Gay conversion therapist told gay man to stop contact with all the women in his family including his mother
Mathew Shurka says he was advised by ‘gay cure’ counsellors to avoid any contact with the female half of his family to avoid picking up their “feminine behaviour”.
From the ages of 16 to 21, Shurka was forced by his father to undergo ‘gay conversion’ therapy. This meant he was unable to directly communicate with his mother or his sisters despite them all living in the same house.
“It was extremely difficult to come home from school and not talk to them. The word uncomfortable doesn’t even describe it,” Shurka told the Press Association.
“The therapists tried to teach me that there was no such thing as homosexuality and that it was a psychological condition that’s routed from some sort of childhood trauma. My mom didn’t agree with the therapy at all. She felt like she was losing me,” he said.
Shurka eventually accepted his sexuality and came out when he was 23.
Now 27, Shurka is an ambassador of the #BornPerfect campaign with the National Centre for Lesbian Rights – a charity fighting to end conversion therapy in the US.
At the moment, Washington DC, California, Illinois, Oregon and New Jersey are the only states operating laws to protect minors against undergoing conversion therapy.
The law allows the imposition of fines and other penalties on licensed therapists who attempt to change the sexual orientation of people under the age of 18 from gay-to-straight.
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