WHY: A Memoir by Randy Scobey

by | Mar 2, 2024

As the French seemingly coined mémoire to mean a literary genre of intimate memories, few are as shattering and complex as WHY: A Memoir by Randy Scobey. Riddled in truth, trauma and controversial ideologies, WHY: A Memoir is the raw depiction of one man’s journey from self-hate to self-discovery.

This luminous book presents the seamless authenticity of life’s uncanny ability to twist and turn. In WHY: A Memoir, we enter the world of one man’s inner torment of sexual identity that drove him to persecute his own community. From a homeless teen, to being rescued by a drag queen, to the Executive Vice President of the nation’s largest ex-gay conversion group, to being the catalyst to its demise—Randy’s unique life unfolds in multiple cycles of trauma.

In this tale of psychological abuse, we see the all-too-familiar coming out endeavor experienced by myriad members of the LGBTQ+ community. Randy was ostracized from his conservative Christian home at the tender age of 19. Homeless, alone and afraid, Randy fell into a dangerous rhythm of substance abuse. Despite the intervention of Momma Mella, the drag queen who saved his life, Randy was utterly vulnerable and disarmed—the perfect target for the ex-gay conversion group Exodus International.

As the book continues to delve deeper into a world of disenchantment, Randy befriends a woman that introduces him to a community. A community that would surely deliver them both from addiction and into salvation. Unbeknownst to them both, the entanglement that unfolds from this seemingly innocent introduction leads down a dark path of manipulation and lies.

Over the subsequent twenty-three years, Randy was emotionally imprisoned by pastoral messaging, adopting the conversion therapy stigma with homosexuality as the scapegoat. Conversion therapy is a discredited practice and toxic ideology that has been widely condemned by most major medical institutions and banned in more than 20 states from being used with minors. Through Exodus, Randy, a closeted gay man, became the face for ex-gay ministry. As the national spokesperson, Randy publicly denounced homosexuality and asserted conversion therapy worked… until suicide changed his life.

“The moment my friend took his life, everything changed for me,” expressed Randy. “He was a part of this group but left and married a man. The shame and guilt we preached stayed with him. He was so confused and thought God hated him for marrying a man. Ultimately, he took his life.” This catastrophic moment propelled Randy to finally be true to himself.

Armed with strength and determination, Randy began to aid in dismantling Exodus International. “I felt as though I contributed to many suicides and mental illness from the work I had done at Exodus. I carry that guilt with me to this day.” This guilt was the catalyst for Randy to right his wrongs. In 2013, Exodus International was shut down.

WHY: A Memoir is a remarkably poignant story of redemption, a journey of raw fidelity coupled with humorous expressions set to launch in May 2024. Now, married to his husband Dan and bonus Dad to his step-daughter, Randy has dedicated his life to living authentically. Although the first-time author has recused himself from ex-gay ministry, he hopes WHY: A Memoir will be a resource to someone who needs it.

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