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Randy Thomas discusses John Paulk’s life

June 27, 2013 By: Tom Coy Category: Ex-gay News

April 22, 2013

The following excerpts are from Randy Thomas’s article “John Paulk’s Shocking Secret” taken from Randy Thomas’s website: … “Then, last week, an article was published by PQ (Proud Queer) basically saying that John is on his way “back” to the gay community and questioning whether they should accept him. Some, a few … not all, activists act like the religious legalists they abhor by coming up with a laundry list basically stating that John can only be accepted if he does and acts exactly like they think he should. How weird is it that the church, rightfully in some cases, gets excoriated by these same folks for kicking people out into the street for not publicly espousing the right beliefs and acting the right way and then they turn around and do the same from a different set of rules?

Anyway, after reading the PQ article I messaged John a quick note once again sharing my heart for him and offering to help if I could. This resulted in a phone call and a great conversation.

John shared with me that even though his currently estranged (my word not his) wife Anne is involved with the group Restored Hope Network (RHN) he has gratefully left that world behind and started his new career, his dream job, 10 years ago. There has been extremely brief contact with his former career during that time but he has not been a part of Anne’s pursuits with the RHN and has no desire to do so. John does consider himself “outside” of the “ex-gay” world and no longer supports reparative therapy or SOCE (sexual orientation change efforts.) He shared with me that he hasn’t gotten a dime for the books he wrote for over a decade now. In fact both books only survived one printing and are currently out of print. The rumors out there that the Paulks are still “making a living” as “ex-gay superstars” is simply not true. Please remember, all the international buzz about the Paulks happened in 1998 … fifteen years ago. John’s involvement with Focus and Love Won Out completely stopped ten years ago.

John got very emotional while we were talking, especially about young people. He seems very committed to combating shame and condemnation being brought against gay people and especially gay teens because of religious intolerance.

Our conversation lasted about 40 minutes and for the first time in 18 years I completely trusted that everything that came out of his mouth was unhindered and came from a loving, and humbled, heart. I told him that while I related to him more after his gay bar visit in 2000, I could relate to him even more now that he is genuinely questioning past actions and motivations. While I don’t agree with all of his conclusions he shared on the phone, I can say I agree with about 95% of what he shared including renouncing the term “ex-gay.” I love that he is pursuing the true meaning of God’s grace. I love that he is fiercely protective of his kids. I love that he will not drag his marriage to Anne through the mud even though some seemingly heartless activists demand it.

So what is John’s “Shocking Secret?” He doesn’t have any … anymore.” …