The founder of one of the leading American gay conversion therapy organisations has apologised for the harm he has done after coming out as gay.
McKrae Game, 51, was the leader of the faith-based conversion therapy program Truth Ministry in South Carolina for 20 years. McKrae was fired from the group in 2017, now renamed Hope for Wholeness, and came out in June of this year.
“When I started truth ministry, I believed the gay community and the world was lying about homosexuality and this whole subject,” he told The Post and Courier. “I was trying to tell the truth.”
“Now, I think it’s the complete opposite. I believe ex-gay ministry is a lie; conversion therapy is not just a lie, it’s very harmful,” he said, adding that “it’s false advertising”.
“I was a religious zealot that hurt people. 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?”
In 2018 the William Institute at the UCLA School of Law conducted a study and found that approximately 700,000 LGBT adults in the U.S have received conversion therapy at some point in their lives, including about 350,000 who received it as adolescents.
The World Psychiatric Association, along with many other mental health bodies including the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA), have asserted that “curing” LGBTQ people is false and is both dangerous and unethical.
Game admitted that his entire time spent as the leader of the conversion therapy camp he struggled with his sexuality. He admitted to having affairs with a man, although he remains with his wife today.
“I was a hot mess for 26 years and I have more peace now than I ever did,” he said. “We have harmed generations of people”.
Game says that he still receives angry Facebook messages from people that were traumatised by his program. Leading him to write a lengthy apology saying: “I WAS WRONG! Please forgive me!”