Ryan Murphy reveals his parents tried to ‘cure’ his gayness by taking him to a psychiatrist as a teenager

Patrick Kelleher November 10, 2020
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Ryan Murphy

Ryan Murphy (Mike Windle/Getty)

Ryan Murphy revealed he was brought to a psychiatrist by his parents in an effort to “cure” his homosexuality as a teenager.

The Glee creator, who has recently wrapped work on a Netflix adaptation of LGBT+ themed Broadway musical The Prom, revealed that his parents brought him to a psychiatrist the day after his own prom.

Murphy said working on the musical was like the prom he never had, telling the Hollywood Reporter: “I found it very healing to be able to put those images to film. I didn’t have that.”

He continued: “If only I would have had this feeling of acceptance and belonging, how different my life would have been. I felt that when we were shooting it.

“I went to my junior prom and the next day my parents took me to a psychiatrist to cure me. Thankfully, I had a really good shrink, who at the end of our several sessions called my parents in and said, ‘You have a choice here: You can try and change him and lose him, or you can accept him and love him.'”

Murphy added: “I was very blessed. When I went to my senior prom, I had been through that but I still took a girlfriend because I wasn’t allowed to come in with my fellow. The prom is very emotional for me, as you can tell.”

Conversion therapy is defined as the effort to change a person’s sexuality or gender identity. The harmful and pseudoscientific practice is often rooted in religious communities, and it has been condemned by most major psychiatric bodies across the world.

As it stands, 20 US states and a number of countries around the world including Malta and Germany have passed bills to ban conversion therapy, while others like Canada are moving towards a ban.

A 2019 survey from the Ozanne Foundation found that one in five conversion therapy survivors later attempted suicide, while two in five later experienced suicidal ideation.

Related topics: Ryan Murphy, the prom

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