Exodus Asia Pacific part of the crumbling Global Alliance has lost another organization from their site. Ministry One is no longer listed as the founder and director, Simon Tinkler, is now living as an openly gay man.
Here is his story in his own words.
You can love and serve God as an
out and proud gay man. You do not have
to choose between being gay and being a Christian. Discovering this truth has been a difficult
yet exhilarating journey for me.
As a teenager in a contemporary
church, I was sold the cruel lie that being gay was evil and that I could
easily become straight. Twenty years of attending ex-gay support groups,
enduring exorcisms, days of fasting and hours of prayer left me unable to
change into a straight person.
During that time, I was an
Australian Christian Churches Pastor, married, with two beautiful daughters.
When I spoke to senior ministers about the struggles with my sexuality I was
told to keep it a secret. I wanted to
support others who were going through the same thing and founded Ministry One
in 2003 and was its director for six years. Like other ex-gay ministries in
Australia, Ministry One was affiliated with Exodus International and we looked
after people who'd made inquiries through their website.
Living in a Christian subculture,
where I could never be myself, eventually the struggle became so great I got to
the point of considering taking my own life.
Thankfully I decided not to die but to live, to embrace the love of God
and be the person I really am. This involved
discovering that literalist interpretations of the Bible create an ugly
caricature of Christianity. I discovered an authentic and progressive faith in
God and moved into the LGBT community where I found love, acceptance,
friendship and support. It was so good
to be welcomed and embraced after years of secrecy and
I have been in a committed
relationship since July 2009 with my wonderful partner Timo where we celebrated our
civil union in February 2012. I am also actively involved at St John’s
Cathedral, Brisbane. I have a loving
relationship with both of my daughters and it has been good to see my ex-wife
get remarried to a heterosexual man. I
run a successful travel business and seek to be an encouragement to those I
I know firsthand that it is very
hard when you are a gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender person in an anti-gay
“Christian” world. You can feel very alone, very afraid and very confused. My encouragement to people in this situation is
that there is a better way but it must be your own choice and that choice does
take courage. Each person must choose
their own path. Above all I encourage gay people not to get married for the
sake of the precious other person involved and to avoid ex-gay ministries like
I conclude with a heartfelt
apology to anyone who has been hurt or misled by my past life and ministry. If
I had known what I know now, I would not have chosen that path for myself or
encouraged others to believe they could become straight.
Labels: apology, conversion therapy, ex-gay, exodus, former ex-gay leader, LGBT apology, Living Waters