Well-Known Anti-Gay “Conversion” Therapist Comes Out As Gay
There’s absolutely nothing unusual in this story: The author of the book Becoming a Whole Man, a father of three adult children and famous Mormon and gay therapist is now looking for a male partner… He spent years trying to help gay men be “less gay” only to acknowledge he wants to date other men.
A prominent member in the anti-gay movement, David Matheson spent his whole life speaking out against homosexuality and championing gay conversion therapy as a viable option to make men “whole,” but left hope of conversion behind and is on the hunt for a suitable male partner.
According to a 2007 New York Times report, during those years of work he spent countless hours trying to help men “reduce homosexual desires” and become “more comfortable in their masculinity.”
In a 2010 interview with ABC’s Nightline, he suggested that gay men needed help with finding a new way of living.
“For some people ‘gay’ is never going to work. That kind of life and that kind of living is never going to gel - ever - with their value system,” Matheson said. “For those men, that’s why we exist, so that they can have another way, another approach of dealing with their sexual feelings.”
Apparently, he managed to find his own “new way of living.”
“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,” Matheson, who did not condemn his past life and anti-gay rhetoric, told Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen.
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.”
While the latest news on Matheson further dishonors the already discredited “ex-gay” industry, some people harmed by his programs have greeted his announcement with mixed feelings.
“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,” said Chaim Levin, who was psychologically harmed by attending Journey into Manhood, and was later a key plaintiff in the landmark Southern Poverty Law Center lawsuit that shut down Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH). Matheson was also tied to JONAH.
Although “ex-anti-gay” sincerely believes his therapy worked and helped people “feel more comfortable in their masculinity,” Wayne Besen is certain that Matheson is living proof that these programs don’t even work for its most vociferous advocates:
“If conversion therapy does not work for authors like David Matheson who write books on the discredited practice, it is naïve to expect it to work for those reading such deceptive publications. 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.”
Matheson’s revelation is also important because Google is hosting a noxious “ex-gay” app targeting children. Truth Wins Out has launched a petition urging Google to drop the app, which has 45,000 signatures and counting.