David Matheson, a once dominant Mormon transformation therapist in Utah, took to Facebook on Tuesday to come out to his friends and followers.
“A year ago I realized I had to make substantial changes in my life,” Matheson, who was able to run an organization called the Center for Gender Affirming Processes, composed.
“I realized I couldn’t remain in my marriage any longer. And I realized it was time for me to affirm myself as homosexual.”
“I enjoyed a happy and satisfying marriage with my spouse for several years. In general, it was a beautiful connection and being”directly” became a core component of my individuality,” he continued.
“However, I also experienced appeals to men. A lot of the time they have been in the background. But sometimes they were very intense and led to struggle and pain in my marriage.”
The confession came shortly after LGBTQ nonprofit Truth Wins Out obtained a personal Facebook post produced by Rich Wyler, a fellow conversion therapist, which addressed Matheson’s sexuality, NBC News reports.
Wyler, the director of Journey into Manhood, a service that is “designed specifically for men to address incongruous same-sex attractions,” had written on Facebook that Matheson had been “looking for a male spouse” after his divorce, as”dwelling one, celibate life ‘just isn’t possible for him.'”
Conversion therapy, that employs a combination of physical and cognitive tactics to attempt to curb an individual’s same-sex fascination, has been denounced by the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association as dangerous and ineffective.
However, it’s still practiced throughout the USA, with just 15 states and D.C. banning it for minors.While Matheson admits his job in the contentious field might have”hurt a few people,” he stops short of issuing a complete apology for his participation, writing he knows that he “assisted many, many individuals since they’ve told me .”
“Not that I would excuse myself but any shortcomings I had as a therapist came out of too narrow a view of what “emotionally healthy” can seem like,” he wrote. “They came out of my own homophobia and narrow mindedness. I’m truly sorry for all those flaws
and the harm they’ve surely caused a number of people. And I’m sorry for the confusion and pain that my choice may be causing others”
Ultimately, Matheson said he saw his “time in a direct marriage and at the ‘ex-gay’ world” as “real and true and a rich blessing to me personally ” “I remember most of it with fondness and gratitude for the pleasure and growth it triggered in me and others,” he wrote.
“But I had stopped growing and I had to change. So I’ve embarked on a brand new life-giving route that’s already started a completely different expansion procedure.”
Among Matheson’s former clients, who asserts he had been hurt while enduring conversion treatment, stated he found himself feeling less than perceptible following Matheson’s big revelation.
“While I’m happy for Mr. Matheson he has found a route forward for his lifetime, I can not help but think of the hundreds or even thousands of individuals that are still stuck in the cupboard, a cupboard that was made in part by Mr. Matheson himself,” Chaim Levin told Truth Wins Out.
“I hope that Mr. Matheson will do anything he can to rectify the damage that he’s inflicted on a lot of people in the LGBTQ community, myself included.”