David Matheson, who was once a prominent Mormon gay “conversion therapist,” announced that he has now chosen to “pursue life as a gay man” and is looking for a boyfriend.
“A year ago I realized I had to make substantial changes in my life. I realized I couldn’t stay in my marriage any longer. And I realized that it was time for me to affirm myself as gay,” Matheson wrote in a Facebook post after being married to a woman for 30 years.
“I know my work helped many, many people because they’ve told me so. But I’m sure I’ve hurt some people too,” Matheson wrote in the post. “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. They came from my own homophobia and narrow mindedness.”
Conversion therapy has been denounced by every health group:
“So-called gay conversion therapy, which is sometimes referred to as ‘ex-gay therapy’ or ‘reparative therapy,’ is a pseudoscientific practice that seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity,” NBC News explained. “Talk therapy is currently the most commonly used technique, but some practitioners have also combined this with ‘aversion treatments,’ such as induced vomiting or electric shocks, according to a 2018 report by UCLA’s Williams Institute (Matheson stressed he never participated in ‘aversion therapy’). Nearly every major health association, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, has denounced the practice.”
Matheson still supports conversion therapy:
Despite his coming out, Matheson did not denounce his past support of conversion therapy.
“I continue to support the rights of individuals to choose how they will respond to their sexual attractions and identity,” Matheson said in a statement to NBC News. “With that freedom, I am now choosing to pursue life as a gay man.”
“I know there are people who won’t be satisfied by anything less than a complete and unequivocal renunciation of everything,” Matheson added. “That’s hard, because I want people to feel the genuineness of my change of heart, but people need to understand that there is more than one reality in the world.”
He did add that he is “unequivocally” apologetic for those he harmed with his previous work.