|Homosexuality ‘Healer’ Out of the Closet|
by Redaktie in Health & Body , 08 March 2019
Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar
The man who wanted to 'cure' gay people of their sexual orientation and claimed to be able to change the sexuality of people, has now come out of the closet himself. In a Facebook message, conversion therapist David Matheson says that he recognizes that he has damaged people through his work.
"A year ago, I realized that I could no longer stay in my marriage and that it was time to admit that I am gay," he writes. Matheson grew up in a Mormon community. Taking their ideology as a starting point, he developed courses and therapies with which he tried to ‘cure’ people of their homosexuality.
Now, the well-known conversion therapist says that his therapy was based on his own 'homophobia and narrow-mindedness'. He was stuck in his own ideological prison, he writes. "I know that my work has helped many people because they told me so. But I also know for sure that my work hurt people." He does not want to apologize, he continues, "but all the shortcomings that I had as a therapist came from a too limited view of what 'emotionally healthy' can look like."
His marriage was not to blame, as it was still going strong after 34 years, he writes. "But I could no longer avoid an intimate relationship with a man."
Conversion therapies, promoted primarily by religious communities in the US, were attended by approximately 700,000 homosexual and transgender Americans, according to figures from the Williams Institute. In an increasing number of American states, the use of such therapies for minors is prohibited. According to doctors and psychologists, the desire to change someone's orientation leads to mental health problems.
According to Wayne Besen, founder of an organization that fights against anti-gay sentiments, this step by Matheson proves that conversion therapy is harmful and ineffective. The therapy gives people false hopes that 'healing' of an orientation is possible, he says.
Matheson still sees that somewhere deep inside a homophobic lurks in him, but he can accept the person he is much better now. "I'm really sorry for those flaws and the damage they certainly caused to some. Also, I am sorry for the confusion and pain that my choices cause others. "
He concludes his Facebook message with the wish that people through his story are encouraged and start trusting their life's journey. "Trust it without fear or shame, no matter what other people think."
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