Former Gay Conversion Therapist Who Came Out As Gay Now Calls For Ban On Practice
David Matheson said he regrets perpetuating the idea that being gay is a disorder…
David Matheson, the notorious former ‘gay cure’ therapist, who came out as gay, has now called for a ban on gay conversion therapy. Matheson initially refused to condemn the practice.
Matheson told Channel 4 News in the UK that he now regrets perpetuating the idea that being gay is a disorder.
“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.”
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’.”
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.”
You can watch the Matheson’s full interview with Channel 4 News below.