A leading ‘gay cure’ therapist has come out as gay, saying he now wants to date men.
David Matheson was one of the most notorious Mormon conversion ‘therapists’ in America, having run the Journey Into Manhood program, which aimed to ‘convert’ gay people to a straight life.
He also authored the book Becoming A Whole Man, which is described as “the result of a six-year quest to understand and respond to the most difficult challenges facing men with unwanted homosexuality”.
But after years of dangerous ex-gay programs and studies, David has announced that he is now “choosing to pursue life as a gay man” and is looking for a partner.
“My time in a straight marriage and in the “ex-gay” world was genuine and sincere and a rich blessing to me,” he wrote in a statement issued through Truth Wins Out, a group that fights against gay ‘cure’ therapy.
“I remember most of it with fondness and gratitude for the joy and growth it caused in me and many others. But I had stopped growing and was starting to die. So I’ve embarked on a new life-giving path that has already started a whole new growth process.”
Despite his decision to accept his homosexuality, David refused to apologise for the harm he’s caused to LGBTQ people through his career.
“I wasn’t faking it all those years,” he said.
“I’m not renouncing my past work or my LDS faith. And I’m not condemning mixed-orientation marriages. I continue to support the rights of individuals to choose how they will respond to their sexual attractions and identity.
“With that freedom, I am now choosing to pursue life as a gay man.”
Chaim Levin, a man who says he was psychologically harmed by attending Journey Into Manhood, says he hopes David will attempt to “rectify” the damage he’s done to the LGBTQ community.
“While I am pleased for Mr. Matheson that he has found a path forward for his life, I can’t help but think of the hundreds if not thousands of people who are still stuck in the closet, a closet that was created in part by Mr. Matheson himself,” he said.
“I hope that Mr. Matheson will do whatever he can to rectify the harm that he’s inflicted on many people in the LGBTQ community, myself included.”
Gay conversion ‘therapy’ is still legal in the UK, and though several states in the US have banned the , it remains in practice in far too many places.
While several US states have banned the widely-discredited practice of gay conversion ‘therapy’ for minors, it remains in practice in far too many places. In the UK, despite efforts by LGBTQ charities, the practice is still legal.
Earlier this month, New York voted in favour of a ban on gay conversion ‘therapy’, and legislators also successfully passed a bill which added gender identity to the state’s anti-discrimination laws.