“In his grip”. That’s how Love In Action Reverend John Smid signed his emails to homo-journo Joshua Lyon, who went undercover to cover conversion therapy for August’s Jane.
After shelling out $3,500 of (hopefully) Conde Nast’s dough, Lyon put his homosexuality on the line at LIA’s Memphis HQ. Apparently Smid and his cultish company enjoy restraints as much as leather loving Reverend Mark Sorvillo.
As we pull in LIA’s A-framed church headquarters, we’re surrounded by at least 10 residents, who promptly disappear with my luggage. No one makes eye contact with me. Inside, I’m given a black binder with more than 100 rules listed in it. [We] sit in a large circle in the basement and take turns spouting off the most important ones from memory.
“You must have two other people with you at all times – even when you go to the bathroom – for accountability,” says a beefy-looking jock.
LIA may sound like a God awful drag, but the Bible thumpers know how to have a good time. Lyon’s suburban sanctuary came complete with Reader’s Digest Treasury of Great Show Tunes. Rocking!
After a week of enforced silence – except during defagifying sessions – and another week of hell-centric conversation, Lyon left LIA for the safe gay haven of New York. While he’s totally anti-LIA and other ex-gay conversion camps, Lyon makes sure to tell the remaining inmates that he’s got their back, so to speak. Lyon writes in a letter accompanying the article:
My frustration and anger with Love In Action is absolutely not directed toward any of you… Please, please, please contact me through janemag.com if you ever want to find out about other resources or even just talk.
Unfortunately for Lyon’s LIA comrades, Jane folded earlier this month. Damnation!
(Illustration by Emily Forgot.)