Man who worked as 'gay conversion therapist' comes out as gay

An influential personality in "gay conversion therapy" in the United States has left the movement and said he wants to date men.

David Matheson, a 52-year-old Mormon who promoted "ex-gay therapy," which promotes the idea that being gay can be "cured," made the announcement on Facebook last Jan 22.

The declaration came after LGBTQ advocacy group Truth Wins Out (TWO) reported on Jan 20 a private conversation between Matheson and "conversion therapy" advocate Rich Wyler.

Wyler said in a private Facebook group, "David… says that living a single, celibate life 'just isn't feasible for him, so he's seeking a male partner. He has gone from bisexuality to exclusively gay."

Matheson and Wyler developed the programme "Journey into Manhood," a retreat where gay men are made to perform "manly" activities in the forest, supposedly to alter their sexual orientation.

Matheson also co-authored a study in 2006 called "Holistic Therapy: A Comprehensive, Clinical Approach to the Treatment of SSA (same-sex attraction)." The controversial paper has been slammed by TWO as "anti-gay and extremely offensive, habitually confusing crass stereotypes with actual science."

Last November, it was revealed that his partner in the study, Norman Goldwasser, was soliciting sex in a gay dating app.

The American Psychological Association (APA) has denounced such "treatments" because they "see homosexuality as a mental disorder, a concept that has been rejected by the mental health professions for more than 35 years."


In his personal Facebook post last Jan 22, Matheson said that he had a "happy and fulfilling marriage" with his wife.

"But I also experienced attractions to men. Much of the time these were in the background. But sometimes they were very intense and led to pain and struggle in my marriage," he said.