David Matheson, a notorious Mormon practitioner of gay ‘cure’ therapy, is now “pursuing life as a gay man.”
The therapist was one of the best-known Mormon practitioners of conversion therapy, setting up the Journey into Manhood program in line with church teachings that direct gay people to repress their feelings and marry someone of the opposite sex.
But Matheson, who trained under Joseph Nicolosi of National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), has now admitted that he is gay.
Mormon gay cure therapist David Matheson ‘choosing life’ as a gay man
The US-based former therapist came out in a message shared by Truth Wins Out, a campaign group that battles against gay ‘cure’ therapy.
Matheson said: “My time in a straight marriage and in the ‘ex-gay’ world was genuine and sincere and a rich blessing to me.
“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.”
Mormon gay cure therapist David Matheson won’t renounce past work
Matheson insisted he was not renouncing his work.
He added: “I wasn’t faking it all those years. I’m not renouncing my past work or my LDS faith. And I’m not condemning mixed-orientation marriages.
“I continue to support the rights of individuals to choose how they will respond to their sexual attractions and identity.
“With that freedom, I am now choosing to pursue life as a gay man.”
Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out said: “If conversion therapy does not work for authors like David Matheson who write books on the discredited practice, it is naive to expect it to work for those reading such deceptive publications.
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“Conversion therapy is consumer fraud and ought to be outlawed in all 50 states.”
—Mormon gay cure therapist, David Matheson
“Conversion therapy employs guilt and shame to browbeat desperate and vulnerable people into renouncing their humanity. This is the latest evidence that conversion therapy is consumer fraud and ought to be outlawed in all 50 states.”
Chaim Levin, a former victim of Journey into Manhood who has been a plaintiff in other actions against gay ‘cure’ therapy, added: “While I am pleased for Mr. Matheson that he has found a path forward for his life, I can’t help but think of the hundreds if not thousands of people who are still stuck in the closet, a closet that was created in part by Mr. Matheson himself.
“I hope that Mr Matheson will do whatever he can to rectify the harm that he’s inflicted on many people in the LGBTQ community, myself included.”
Matheson is far from the first practitioner of gay ‘cure’ therapy to admit they are gay.
In November, it was revealed that Orthodox Jewish gay cure therapist Norman Goldwasser sought anonymous gay sex on hook-up websites Manhunt and BearNation, where he had the profile name “Hotnhairy72.”
Gay ‘cure’ therapy is still legal in more than 30 US states despite being condemned by nearly every major medical, therapeutic and psychological body.
Experts overwhelmingly agree that attempts to cure sexuality or gender identity are futile, misguided, and often extremely harmful, and governments across the world are coming under increasing pressure to crack down.
Attempts to force teens to repress their true selves have been linked to depression, self-harm and even suicide.