A South Carolina man who founded one of the biggest conversion therapy ministries in the United States of America has come out as gay.
Hope for Wholeness founder McKrae Game came out of the closet this summer. In addition, the 51-year-old now warns against the harms that conversion therapy does to people, according to the Associated Press.
“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.”
“I was a religious zealot that hurt people,” Game added. “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?”
Despite the fact that “virtually every major medical group in the United States, including the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association” has condemned it, there are several centers, ministries, and practitioners still performing the practice.
For Game, there’s a big feeling of grief in the knowledge that he harmed many others with the practice for 20 years. He now pledges to be a vocal dissenter against conversion therapy.
“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.”
“The very harmful cycle of self shame and condemnation has to stop,” he added. “It’s literally killing people!! Learn to love. Learn to love yourself and others.”
Game isn’t the first founder or leader of a conversion therapy program to later come out and disavow the practice. Back in 2014, nine former “ex-gay” leaders signed an open letter denouncing conversion therapy as “ineffective and harmful.” And according to the Washington Post, a Latter-day Saint counselor came out as gay this January and “unequivocally renounced” ex-gay ministry.