In rather incredible news, gay conversion therapist David Matheson has divorced his wife and come out as gay.
Matheson, from Utah, was the creator of courses which claimed to be able to change the sexuality of people who paid to go on them. These courses have been widely discredited by doctors, but this doesn’t stop them being popular, especially in more conservative areas where being gay would be frowned upon.
Rather belatedly he has now admitted that his techniques were harmful to people and went on to blame his previous views on the “shame-based, homophobic-based system” of the Mormon church in which he was raised.
In a Facebook post, Matheson said he had realised he “had to make substantial changes in my life”.
He wrote: “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. Much of the time these were in the background. But sometimes they were very intense and led to pain and struggle in my marriage.”
He went on to state that he had a desire to be in “an intimate relationship with a man” had become a “non-negotiable need” towards the end of his marriage, but he still had “too much homophobia in myself”.
According to Wikipedia, gay conversion is the system of ‘using psychological or spiritual interventions. There is virtually no reliable evidence that sexual orientation can be changed, and medical bodies warn that conversion therapy practices are ineffective and potentially harmful. Nevertheless, advocates and proponents do provide anecdotal reports of people who claim some degree of success in becoming heterosexual’.
I find this a really fascinating story. Firstly, I am glad that he is on the road to accepting who he really is. We only get one go at this life and we deserve to be happy. Hell, we have seen the suicide rates for gay and bi people. It really isn’t good.
Still, I can’t help but feel for those people who have passed through his gay conversion therapy centre. The damage that will have been done to them will be incredible. Imagine being told that your feelings are an illness that you can be cured. That can only have a detrimental effect on someone’s life.
This does seem to be something that Matheson acknowledges. I will also add that no matter what we have done wrong in our lives, that should never stop us from doing right in the future. We have all done bad things at one point in our life, but we will hope to do good as things go forward. Matheson has an opportunity now to campaign against these kinds of therapies. If he is now able to highlight the damage that they cause, then there will be many people who will benefit from this move.
It is all very different to therapy sessions that help paedophiles. Despite the obvious moral and legal differences between being gay and a paedo, the paedophile ones usually are there to SURPRESS those kinds of desires. Very few claim that, to put it bluntly, you can ‘pray it away’.
A Brighter Future
I would like the narrative to be one of redemption and hope for the future, rather than the comedic takes we are getting from the MSM, where they are basically having a laugh at the concept of the ex-conversion guy turning gay. Although that is admittedly amusing, it is just part of a bigger story.
A lot of this comes down to religion. No-one is born homophobic, kids are the most open-minded people you will find. It is only when our differences are pointed out to them that they start feeling prejudice, and often turn into bigoted adults. Religion has a lot to do with this.
I am not going to start rounding on religion too much. Many of my family have faith and I was taught to be a well-rounded individual. I was always taught to respect others, even if I didn’t share their desires or beliefs. Other interpretations of faith will be a lot more intolerant. I suspect a Mormon living in Utah may not be living in the cradle of enlightenment on these kinds of social issues.
Lets just finish the story off on a positive though. Somebody who tried to break the ‘programming’ of other people to not be gay has broken his own programming and is now embracing the fact he is. Lets just chalk that one up in the win column.
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