈)1595346820.0
Thomas went on to say he was "very sorry" for the harm groups like Exodus International caused the LGBTQ+ community, such as advocating for conversion therapy and lobbying GOP politicians to pass legislation to restrict the rights of LGBTQ+ citizens of the United States.
"In the ex-gay world, cognitive dissonance is an everyday way of life, and you're taught how to respond to the dissonance with words of faith, like 'I struggle but this is my cross to bear, this is the thorn in my side, this is what all honest Christians have to put up with'."
"So even though you know in your heart that it's not working, you're not changing, there's an excuse for it."
Imagine thinking conversion therapy works but a mask doesn’t. https://t.co/6WCZhaj53A— Chelsea Handler (@Chelsea Handler)1594771264.0
Just absolutely blood boiling. Senior Trump campaign official @JennaEllisEsq retweeting this pseudoscientific garbl… https://t.co/hYXROOPdeh— Steve Morris (@Steve Morris)1595283830.0
Y'ALL, THIS IS SERIOUS. Malaysia is giving the police the right to arrest trans people and send them to "re-educati… https://t.co/HLmbEaJiOC— Artistic_Kitsune ➡️ 💜Shin Kuroi my beloved,,💜 (@Artistic_Kitsune ➡️ 💜Shin Kuroi my beloved,,💜)1595323294.0
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson says gay conversion therapy is "abhorrent" and has "no place in a civilised society".… https://t.co/pcTBGCfELd— Sky News (@Sky News)1595241957.0
Instagram says it will ban any content that promotes conversion therapy, a pseudo-scientific, widely discredited pr… https://t.co/ipBLPDl3Oa— CNN (@CNN)1594665604.0
Thomas is now fully against the values he once claimed to stand for:
"It is a lie to say you cannot be a happy, healthy, whole and faithful LGBTQ person…"
"In your heart of hearts, embrace who you are, and that's where your freedom is."
Thomas will soon marry his partner, Dan Scobey.
Exodus International's downfall came about when president Alan Chambers denounced his own organization and apologized to the LGBTQ+ community for the "pain and hurt" Exodus caused.
The founder of the group, Michael Bussee, left the group in 1979 and began dating another leader, named Gary Cooper.
He later said:
"I never saw one of our members or other Exodus leaders or other Exodus members become heterosexual, so deep down I knew that it wasn't true."
Other former members have also been critical of the group.
Exodus International was the largest and most controversial conversion therapy organization in the world.… https://t.co/YMTnOaq0IP— Pray Away (@Pray Away)1588011259.0
I watched @BoyErased tonight. Beautifully done but it hit very close to home. Does anyone remember Exodus Internati… https://t.co/oRthuYsE9W— TDotGayCop (@TDotGayCop)1550799069.0
Not even the first time, this is why Exodus International collapsed years ago https://t.co/cl5jXF2UxO— Arthur Chu (@Arthur Chu)1567537359.0
"I have had the opportunity to learn the most liberating lessons of self-acceptance and love never fettered by cond… https://t.co/R1yymucjYC— Q Christian Fellowship (@Q Christian Fellowship)1566397644.0
Members of the LGBTQ+ community are safe from organizations like Exodus International, for now.
Hopefully our model of the world going forward includes acceptance of all sexual orientations and gender identities.