Conversion therapy crusader comes out as gay, pledges restitution for harm caused

The founder of a conversion therapy ministry has come out as gay.

Not only that, but he now says conversion therapy - an attempt to “cure” people of homosexuality - is destructive.

“Conversion therapy is not just a lie, but it’s very harmful,” McKrae Game, who started Hope for Wholeness, told The Post and Courier. “Because it’s false advertising.”

Game, who led the faith-based conversion therapy program for two decades, spoke to the Post and Courier last week. It is supported by no science whatsoever.

About 700,000 LGBT adults in the U.S. have received conversion therapy at some point, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, self-described as a think tank on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy.

“Many professional health associations and the public support ending the use of conversion therapy on LGBT youth,” said Christy Mallory, the state and local policy director at the Williams Institute and lead author of a 2018 study on the issue.

“Our research shows that laws banning conversion therapy could protect tens of thousands of teens from what medical experts say is a harmful and ineffective practice.”

These conversion practices have been linked to emotional and psychological trauma for many, ranging from depression to anxiety to suicidal thoughts, The Post and Courier said. In addition, “virtually every major medical group in the United States, including the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association” has condemned it.

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In fact it is illegal in 18 states and Washington.

Game, 51, has now joined those institutions in calling for the end of conversion therapy. He is also struggling to come to grips with the harm he himself inflicted during his zealous attempts to stop them from being gay, The Post and Courier reported.

“I WAS WRONG! Please forgive me!” he wrote introducing a lengthy Facebook post. “I plan to communicate with anyone, including media, that wants to speak with me. I’ll take advantage of any opportunity I get to share my experiences, and my belief that ex-gay ministry and conversion therapy IS HARMFUL.”

He decried the large number of people who “continue believing that there is something wrong with themselves” and pledged to devote himself to healing the harm he had caused during 20 years as an anti-gay activist.

"The very harmful cycle of self shame and condemnation has to stop,” he wrote. “It’s literally killing people!! Learn to love. Learn to love yourself and others.”

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