Mormon ex-conversion therapist now says he regrets harm he caused, after refusing to apologize when he came out

Mormon ex-conversion therapist now says he regrets harm he caused, after refusing to apologize when he came out

David Matheson, the Mormon ex-conversion therapist, revealed in a new interview that he regrets the harm he caused.

Last week, Matheson made headlines when he came out as a gay man and also quit practicing conversion therapy. At the time, he released a statement saying he would not apologize and is choosing to remain strong in his Mormon faith.

‘My time in a straight marriage and in the “ex-gay” world was genuine and sincere and a rich blessing to me,’ he said. ‘I remember most of it with fondness and gratitude for the joy and growth it caused in me and many others.’

Regarding conversion therapy, he said: ‘I continue to support the rights of individuals to choose how they will respond to their sexual attractions and identity.’

It is with those rights and freedom, he said, that he is now pursuing his life as a gay man.

A more recent interview with Channel 4, however, shows Matheson expression different opinions regarding conversion therapy and his role in it.

At the start, interviewer Minnie Stephenson directly asks Matheson if he’s sorry for the “damage and harm” he caused.

His response is immediate. “Are you kidding? I mean it is horrifying to think that I was part of a system that held people like me down and I’ve had some conversations with other people who have been harmed by it. It creates a lot of sorrow.”

As their conversation continues, Stephenson asks Matheson whether his own coming out, as some who practiced and believed in conversion therapy, discredits the pseudo-science. He says he doesn’t know how to answer the question yet, but still provides a new outlook on it.

“I will say I repudiate the idea that therapy can and should be used to change a person’s sexual orientation because it just can’t.”

Matheson also outright states his regret in participating in this and that it now makes him want to “crawl in on myself.”

“I do regret my part in propagating that view because I was in a sense kind of an agent of a repressive culture and that makes me really uncomfortable,” he explains.

Later in the interview, after being asked if conversion therapy should be banned in the US, Matheson affirms the normalization of being gay and says such therapy “should be stopped.”

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  1. Mandy
    February 03, 08:33 Reply

    These gay conversion therapists usually end up being gay. Which is an irony. To be in a position where you’re trying to direct someone on how to be less true to himself, when you yourself have unresolved issues about who you are. SMH

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