When Matheson initially came out he refused to apologise for the harm caused to the LGBTQ community.
A notorious former ‘gay cure’ therapist, who came out as gay, has now called for a ban on the discredited and harmful practice. David Matheson initially refused to condemn the practice.
“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.”
However, Matheson has now renounced the practice. Speaking on Channel 4 News, he said: “I regret my part in perpetuating those ideas.
“Perpetuating the idea that being gay is a pathology, a disorder. Perpetuating the idea that God is not okay with people being gay. That I regret… it held me back and it held lot of other people back.”
When asked if he was sorry to victims of the practice, he responded by saying: “Are you kidding? It is horrifying to think that I was part of a system that held people like me down and I’ve had some conversations with other people who have been harmed by it. It creates a lot of sorrow.
“Any therapy that is based on the idea that being gay is a psychological disorder, which it’s not, that believes that being gay is wrong or bad, which it’s not, and that it can be changed and ought to be changed. Any therapy based on that idea has a great potential to harming people, and that kind of therapy should be stopped.”
He added: “I repudiate the idea that therapy can and should be used to change a person’s sexual orientation because it just can’t.
“I think back on things I created and I want to crawl into myself, because I there’s a sense of, oh my gosh, I used to think that was a good idea.”
“I do regret my part in propagating that view because I was in a sense kind of an agent of a repressive culture and that makes me really uncomfortable. If those retreats are still doing that sort of stuff they need to stop.”
Matheson also addressed his own internalised homophobia, saying: “One of the really uncomfortable things that I’ve been discovering, is my own homophobia.
“As I look back I see that I clearly had lots of homophobia. I will still have these stigmas about gay people. I will learn someone is gay and I will still have this thought, this homophobic thought – and I’m like ‘Dave that’s you too’.”
15 U.S. states that have banned conversion therapy. Those states are New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire and New York.