“Praying the Gay Away” nearly killed me -- outlaw ‘Gay Conversion’ therapy

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Trying to “Pray the Gay Away” nearly killed me. I’m not the only one. So-called conversion therapy can cause depression, self-loathing and even suicide. I prayed to God asking him to either heal me, or kill me. I was so depressed, I wanted to die.

Living Waters was an ‘ex-gay’ course for those wanting to cure homosexuality. The people in the program told me my attraction to men could be cured. Every week, group members spoke about their ‘sins.’ I was so ashamed that I remained completely celibate until 24 in an effort to change who I am.

I’m not alone. A recent investigation in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, reveals gay conversion therapy has not disappeared in Australia, but has gone more underground. According to the article, some school chaplains have even been involved in ‘ex-gay’-type counselling, apparently sometimes even without parental knowledge.

How is this legal? We need our Minister for Health and our Prime Minister to condemn conversion therapy and outlaw the practice for minors.

I was just 17 when my church recommended I enter a program to turn me straight and I met with the leader of the program.

Since 10, I felt ashamed to be gay and believed that something was innately wrong with me. For years I even thought I may be demon-possessed because of the things I was taught as a young person. When I was older, I was still vulnerable and desperate enough to join the program, hoping it would be my cure and help me to be a better Christian. It took years of healing after leaving the program to be proudly gay. But those years still affect me somewhat... how could they not?

I don’t want to see a single kid harmed by “therapies” telling them that something that is innate in them is evil or demonic or needs to be ‘healed’.

Please, sign this petition calling for Malcolm Turnbull and the Health Minister Greg Hunt to protect the most vulnerable and outlaw gay conversion therapy and it’s advocacy. It has no place in our medical profession and certainly not in the lives of minors.



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