My rapist outed me to my parents, says gay ‘cure’ therapy victim on This Morning
The author of an exposé on gay ‘cure’ therapy has revealed that he was outed by his rapist.
Garrard Conley, whose memoir Boy Erased is set to be released as a film starring Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe later this year, told This Morning viewers that after his parents found out, they sent him straight to ‘conversion’ camp.
A study released earlier this year showed that 20,000 LGBT teens in the US will undergo gay ‘cure’ therapy before they turn 18.
The practice, which has still not been explicitly outlawed in the UK, defies not just logic, but also a consensus reached by medical, psychological and therapeutic organisations across the world.
Experts overwhelmingly agree that attempts to cure sexuality are futile, misguided, and often harmful.
Attempts to force teenagers to repress their sexuality has been linked to depression, self-harm and even suicide.
And Conley told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield that he had considered suicide after enduring the ‘therapy,’ which he was forced into after being outed by a former friend.
“He’d actually raped a child and he actually raped me and then he used [me being gay] as an excuse,” he revealed.
“My parents didn’t know that I’d been raped, so they didn’t know the whole story.”
Conley, who comes from Arkansas, said that his father, a preacher, laid out his two terrible options.
“My dad took me into his bedroom and he said: ‘I’ve talked to a few preachers; I called them after I heard this, and there’s only one way forward here.
“Either you go to conversion therapy or you won’t see your family and we won’t pay for your education.”
He explained that “it was like, six months of sitting across from someone and they said ‘tell me every fantasy’… and after each session he would say: ‘Okay, God hates that, God doesn’t want you to be that way, and here’s a Bible verse to fix it.'”
Garrard is now an anti-gay ‘cure’ therapy activist, speaking out against the practice, which is prohibited in Malta and Switzerland, and is also banned for minors in nine states – New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Nevada – and Washington DC.
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In April, the Australian Labour Party announced a plan to ban gay conversion therapy across the country, calling it a “discredited and dangerous” practice.
In March of this year, a man launched a petition to end the practice in Australia, saying: “praying the gay away nearly killed me.”
But the announcement from the Labour Party was in contrast to remarks from deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who said days earlier that he had ‘no view one way or another’ regarding gay ‘conversion’ therapy.
Watch Garrard’s horrific account here: