Rymel, Tim. “Going Gay My Journey from Evangelical Christian to Self-Acceptance Love, Life and Meaning”, CK Publishing, 2014.
Tim Rymel is an ordained evangelical minister who once was the outreach director of Love in Action, one of the oldest and most renowned ex-gay (reparative therapy) ministries in the world. During the heyday of the ministry in the 1990′s, he and is staff appeared on countless television and radio shows with their bogus message of “Freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ.” Rymel was considered to be a “success story” of the ex-gay movement but his world fell apart when his wife divorced him. He then went on a journey searching for self-acceptance and learning how to deal with faith and life.
For years he had been convinced that he had succeeded to come to heterosexuality through prayer and he went on toe marry a woman and hit the talk show circuit. This book is about that journey. “I want the conservative church to see the painful reality that many of their own believers go through to come to terms with their inborn homosexuality,” Rymel said. “I wrote the book ‘as one of their own’ to create dialogue and cause them to rethink what they believe and what the Bible says about homosexuality.”
Because of his past, readers may not buy Rymel’s story but it is a story to be read and thought about.and understand himself,” said Justin Lee, founder and Executive Director of Gay Christian Network. “In a culture where faith and sexuality seem often to be at war, the stories of those caught in the crossfire are critically important. Readers may not agree with all of Rymel’s views, but this is a story worth telling and a story worth understanding.”
Rymel reveals himself to be a self-loving, accepting human being and he even goes so far as to say that “God loves you exactly the way you are” and these are important words for those struggling with their beliefs and with who they are.
Rymel is a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a Christian, a minister, a partner and basically just Tim Rymel. He had to struggle with dealing with sexual preference and religious and political beliefs and ideas as well as the stereotypes that surround them but he is defined by so much more. It took his journey to understand this.
Tim Rymel has shared his story authentically and honesty and he is very clear about what he says. He admits openly that he sees the values in what he has gone through in the past and writes about how they have been responsible for making him the man that he is today. He has done away with feelings of shame and therefore is now able to live openly and honestly. I am sure that his journey to self-acceptance was painful and difficult and any of us who have ever been on a journey can agree with. After all, I would say that most of us are constantly looking for acceptance somewhere.
This is a real and raw story and we sense all of Rymel’s sufferings. We all need to know how to accept others and ourselves without trying to define us with a single word or concept. Anyone with a religious background that challenges his or her own acceptance (and I am not just speaking about sexuality) will understand what this man went through. I am sure that the writer had to struggle to write this book but he says things we all need to know.