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gay conversion therapy

A prominent gay conversion therapist has come out as gay

Do as I say, not who I do

David Matheson, a well–known gay conversion therapist, vocal advocate for anti-LGBTQ practices and mormon from Utah, has confirmed that he has divorced his wife and come out as gay. The director of the ‘Journey into Manhood’ programme is set to begin his journey into the big bad world of gay, intending to “pursue life as a gay man”.

The “therapist” co–authored the ‘Journey Into Manhood’ programme which is a gay–conversion camp that encourages gay men to go to the forest to engage in “manly” activities to try and modify their natural sexual orientations.

Matheson released a statement on his Facebook page stating that “I enjoyed a happy and fulfilling marriage with my wife for many years. Overall, it was a beautiful relationship and being “straight” became a core part of my identity. But I also experienced attractions to men”.

He went on to say: “I used to be caught in an ideological prison of my own. I know my work helped many, many people because they’ve told me so. But I’m sure I’ve hurt some people too. Not that I would excuse myself, but any shortcomings I had as a therapist came from too narrow a view of what “emotionally healthy” can look like.”

He also used the opportunity to apologise for his part in the morally-ambiguous practice: “I am truly sorry for those flaws and the harm they have surely caused some people. And I’m sorry for the confusion and pain my choice may be causing others.”

Gay conversion therapy can confuse and damage young people, both medically and physically. “They were telling me that I was surrounded by demons and that, through sessions, I could ward them away,” Charles a victim of the practice told us in a feature back in 2016

Beyond being tragically ironic, this story marks another step toward the ultimate erasure of gay conversion therapy. Having once been kept away from the public eye, gay conversion therapy is finally part of a global conversation against homophobia. Films like The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Boy Erased were both released last year, and tackle the flawed institutions that endeavour to stop people from being who they are.

Along with this, the state of New York passed bills banning gay conversion therapy earlier this month, making it the fifteenth state to ban the therapy.