A married father-of-two from South Carolina who founded one of the nation’s largest conversion therapy programs has come out as gay and strongly denounced the widely discredited practice.
McKrae Game, 51, the former leader of Hope for Wholeness, came out of the closet in June, nearly two years after he was fired from the faith-based conversion therapy ministry.
He is now trying to come to terms with the harm he inflicted on LGBTQ people when he was advocating for religious efforts to change a person’s sexuality.
‘Conversion therapy is not just a lie, but it’s very harmful,’ Game told The Post and Courier in an interview published on Saturday. ‘Because it’s false advertising.’
Game, who had spent the past 20 years maligning homosexuality, is one of several former movement leaders who have left the pulpits of heterosexuality, come out as LGBTQ and condemned conversion therapy as a dangerous and misleading practice.
‘I was a religious zealot that hurt people,’ Game told the paper. ‘People said they attempted suicide over me and the things I said to them. People, I know, are in therapy because of me. Why would I want that to continue?’
Currently, 18 states and Washington, DC, ban the practice of conversion therapy for minors, according to Movement Advancement Project, an LGBTQ think tank. South Carolina, however, is not one of these states.
Many national health and medical associations have dismissed the practice as ineffective and damaging to the health of LGBTQ youth. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from a list of mental illnesses.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, conversion therapies ‘lack scientific credibility and clinical utility’ and could ‘increase (the) risk of causing or exacerbating mental health condition in the very youth they purport to treat.’
In a Facebook post last week, Game, who is still legally married to his wife, Julie, and has two grown children, apologized for his past mistakes.
‘I WAS WRONG. Please forgive me,’ he wrote. ‘I certainly regret where I caused harm. I know that creating the organization that still lives was in a large way causing harm. Creating a catchy slogan that put out a very misleading idea of “Freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ” was definitely harmful.
‘Promoting the triadic model that blamed parents and conversion or prayer therapy, that made many people believe that their orientation was wrong, bad, sinful, evil, and worse that they could change was absolutely harmful. People reported to attempt suicide because of me and these teachings and ideals.
Source: Daily Mail